So . . .
I've created a hair care procedure that I plan to follow for a while - especially since I'll be heading off to college in less than 6 months (I'd like to have my hair long and healthy during college. Difficult? Most likely).
First, you all need to understand something. I am NOT an expert on caring for natural hair. I don't know the best products or best ways to achieve moisturized/shiny/frizz-free curls. What I'm posting today is just some steps that I plan to follow to keep my hair healthy and to hopefully help it grow faster. Feel free to comment below with tips or with your own hair care plan.
Here's my plan for washing my hair. Currently, I've been washing my hair every two weeks - shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioning . . .
But I've been reading that shampoo really isn't good for natural hair because of all the sulfates and other gross things that basically rip the moisture and strength from your hair. So, for this new plan, I won't be using too much shampoo (maybe once a month now).
How will I wash my hair now? CONDITIONER!
Here are my steps
the night before
- put olive oil in hair and sleep in a shower cap
hair washing day
- Before showering, add a small amount of conditioner to hair
- Let hair soak in water while you shower
- Rinse conditioner and oils out of hair
- Add a large amount of conditioner to hair
- Detangle hair with fingers
- Step out and squeeze hair to remove excess conditioner
- While hair's still wet, add moisturizers (olive oil/shea butter/argon oil)
every other week
- Add deep conditioner (click HERE to see my recipe)
- Cover hair in shower cap and let hair sit for 30-45 minutes
- Rinse out deep conditioner
- Moisturize (olive oil/shea butter/argon oil)
Just to clarify: I've read lots of articles about whether or not it's a good idea to deep condition your hair once a week and from what I've read, it's ok as long as it works for you. My hair doesn't stay moisturized for very long so I think this'll help. If it starts to mess with my hair then I can always prolong it a bit.
I keep my moisturizer in a spray bottle. I spray my hair in the mornings, when I'm home from work and at night before I go to bed. It helps keep my hair healthy and allows me to manipulate the curls when I need to. Here's what I usually add:
- olive oil
- shea butter
- argon oil
Lately, all I've had is just olive oil, conditioner and water and it works fine.
I also know that the "LOC" method works really well to lock in moisture.
L - Liquid
O - Oils
C - Cream
LOC usually means adding water to your hair, followed by your favorite natural oil (olive oil/argon oil for me!) and ending with a cream (shea butter or a store bought cream maybe?)
For the past 2 years, I've been styling my hair with bandanas, scarves, bobby pins and twist outs but because I want my hair to grow as quickly and as healthy as possible, I'm going to omit a few of my old styles for the time being:
- Twist outs: This is when I take a section of my hair, spray with my moisturizer and comb out all the tangles. Then I divide the section into two and twist them around each other until they buckle. I then fasten in them in what I call a "doughnut" against my head with a bobby pin. I leave them in overnight and then untwist and style my hair in the mornings. So why am I taking a break from twist outs? Firstly, to comb out my hair, I have to comb out all the curls which rips out a lot of it and causes split ends. That's not going to help my hair stay healthy at all. Secondly, Niger's pretty humid at the moment and the twist outs don't last longer than a few hours. It's become a useless style. And finally, I want to leave my curls alone as much as possible so combing my hair or spending hours with my fingers in it isn't going to help.
- Bobby pins: I still plan to use my bobby pins once in a while to bring up the hair on the sides of my head or make a few small twists but for the most part, I'll be avoiding them for the next few months. They stretch my hair and sometimes add annoying tangles when I put them in wrong. Besides, my hair looks just fine in a scarf or on its own.
- Be gentle with your hair. When detangling, don't rip out the tangles or go quickly. Take your time
- Keep your fingers out of your hair when it's dry
- Drink LOTS of water
- Eat your fruits and veggies
- Protect your hair at night. Either sleep on a satin pillowcase or keep your hair in a satin bonnet
- Stay away from shampoo. However, conditioner tends to build up in hair so I plan to shampoo at least once a month