What I enjoy most about being natural is the natural hair community! I love going to Target and going down the natural hair aisle, even if I don’t need anything; I have to stroll down that aisle. I am not the type that would start a conversation with strangers but I am very comfortable, however talking to other naturals on the natural hair aisle. I usually chat with two types of women; the woman that has been natural for a while and she is picking up her staple items or checking out products she hasn’t tried before the conversation may go something like “remember when we only had a section on the bottom shelf” “so cool to see so many black owned brands in stores.” Then there’s the woman who is newly natural and totally overwhelmed by the vast amount of products, she has no idea where to begin. She may say something like “I love your hair how do you get it to do that,” or “my hair won’t do that,” ” will this product make my hair curly”.
In my early days as a natural I really thought “product” would make my hair look like the girl on YouTube if I used “that” product exactly like she did. I wasted a lot of time and money until I realized I had to get to know my hair, what it liked, what ingredients to avoid; not because the girl on the video said or the blog post I just read; both are great tools but only when used to understand your own hair. When I come across another natural and she asks ‘if I buy this product will my hair look like yours” my response is always this is what works for me and why it works for me (have to give those disclaimers).
Before we get into my routine let me tell you about my hair:
- Texture: my hair has several textures (which is true of most naturals) over all my hair is coarse (not hard but the texture isn’t smooth) my hair is fine around the edges and nape, the curls at the nape of my neck are super loose and the texture is smooth, my hair is very tightly coiled at the crown, looser and wavy in the front
- Density: My hair is super thick
- Porosity: which means your hair’s ability to absorb moisture mine is pretty normal as it absorbs moisture very well (it doesn’t take a lot for water penetrate) nor does product sit on my hair, product and water are easily absorbed into my hair, my hair loves water based products (water is the first ingredient)
- Goals: to combat dryness, and retain length
My routine is based on my hair, as well as the products I use are products that are my tried and true, use this information as a guide to help you find what works for you.
- My Q-Redew to detangle my hair before cleansing http://www.qredew.com
- Divide my hair into 8 sections after I have detangled with the Q-Redew
- Cleanse my hair one sections at a time using DevaCurl Decadence No Poo http://www.devacurl.com
- After rinsing I apply a rinse out conditioner like DevaCurl Decadence One Condition (my hair is still in sections) I let it sit on my hair while I wash my body and then rinse each section
5. Apply Deep conditioner like Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner to each section, twist each section add steam with my Q-Redew put on a conditioning cap (leave on for 20 minutes) then rinse http://www.mielleorganics.com
6. Apply leave in conditioner today I used Curl Junkie Beauticurls Argan & Olive Oil to each section in a smoothing motion, applying a moisturizing leave in is essential for optimal results http://www.curlmart.com
7. Apply gel/styler (my ride or die) Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic to soaking wet hair, soaking wet hair makes for easy even distribution of product. ( keep spray bottle handy to re-wet hair when needed) I apply the gel in a smoothing motion to distribute product evenly and to smooth the hair cuticle, I apply the gel in small sections starting at the nape, my hair is still in sections, I apply the gel from root to tip. http://www.unclefunkysdaughter.com
Its important to note products only enhance what you already have! Products don’t make your hair curly, products can’t make tight curls loose, products don’t “elongate” your hair or stop shrinkage.
8. Final step I DO NOT TOUCH MY HAIR I allow my hair to air dry completely before touching it! I have made this mistake early in my journey and I ended up with a frizzy mess! My hair takes about 2 days to dry, I have tried diffusing my hair which speeds up the process but the style won’t make it through the week when diffused so I air dry.
To maintain the style I sleep with my satin bonnet on, and a satin pillowcase just in case my bonnet comes off. I moisturize as needed before bed or in the morning, I use my Q-Redew to refresh without wetting my hair. Wash n Go is my favorite style especially in the Spring and Summer. I used to obsess over my hair looking perfect, curl definition and no frizz was my goal. I now embrace the frizz, as the style gets older my hair gets bigger and less defined which I now love! I struggled with this style for a long time until I found the right products that worked for me, deep conditioned my hair regularly, cleanse, and style my hair in sections, applying product the length of my hair to ensure every strand was coated with product and finally embracing my hair!
What’s your go to style? What are your favorite hair products? What is your hair routine?