For me this is a very crucial process in hair care, for all hair – natural, relaxed and in-transition. A good hair regime helps in maintaining healthy hair, but a good hair regime is only as beneficial as the products you use. Having the right products is based on knowing your hair, its needs, porosity, and issues. This will help in determining the right products to use… trust me, I know.
When I first went natural, I looked at many different sites, blogs and vlogs and I bought so many products that I did not need. All that wasted time, energy and money…kai.
Anyway, I discovered that the best hair regime consist of 4 simple steps (2-5), which are: –
- Pre-poo (Optional)
- Deep Condition/Treatment (DC/DT)
- Pre-poo – This step consist of applying your choice of oil or oil mix (best suited to your hair porosity) to sections of your hair, then applying heat, either indirect heat (steamer, hooded dryer, or a soft bonnet dryer), hot towel, or using a plastic cap from 30 minutes to over night(bagging it). This step is optional, not many people feel this step is necessary for their own hair need, but this is vey necessary for my own hair need so I have adopted it into my hair care regime.
- Cleansing – In this step you wash your hair. An optional start is to use a cleanser to clarify the scalp first before washing your hair. This means taking a mix of a clarifier e.g. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and water. Using this mix, wash/rinse/massage your hair and scalp. I use 1:3 ACV to Water Ratio to clarify my hair and scalp so that I can get rid of all the product build-up then wash my hair.Then wash your hair with a shampoo, specifically clarifying shampoos (if you have a clarifying shampoo then using ACV is not necessary) or just conditioner (co-wash). Pls. note that there are products in the market which are called co-wash and they are used in washing the hair, you can then follow this step with a conditioner. Again your choice depends on your hair need. Also some people including me use a cleanser to clarify the scalp first before washing the hair. I use 1:3 Apple Cider Vinegar to Water Ratio to clarify my hair and scalp so that I can get rid of all the product build-up. I use the Apple Cider Vinegar because my shampoo is not a clarifying shampoo. Some people rarely use shampoos to wash their hair, it works for them.
- Deep Condition/Treatment (DC/DT) – In this step, you can either use a conditioner only to deep condition or you can use a deep conditioner or deep treatment. Seeing that I have very dry hair, I have discovered that what works best for me is using a deep conditioner/deep treatment. Also I prefer to use a steamer (Huetiful steamer). If you don’t have one, I suggest using a heated towel (pour hot water on a towel CAREFULLY) to wrap your hair in so that your hair cuticles will open and the treatment will really penetrate the hair cuticle. If you can’t be bothered then use a plastic cap or a plastic bag like those you get from the grocery store (don’t knock it till you try it) for 45 mins or overnight (that is if you wash your hair at night and you want to finish up the next day). Using a bag over night is known as bagging it.
- Moisturizing/Seal – This is a very important step in any hair care regime. Your hair needs moisture, it needs to be able to absorb it and lock it in. Without moisture your hair won’t grow or be healthy. The are two main ways to moisturize/seal your hair – LOC (Liquid, Oil, Cream) or LCO (Liquid, Cream, Oil). LCO is preferable for Low Porosity (LP) Hair. For the LOC method – after using the steamer/heated towel/plastic cap, and rinsing the treatment out ,you got to lock in the moisture that your hair has attained. First, I use a leave-in conditioner for the liquid part, some people use water in a spray bottle to dampen the hair by spritzing/spraying it (pls. don’t pour a bowl of water all over your hair). Some leave-in conditioners are liquid, some are soluble (yeah soluble, that’s the best way to put it) then the next step is sealing the conditioner with oils (extra virgin, coconut, jojoba etc.). Pls. note the oils you use depends on your porosity. Creams are used for further sealing, there you have it the LOC method.
- LCO method is the same as the LOC method, the only difference is cream is applied to the hair before the oil is applied. LCO works better for LP hair than LOC because creams works as both a moisturizer and a sealant. Oils are only sealants and further locks the moisture in.
- Style – Here you can style your hair however, braids, twist outs, flat twist, African threading etc.