One thing that I have learnt with trying to take care of my natural hair is that without my weapons of choice, I would be fighting a losing battle. I get asked a lot about my routine- most people think that it's extremely difficult maintaining my hair. The truth is, its not too bad!
My Routine Exists in 5 Steps:
In my experience, it's always best to detangle my hair when dry. It causes so much less breakage, and saves me from premature split ends. Finger detangling is always the best-parting my hair in smaller sections and dealing with knots individually has really helped me with hair growth and strength. However, finger detangling is not always possible as it is time consuming and tedious.
On regular days, I try to detangle my hair when dry using a wide-toothed comb, but most days I wet my hair in the shower with lots of conditioner, part and then comb through. I've experimented with lots of products, but what I find provides me with the most slip (which is very necessary!) is DevaCurl One Condition and your regular ol' Dove Daily Moisture Conditioner.
I know, I know- you're supposed to shampoo first! My hair can be exceptionally dry - years of straightening it has stripped the moisture out of it. Shampooing my hair after detangling makes the cleaning process a lot easier. I don't like to use very harsh shampoos, as they tend to suck my hair of all its natural oils and that's a serious no-no!
I use DevaCurl's Low-Poo Shampoo. It cleans my hair, and the added Rosemary and Chamomile leaves my hair feeling fresh and wholesome. I usually coat my ends with some coconut oil before shampooing to prevent them from drying out. No-poo and Low-Poo shampoo barely has any lather, so the trick is to scrub your scalp real good, rinse out, and repeat until you feel your hair is clean. Once I've shampooed, I go ahead and re-condition and give a quick comb through, leaving the conditioner in my hair. This helps battle frizz and dryness.
It's always best to air dry your hair, but I have found that wrapping my hair in an old cotton T-Shirt has really helped with battling frizz. Air drying hair is great for adding extra volume and unruliness, but that's not always feasible for me (especially in the wintertime!).
When I step out of the shower, I never let a towel touch my hair - towel fibers are rough and harsh, and cause unnecessary frizz. I instantly wrap my hair in the T-Shirt and go about getting dressed. This helps absorb all the excess water from my hair, and stops me from leaving a wet trail in my wake. Cotton T-Shirts absorb water almost as fast as towels do, and in just 10-15 minutes, my hair is ready to style.
Coconut oil is my go to when it comes to moisturizing my hair - I've tried and tested lots of different products, but I keep coming back to my trusted sidekick. I normally apply a coin-sized scoop of coconut oil in my palm (you would need more or less depending on the texture and length of your hair). I then run my palms through my hair, concentrating on my ends and center, as that's the driest part of my hair. This helps keep my hair from drying out and matting. I do this every day until I'm due for my next wash.
The secrets out-it's all about conditioning. I try to deep condition my hair once every 3 months, or whenever the weather changes (this tends to leave my hair exceptionally dry). I use DevaCurl Heaven in Hair deep conditioner, which is specially designed for colour treated and relaxed hair. When I have extra time, I like to do a deep conditioning treatment, mixing egg and coconut oil, applying that to my hair and leaving it in for about an hour, then thoroughly shampooing it out. This protein mask helps ease breakage and leaves my hair shiny, light and soft.