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I often get asked so many questions about my natural hair routine from how often I wash my hair, to what I do at night to keep my hair styles fresh. First and foremost, I am not a licensed cosmetologist. What I do for my hair may, or may not work for your hair as everyone is not the same. I learned how to manage my curls better and better over time through a lot of trial and error, so don’t get discouraged if things don’t turn out how you want them to right a way. Well …. let’s get started!
- Wash Day – Most naturals, I have noticed, dread wash days. Me on the other hand, I love them! Wash days are the times where I can really get a feel for whether my hair is growing or not, or the things I need to improve on to make it grow better. I stick to washing my hair once a week, but I have watched up to twice a week if it’s really oily or if there is a ton of build up. For my state of hair, I suffer from that aggravating serbitic dermatitis which is one of the worst forms of dandruff. I’ll have another post on this later on but long story short, my scalp will build up with oils and products fast which leads to a lot of flaking and a very itchy scalp if I don’t stay on top of it daily. The main question I get for my wash day routine is do you pre-poo before washing your hair? The answer to that question is no. There is more information on how I personally feel about Co-Washing or Pre-Pooing in my previous post. Briefly though, pre-pooing has helped from time to time in the past but with my dandruff issue, I’m just ready to get my scalp clean by the time wash day comes I jump right into the shampoo. Co-washing for me has tended to dry out my curls over time and waste more product than really benefit my hair so I have taken it out of my routine all together. I always wash twice with regular shampoo with warm water to get all the dirt and build-up off my scalp completely, deep condition, and then use a regular leave in conditioner to end my hair washing process. My deep conditioners change depending on the state of my hair and scalp at the time before the wash days. For example, if my scalp is itchy I will mix together a deep conditioner of my choice with my preferred oils of choice, if my hair is really dry I will do an avocado deep conditioner, or I will do a nice hot oil treatment from time to time to restore some shine to my curls. One thing I don’t do fast is comb the conditioner through my hair as soon as I apply it to my wet hair. I have found over time that if I jump to detangling as soon as I apply the deep conditioner, I end up with more breakage or shedding. Last year, I learned that if I apply the deep conditioner to my hair after washing with shampoo, and place a plastic over it for maybe 5 minutes or so and then take it off to detangle all the way through my hair it limited the amount of breakage or shedding I was experiencing. Once my hair is detangled all the way through, I then place the cap back over my hair and leave it on for 10 more minutes or so. Sometimes I even sit under my hooded dryer with the cap on for the remaining deep conditioning time. Next, the deep conditioner gets rinsed out with warm water. Lastly, I apply a regular conditioner, mainly one that says you only have to leave it on for like two minutes or so, rinse with cool water, and then my wash day is complete and I move on to styling!
- Trimming – Trimming my natural hair has been extremely slack on my part, I’m not even going to lie or sugarcoat this part. This is something I absolutely have to work on in the next upcoming year of my natural hair journey. Surprisingly I have not experienced too many split ends thank goodness! But I have experienced those tiny little knots in my hair towards my ends. I have not truly put myself on a set trimming schedule yet, but I do intend to buckle down on this more and actually do it maybe once every three months as a starter and adjust from there depending on the state of my hair. One thing I do though when it comes to trimming my hair is spot trimming. This means that I pick out bad spots and cut them off. This would include those knotted up areas towards my ends. Now I do not recommend everyone doing this if you can’t tell yourself which parts of your hair are good and which ones are bad. One way I figure out which spots to cut is by focusing on my ends mainly when they are in mini twists. Anything that is knotted up gets cut off, also any overly straight pieces that won’t curl anymore get cut off as well. I will do a follow up post on this at a later date.
- Leave In Conditioner – This is a step I make sure that I never ever skip! Even though I will go through two different rounds of conditioner during my wash routine sometimes, it is highly important for me to apply some form of leave in conditioner to my curls. With me having a combination of 4A and 4C hair, my hair is very prone to breakage and dryness over time. If you don’t know what I mean by 4A/4C please check out my previous article on Learning Your Hair Type. I mainly stick with a thicker leave in conditioner, a majority of the time it is the Cantu Leave In Hair Repair Treatment for now but I’m pretty sure it will change later on. Now, let me advise you during the beginning of my natural hair journey I often ended up applying way too much leave in conditioner to where when I would add in other products and style it, I would often be left with dry hair overall but it would have those white flakes in it with a ton of build up not only on my scalp but on my overall curls as well. Since then I have moderated my application of this product better over time. How much you apply to your hair, depends on you of course. No one head of hair is the same as another. So you may need more product if your hair is thicker, but someone else may need less if their hair is thinner, it is all up to you. Water is key here too. When I would apply my leave in conditioner before, I would not apply enough water with the conditioner. Water is the main moisturizer you will need to incorporate into your natural hair routine.
- Styling – When it comes to styling I am a boring natural hair style person, I’m not even going to sugar coat that either. I tend to stick with one style instead of trying out a whole bunch of different ones. My main go to one would be mini twists. I love having my hair in mini twists for an extended amount of time. This style is so handy and lightweight. It is also considered a protective style so I don’t really have to do anything or manipulate my hair often throughout the week which is great for me because it keeps my hands out of it and I am able to retain more length over time. Another great thing about mini twists is that once I get tired of the mini twists, most of the time after one week, I will untwist them in which my style turns into a twist out. My twist outs have often lasted me about three to four days in all depending on whether my hair becomes product heavy or not. Once those 3-4 days have passed, I often pin my curls up for a mini twist out up-do. Check out my tutorial on this below:
Whelp, that is pretty much it. The only other advice I would give as far as my natural hair routine goes, is to always place some form of a scarf on your hair at night and always wash your pillowcases every week. By going to bed at night with nothing on your hair, you are not only drying it out, but you’re breaking it off as well. The cotton from regular pillow cases tend to soak up all the moisture from your hair throughout the night, leaving your pillowcase soiled overtime with those products as well. It is highly important for you to wash those cases not only for your hair, but for your skin as well. I would recommend getting a silk or satin scarf and a silk or satin pillowcase. They don’t absorb the moisture from your hair. Check out some other related articles and videos from our lovely Brand Ambassadors below on their weekly hair care routines! Enjoy ladies!
I hope this helps ladies, feel free to leave your thoughts and suggestions below in the comment section at the bottom of this post! I would love to hear your very own routines for your natural hair care! Thanks for reading!
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