...I am very low maintenance A.K.A lazy when it comes to doing my own hair. I've always liked to do other peoples hair instead of my own. I am a self proclaimed product junkie and deciding on what to use and when was a struggle. I am currently 90% natural with some longer relaxed pieces throughout my bang area. My ultimate goal is waist length 3B/C curly hair. I do remember my hair before relaxers and I can't wait to have my curls back. It usually only takes me a few steps to get beautiful defined curls which is less time than it took me to maintain my relaxed hair daily!
Product Junkie Help!
Experimenting with new products while transitioning or being a newly 100% natural female can get pricey with the trial and error that comes along with it. I shop at my local beauty supply store along with Sally Beauty Supply for products to put in my own hair. I see an ocean of products by different people like Shea Moisture, Motions, Cantu Shea Butter, As I Am, and SoftSheen-Carson. All of them vary in price and every one's hair is different. What works for someone else may not work for you. I had to get a reality check when it came to buying products. I found a forum and a website called Swapsack where product junkies like me can swap or sell our gently used/new products for things we haven't tried before or even old favorites.
My transitioning routine is different from my natural routine and I still use similar products. But I've simplified the process to make my life easier and to give my wallet a break. I have 3B (sharpie sized ringlet curls) hair with a crown filled with 3C dense (tightly wound pencil sized ringlet) curls.
Natural Hair Routine
- My first challenge was the fact that I sleep like a wild animal at night and I've always had an issue with things staying on my hair like satin bonnets and scarves. I even tried a satin pillow case and the only way the bonnet would stay on is when I've done a twist out or my hair is a few days old and is more voluminous. Bobby pinning the bonnet down didn't seem to work either!
- My second challenge was dryness which is common with my hair texture. When I went to bed I had to figure out how to get my hair to stay moisturized without going to bed with wet hair.
- My third challenge was keeping my hair stretched and my curls intact. I went back to old faithful YouTube and looked around to stumble across the pineapple method and other awesome ways to stretch your hair. Ill be posting a separate blog on stretching curly hair soon!
- I also had a challenge in the morning to get rid of the flatness and the frizziness caused by my crazy nights sleep. Without the bonnet it sticks out every which way and gets tangled and with it my hair is sometimes flattened to my scalp or stuck in the shape of how I put it up.
- If I have a lot of product build up on my scalp for example flaking or an itchy scalp I will shampoo my hair. I'm only shampooing my hair until I finish off my current shampoo bottle which is Mixed Silks Shampoo. After the bottle is done I will move more towards the Curly Girl or CG method of never using shampoo on my hair but instead use a cleansing conditioner.
- If I am using a shampoo containing sulfates then I will put a pre-poo in my hair which you can learn more about in my Pre-Poo post. My current shampoo does include sulfates.
- If I am washing my hair after a twist out then I will detangle my hair before getting it wet in the shower.
- If I have someone around to help I prefer my sink to wash my hair in.
- I only shampoo my hair 2 times a month or once every 10-14 days. Once I'm done with my current shampoo I'll no longer use shampoo on my hair.
- I only condition or co-wash my hair 1-2 times a week.
- I use a deep conditioner once a week.
- I do a protein treatment twice a month because if you over use proteins it can have the opposite effect on your hair and harden your hair strands causing breakage.
Shower Routine: Co-washing
- Section: I part my hair in half and finger comb before I put it into pigtails. I will pre-poo before getting in the shower if I want to wash my hair with shampoo.
- Saturate: I get into the shower and wet my hair still in the pigtails.
- Shampoo (optional): You could loosen the hair tie and apply shampoo to the scalp only scrubbing and massaging for a few minutes, then rinse. Try to keep the shampoo on your hair for a short period of time.
- By massaging the product in you increase circulation thus increasing blood flow causing a better chance of hair growth.
- You DO NOT need to put shampoo on your ends because as you rinse the shampoo from your scalp it will run through your hair cleaning as it goes.
- By finger combing the hair first you'll see a lot less shed hair in this step.
- Only detangle with product in your hair and only use wide tooth combs or your hands to reduce breakage. Tension = Breakage
- Try using a terry cloth towel or a t-shirt to absorb the most amount of moisture out of your hair. If I'm doing a wash and go I would skip this step to avoid frizziness.
*** After washing my hair I have a wet clean canvas to fill back up with product. My hair sucks up moisture like a sponge. To hold that moisture in my hair I use the LOC Method: Liquid, Oil, Cream. I apply products with those characteristics in that order. You can learn more about my LOC Method in my Transitioning Hair Regimen Post. I let my hair air dry to 50% before applying any products... Your hair is filled with water when you get out of the shower. Because of the water there is no more room in your hair for the products. The products could just sit on top of your hair or slide right off and down the drain.
- I part my freshly washed hair into 4 sections and clip them out of the way. I start with my back right section of hair.
- I already have the Liquid component in my hair which is water from my shower so I move on to my Oil product. I use a mixture of tea tree oil, coconut oil, and olive oil on my own hair. I put a nickel sized amount in my palm and warm it with my hands. I work the oil from my ends to my roots rubbing it into my scalp on all 4 sections. It will help my hair stay frizz free, shiny, and moisturized.
- I finger comb through my hair to detangle and wash my hands to remove all traces of oil.
