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 relative 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 of my ends two days later done with the same exact steps and treatment except tweaked with a special technique I created, so if you are experiencing dry ends just a few days after sealing, stay with me because I may have an easy, longer lasting solution that will work for you.
Our ends tend to haywire on us quickly because they are the oldest part of the hair therefore the most fragile which makes them even more susceptible to go awry but not only do we have to be concerned with the age of our ends but the level of curliness to our strands. The curlier the strand the more difficulty the sebum from your sebaceous glands has in depositing along your strands. In lament terms sebum simply means, the natural oils your sebaceous glands secrete to lubricate your scalp and hair. I always recount the first time I heard of sebaceous glands I honestly thought it belonged on some type of fish but sebaceous glands are actually microscopic glands in the skin that are located throughout most of the body but found generously populated on the scalp and face. Therefore sebaceous glands actively moisturize our hair but due to the curly road the sebum has to travel this means the sebum may not even reach your ends because of the difficult road. 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 for us to implement a regular sealing routine into your regimen.
Now you may be thinking ”YES”, I have implemented a regular sealing routine into my regimen but WHY after just a few days my ends have turned into tumbleweeds despite the health of my hair? How can I assure a longer lasting sealing routine?” Below is the breakdown of the WHY and what you can actually do about it.
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 are regulars, 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. Let me explain why.
The first reason as I mentioned before is the sebum most likely is not reaching the ends of your strands therefore the susceptibility of dangerously dry ends is a factor unless aided with some type of regular sealing routine but the another factor may be your 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 then topped with super fine strands and fraying caused by certain clothing I may be wearing due to the length of my hair, this would only translate to the death of my ends if I were to wear my hair down on a daily basis. There would be no way my ends could survive unless I sealed every other day but sealing every other day may not be an option for those of you with hectic schedules. So if your life is in the fast lane or you just want to spend less time in the maintenance of your ends, I may have the solution.
Through a technique I created 5 years ago which I call ‘Operation Protective Seaweed’, I am going to show you 6, quick and simple steps to refreshing your ends and turning those tumbleweeds into seaweeds.
Operation Protective Seaweed
Tools & Ingredients:
Your favorite sealing product
- Section: Part the hair and twist into 6-12 chunky twists. Depending on the density of your hair I found that super thick densities should steer towards 10-12 twists but if you want to up the amount of twists feel free.
- Water: Take one sectioned off twist and proceed to saturate your ends with the water bottle. To keep the rest of your hair dry place the nozzle directly above your ends, this tip assures you are only wetting your ends
- 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 your ends a higher chance of a longer lasting seal. When you place any type of product on soaking wet hair the product most likely will drip away and not have a chance to hold onto your ends and create a barrier to protect your ends which defeats the whole process of the sealing method routine.
- Product: Generously place your favorite oil or butter onto your ends
- 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 as the other side of the bobby pin will hold your wrapped ends in place. Once you have finished wrapping, place the bobby pin in the chunky twist right above the wrapped area. This just assures extra hold. Remember the hair is at a more fragile state when wet due to water weight so the wrapping should be firm but not tight.
- 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 you remove 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