I decided to cut my hair in 2003 and wore it “natural” until 2008 when I decided to grow it out. I grew it out and permed it and loved the length. The stylist at the time decided to cut all of my new growth because she said it was damaged. I was beyond pissed. In 2011 I decided to grow out again and stopped dying and texturizing because it was really damaging my hair. Now that I was back to work and really had no time in the morning for hair I decided to cut it again. In 2013 I decided again to grow it out and when I decided to start working out I ran out of ideas for my hair. The weekly sweating and my hair was an issue. I decided to cut it again and go back to a short natural cut.
I resorted to coloring my hair using boxed colors to save on the salon cost. After watching a natural girl YouTube video and she mentioned for great color visit an Aveda salon. Well I was in luck because I have one right up the road. After scheduling a consultation, the colorist offered two options. I could either bleach my natural color and then add the desired color$100 per hour to bleach + addition of color start at $48, yikes sticker shock) or lighten my natural color at each 6 week visit. Her recommendation is to lighten my color at each visit. The double process could be very drying to my hair.
Natural hair requires experimenting with a variety of products. I have lost count. Last night I discovered another method of applying oil before shampooing and this is call a pre-poo. Also I am conditioning after shampooing but this time I added a protein conditioner with a cap to seal in moisture.
The holiday break gave me time to do a lot of research on natural hair care. My first step was eliminating box color and actually investing in salon color. After searching various YouTube videos on natural hair I found one who suggested going to an Aveda salon. Well lucky for me there is a salon and spa less than a mile away. Hair color in a box is not the best quality and I think color is all in the application technique. The colorist sectioned my natural tresses and evenly applied color. I never did this with box color because I thought sectioning only applied to those with long hair.
I think one of the myth is natural hair requires no maintenance and I was so wrong. In the past weeks, I have learned my share of natural hair care daily and weekly regimens. I realize with a chemical treatment I have to show extra TLC for my natural tresses. I have an arsenal of supplies as I have learned you must experiment with a few products until you find the right fit for your hair. Another lesson is learning my hair type, I believe my hair lies between 4a-4c.
My daily regimen was to just wet my hair and apply Tresemme conditioner and EcoStyle gel. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I also assumed once a week shampooing with sulfate free shampoo and using the Tresemme conditioner as a leave in conditioner was good enough. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. It took a few weeks and multiple products for me to find products that worked for my hair type.
What I learned:
1) Natural hair needs daily MOISTURE, LOTS AND LOTS OF MOISTURE depending on your hair type. My hair type needs lots of moisture.
2)Natural hair needs a great balance of MOISTURE AND PROTEIN.
3)Natural hair needs weekly deep conditioning especially when it is color treated.
4)Natural hair does not require shampooing every week or at least this is a personal preference. Hence the term, cowash-washing with conditioner.
5)Pre-poo defined, preparing the hair for shampooing, either with a sulfate free/clarifying shampoo or a sulfate free, silicone free moisturizing conditioner.
6)Dry hair with paper towels or a microfiber towel rather than a cotton towel
7) Purchase a Denman Brush and a Detangling comb, since I still have a TWA (teeny weeny afro) I purchased these for my daughter.
8)Difference between rinsing with warm vs. cold water
9)Experiment with products, try to buy sample sizes to minimize your out of pocket cost. My go to site for my products is Amazon.com . This allows me to make use of my Prime membership with free 2 day shipping on items that qualify for Prime shipping.
I love Mo’s(of MoKnowsHair) explanations on each of the products reviewed , she also has great YouTube video tutorials. Also I love the fact that her videos offer different options depending on your hair type. I realized after my research on CurlMart.com my hair type is 4a.
My new go to products well as my daughter’s hair are Dark & Lovely Au Naturale product line. I also learned to purchase a detangling comb and denman brush. I have searched for these products in Walmart (depends on location if products available), Target(depends on location if product is available and how many items are available within the line), Walgreens (found one of the Au Naturale products on sale). In the mass merchandisers the products range in price from $7.99 to $9.99. I even searched for the product line at the local beauty supply store and it was overpriced. My new go to place is Amazon. As a Prime member, I saved on the items plus I get 2 day free shipping. My advice before you search in stores, check Amazon. The 10 in 1 gel was $8.69 yet the beauty supply store priced it at $10.79. It is only 5.4 oz and yet the 14 oz product is $9.99
The Au Naturale line smells sooooo good and blends well with damp hair. It is a blend of mango and bamboo milk.
I try to do this every 4 days. Pre-poo, apply Shea Moisture Shea Butter Hair Growth serum or olive oil, with plastic cap for 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Next cowash.
Cowash with VO5 moisturizing conditioner(inexpensive, no sulfates, no silicones) , Tresemme or Curls Coconut Curlada conditioner (rinse with cold water, closes the cuticle), olive oil, Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Curl Defining Glaze
My daily regimen:
Spritz with water or saturate in shower, olive oil, Dark & Lovely Curl Defining Glaze
Spritz with water, olive oil, Dark & Lovely Curl Defining Glaze and wrap with a silk scarf, every other night.
Cotton or Wool is not kind to natural hair.
Cowash with VO5 conditioner, Tresemme or Curls Coconut Curlada conditioner, olive oil, Glaze
Deep conditioner with a moisturizing conditioner with a cap for 30 minutes every other week (rinse conditioner with cold water to close cuticle)
Once a month protein/deep conditioner(once a month)(30 minutes with cap), ideally after my color treatment
I now have three products within the Au Naturale line, 10 in 1 gelee, Curl Enhancing Glaze and Hair Butter. Review shortly on all three products. Oh, I almost forgot I received my Aphogee Curlirific Leave In Conditioner, I tried for the first time after my weekly cowash. In addition to my hair treatments I am using this regimen for my 8yo hair as well. In order to enhance her hair growth I am going to commit to 2 strand twists, which gives a lot of flexibility either for a twist out, pinned up do, or just wearing loose with a head band.
Next, a tapered cut so I have more of a style with my new curly look..I am doing a chronicle of my hair growth so I will share shortly.
Some items to add to my hair tool list is a steamer, a diffusing blow dryer and a heated cap for both of us. MoKnowsHair has a list of her top items for 2014. This helps a lot on what to buy and brands to buy.
Keep in mind too, you are what you eat! I am really trying to either eat or drink my veggies and fruit using my Nutribullet.
Just remember patience is a virtue and it takes a lot of patience to grow out your natural hair….