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6 Steps to Longer-Lasting Sealed Ends

Avatar • Dec 15, 2011

By Cipriana of Urbanbushbabes.com

Picnik collage

There is nothing more frustrating than sealing your ends only to have them look like tumbleweeds a few days later. Now since I wear my hair in updo protective styles 24/7 my tumbleweed moments have become a distant memory but I can relate to all of you who love to wear your hair out or rock protective styles freeform. The featured picture above shows my ends in two different states. The ‘Before’ picture:

is the end of one of my twists just washed with conditioner, then immediately ends are sealed, left to air and worn down for two days. The ‘After’ picture:

These are my ends two days later done with the same exact steps and treatment except tweaked with a special technique I created. If you are experiencing dry ends just a few days after sealing I may have an easy, longer lasting solution that will work for you.

Our ends tend to go haywire on us quickly because they are the oldest (and therefore most fragile) part of the hair. And the curlier the strand the more difficulty sebum has lubricating your ends. Sebum is the natural oils your sebaceous glands secrete to lubricate scalp and hair. Sebaceous glands are microscopic glands in the skin throughout most of the body, but mostly populated on the scalp and face. They actively moisturize our hair but, because of the curly road sebum has to travel, it may not even reach your ends. Remember, it is much easier for the oil to run down a wavy or straighter strand versus extremely curly which is why it is important to have a regular sealing routine.

Now you may be thinking ‘YES, I have implemented a regular sealing routine into my regimen but WHY after just a few days have my ends turned into tumbleweeds? How can I assure a longer lasting sealing routine?’ Below is the breakdown of the WHY and what you can actually do about it.

Dry, Frazzled Ends

As I mentioned earlier the ‘Before’ picture is the end of one of my twists just washed with conditioner, then immediately ends are sealed, left to air dry and worn down for two days. YES, just after two days of wearing my twist down ladies, my ends take on a very straw like feeling. Now for those of you who know me, you know good and well I do not wear my hair down, but I wanted to demonstrate the effects wearing my hair down have on my ends, even when sealing. So, if your hair is relatively healthy and you are experiencing a similar affect your ends may not be damaged, but just appear to be.

Part of the reason is porosity levels and density of your individual strands. Even though my strands are normal porosity levels I still deal with absorption issues. My hair is a sponge so products dissipate very easily, add the fact that my strands are super fine and can fray on my clothing, and this translates to ends breakage if I wore my hair down on a daily basis. Of course you can seal every other day, but that may not be an option for those with hectic schedules.

5 years ago I created a technique which I call ‘Operation Protective Seaweed’, consisting of 6, quick and simple steps for refreshing your ends and turning those tumbleweeds into seaweeds.

Operation Protective Seaweed

Tools & Ingredients:

Water

Spray Bottle

Your favorite sealing product

Bobby Pins
Steps:
  1. Section:
    Part the hair and twist into 6–12 chunky twists. If you have super thick/dense hair try 10–12 twists.
  2. Water:
    Take one sectioned off twist and saturate your ends with the water bottle. To keep the rest of your hair dry place the nozzle directly above your ends.
  3. Drain:
    Once your ends are fully saturated with water, squeeze the excess water from your ends with your fingers only. Draining the excess water from your ends gives them a longer lasting seal. When you place any type of product on soaking wet hair the product will most likely drip away and not have a chance to hold on to your ends and create a barrier to protect them.
  4. Product:
    Generously place your favorite oil or butter onto your ends
  5. Bobby Pin:
    Now place your thumb in between the bobby pin and proceed to wrap your ends along one side of the bobby pin like this:

    Placing your ends along one side of the bobby pin creates a miniature size clamp. Once you have finished wrapping, place the bobby pin in the chunky twist right above the wrapped area. This assures extra hold. Remember that the hair is at a more fragile state when wet due to water weight so the wrapping should be firm but not tight.

  6. Air Dry:
    Let ends air dry and unravel. Before you unravel I would recommend placing extra oil or shea butter on the wrapped ends before removing the bobby pin. As I mentioned before your ends should be firmly placed around the bobby pin but not too tightly. If done correctly you should be able to slide your ends from the bobby pin by unclamping the bobby pin, and sliding your ends gently from the pin. Depending on the bulk of hair you have wrapped around the bobby pin your ends might resemble this coily pattern once they have fully dried. The ‘After’ picture is the natural pattern of my hair when stretched.

