Preventing Split Ends and Breakage

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 RehabJessicurl 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!

About Jenell B Stewart

Jenell Stewart MS, the founder and editor in chief of the award winning website KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com dedicates most of her free time educating and uplifting women with natural hair by way of her extremely popular website and YouTube channel. Jenell has been featured in Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise.com, and starred on the Dr.Oz television show as a Beauty Expert. In 2012 she was named one of Essences top Instagramers and that same year KinkyCurlyCoilyMe won an award for “Favorite Website” of the Natural Hair Community.
  • Shanese

    I need to follow this, I always do steps 1 through 2 but I mess up around step 3 with protective styles. Being in college I ends wear my hair out especially when I go out but I guess I need to wear more wigs and weaves since my hair isn’t the length I want it yet I don’t like the protective styles I can do with it. I’ll try more heads wraps I guess any suggestions

  • vinindy

    1. No, natural hair is not a fad for me? I’m natural for health reasons. 2. What is something that my hair can’t do that you see other naturalistas do? I haven’t tried enough styles with my hair to honestly answer that question yet. 3. How did I do last week? I followed through with my goal to consistently to take better care of my hair, which I did! My challenge for next week is to wear my hair in an afro at least one time. I usually wear a librarian un.

  • http://www.ugochi-jolomi.com/ Ugochi

    I am less than a month old. Just trimmed off the perm about three weeks ago. I have a lot to learn and I am glad I found your blog!

  • BlueCornMoon

    I decided in late November to go old school & use Dax & Blue Magic with the LOC method for winter. Due to gym workouts & a new hair treatment I must wash my hair 3x/week. That would make me use up my expensive Qhemet line too fast ! My usual regimen is to shampoo, apply conditioner or water based leave in conditioner, rub a fingernail sized amount of coconut oil & Dax Indian hemp between my hands & work thru my hair , then put it in 10 sections applying a mix of Dax pomade & shea butter to each section before twisting it up. After about 30″ to an hour I add a little extra pomade mix to the ends. Works beautifully! No more dry, breaking split ends & my hair stays soft & moisturized between washes. If it feels dry I spritz with a mix of S Curl, Aloe vera juice, Infusium 23 moisture, & avocado oil