Dry brittle ends in natural hair are a common result of strands that have been deprived of moisture. The zig-zag and spiral shaped strands throughout afro-textured hair make the travel of the natural oils produced at the root, slightly more difficult when reaching the ends. So, it comes as no surprise that our ends are what tend to suffer the most. On the other hand, a lack of moisture isn’t always the only origin of dry brittle ends in natural hair.
Previous or underlying hair damage can create split ends. These splits along the hair shaft can travel further up, creating strands that feel rough to the touch. Of course, a lack of moisture can further add to the effects of damage. Nonetheless, there are multiple remedies to alleviate dry brittle ends in natural hair and help prevent them.
Here are 5 ways to get rid of dry brittle ends in natural hair:
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1. You may need a trim
One reason for dry brittle ends in natural hair is because it is time for a trim. Even though our natural hair is prone to being drier, ends that are excessively dry and brittle sometimes can’t be fixed with just more moisture. As mentioned previously, it may be a different underlying cause. Hair damage and split ends may be a reason why your ends are constantly dry and brittle and will eventually have to be trimmed off. Split ends and other hair damage can be remedied, but not fully repaired.
There are temporary fixes though if you are hesitant about getting your hair trimmed or want to transition. Some of those temporary fixes including deep conditioning weekly, keeping your ends protected with protective styles, and limiting your use of any other damaging chemicals or tools. But ultimately, a good trim will help spring your ends back to life and give a healthier look and feel to your tresses.
2. Apply a sealant to your ends habitually
Another way to keep dry brittle ends in natural hair at bay, is to apply a sealant to your ends habitually. A sealant can be either an oil, cream or butter, or leave-in conditioner. Sealants are also what help to trap moisture and smooth the hair strand. You can do this with your nighttime routine to make it easier, or whenever suits best. Just make sure you are applying a sealant to your ends regularly.
Some good sealing oils to apply to your ends include Jamaican black castor oil, olive oil, and coconut oil. Heavier sealants like castor oil provide a more thorough coverage and will help to keep your ends smoothed and soft. Creams and butters can also help to seal in moisture and are of a thicker consistency to aid in keeping the strands smoothed. Even with your other hairstyles, simply doing the L.C.O. / L.O.C. methods -applying a leave-in, oil or cream will help to keep dry brittle ends in natural hair moisturized. The key is regularly sealing your ends to keep them soft and hydrated.
3. Keep your hair off your shoulders when possible
One tip to prevent dry brittle ends in natural hair is to keep your hair off your shoulders when possible. The reason being is because this causes friction between our clothing and ends of our hair. The result is drier ends, and even breakage. So, whenever you are lounging around try to keep your hair in a satin scarf or left tied up. This will prevent unnecessary friction and aid in limiting dry brittle ends from happening.
You can also leave your hair in twists / braids to prevent your ends from drying out with the rubbing against our clothing. Protective styling helps to keep the ends tucked away and limit over manipulation.
4. Do monthly protein treatments
Dry brittle ends in natural hair can sometimes be the result of a weakened hair shaft. Keratin is the protein that our hair is made of. When it becomes weakened due to damage, harsh manipulation, or a lack of enough protein consumption in our diet, the effects can transfer to the appearance of our hair. What a protein treatment does is help to fill in any gaps or damage along the hair cuticle, by way of protein bonds. Even if your hair doesn’t have any heat or chemical damage, we still need a good protein treatment at least monthly to rejuvenate our hair from daily wear and tear. The result is stronger, more defined strands that are less prone to breaking off in the long run.
5. Try hot oil treatments every so often
Hot oil treatments use a combination of nourishing natural oils heated up to provide the hair with lasting softness and shine. Incorporating hot oil treatments to your hair regimen will help to remedy and prevent dry brittle ends in natural hair. Many oils have varying properties and nutrients that transfer to the health of our hair. Olive oil for example, is a moisturizing oil that can penetrate the hair shaft while also adding shine. Combining oils like this one with other stimulating oils helps to soften dry brittle ends in natural hair.
Additional oils that contain moisturizing properties are avocado oil and coconut oil. Doing hot oil treatments with mixtures of moisturizing and sealing oils will help to keep your ends soft, shiny, and strong. You will notice a change in the health of your hair and ends for the better as you do routine hot oil treatments.
Other tips to alleviate dry brittle ends in natural hair:
1) Remember to deep condition:
Consistently deep conditioning weekly or at least bi-weekly, will aid in improving moisture retention for your hair and dry brittle ends. Deep conditioners supply our strands with a combination of penetrating hydrating ingredients like natural extracts, butters, etc. that help to seal moisture and promote softness.
2) Avoid harsh cleansers:
Shampoos can sometimes cleanse too harshly. Meaning, there are shampoos that cleanse to the point where they strip the hair of its natural oils. This can be counteractive for those with dry brittle ends. Since the natural oils of curly, coily, and kinky hair textures already have a more difficult time reaching the ends, we need to retain as much of our natural oils as possible. This is also why washing our hair too frequently can dry out the hair.
3) Lather up on conditioner:
Dry brittle ends in natural hair that are deprived of moisture can use as much of it as possible. When washing your hair, make sure that all of your strands have a thorough coverage of conditioner. A good working and hydrating product / conditioner will start to bring out your natural curl pattern showing signs that the product is moisturizing. Leave-in conditioners are also important and will help to retain moisture. This is additionally where co-washing comes in. The co-washing process provides a quick boost of moisture but lightly cleanses the hair without stripping the strands of their natural oils.
4) Apply your products starting at the ends of your hair:
A good way to ensure your ends are getting the proper moisture is to apply your products starting at the ends of your hair. By doing so will provide a full coverage of the strands, keeping dry brittle ends soft and hydrated.
5) Try the baggy method for an intense moisture boost:
The baggy method involves a mixture of a leave-in, oil, or cream / butter. With your choice of moisturizing products, you can either apply them all over your hair or just at the ends after washing. After doing so, place a plastic shower cap over your hair and then your scarf over it. Leave it in overnight and rinse your hair out the following day. The result is intensely hydrated strands with dry brittle ends in natural hair left at bay.
What are some ways you help keep your natural hair moisturized?