Reader Q&A: Blogger CurlyNikki on How to Protect Natural Hair from Split Ends

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Calling all naturalistas: Do you have urgent tress questions? If so, you're in luck. Every Thursday, natural hair blogger extraordinaire CurlyNikki will be solving your curly hair conundrums!

Check out the newest installment in CurlyNikki's reader Q&A series:

READER QUESTION:

“Ever since I colored my hair last year, my ends are crunchy, dry, and split. I'm tempted to chop it off and start over, but I've come so far. Help!”  --Cherie

CURLY NIKKI’S RESPONSE:

If your ends are split or breaking (not just dry), you should get a trim, ASAP. This will improve the overall health and appearance of your hair, and make detangling and styling easier, plus, you'll feel motivated to care for your freshly trimmed ends. To prevent dryness, splits, and breakage, try the following:

1. Moisturize: On an as-needed basis (usually every two to four days), apply water and follow up with a water-based, leave-in conditioner. 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 conditioner.

3. Hide: Still experiencing dry crunchy ends? Prevent them from drying out by rocking protective styles like buns and pin-ups. If you’re not into the protective styling thing, try drying your hair in a stretched state (twists, braids, etc.) -- your hair will hold on to more moisture for longer.

4. Deep Treatments: If you really want to see some length retention, engage in a hardcore deep-conditioning routine. My personal favorites right now are Curl Junkie Rehab, Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment, and MyHoneyChild's Olive You. They’re all incredibly moisturizing and extra slippery! Also, always follow up a trim 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 the wear and tear of styling. Always be mindful of how you handle your hair today, because you'll still be feeling the effects two years from now!

Nikki "CurlyNikki" Walton is a psychotherapist and creator of the largest online natural hair resource. Along with tips and product recommendation, Walton also implements her psychotherapy skills in the sub-section "On the Couch with Curly Nikki.

Do you have tips for Cherie? Share them below.

For more natural hair help, check out CurlyNikki.com.


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