No one likes split ends—read CurlyNikki’s tips for preventing them (from NaturallyCurly.com)
1. Moisturize! On an as needed basis (for most, every 2-4 days), apply water, the ultimate moisturizer to your ends in order to open the cuticle. Follow up with a water based leave-in, conditioner, or moisturizer—you don’t need much, just be sure to evenly distribute.
2. Seal! Next, apply a thin layer of a natural oil or butter, such as shea butter or castor, olive or coconut oil. This will seal in the moisture from the water and moisturizer.
3. Hide! Some folks, no matter how often they complete the first two steps, still experience dry crunchy ends. Protecting the ends in styles such as buns and pin-ups, may prevent them from drying out, and help you to retain length. I’m not a protective style girl, but I notice that allowing my hair to dry in a stretched style (twists, braids, rollers) really helps it to maintain moisture. Not sure of the science behind it, but hey, if it works, it works!
4. Deep Treatments! If you really want to see some length retention, engage in a hard core deep conditioning routine. My hair was at its healthiest in 2008. I applied a deep conditioning treatment (with heat) at every styling session—2 or 3 times a week. My ends were rarely dry, and they almost never split. Favs right now are Curl Junkie Rehab, Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment, and MyHoneyChild’s Olive You. All of these are incredibly moisturizing and extra slippery! I often use the Curl Junkie to complete step 1 above as well.
Immediately after a micro-trim or search and destroy session, I always follow up with a deep treatment, or the first two steps above.
Remember that even without heat and color damage, our ends are very delicate… they’re the oldest part of the hair and have been exposed to natural weathering and the wear and tear of styling. Always be mindful of your practices and how you handle your hair today, because you’ll still be feeling the effects 2 years from now!