After 4 years of battling my natural hair, I think I finally understand, I finally found my flow. So I decided to share my routine. I think that it will be different in the summer but for the winter, this is what I have been doing and my hair has been thanking me for it. My routine is broken up into five parts. Doing my hair use to be a stress reliever, but now it is just annoying. I love my hair but I absolutely hate wash day (days, I usually stretch it out a few days).
1. Pre-poo with Oil
The first and second part to my wash routine is my pre-poo. Pre-poo is exactly how it sounds it is a treatment that done before you shampoo. “Pre-pooing” helps to reduce damage to hair during shampooing. I start my pre-poo by adding a mixture of coconut, olive and avocado oils into my hair. Sometimes I use these oils on their own, so just coconut oil, just olive oil, or just avocado oil. These penetrating oils help remove shed hairs as I lightly finger detangle my hair. I find it easier to detangle with just oil because hair expands as soon as water touches it and the first ingredient in most conditioners is water. So I try to remove all the shed hairs before my hair begins to expand. When I have finished adding the oil to my entire head I put it in a shower cap and sit with that for up to an hour (most of the time this is longer, again because I am lazy).
2. Pre-poo with Conditioner
The second part to my two part pre-poo is adding a conditioner to really detangle my hair. For this I use As I Am Coconut Cowash. I love how easy it is to detangle with this product. At this point I feel like I should give my disclaimer. I do not cowash my hair. It takes me too long to do my wash routine to risk not having my scalp completely clean. So I use this cowash because it is a great agent in helping me detangle my hair, I section my hair and twist my hair into eight parts. Again depending on how lazy I am I will leave this in my hair for an hour or so.
3. Shampoo and Conditioning
The third part to my routine is actually washing. It is much easier to wash my hair in sections, because I already detangled, I do not want to chance my hair tangling again. I use the Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo and conditioner. I like the tingling sensation on my scalp from this line so it is the only thing that I use. I also use an empty water bottle while I am washing because for me a little shampoo goes a long way and I want to clean my hair but not completely strip my hair. The water bottle allows for me to dilute the shampoo so I still get the suds without over shampooing. Think of this like when you are at the laundry mat. It is recommended to use a certain amount for each load. But the minute you do not see the suds you add and add detergent. This may or may not make a difference but the suds in your mind means clean. For your hair the suds come from adding water. If you add water to your shampoo your hair will have suds and you will still get the mini bubble bath for your feet without adding too much shampoo. Note, if you use those natural shampoos that are sulfate-free then that is a different subject. Section by section I rinse out my pre-poo, untwist, shampoo, condition and re-twist (my twists usually go from 8 to about 6 or 4 by this point). I then allow the conditioner to sit in my hair for about five minutes before I rinse out and move on to part four of my routine.
4. Deep Conditioning
The next step is deep conditioning my hair. I have been really feeling the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque as my deep conditioner. It smells amazing, it’s thick and it adds so much moisture. Also 10% of the proceeds go to women lead businesses in Africa, which is a plus (although it could have been a higher of a percentage). I allow this is sit in my hair for 10 or so minutes. By this point my shower is nearly cold water, which helps, in my final part.
5. Leave-In Conditioner to Seal in Moisture
It is important to understand that warm water opens up your cuticles aiding in removing all the dirt and build up on your scalp, and cold water closes them sealing in moisture for your hair. So it works out that my water is cold at this point so I can close my cuticles. I rinse out all of the conditioner in my hair. I then add my leave in conditioner. I use Giovanni’s direct leave in for my hair. I love this leave in because it is lightweight and it keeps my hair moisturized as it dries. I usually just throw on a scarf and let my hair dry like that before I style my hair.
Well Curl Friends that is my wash routine. ALL THAT. You can see why I dread wash day. I hope that this helps in some way. Hopefully I will be able to make a video but I think that it is a bit pretentious. We will see. In solidarity sista!