Now that I’m three months deep on this transition from relaxed to natural hair, I’ve been able to piece together all the varying bits of information from all over the interwebs to create a routine that is easy, quick and works. So far my experience has been mixed, but even on a bad curly hair day, my hair is infinitely better than straight. Say wha?!
Quick, easy and awesome natural hair this way, please.
Once a Month
Deep conditioning / Pre-poo. Have you heard this term? It’s the process of coating your hair with a penetrating oil before shampooing. If I really have my ish together, I’ll cover my hair with a shower cap and let it sit for 30-45 minutes. If not, s’all good. My hair is still softer and less prone to dryness throughout the week. Products: Ion Pre-Shampoo Oil Treatment or olive oil.
Twice a Week
Usually twice a week, but more or less as needed, I alternate between a traditional shampoo and a co-wash. Note: co-washing typically is washing your hair with conditioner, but in this case I’m using a formulated product that is actually still a shampoo, but boasts conditioning qualities. A moisturizing cleanser, if you will. Either way, I end up using the same conditioner. I let that sit on my hair while completing other shower tasks and then detangle with fingers, then a wide tooth comb. Detangling is pretty easy so far since most of my hair is relaxed. I’m extra careful about where the two textures meet. My new growth is amazing, you guys! I love feeling the waves and curls coming in. I’m thinking this new growth must be stronger than a mug, cause I haven’t shed a single one. All the shed hair seems to be relaxed, so I can’t even be mad. I see those wobbly, funky straight strands in the comb and think mmph you were on the way out anyway, boo. Products: Tresemme Naturals Shampoo, As I Am Coconut Co-wash, and Tresemme Naturals Conditioner.
From there I let my hair air/drip dry most of the way and then prep for styling. I so look forward to the days when I’m comfortable in Wash & Go styles, but with two differing textures, nah. Instead my new normal is the flat twist out. As I mentioned last month I did a lot of experimenting to see which direction to twist, how big to make them, etc. All that stuff comes down to preference I guess, but here’s my process:
Separate hair in sections. I love me a side-part so my sections work thusly: three or four in back, two along the edges in front (twisted opposite directions), and three in the middle. In pretty much all the tutorials out there the parts between the twists are straight and perfect, but I think the more crooked the lines between my twists, the better I’m able to blend them. Again, preference, but it saves time trying to get a more natural look.
So, if I’m fresh outta the shower with clean hair then it’s still damp and I get right to the twisting, but if I’ve got an old style I’ll use water or a refreshing spray. I coat each section with coconut oil, leave-in conditioner and then gel. I love curls that are loose and bouncy so I don’t use too much gel, just at the roots and ends, really. This is my adaptation of what’s the called the LOC Method. LOC stands for lotion, oil and cream, respectively. Once I put on a lotion the oil doesn’t penetrate my strands fully so I switched it up to oil, leave-in, and then gel. Then I twist, twist, twist! I’ve got this process down to a cool 30 minutes, not too bad at all. When I started I was wrapping my head in a satin scarf or using a satin cap, but it takes a bit longer to dry with a cap on. Since then I found a satin sheet set at Ross for, like, $10. I ditched the fitted sheet (to be used for a DIY project, woo!) ’cause ain’t nobody got time to be slipping all over the bed, but I’m all about those pillow cases! The difference is as noticeable as the internet said it would be. Speaking of sleep, in an effort to preserve my twist out I do very loose, very lazy retwisting which keeps it looking hot for up to 3 days. Really day two and three are the best, but four is pushing it. Products: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Refreshing Spray, organic coconut oil, As I Am Leave In Conditioner and As I Am Smoothing Gel.
When it’s time to take my twists out, I just melt a wee bit of coconut oil on my fingers, unravel, untwist and pull apart.
Bethany and I have been hard at work making clips for CATFIGHTCRAFT, so lately I’ve been all about accessorizing. Plus, the clip helps stretch that front part of my hair, with its disrespectful shrinkage. By the time I have it styled the way I want, it’s perfectly shiny, super sexy, and ready to go. That’s really, really good news for a lady who has to be out the door by 7am. This morning I was done with hair in less than ten minutes! Booyah! That’s on some wizard shit, right there.
Where my curlies at? What are your favorites products? I wanna know! Pop it in the comments below.
P.S. Remember last month when I posted Natural Hair Resources for a Newb Like Me? Well, I finally figured out which resource I forgot, it was Natural’sBest:
Mama Sunshine actually sent this link my way when I first told her about going natural. Definitely a favorite! I updated that Newb post for future reference.