By Gigi (pictured above) of GigisMeanderings.com
I have been on my natural hair journey for about 14 years. Prior to that I was bound to my Revlon mild relaxer like clockwork, I did not even know what my own hair texture was anymore. Now everywhere you look women are embracing their curls. I have watched this natural hair movement explode, from the plethora of curly hair products available, to all the curly girls in the media.
To get consistent results with my hair, I do my routine once a week. Big, fluffy, defined hair is my preferred style, which usually happens day two. “Natural” hair takes a lot of TLC and patience. You have to be willing to go with the flow and accept that natural hair has a mind of its own and lots of factors can influence the end result ie. weather, product cocktail, and workouts are just a few things that can dramatically change your “do”.
1. Oil the Night Before
My routine starts the night before with an oil treatment, this week I used ojon oil, sometimes I use olive oil, or coconut oil. My hair is naturally dry and highlights make it even dryer.
This is my end of the week “need to do my hair do”. It is still looks dry even though it is saturated with oil.
2. Dry Detangle
The first step I do is detangle my DRY hair with conditioner. I take it in sections and use my fingers to detangle, usually I use an inexpensive conditioner like Suave Coconut, but today I used Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat. I find that after a week of wearing my wash and go my hair is sometimes super tangled.
As you can see from this picture I have different hair textures, the back is kinky and the front is a looser curl pattern. Once you understand your “head of hair” and what products work on your hair texture, consistent results will be easier to achieve.
This is my hair after detangling with conditioner.
This is an important step for me because my hair is a pain to “comb out” and I want to hold on to as many of my strands as possible. Also I try to limit my use of combs or brushes in my hair and just use my fingers most of the time.
I now rinse my “detangler” out and cleanse my hair with a no sulfate shampoo, today I used Hair Rules daily cleansing cream. My favorite is Devachan No Poo, but I am all out, I go through a ton of product, most of which I order online.
4. Deep Condition/Top Knot
Now I apply a deep conditioner, today I used Curl Junkie Curl Rehab, I rotate a bunch of different ones, some of my favorites are Carol’s Daughter hair smoothie, and a new one I just picked up Obliphica spiral hair mask. Depending on my time I sit under the dryer / heating cap for 30 minutes, or sit in my steam shower, today it was so hot I just went outside.
I put my conditioner soaked hair in a top knot which is a good “conditioner do” in case I have to run to the store or something.
5. Cold Final Rinse
Back in the shower to rinse conditioner out, my final rinse is always cold and I don’t EVER use a towel, I just step out soaking wet.
6. Apply Styling Product
Once the conditioner was rinsed out I applied a generous amount of Kinky Curly Knot Today. This is a core product for me that I never substitute and it is always in my cabinet.
I then separate my hair into large sections and apply styling products to super wet hair, I use a water bottle to make sure my hair stays wet. My combination of products varies by what is in my cabinet. I am always adding new products, since I am easily influenced by what I read on other blogs. Today I used Curl Junkie Smoothing lotion, with a little bit of Curly Q’s Gel-les’c, topped off with Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing smoothie. I apply with my fingers making sure to get product from my roots to the ends, making sure to use more product in the back and less to the front.
7. Diffuse with Dryer
My drying method depends on the time of year, where I am going, and what I am wearing. Today I used a diffuser and dried my hair about 70%. If I am in a rush I will use one of my husbands workout shirts, the kind that are designed for absorbing moisture, I carefully wrap my hair with it and keep it on for about 15 minutes and shake my hair out and diffuse for about 5 minutes. When I can I prefer to air dry, which can take half a day sometimes.
8. Flip Hair/Dry Upside Down
I always flip my hair, to avoid the “flat top”. Notice how much product is on my hair, it is sort of white, all the product will be absorbed by the time my hair dries.
9. Do Not Touch!
My hair still needs to dry. It is important NOT to TOUCH at this point, in order to prevent frizz.
10. Air Dry
Now I am just waiting for it to dry completely. I now can go about my day and just let my hair dry.
Big and Fluffy!
As you can see all the product has been absorbed and my hair is light, fluffy and has movement. Tonight I will “pineapple” it (loose scrunchie) and pull all the hair up, and sleep on a satin pillow case. Day two I will spritz with a little water and shake and go. When the weather gets cooler I will do twists outs to avoid wetting my hair midweek. This process takes about an hour and a half to complete from start to finish.
Day 2 Hair
Just added this picture to show how each day is slightly different.
Are you a natural curly, coily, kinky girl? What is your routine?