Several Ways to Moisturize Rough Brittle Dry Crispy Ends

Winter is here and for many of us, the dry cold weather does a number on our hair, especially our ends.  The rough, brittle, crispy feeling on your ends can leave you worried about the health of your hair.

Here’s a few techniques you can try to moisturize your rough, brittle, crispy ends.

Pre-Poo - What a funny name that is! Pre-poos are very popular pre shampoo treatments that naturals with longer thicker hair incorporate into their regimen to make wash sessions easier and faster.  Pre-poos are done BEFORE you shampoo your hair.  Section your hair into as many sections as you need.  Moisten your hair with water, add lots and lots of oil, then add conditioner.  Detangle thoroughly with whichever tools you choose.  Two strand twist the section, and repeat. Put on a plastic cap for about an hour (or more if you choose).  When its time to wash your hair, you can leave your hair in the twists and you don’t have to detangle (again)! Click HERE to watch my Pre-Poo tutorial.  I personally like to pre-poo my hair because it makes my wash sessions so much faster, I get less shedding and my hair is uber soft after I shampoo.  I like to go under the huetiful steamer to give my pre-poo an extra boost!

Hot Oil Treatment - Start incorporating hot oil treatments to your weekly hair regimen if your ends or rough, brittle and crispy (otherwise 1-2x a month is fine).  Incorporating the hot oil treatment before your shampoo, gives your hair a boost of moisture before a cleansing with a shampoo.  In general hot oil treatments add shine, body,  and softness to the hair. Click HERE to learn how to do an easy hot oil treatment.  I don’t do hot oil treatments often because I like to pre-poo, but the few times I have done hot oil treatments I was very satisfied.

Deep Condition - If you don’t deep condition after you shampoo and condition already, you are truly missing out on the wonderful benefits this process does for the hair. The cuticle is composed of tiny, transparent cells that overlap, like on the shingles of a house. When this layer of hair is damaged, the scales don’t lie flat and give the appearance of frizzy, dry hair. A deep conditioning treatment will condition the cuticle and help the scale-like cells to lie flat, giving the hair a smoother and shinier appearance.  Deep Conditioning will moisturize, strengthen, and prevent split ends. Click HERE for my top 3 deep conditioners.  I deep condition after every single wash session. If I don’t have lots of time I will put on my plastic cap while in the shower and rinse out the deep conditioner after about 15 minutes. If I have lots of time, I leave my deep conditioner in my hair overnight. The results are AMAZING!!

Baggy Method - The baggy method is used to keep your hair moisturized and to prevent breakage of your delicate ends.  You can baggy your ends only or your entire head.  Click HERE to learn how to do the baggy method.

Co-Wash - Many naturals wash their hair with only conditioner (ie co-wash) weekly, using shampoo minimally or not at all.  Co-washing adds moisture and softness to your hair.  If your ends are rough, brittle, dry and crispy, incorporating an additional co wash session to your week can do wonders! If you wash your hair on Saturday, try doing a co-wash on Tues or Wed, you will notice a difference in your hair almost immediately.  Click HERE to learn how to co-wash.  When I first went natural I would co-wash all the time. However, now that I’m a wife, mommy, and teacher, this has become more difficult to do mid week.  But every now and then I do co-wash because I work out often.

Moisturize Properly - If your ends are rough, brittle, dry and crispy moisturizing your hair and ends properly will do wonders.  After washing, use a good leave in conditioner, then apply an oil to seal in the moisture, then apply a moisturizer to soften your hair. Add extra on the ends of your hair. If your hair starts to feel dry a day or few days later, mist your hair with water and follow the same steps again.  If you are willing to dedicate an hour or more to moisturizing your hair, refer to THIS post for how I (used to) moisturize my hair.  If your time is minimal, refer to THIS post.

Be consistent! - If you really want to see a difference in how your hair looks and feels, you have to be consistent. If you decide to start doing weekly hot oil treatments and weekly deep conditionings, make sure you are consistent.  Results aren’t always visible over night, but I promise with discipline and consistency, your hair will reap the benefits.

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.
  • avflygirl10

    Really good post! One thing I'd like to add is that it's helpful to do an occasional oil rinse. It helped my hair tremendously when my hair was suuuper dry.

  • JenellyBean


  • SF

    kewl! thanks for all the info you share… I think a pre poo is/can be very beneficial to all not just those with longer thicker hair. 

  • Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

    Yes!!! I agree!!

  • Elyner

    Hi! Great post! Thanks! And concerning your “Moisturize Properly” part I would like to know if you do this every day, times to times in the week or just once a week? Thanks!

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      hey love, I personally do this thoroughly only 1x a week. During the week ill add some moisturizer or more styling product to set my hair maybe 1x.  My hair holds moisture well and the products I use really help with that!  Have you tried my regimen? Most kinky/curly textured ladies LOVE IT!