*Repeat steps 1–6 one twist at a time. This way your ends are guaranteed to have the same results and benefits versus trying to do all your twists at the same time. Also let ends completely dry before you remove the bobby pins. Less manipulation and making sure ends are completely dry will only increase better results.

Keeping your ends tucked and left to air dry after you have sealed versus leaving them down and left to air dry produces more sound results in a longer lasting sealing method. This method I created is just another version of the tucking method but amplified for even longer lasting sealed ends :)

This method sounds really effective! Thanks Cipriana for sharing this! Ladies, have you tried this? How do you seal your ends?

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Talia G.
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Talia G.

I have a similar method but instead of bobby pins I use straws. My ends always come out nice an smooth 🙂

Twenny
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Twenny

Thanks for sharing.
I have a qualm about using bobby pins in this manner. Is there another type of clip or holder people can recommend? When I used bobby pins, my hair broke off from rubbing on the edge of the metal pin- I have yet to find that style of bobby pin that is round and not flat/rectangular.

Anyone?

Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty
Guest

Do you use Goody Ouchless bobby pins? I find those are the only pins that are wide enough open and don’t snag. Note however that in the store, you’ll find some of the ouchless pins that are double coated and some that are not. Obviously, you want the double coated bobby pins.

Laura
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Laura

This entire site is a lifesaver! Thank you for all the wonderful ideas!

EG
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EG

I’m going to try this. Thanks Cipri.

Shanice
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Shanice

I like this method, I been natural for 2 years AND still no very little about my hair, its growing though… But I wonder how Cipriana does her updo, because to me it looks like a bun, and when i put buns in my hair i find it still doesn’t protect my ends that well, i just use pony tail holder.

Lisa
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Lisa

This extreme moderation is making the site boring. The comments are a key component of the site and having comments sit waiting for moderation just makes the site very boring. I think my time here will come to an end today. All comments do not need to be moderated.

Black Girl With Long Hair
Guest

Lisa,

The reason we had to change our comment moderation policy was to smoke out trolls who were writing extremely racist things on a series of posts (making extremely derogatory comments about black women, etc). Even now, they are still logging comments that we have to block. We’d like to keep a free flow of commenting going (trust me, it would save us lots of time), but until the trolls have moved on, this is the way things have to be.

Leila

Lisa
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Lisa

Thanks Leila:

I actually didn’t expect you to respond. I thought you would read it, but didn’t expect you to respond so thanks for that. It is not about seeing MY comment appear immediately, I know what my comment says, it is about the pleasure of reading other people’s comments.

I guess WE always get “punished” when the racists come out to play, but I prefer moderation to seeing such horrible comments. I can never understand why people do such things.

BlackOnyx03
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BlackOnyx03

Is it not possible to just user blockers that can detect certain words? Just a thought…

hearyoume
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hearyoume

At least try to find out why before you leave haughtily…

LBell
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LBell

Sorry you’re not getting instant gratification from seeing your comments appear immediately but if you’re going to be mad, blame the trolls who have made things here very unpleasant for those of us who are just looking for (reasonably) civilized conversation. It’s a pain in the ass for anybody running a site because this is just one more thing on the list of things to do. Sadly this is the nature of the Internet. That said, I’m sure there are plenty of other unmoderated sites where you can get your fix. Now…to the subject at hand… I’m having a hard… Read more »

Lisa
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Lisa

There was really no need for you to be rude.

BlackOnyx03
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BlackOnyx03

Agreed! Imho, it’s totally okay for someone to admit that part of the appeal of a discussion board is, frankly, the actual discussion…

Anonymous
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Anonymous

+1 for real

mangomadness
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mangomadness

Interesting process! I seal my ends by twirling castor oil on the end of my braids or twists after moisturizing.

NaturalWonder
Guest
NaturalWonder

Love the recommendation on sealing ends.

I’m not bothered by the moderation of responses, especially if it’s weeding out racists. I am bothered by the number of click thru’s we have have to go through to read an entire post. Is it to make the site have more “clicks?” I can see clicking on a post once but two, three and four times? Is that really necessary? That’s why I don’t read as much as I used to on this site.

bee
Guest
bee

hi naturalwonder, i think the reason for the click through posts is to allow more posts per page. Its either you click through more on each post or you click more to get to older pages. For example if the site allowed cipriana’s post to run without the clicks it would take up all the space on the home/current page and just to see a second post you would have to click the 2nd page (click on ‘2’). Leila please correct me if I am wrong. Sites generally allow pages to be only so long and then you have to… Read more »

NaturalWonder
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NaturalWonder

No I’m thinking it’s for more clicks because often times they’ll be a photo and one line on each page. This story for instance could easily be two pages. A little on the home page and then you click on it to read the rest. The worst is when there are 4 and 5 clicks, sometimes 6 or 7 just to read a sentence or two It’s frustrating when you’re looking at this site on your phone.

