Monday, March 15, 2010

I do solemnly swear to preserve and protect my ends

I recently did a post on preserving/protecting your edges. Now I want to touch on preserving and protecting the ends. Some of you natural sistas refuse to cut your ends, because of extreme length retention efforts. But NOT cutting your ends is actually detrimental to having long, healthy, and beautiful hair. Those splits will travel up the shaft of the hair, weakening it and causing it to break/snap off/apart. (and make it look ugly.) Tip1: Get rid of those split/dead ends by cutting them every 3 months, between 1/8-1/2 inch. If you haven't cut your ends for a while you may have to cut more the first time; possibly even up to 2- inches. Either way, you have to get rid of those dead ends; now or later. After that first cut, the length you will need to cut on a tri-monthly basis will decrease.

How-to accomplish 1:
(1)Wear your hair in stretching hairstyles for an entire week. This way it will be very elongated, not curled and coiled up on itself, making it easier to see and feel dead/split ends. Use cutting shears for this, NOT scissors! Also use a very fine tooth comb, dealing with sections of hair no thicker than ¼ inch.
(2).Put your hair in to small-medium size two-strand twist and cut the ends off the twist as needed. When you're done, your twist should have a blunt, soft, and chunky look.
"How will I know when it's time to cut my ends?" My personal experience has told me to cut my ends when my hair snags on combs, when it becomes difficult to comb with my conditioner-laden hair my conditioning comb while in the shower, when I find/feel knots on the ends of individual hair strands, or when my hair looks very frizzy even though I haven't changed my regimen and/or the weather hasn't changed. After that you just cut it every 3 months on that same day.

In between cuts you want to minimize the occurrence of split ends. You can do this by wearing protective styles, moisturizing your ends (actually grabbing sections of your hair and applying the moisturizer directly to your ends), and always comb your hair from the ends up. Deep condition your hair on a regular basis to strengthen the entire shaft. And always know and keep in mind that when caring for your hair, that your ends are the weakest part, because they are the oldest. Take this information and use it to your desire, but don't stress over your hair and drive yourself crazy by combing ever so gently. Baby steps are what it's all about.