There is nothing like the feeling of well moisturized ends but on the flip side there is nothing like the feeling of dehydrated ends and let me tell you the latter is a feeling I would rather avoid. Depending on the porosity levels, density of the individual strands, texture and state of your hair such as transitioning, coloring or use of heat one may have to seal their ends more often than others but there are a few tricks I have learned over the years that have helped me maintain longer states of moisturize when it comes to my ends.

Tricks:

*Use thicker based oils or butters to seal your ends such as Jamaican Castor oil or Shea butter: I have found using thicker oils specifically on my ends provides for longer sessions of moisture. What I will do after I have saturated my ends with water I will use my “Love Potion #9” concoction http://urbanbushbabes.com/?p=2071 (click this link) as my first coverage which also includes castor then use the Jamaican castor oil separately as my final coverage of protection when sealing.

*When you have thoroughly saturated your ends with water make sure to squeeze the excess water from your ends: Remember normal porosity hair can only absorb so much water. Having unnecessary excess water hanging onto your ends can reduce the cover of protection as you begin to apply your oils. Remember your oils act as a barrier to seal in the moisture. You do not want your oils to slip away because you did not drain your ends first. Your ends should still have a very damp feeling to them but they should not be dripping of water.

*Use twice the coverage of oils on your ends when sealing:  When placing oils on your hair to provide relief of dehydration the amount differs than what you would use on your ends.  Your ends are the oldest part of your hair therefore more thirsty. As I always say you’re ends should be treated like your elders. They just need a little more love and attention. Remember the curlier the hair the more difficulty your sebum which is the natural oils you scalp secretes has in reaching your ends due to the very curvy path it has to travel which can mean the sebum sometimes does not reach all of your ends so it is impertinent your ends receive twice the coverage when it comes to applying your oils or butter.

* Once you have sealed your ends Stop, Drop and Roll oh excuse me I mean Protect, Oil and Roll: This tip is very important for longer lengths. As I just previously mentioned the longer the hair the older it is and especially your ends so I have found after I have sealed I will braid my ends or twist them then apply more oil than roll and pin up till they have dried. Placing your ends in a protective format such as a braid or twist can really keep your ends together and reap more of the advantages of moisture once they have dried. Also twisting your ends rather than braiding might work better for your ends especially if you are experiencing serious feathering which is if you grab a section of hair and that section tapers off towards your ends in the shape of a feather. All hair naturally tapers off with age but very healthy ends should only taper a little. Twisting provides an easier release process when you want to remove the protective styled ends.

*After you have sealed do not manipulate your ends until they have completely dried:  No manipulation of your wet sealed ends means higher chances of your ends retaining moisture longer. Keeping your hands off ensures you are not losing any applied moisture.

*Tuck your ends away: I know this might be the kryptonite advice to suggest for someone who loves to wear their hair down but just applying this suggestion of  implementing updo styles (where your ends are tucked away) more often into your routine if your hair is shoulder length and longer can drastically reduce the amount of moisture you lose from your ends when your hair is down because of the wear and tear from certain materials of clothing and the elements of Mother Nature. Now women with hair above the shoulder have more of an advantage if one enjoys wearing their hair down more because the hair is naturally protected of wear and tear from clothing also women who constantly cut their hair in shorter styles constantly keep their strands in a “new state” the hair closer to the root is the newest part of the hair therefore ensuring constantly healthy ends

*Become a “Hair Whisperer” listen to your ends: Now I know this might sound strange but your ends will tell you how often they need you to seal. I seal once a week but I wear my hair in updo styles 24/7 someone who wears their hair down more often or all the time might have to seal more than once a week. Just like the forces of Mother Nature our body is a force and goes through many changes as well whether it be hormones, diet, stress, etc both of these forces can easily impact the way our hair behaves so again stay in tune and listening to what your ends are telling you.

*Make sure your ends are healthy: Last but certainly not least make sure your ends are at their best before you seal. Trimming or the “search and destroy” method for split ends can drastically change the way your ends retain moisture. Unhealthy ends means you are sealing damage and just by say that it don’t sound right so don’t! Those damaged ends can travel further along the strand and create more damage and dryness which would create an unnecessary headache upon yourself, ridding your damaged ends will make the success of retaining moisture a reality instead of a dream.

Again these are tips I have acquired over the years due to trial and error and hopefully my errors will result in your success :)