      • Elyner

        Hi! Actually my hair is very dry and brittle. It really difficult for me to retain moisture because at the end of the day my feels really crispy! But i’ve noticed a small changement with your regimen even if my hair is a bit dry. Maybe it’s because I do that daily? That’s why I asked you the question about the frequency. So I’ll try to do this once a week to see how my hair feels! And one more question! :-) How often do you spritz your hair? I do this twice a day (on morning/night) with water and oil to help me to keep hydration on my hair but I don’t know if it’s really efficient! Thanks a lot!

        • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

          Hey love, try my regimen out on your wash day, then a few days later, spritz your hair with water, and then add some oil moisturizer.  If you need more help, lets schedule a consultation. http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/services/hair-care-consultation/

  • mgatewood

    Hi thanks for the post. What are the benefits of a prepoo on short hair or a twa? You dont need to twist short hair or twa when washing. When you wash your hair aren’t you just washing out all the oil your just put in? My wash days usually consist of Cowash, then hot oil treatment which I keep in while moving on to my deep conditioner…am I missing out by not prepooing before all this?

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      For a TWA, the benefit of a prepoo would be to avoid the stripping of your scalps natural oils when you shampoo. Make sense?

      • mgatewood

        I tried the pre-poo for the first time on Monday! :) BUT I think I sabotoged the results by trying to do tooooo many things that day. You see I just took out a weave I’d gotten done for vacation and was feining for MY hair hahaha. I’ll try again in a few weeks. But yes it does make sense after watching many vids.

  • Leigh Walters

    Ok so I love the title!! I suffer from brittle ends during the winter. This winter weather can be so disrespectful!! I have been reading how many naturals do not even use shampoo. I usually shampoo about every other week, but now I do not think it is necessary, When I straighten my hair I like to shampoo so that my hair will be cleansed properly, but the As I Am Cowash clarifies my hair so well, and makes my shampoo usage unnecessary.
    I usually wash the DC out with a conditioner, I am going to try it after I condition so that I will better see the benefits.
    Love this blog, very informative!

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Awesome. The Winter is horrible!

  • Shanay Worthy

    Great post!!!

    Happy New Year!

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      thanks love!

  • stephanie

    I pre poo with a deep conditioner, oil, and glycerine, detangle and baggy overnight. Then I do my normal wash. Do u recommend another deep conditioner after I wash as well? I am struggling with dryness since I colored my hair.

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      No you dont need another deep condition, but it would be better for you to deep condition after you shampoo, and not before. You reap better results by deep conditiioning freshly shampooed hair. The shampoo strips, the deep conditioner adds moisture back.

  • Shan*tastic Hair

    Great tips

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Thanks love!

  • Rhonda G

    I rate this post a 10! These are ALL the things to do for dry hair..PERIOD!

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Wonderful!! Thanks love!

  • Cookie

    I’m so confused…all I use on my hair is shampoo. I’m really not into hair products, and my hair is shiny and nice after shampooing in general, it’s just pretty fine and tends to get oily quickly. So, if I have dry ends, I don’t want to condition my whole head, because my roots get so oily. What can I do that I can add to just my ends?

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Hey Cookie! Sorry for getting back to you sooo late. It sounds like you have bone straight hair, is that correct? Have you tried adding a small amount of oil to just your ends alone while your hair is wet?

  • http://blackhaircaretoday.com/ Alyce James

    Thank you Jenell for this informative post. I found your site by doing a Google search for ‘natural hair dry ends.’ I have about 2 inches of relaxed hair left except in my crown area where I ‘big chopped’ recently to get rid of the scab hair. This all natural area is what has been giving me problems. I already practice some of your suggestions, but will try the others to try and get a routine down that works.

  • Carmen Lett Farris

    luv this information thank you

  • nwatson

    my daughter’s hair in the middle, back, and sides is dry, brittle, no matter what i put in her hair, or condition it i cannot get it soft or moisturized. the top of her hair is the complete opposite with softer curls and anything i put in it just makes the curls juicy and beautiful. I’ve tried every product under the sun, even having her sleep with a plastic cap. i also notice that product just sits on her hair, i’ve even tried to make my own to help her. I’m out of ideas and do not know what else to do. HELP!!!!

    • Mimi

      Deep condition her hair under heat, if the products are just “sitting”. it means her hair is low porousity. i put my dc on my hair, place on a plastic bag/cap, put on my heat cap for 15-30 minutes and i’m good.

    • cb

      maybe a steamer…

  • stuie

    I have decided to transition instead of doing the BC and I love 8 month old my coils. I am not ready to cut off the permed hair just yet but I have been having mad problems with tangles and knots after washing. I have tried using conditioner for slip, even hair mayo but it is still a mess. It mostly happens with the permed portion of my hair . Please Help me get my KNOTS OUT!

  • KayyK

    Hey so I was transitioning for 5 months but my mother didn’t like how my hair looked as if it was ‘eat out’ so she decided to perm it :”(. But while I was transitioning my hair after I washed it was dry, brittle, hard, rough and I was wondering what do you think I could have done to avoid that. Btw I am going to transition all over again I don’t care what my mother thinks so I would like to know exactly what to put on it after 5 months of transitioning to keep it from being brittle, dry and hard….it was the permed ends though.

