At the end of the day if you have never heard of sealing your ends this can sound more complicated than it really is but sealing your ends is simply locking in moisture. Your ends are the oldest part of your hair and naturally when anything ages extra steps are needed to aid in a healthy upkeep. Especially the curlier the hair the more fragile because at every curling point along the strand is a potential point of breakage but also because the sebum from your sebaceous gland has more difficulty traveling down your strands. Now you might be saying the sebum from the sebaceous WHAT!!! What the freak are some sebaceous glands? To be honest, when I first heard of sebaceous glands it sounded like it belonged on some type of fish but they are actually microscopic glands on the scalp that produce an oily substance called sebum to lubricate the scalp and hair. Therefore the more curlier the strands the more difficulty the sebum has traveling down to the ends of your strands which means your ends are especially fragile due to lack of natural oils. Sebum is also responsible for the shine of your hair and because of the curly nature of our hair in which the difficulty the sebum has in disposing along our strands, sealing your ends should absolutely be part of your regular routine.
Sealing your ends is a process performed after you have moisturized your hair with water and simply coating them with your choice of oils or butter. The oils act as a barrier and hence provide a protective coating to your ends. This means your ends will stay moisturized longer because the moisture won’t be able to find it as easy to escape the wall of oil surrounding it. To seal your ends properly you must saturate your ends with water. Placing 100% moisture onto your ends can only be done by water and water alone. Water can penetrate the hair shaft and reach the cortex. There is only one kind of oil on earth to even mention, that comes close to water at such high percentages and that is Coconut oil. Coconut oil is in a league by itself no other oil even comes close but Olive and Avocado oils at much lower percentages can penetrate the hair shaft as well.
Depending on the porosity level of your hair some more than others, may need a thicker based butter or oil to maintain a long lasting seal. This may not be a concern for those who seal more than once a week but for others like myself who only seal weekly, I find a heavier condensed butter or oil such as Castor oil works perfectly for maintaining the moisture within my ends till my next seal treatment. Remember the oil’s job is to protect the moisture (water) that was just absorbed by your cortex. More protection equals longer lasting moisturized ends.
Also remember sealing your ends is useless if you do not rid of your split ends. Sealing your ends with split ends in the mix will throw your whole healthy natural hair game off. Sealing split ends is like putting tape or glue over your splits ends, heck you might as well throw a band aid over them. The only way to fix split ends it is to cut them off! If you continue to seal split ends for the sole reason of maintaining some length this will be detrimental to the health of your hair in the end because those split ends will simply travel upwards along the strand, dividing that strand a few inches further into two thus making your ends weak, which will eventually break off. So save yourself the headache ladies and cut those suckers off.
*Please stay tuned this week as I will share my personal 7 step sealing routine and tips for maintaining long lasting moisturized ends each week.