- I move on to my cream component and work it from my ends to my roots assuring I get the most product on the oldest and most fragile part of my hair first. I finger comb and apply the product in a downward motion to distribute product evenly and lay the cuticle back down.
- I take my favorite detangling tool which is my hot pink tangle teezer and I go through each section and brush from the ends up to reduce breakage from unnecessary stress and tension on the hair.
- The smaller the section the easier it will be to comb or brush through.
- I don't recommend brushing wet hair with anything but a Denman brush or a tangle teezer. Your fingers and wide tooth combs are okay when the hair is wet also.
- When detangling always start at the ends first. By doing so your removing a road block(dead tangled hair) from the end of a road(your hair strand) so that other cars(tangles) can pass through safely without a pile up(breakage).
...At night things can be simple or extensive. If I have a dry style in that I can wear for several days I will maintain it to reduce frizz so it will last for instance re-twisting a twist out. With dry styles I can usually just pop the bonnet on and call it a night by using the pineapple method.
- I will use the pineapple method to pull my hair into a high ponytail as close to my forehead as I can get it when my hair is long enough to reach. This is to stretch the curls in the back adding more length the next day to your hair. For now I pull my hair into two ponytails. One at my crown and the other at my forehead.
- Don't tie the elastic/scrunchie to tightly around your hair or you'll have a line in the hair and cause breakage. I see some women use headbands wrapped around twice to eliminate stress.
- Lay your edges down before bed instead of in the morning. Apply your gel or edge control and tie a silk scarf around them as tightly as you can stand it. Throw your bonnet over it and your set for the next day. I see a big difference in my edges when I do this.
- If you cant get your satin bonnet to stay on like me an alternative is a satin pillowcase. I got mine really cheap at my local sally beauty supply.
In The Morning
- I take my bonnet off and let my hair down. Depending on my style from the day before I can either refresh what I have or I enjoy wearing my natural texture which I prefer.
- I part it back in half again and clip one half out of the way for control.
- I get my hands wet and run them through my hair detangling as I go.
- I put a small amount of gel in my hair in a downward motion called shingling sliding the section of hair between my palms to distribute the gel. I go through with a scrunching motion to reveal the curl and use my tangle teezer for the stubborn straight ends by sliding it through my hair slowly using slight tension and shaking it back and forth once I get to the ends to reveal my curl pattern.
- If I have time I'll let it air dry or I diffuse my hair upside down with a blow dryer to set my curls with volume which you can learn about in my how to diffuse blog post.
- I style my hair and add finishing details with accessories or braids/twists.
- If I haven't taken care of my edges the night before I apply gel to my hairline and tie a silk scarf as tightly as I can around my hair. I leave it on for 20-30 minutes or as long as possible to assure that my edges are dry.
- Right before I leave the house I spritz my hair with a light hold hairspray for all day control. This step isn't always necessary but I live in Florida and some days the humidity gets ridiculous.
- Hairspray is full of alcohol which can be drying to curly or natural hair. Check the ingredient label and don't overuse the product as some hairsprays can break your hair off after prolonged regular use.
Refreshing My Curls
So say I've been extra low maintenance and I haven't been following my night time routine as often... Well then when I wake up the next morning I have a hot mess of flattened frizzy curls to fix. I don't always want to get in the shower and start all over and I refuse to use dry shampoo. My only option is to refresh my curls.
- I attempt to remove the elastic that is buried in my hair.
- I separate my hair the best I can into 4 sections and clip them out of the way.
- I get a water bottle and I halfway fill it with bottled water because I have well water. I add my Simply U Moisturizing Conditioner and Kinky Curly Knot today to it and shake well.
- I squirt this mixture lightly onto each section and run my hands through it.
- I add Oil and cream to the ends working my way up to seal in moisture and smooth my frizz.
- I then scrunch/shingle Eco Styler Argon Oil Gel into my hair for all day hold and frizz control.
- I either diffuse my curls or let my hair air dry and style as usual.
The E.A.S.E method is a great method for getting moisture to every part of your hair. It goes along with my LOC method of applying hair products. I explained the L.O.C method in my Transitioning Hair Regimen post. This is how I apply product to my hair and the LOC method is what products I apply to my hair. The E.A.S.E method explains what areas of your hair to moisturize when. I only use both methods on hair that is 2 or more days old and I've seen a big difference in my hair since combining both methods.
- Edges... Dampen your hairline with any liquidy product followed by the oil of our choice and the styling cream. Do this by sweeping hair back away from your face not in circular motions to avoid knots and tangles.
- All Over... I apply the liquid again lightly all over the outside of my hair finger combing back into a ponytail with my hands to control it.
- Section... Section the hair into 2-6 sections depending on texture and density(thickness). I apply my liquid to each section and finger comb to detangle. I clip each section out of the way when I'm done.
- Ends... Keep your hair in the sections or further divide into more sections and apply the oil of your choice to your ends working your way up. This will seal in the moisture you just spent time putting in your hair. Some popular oil options are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and Castor oil.
- Afterward depending on the occasion if a styling aid is needed I'll add a cream working my way from ends to roots like Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In.
I got the E.A.S.E method from the Trendy Socialite on YouTube! Go check her out and let me know what you think in the comment box below. Thanks for visiting my blog!
~"Your hair is the ball gown that you never take off."~
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