  • BlueCornMoon

    I wear a wig in winter & pamper my hair.A month ago i started a hair treatment & need to wash 3x/week so I decided to go OLD SCHOOL & use grease & water like mom did when i was a kid. That way I wouldn’t use up the expensive Qhemet line too fast. I got Blue Magic Bergamot, Blue Magic argan oil herbal complex & Dax since I’d been hearing good things about them for being the best sealants. Usually I’d use Qhemet in winter. Back in the 70s when I wore an afro I used to use Vitapointe, blue Alberto VO5, StaSoFro & Afro Sheen & my hair thrived. It’s doing very well with the BlueMagic & stays moist for days.No sign of breakage or split ends so far. I spritz with an S Curl mix or water & aloe vera only when necessary. I’ve decided to to make grease a permanent part of my cold weather regimen. I can even use them to seal over the Qhemet…that works really well.

    • cb

      decades ago people had no problem with OLD SCHOOL products…AND their hair was thriving…we need to look again at these products

      • BlueCornMoon

        You got it ! Back in the 60s when I was a kid, all our moms used was grease & water along with Glover’s Mange (what a SMELL!) mineral oil or olive oil. A lot of us had hair down our backs. People today start perming their kids’ hair too soon & they’re losing hair by middle & high school.

      • Miamore

        i felt the same way..i started decreasing my hair products and started back on the grease not too much…my grandmother had long hair and i remember her using grease..well she did perm her hair but it was s till thick and long

  • Mel Stevens

    I used to suffer from split-ends pretty severely, but since I’ve been using the pro naturals argan oil treatment I have awesome, moisturized ends ahahah

  • Kloe Kariki

    Just like you, I have long curly hair that tends to dry-out and frizz. I used the Shielo Restoration OIl (applied to wet hair) helps retain the natural curl while adding deep shine and hydration. I have used Shielo’s Oil daily for 6 weeks…and my hair looks so healthy!

  • Yasmine Amaya

    Consistency is the most important piece I got from this!

    Without that I think nothing else would work! That is what I am going to focus on

  • http://ridad.blog.com MsReeda

    I find that I have to keep re-moisturizing my hair and using oil or a cream based moisturizer.
    One trick that works for me is using a mixture of filtered water and glycerin. This helps retain moisture. http://ridad.blog.com

  • LDNafro

    Hi all. I’m from London, England. I have many split ends and splitting ends with various types of splits. For 10 years I had locks, then in 2010 I BC’d (not realising what this was!) I used texturisers a couple of times on my teeny afro, but always had the hair trimmed every month or so.

    Since October 2012 I let the hair grow out and constantly applied extensions and I don’t think I paid much attention to moisturising. I did this until February this year.

    I noticed my hair was very dry and brittle at the ends. I tried a lot of things to bring the moisture back but it just wouldn’t last. I read an article today about split ends and splitting ends. I realised I have quite a few and they are getting knotted (tiny knots single strand) and creating bigger knots when attaching to healthy hairs. I don’t know how the splits happened… too much extensions?? But It’s as if it happened overnight!! I should have realised in February what the issue really was, but since I’ve never really had splits I just thought my already dry hair, was very dry!!

    I’m trying to trim some splits individually as I don’t want to re-trim. But does anyone have any advice about what has caused them and some tips getting my hair mositurised and stop further splitting. My hair is type 4b/4c, thin (not dense) and low porosity. 7 inches in length.

    Thanks all xx

    • http://britneydearest.blogspot.com Britney

      I had a similar issue.What works for my hair is, I do a full wash every two weeks using the “Organix anti-breakage keratin oil” line ,there are 3 products: shampoo, 3 minute recovery, and conditioner. I co- wash once a week with V05 clarifying conditioner first, massage scalp, rinse it out and then apply As I Am co-wash conditioner, put on a plastic cap and deep condition for 5-10 minutes. In between washes I keep my hair stretched with twists, twistouts, or braids and braidouts to avoid knots and tangles and I use organic jojoba oil and a very little bit of “Shea Moisture Curling Gel Souffle” on each section right before I twist starting from tip to root so my ends get the best treatment since they’re the most prone to damage and splits. Apply a small amount of water and jojoba oil and/or SM curl souffle every other day to refresh. Cream based moisturizers dry out my hair, but work perfect on my daughter’s hair.

      • LDNafro

        Hi! Thanks so much for replying!! In the end I cut about a few centimetres off at the salon! It was the only way :(

  • Miamore

    I used the aunt jackie’s knot on my watch therapy detangler, after i spritz my hair with water, then the organics leave in mayo and i know its wrong i add a lil grease to each twist out..and my hair stays moisturized for at least 3-4 days..even my ends..morning and night i spray with water or during the day if im in the bathroom i sprinkle a lil water on my hair…quite a difference from before when my hair stayed dried..