"Start With The End In Mind" - How To Maintain Healthy Ends!Sunday, January 13, 2013
In the beginning of my hair journey, I constantly sought after thick, even, healthy ends. Who wouldn't? But no matter how long my hair grew, the ends always seemed to get thinner and uneven, which led me to do a Big Chop (4"inches off) on my ends back in 2008. After that, I vowed to never cut off my ends like that again, but to find a way to maintain healthy ends. One year into my hair journey, I figured out a great combination of tricks and they've never failed me! Here are a couple tips on how I achieve and maintain healthy ends.
1) Hydrate - Moisturize and seal daily! I can not stress how important it is to develop a healthy habit of moisturizing your hair (with a water based moisturizer) from the ends to the roots on a daily basis. I highly suggest you start by applying the product to the ends first, and then apply it to the rest of the length. Working in sections will ensure proper coverage. Moisturizing and sealing (with a natural oil) in sections (6 in total, 3 on the left, 3 on the right) transformed my hair. Every inch was getting attention and my hair responded accordingly. Tip: Try baggying your ends at night with a plastic shower cap to trap in moisture.
2) Condition - Deep condition with heat (30-45mins) at least once a week to nourish and protect the hair. Deep conditioning with heat is important as the heat opens up the cuticles to allow the nutrients from the conditioner to penetrate into the hair shaft. It's vital in repairing damaged hair and preventing further breakage. Deep conditioning provides the hair with elasticity, strength and moisture which helps in retaining length over time. I highly suggest applying your deep conditioner in sections as well (6 in total, 3 on the left, 3 on the right). Start applying the deep conditioner to your ends first, then work your way up. Your ends will thank you!
3) Trim - Trim thinness frequently. I noticed that small frequent trims (1/2 an inch), with every relaxer or every other month, help to reduce the appearance of thin ends and maintains a full hem line when the hair is down. Trimming thin ends adds thickness and prevents split ends from appearing. Stay on top of your trims!
4) Protect - Protect your ends from the elements (clothes, harsh weather, pollution etc). Wearing protective styles aid in preserving the health of your ends. Frequent exposure (without proper care) leaves you prone to withering damaged ends. Harsh fabrics and poor weather can snag, snap and tear your ends, not to mention, when your ends are exposed, moisture can easily escape thus increasing the possibility of breakage, split ends etc. Wear a bun, full wig, up-do, french braid, half wig, braids etc. 90% of the time and 10% of the time you can give your hair a break and wear it down (i.e. special occasions). Frequent protection means healthier ends and less trims.