“Girl, what do you use in your hair?”
In the natural hair community this question gets asked a lot, we’re always on the lookout for a new product or regimen hack to help us have the best hair EVER. Most people that meet me are surprised to know that my hair is actually in some type of protective style about 80% of the time (a little odd for a “natural hair blogger”), I know, but I gotta do what’s best for this hair that I have. The most anybody really gets to see it is in a YouTube video.
I favor protective styling because this hair…that I have….is special. “Mz. Jackson” is fine, dense, high porosity, type 4 and so coily that I usually detangle 3-4 times during my LOC and styling process. Even if I detangle and put her in sections to style, I have to detangle AGAIN when I’m actually ready to style.
Now you understand my struggle….
During an event recently I actually shared all of the steps in my natural hair regimen, this took me 8 years to get right, but I’m sure you don’t have that kind of time, so here goes:
Prepoo – I prepoo for two reasons: to minimize hygral fatigue (my fine strands are more susceptible to breaking with expanding and contracting) and I use penetrating oils to coat and nourish my hair before I actually shampoo.
Shampoo – I actually prefer shampoo more often than sulfate-free cleansers, also for two reasons: sulfates are cleansing agents, right? Since my hair is in protective styles most of the time I need to ensure that my scalp is completely clean in between styles. Also, I live in an hard water area, so having shampoo that removes some of that mineral coating is actually a good thing. A clarifying or chelating shampoo goes deeper to remove deposits from the hair.
Condition – True confession: Once upon a time I would skip conditioning after shampooing my hair. I know, you can’t believe it either. I stopped this YEARS ago, and the reason was learning that shampoo works by opening your hair cuticle (acidic/higher pH) and conditioner works by closing the cuticle (lower pH).
Deep Condition/Strengthen/Steam – This is like a spa treatment for Mz. Jackson. I am a FAITHFUL deep conditioner-er, and if I’m not pressed for time I pull out my Huetiful hair steamer and treat myself to 2 rounds of steam with my hair coated in my deep treatment/masque du jour, I’m a big fan of Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment and the Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Strengthening Masque.
Leave-In/Detangle – I actually double up on leave-in/detanglers (you shouldn’t need to ask why at this point…), I ALWAYS spray Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave-In on my hair (it’s a staple in my protective style maintenance regimen as well).
Cream/Detangle – A cream leave-in/detangler gives me some additional slip so I can finger detangle without getting angry…LOL
Oil/Detangle – I experiment a lot and mix my own hair oils, I’m loving the coconut-avocado–marula blend right now. This gives me ANOTHER layer of slip without weighing my hair down and allows me to transition into my styling process. Depending on the style and the type of cream that I used I don’t apply any more product.
Style – After all that I’m glad to be able to leave my hair alone for at least 6 weeks…LOL
You’re probably heard naturalistas say, “This is what works for MY hair, your hair is different.” That’s 100% true. In order to arrive at the regimen that only makes sense to you and works for your hair, you’ll have to start doing something. Don’t be afraid to experiment, I promise you that you’ll learn so much about your hair in the process that it will all be worth it.
If you want to follow more than 6 months of my hair care you can sign up to get the 6-Month Protective Style Journey emails and videos that haven’t been shared on the blog. I started this in January 2015 but I’m still creating stuff so you should definitely sign up here or in the sidebar —>.
To Your Beauty,