Salman
Guest

I will pray for Hitchens tonight as well. I have good rsoean to. It’s not because I like how he stood up to that punk celebrity Bill Maher. It’s because of what my son posted on Twitter: Despite some serious disagreements with his politics, I admired Hitchens a great deal. He helped make a disbeliever out of me. That’s right, a young man who, eight years ago, did his high school philosophy presentation defending Thomas Aquinas’ proofs for the existence of God (because I was also teaching him philosophy on the side), came out as an atheist, thanks in part… Read more »

Maha
Guest
Maha

I tried this method today! I must say, “bravo!” My ends will not be tangling anytime soon… I could imagine that this would prevent a lot of knots as well.

Tonya
Guest
Tonya

Ok, please be patient with me, I’m really not slow. I’m an extremely visual and kinethetic learner. I’m not sure I quite understand the method. Is this done while my hair is in chunky two strand twists? Do I just coil the ends of one twist around a bobby pin? Please tell me if I am on track, because I NEED to try this for my dry ends! Thanks

brittany b
Guest
brittany b

I agree with Tonya. Is it possible to have a video made for this method please and thank you.

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

I am super-excited to try this! Helloooooo length retention! Thanks Cipriana for sharing this.

Ogo
Guest
Ogo

I’m in need of an explanation too. How does this help your ends?

Is the idea that making sure your ends don’t come into contact with friction (clothes) while they dry makes them “stay sealed” longer? I just need help connecting the dots. *squints*

JJ
Guest
JJ

Thanks for the info. Very helpful!

Ronnie
Guest
Ronnie

First off, I want to say that I am grateful for Black Girl with Long Hair and other sites just like it. I have been on sites where comments are not moderated and for some of us who are mostly around our own people or who have never been on White-owned and operated sites, the other kinds of comments are incendiary, severe, and shocking. The posters are members of hate groups, they have low IQ’s, they are myopic Republican conservatives, mental health outpatients — whatever and reading those comments can make a Black woman feel as if she is living… Read more »

BlackOnyx03
Guest
BlackOnyx03

Yeah.…what she said!

Kimberly B
Guest
Kimberly B

ok, i am soooo trying this, because my ends are looking like bales of hay only a few hours after the initial twisting. gracias.

Missy Miller
Guest
Missy Miller

Bees wax used in two strand twists on dampened hair also works well!

Hermione
Guest
Hermione

Hey. Love the site and the valuable info. My ends ALWAYS feel like straw even though I trim them religiously. I am thankful for Cipriana’s sealing method. I will try it out tonite. I hope I tuck the bobby pin in the right way. A pic or video would be helpful. Thanks

Ruth
Guest
Ruth

Thanks for the tips but I have a question.since my hair texture is more of a 4c what would be a better way to seal my ends? My hair has st least 50% shrinkage if not more so I do not think the hair pin roll would look right when it comes of and my hair ends up with two different curl patterns. Also I have some frozen mixed berries and strawberries and was wondering how to incorporate them into a overnight fruit hair mask our deep conditioner our something useful for my hair.

Max
Guest

Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

Curly Ali
Guest
Curly Ali

Morning ladies. Recently fond this blog/site and I am reading, reading, reading. My curl pattern in 3c. Honestly, I don’t do much to my hair other than wash or co-wash and style with Organic Nature’s shine, curling jelly, and once it is mostly dry fluff out the curls. For a while I was driving a convertible so wind blown WAS the style. I am in a new driving situation and a new work place where the woman are African American and do their hair in amazing styles, all different, all the time. I am not currently at tumbleweed, but have… Read more »

SelenaLaChelle
Guest
SelenaLaChelle

Thanks for this tip! I actually do the bobby pin thing on the ends of my braids/twists because I’m transitioning. Sadly, I still wander into tumbleweed territory after two days of rocking the twist out. At least now I know why!

Tavia
Guest
Tavia

Niiiceee

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