All This Talk About Natural Hair

This post is long overdue! I get so many questions about what I do to maintain the health of my hair.  So here it goes!  (Previously, I blogged about why I went natural the natural route, here.)

Let me just say, if you are just starting out on this journey of self-discovery, or are continuing on it, there is one thing for sure that makes this process run smoothly: PATIENCE!!! Calm down!  Whether you transition (allowing your hair to revert to its natural state, naturally, and gradually trimming your relaxed ends until they're gone) or big chop (cutting off all of the relaxed hair at one time), it's best that you know now that there is no miracle drug or conditioner to make your hair grow fast!  I'm not too concerned with the length of my hair, as I am its health.  Why? I know that if I take care of my hair, growth will come. The health of your hair is up to you! Here are some pictures of the early days of my transition:

But enough talk!  I'm going to share with you all of the products that I use, some homemade product recipes, my favorite naturalistas, and my current regimen.  Let me just say, loud and clear, this is my regimen.  These are things that work for my hair.  The natural hair experience is definitely an individual learning experience, learning what does and does not work for you and the goals that you have for your hair.

Shampoos:

         Giovanni Tea Tree Shampoo (clarifiying)
       Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Shampoo
       Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
       Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Shampoo

Conditioners for Co-Wash/Detangling:

        Suave Professionals Almond & Shea Butter Moisturizing Conditioner
        Clear Ultra Shea Smooth & Nourish Conditioner
        Pantene for Naturals Co-Wash
        Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Conditioner
        Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner
         Herbal Essence Hello Hydration

Deep Conditioners:

         Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie
         Cantu for Natural Hair Deep Treatment Masque
         Shea Moisture African Black Soap Purification Masque
         Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner
         Aubrey Organics GPB
         Homemade : 1 Plain Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp honey - mix well

Leave-In Conditioners:

         Giovanni Direct Leave-In
         Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Leave-In Moisturizer

Oils/Butters (Please get your oils from your local grocery store, farmer's market, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc…Not the beauty supply!):

         Coconut Oil
         Grapeseed Oil
         Olive Oil
         Jamaican Black Castor Oil
         Sweet Almond Oil
         Shea Butter
         Tea Tree Oil

Moisturizers:

          WATER!
         Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Heavy Cream
         Qhemet Biologics Coconut Tree Detangling Ghee
         Thank God It’s Natural Twist & Define Cream
         Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
         Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Moisturizer

Gels/Stylers/Set:

         Flaxseed Gel
         Aloe Vera Gel
         Design Essentials Honey & Shea Edge Tamer
         Design Essentials Natural Twist & Set Setting Lotion

Tools

         Wide Tooth Comb
         Tangle Teezer
         Denman 9 Row Brush
         Boar Bristle Brush
         Rat Tail Comb
         Bobby Pins
         Elastic Headbands

Whew! That's a lot, I know!  But like I said, this is what works for me.  I used to be a product junkie (a person who buys a lot of natural hair products; usually more than they need), but of the above mentioned products, I'll probably just buy one or the other from each of the categories mentioned based on my need, at the time.

My Regimen

  1. I only shampoo my hair once a month.  If my scalp is itchy, and it's not time to shampoo, I massage my scalp with tea tree oil.  I didn't mention this conditioner above, but I use the Suave Professionals Rosemary & Mint as a "shampoo" to give me clean feel without stripping my hair.  Also, a good “pre-poo” is a hot oil treatment with your favorite oil, or apple cider vinegar and water.

  2. I co-wash my hair at least one time per week.  As I co-wash, I separate my hair into sections, and detangle my hair, then do about 4-8 two-strand twists. I do this with the co-wash because the conditioner is a great detangler and helps me thoroughly remove any knots and kinks. Rinse, then deep condition or go straight to leave-in.
  3. I try to deep condition weekly.  This all depends on how much energy I have or how much time I have to do my hair.  When I deep condition, I place a plastic bag/hair cap over my hair for about 30 minutes. Rinse, well.
  4. Apply leave-in to each two-strand twist and then oil.
  5. Add moisturizer to my hair then proceed to style/set hair.
  6. When I take down my twists, I coat my finger tips in oil.  Not too much because I don't want my hair to be too oily.
  7. At night, I either retwist my hair or pineapple it (pulling all of your hair to the top of your head to resemble a pineapple.)
  8. If I get my hair done professionally, I usually wear it for 2 weeks and then wash my hair.  I get bored with straight hair….FAST!!!!  Also, I don't put anymore heat in my hair after the initial straightening.  I straighten my hair 3 times/ year.  This is totally up to you. Some straight weave will do the trick, also.

I hope that this helps! Got questions, want to share your experience/ regimen, or just want to say "Hey!"? Go ahead in the comments, or follow me on Instagram!

Be sure to check out part two for more tips!

Thanks for reading!

Antoinette