I am not an Instagram approved natural hair expert. I’m not here to introduce anyone to the a, b, c, 1, 2, 3’s of natural hair or to tell you to swear off store bought products in favor of organic coconut oil and Hellman’s mayonnaise. I am not that woman. I am just an average woman who has come to love her natural hair and wants to help y’all love yours, too.
Step 1: Gently De-style Your Hair
The hardest natural hair lesson that I ever learned is to never do anything when your hair is dry. Like, don’t even look at your dry, crunchy hair in the mirror too hard, because the power of your gaze will cause it to break off. With this in mind, if your hair is already in a style, spray it with some water and then begin to take it down. On this day, my hair was in two twists, so I hit each section up with a heavy amount of spritzes, and then began to unravel the look, leaving me with these wavy locks!
Step 2: Section Off Hair
Some people can wash all of their hair at one time. I am not one of those people. Instead, I use a hair tie and split my hair into two sections from ear to ear, creating a division between the top and bottom of my head. I find that it’s easier to make sure product is distributed evenly when I work in two sections.
Step 3: Detangle in the Shower
Remember when I said that if you look too hard at dry hair it will break off? Well, I wasn’t playing. I don’t even think about knocking the tangles out of my hair until I hop in the shower and get it heavily saturated with water. I start with the bottom section, get it nice and wet, and begin to use my fingers to comb out the knots. I like to collect all the hair that comes out and form it into a ball as I do this, because I don’t want to clog my drain. If you love it when your shower turns into a bath, feel free to skip that step.
Step 4: Shampoo
I do the classic shampoo, rinse, repeat method. I use about a quarter size amount of product, run it through my whole hair, then begin to lather up. I pay special attention to my roots and scalp, because my father blessed me with the gift of dandruff. Also, the ends of your hair tend to be more vulnerable to breakage, but also less likely to be affected by build up, so it just makes more sense to concentrate shampoo closer to the scalp. Once that scalp is squeaky clean, I give my hair a gentle squeeze to get out extra water, tie it up, and begin working on the second section.
I am currently using the Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasures Repairing Shampoo, because it is one of the few shampoos that doesn’t make my hair feel like plastic once I rinse it out. It has nice ingredients in it like royal jelly and honey to help prevent split ends and stop your hair from breaking. I can’t 100% say that it actually does those two things, but, like I said, it doesn’t make my hair feel like plastic.
Step 5: Conditioner
Honestly, Garner Whole Blends can just take my money. After I do my second rinse of shampoo, I go in with the Avocado Oil and Shea Butter Extract Nourishing Conditioner. It’s supposed to be for people with very dry hair, like myself. I put slightly more than a quarter size amount in my hand and finger comb it through the bottom section of my hair, this time focusing on my ends. Then I pull that section into a ponytail and begin working on the top section.
I leave my conditioner in for at least five minutes. While I wait, I usually shave my body, which is this other thing this conditioner is good for. Shaving cream? I don’t know that woman. Once my legs are free of hair, I rinse the conditioner out and give it a final finger comb.
Step 6: Wrap in T-Shirt
Some people like to let their hair air dry, but I hate getting everything I own wet, so I don’t do that. Instead, I wrap up my hair in a large cotton t-shirt for about 20-30 minutes. During this time, I might clean up my bathtub or watch Netflix. I usually do the latter.
Step 7: Moisturize, Detangle, and Stretch
Once your hair is reasonably dry, you can prepare it for styling. For me, can mean doing a wash and go or stretching my hair to prepare it for whatever style I may want to do later. I will do another post on my wash and go routine later, but I can talk you through the process of stretching my hair.
I begin by dividing my hair into four sections. I usually start with the back left section of my hair and use my finger to comb about a teaspoon of the Africa’s Best Instant Oil Moisturizer through it. Then I scoop out about a teaspoon of the Cantu Coconut Curling Cream and finger comb that through the section. Next, I run through it with a wide tooth comb. Once I’m sure the hair is detangled, I do a two strand twists. Next, I circle the twist around the base until I have a little space bun. Repeat on the next three sections and get on with the rest of your life. You are free!
What’s your favorite shampoo and conditioner?
Thanks for reading!
Until next time, have an awesome rest of your day and an amazing rest of your week!