In 2009 when I decided to go natural, I had no idea the time and care it would take to maintain my hair. I naively assumed that going natural meant less fuss. This might be true if your hair is short however, the longer (or thicker) hair grows, the more care and maintenance that is needed. I was pretty lazy with my hair and I didn't have a hair-care system to maintain it. Now that I've learned more about my hair, I know what works and what doesn't. Below are the steps I take to keep my hair as healthy as I can.
I wash my hair with a conditioning cleanser. I am currently using Wen and Eden Body Works Shea and Coconut conditioning cleanser. I section my hair off into four sections and apply the product. As I apply, I make sure to coat my ends and de-tangle with a wide tooth comb. Some may use a wide paddled brush.
After application, I deep condition with the co-wash for thirty to forty five minutes. When washing the conditioner out I re-twist my hair back into a two-strand twist so that it doesn't tangle. I make sure to rub my scalp with the pads of my fingers so that I don't cause my hair to rip out unnecessarily.
I dry my hair with a t-shirt to minimize frizz, cut on drying time, and lower the risk of my tresses tangling up. Any t-shirt is fine but if you try this method make sure the shirt is soft and will absorb moisture efficiently. I then use the LOC method to ensure my hair stays moisturized. The LOC method stands for leave-in/liquid, oil and cream. I apply the Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter Leave-In Conditioner, followed by castor oil, shea butter, Eden Body Works All Natural Pudding Souffle and Shea Moisture's Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Creme. As I'm applying these products I braid my hair in several medium sections.
After unraveling my braids I usually wear a tuck-in pin style or if I'm adventurous I'll sport a puff. Most days I keep my hair covered in a turban. If my hair feels a little dry I spray a mixture of filtered water and vegetable glycerin and that restores the moisture. Glycerin is a natural humectant that draws moisture from the environment and keeps it locked in to strands. For longer and thicker hair, I take biotin and MSM pills everyday as well.
What are some of your hair-care regiments? Is long hair important or are your goals just to maintain a manageable hair style? Share in the comments section.
Salaam and Peace!
Remember to keep it cute and classy!
Farida T. Dawkins
U.S. Air Force Reservist and Blogger
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