After having a good old natter with my cousin this week about protecting and rejuvenating dry ends. I thought it might be a good idea to recap some of the things we discussed. It’s worth noting that you learn about your hair through trial and error. Unless you have exceptional judgement or you are extremely luckily, you are going to have to trial a few frogs before you find your saving grace.
There are some key reasons why you may be experiencing dry ends. Remember, the ends of your hair are the oldest part of your hair shaft and are the easiest to mistreat. Your ends get a raw deal; they create friction rubbing on your clothes and often get tugged at with detangling tools.
I’ve often heard complaints about hair that doesn’t grow but as a general rule, this is highly unlikely since hair is always growing unless it’s in the telogen (resting) phase which follows 4-7 years of hair growth and encompasses 10-15 hairs at a time. Or, you have a scalp condition and alopecia as a result so hair is no longer growing out of the follicle. So, here are five steps to combating dry ends:
Moisturising your hair is a multiple step process, how many steps depends on what your hair prefers but let’s go with the generic three step process. Much like washing your hair, when moisturising and sealing, your ends needs water as first step. Whether you dampen with a water spray bottle or run the water over your hair with your hands your hair will need water to moisturise it our hair from the inside out. Everything else you pop on top is then used to seal in that moisture. Some skip the water step and use a water based moisturiser but from personal experience, water is the only thing that quenches my dry hair.
Following the water, I personally add a conditioner (Giovanni Direct Leave-In at present) and then follow up with an oil or butter.
I would focus on sealing just your ends and perhaps use a lighter moisturiser or leave-in conditioner throughout the length of your hair to prevent build-up on the hair shaft.
Below are some examples of the products I can recommend (bear in mind I have mainly 4b hair):
Conditioners (I use general and leave-in conditioners for daily use)
Giovanni Direct Leave –In
Shea Decadence Hair Milk
Yes to Carrots
Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner
Shea Decadence Cocoa Frappuccino
Shea Decadence, Black Castor & Nilotica Shea Butter Balm
Oils (perhaps try using heavier oils on the end of the hair for extra protection)
Castor Oil (the transparent or black versions)
Damage could be one key reason why you may be experiencing dry ends. Look at the full length of your hair, if your ends appear thin, bushy, if they feel coarse or have visible split ends then it may be time to say ‘goodbye’.
Regardless of what the advertisers tell you, there is no miracle product that reverses damage. You can utilise protein treatments to help strengthen hair by binding to the cuticle but nothing will repair those damaged ends so get rid. I promise you’ll find detangling a breeze once you let go of those chewed up ends.
Often when hair has been battling with the elements it can feel rough and brittle. On such occasions, sometimes tucking it away in a protective style, even for a day can help. Ideally you want to moisturise your ends and tuck them away in a protective style of your choice i.e. a bun, or cane rows or more long term, weaves or extensions.
Moisturising and protecting your ends at night also helps your hair maintain elasticity so it’s more malleable come sun rise. Personally, satin pillowcases can do me no wrong but a good old head scarf equally does the trick.
Perhaps your products are the enemy on this occasion. Are you using products that have cones in the ingredients? Cones often used in commercial products include but are not limited to:
Water Soluble Silicones
Lauryl Methicone Copolyol
Hydrolyzed wheat protein (Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane)
Non Soluble (not water soluble)
Silicones are great for making the hair shaft feel smooth and perfect for heat penetration. However, it’s also bad for your hair for the same reasons.
If you are using products with silicones in them, they could be coating your hair and preventing any further moisture from penetrating the cuticle hence your hair is remaining dry. For example, if you’re using a conditioner with a high silicone content, you’re hair is already coated before you’ve even tried to apply any additional moisture. So from here on in, until you clarify your hair, it will remain coated in a protective sheet that acts as a barrier to moisture.
Now there are obvious exceptions to the rule, such as the use of water soluble silicones, which by definition, should dissolve in water but silicones in your products as a whole, is something to be aware of.
Deep Conditioning/ Steaming
As I mentioned, moisturising the hair is a process and sometimes, forgetting a step can be detrimental.
If you are skipping deep conditioning or steaming, perhaps re-introduce it into your hair washing process and see how that changes things.
Alternatively, if this is something you already do, try deep conditioning on dry hair. Hair strands are like mini sponges. Using a conditioner on wet hair means that the cortex is already filled with substance. Whatever space is left is then filled with conditioner. However, if you apply conditioner to dry hair, your hair is more likely to absorb more of the product and therefore perhaps have a more powerful impact.
Now this recommendation is based on observation and research but give it a try. It might work a charm.
So there you have it. Some Friday tips for ya!
Now be off and enjoy the sunshine you fiends xx