After more hit and misses than the law should allow, I’ve finally found my own regimen that works with decent results. My biggest issues when I first went natural were combating dryness and frizz. Getting a trim every 3-4 months helps as well because my ends get wicked, especially after winter ends.
I wash my hair once a week, usually on Saturday or Sunday to leave time for my hair to dry completely before I take my twists out. I pre-poo with a mixture of 1/2 C of water and roughly 1 tbs. of conditioner with oil. I saturate my hair with the mixture and break my hair down into four sections with butterfly clips. I then slowly begin to detangle my hair with my fingers and either a wide tooth comb or my tangle teezer.
Hot Oil Treatment:
I only do this once a month because I don’t like having too much oil in my hair. Also, I don’t do this too often because I am lazy. Seriously, this is an extra step that adds roughly another half of an hour to my regime. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I don’t splurge on oils for this step and I use my castor oil mixed with soy, vitamin E, olive oil, and coconut oil. OR If I’m feeling really lazy I go to the beauty supply store and select a random packet of pre-mixed oils for 99 cents. I apply it to my hair in sections, paying extra attention to my ends and double bag my hair with plastic shower caps. Some people choose to wrap their hair in warm towels and leave it on for a few hours…no thanks. I sit under my dryer on low heat for 30 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
Co-Wash and Deep Condition:
After detangling, I then rinse out the sections one at a time while co-washing with my As I Am Coconut Co-Wash. In the beginning, I was apprehensive about cleaning my hair with conditioner, but the As I Am Co-Wash has a light cleanser that leaves my hair moisturized instead of dry. Even though I’m using conditioner to wash my hair, I still follow-up with Tresemme Naturals as my conditioning treatment. Depending on the condition of my hair that week, I’ll then finish off with either a protein or a moisturizing Deep Conditioning treatment, using my hooded dryer for 20 minutes.
After deep conditioning I then partially dry my hair by leaving it damp. Never work on dry hair! For this step I still have yet to find a leave in conditioner that I absolutely love but for the moment I have two that I switch between. Using Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie or Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Hair Repair Cream, I apply a generous amount (roughly a quarter size amount when hair is divided into four sections) starting from the back and paying special attention to the ends. I ensure that every strand is coated by smoothing it into my hair with my fingers and a wide tooth comb. If my hair feels a bit dry, I spritz it with water.
And this is one of the reasons why it’s important to work on damp hair: leave in conditioners act as an additional moisturizer. Why would you completely dry your hair only to add a moisturizer to it?
Sealing and Styling:
Here’s the important part: Sealing in all of that moisture that I’ve just spent the past hour working to obtain. Using a dime sized amount Castor Oil, I rub it in my palms and smooth it into each section of my hair, starting mid shaft to ends.
Once my hair is sealed I either flat or two-strand my hair into about 20 individual twists. I use about a dime sized amount of Eco Styler gel on each twist and twirl the ends of each twist around my pointer finger to activate the curl. It seems like a lot, because it is, but it’s the quickest way for my hair to dry and it’s how I get the best curl definition.
Before bed I just tie my hair up in my satin bonnet and call it a night. The next morning I carefully undo my twists and fluff with a pick. Yes, that’s right, I use a pick.