Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Better Care For Better Hair

Over the past week, I was experiencing a bit of a hair melt down.  

But I'm jumping ahead.

First, I should explain:  I've worn my curls au natural for almost 5 years now.  They started as a buzz cut and sprouted eagerly into shiny bouncy corkscrews all over my head.  And during this honeymoon period,  I fantasized about Chaka Khan curls cascading down my back - looking like this majestic curl goddess.  All I had to do was simply wait, right?  
And given the fact that I have superhuman fast-growing hair, waiting would be easy!  Yeah.

Well after five years, I've cut my hair so many times, clearly I couldn't "just wait".  Not because of any lack of patience I may have had but because the stages to get to long curls is a nightmare people!  Sure, 4-inch curls are a cinch but anything past 8 inches is agonizing.  Every time my hair would enter that danger-zone length, I would go insane from the maintenance and cut it off.  

But!  Last week, when my left eye began to twitch and my teeth started clenching at the thought of finger combing my neglected overgrown locks, instead of taking to the scissors like usual, I turned to the internet to find a simple, no-nonsense wash and go for longer natural curls (because I refuse to style my hair any other way - I mean, I have places to be you know?)

After hours of searching I finally stumbled across a hair blog that gave me a refreshed taste to go forward:  "Beads Braids & Beyond".  
Of course it would be a children's natural hair care blog that would give me the simplicity I need to not give up.  Of course it would.

Anyway, it was lil Miss A's hair care routine that got me to go to Target and finally get some new products to play with.  When I saw this cute little girl, I was like Chaka who?  This girl's hair is fierce.  
Little did I know, just playing around ended up changing my mind completely about hair products.  

They're totally amazing and I totally need them!!

This is a wash and go....  A wash and go, ladies!  Scroll down to get the deets on this miracle - needless to say, I'm loving my longer curls and I aint choppin' em off.

clockwise:  Shea Moisture Curling Gel Souffle / professional blowdryer / Dove Intensive Repair Conditoner / Denman brush / Kinky Curly Knot Today Natural Leave In/Detangler

The first thing that Miss A's mom discusses is her use of conditioner.  She uses lots and lots and lots of it!

So I did too.  In fact, I filled my whole palm and that alone made a noticeable difference when finger combing in shower.  It really is amazing how much moisture my hair type needs.

So onto the steps:

1.  
Condition

I got in the shower the next morning like usual.  I wet my hair completely.  Then I poured a palm size of Dove conditioner into my hand and glazed it over my hair, spreading it in thoroughly.  

Miss A's mom says she uses the cheap stuff.  Because with the huge amounts of conditioner that Miss A's hair needs for each wash, she doesn't want to break the bank with the expensive conditioners.  
It all gets rinsed out anyway.  This big size Dove conditioner was $5.

2.  
Detangle

After the conditioner had been worked into my hair I began finger combing and detangling.  Working from the left side of my head to the right.

After my hair was thoroughly detangled with my fingers, I put a golf ball size of conditioner into my hair and began detangling my hair with my Denman brush.  From bottom to top, starting on the left side of my head all the way to the right.  I hadn't done this in years.  Yikes!  That's when my curls began clumping up and springing back to life like a magic trick.

3.  
Rinse

With my hair completely detangled, I rinsed out all of the conditioner being careful not to agitate my curls.  I finger combed the conditioner out, avoiding causing new tangles.

4.  
Leave In Conditioner

Stepping out of the shower, I did not wring out my hair or pat it with a towel or touch it at all.  I allowed it to drip wet from the rinse without any kind of drying.  I immediately poured a golf ball size amount of Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In into my hands and worked it into my hair, adding a little more to my ends.

At this point, my corkscrew curls have already formed all over like I had twisted them individually.  But I hadn't!  And I notice my hair has an incredible gloss!  Not a wet look but a healthy clean gloss.  Something I'd always had trouble achieving before without the use of a shine serum.  So glossy!!

5.  
Style

With the leave in conditioner fully absorbed into my dripping wet hair, I take a few paper towels and squeeze the excess water from my ends.  Then I carefully part my hair (making sure to not snap any tangles) and place the hair in the style I want to wear.  So for me, bangs in front with a top middle part.

Then I dip two fingers into my Shea Moisture Curling Gel Souffle and finger comb it into each section of my style.  Re-dipping for each section.  This will set my style and promote less shrinkage.  I didn't notice less shrinkage but I did notice my curls didn't frizz later that day.

6.  
Dry

Last, I turn on my blowdryer to a medium strength with a heat setting of cool.  Pointing it down while placing it over my head, the air blows my hair down, keeping it in place and setting it in the style I created.  At the beginning of blowdrying, I don't want to agitate the curls, I just want to dry them a bit so that I don't have wet hair.  I pull the curls down and extend them out so that they'll dry in a lengthened state.

Then after my hair is somewhat dry, I turn my heat setting to warm and point it upwards while placing it at chin level so that it blows my hair up.  I like volume.  
From this angle it also dries my roots and agitates the curls to pop more.

Miss A's mom doesn't use heat at all.  I do because I can't stand having wet or even damp hair when I go out.  With care, little damage can come of blowdrying so I'm not worried.

****************

So there you have it!  My new and improved wash and go routine for better hair and a saner me.  Hopefully it is easy to follow and do with your own hair potions.  

I used Kinky-Curly because that's what Miss A's mom uses and I liked the idea of using a leave in for once since my hair dries out so easily.  I love it.  I decided to use Shea Moisture because it happened to be on sale.  I would have bought the equivalent of Kinky-Curly styling gel but it was $20.  Maybe I'll try it in the future if it ever goes on sale.

If you have any questions, email me or leave a comment, I'd love to chat :)


And catch up with me again on Friday!  
I'm excited to show you a completely new outfit for a change!

22 comments :

  1. juciy juicy curls love it! BUT GIRLLLL be careful with that kinky curly knot today lol it's like crack and target knows it so they've been upping the price. If you run out of that bottle fast (cuz u have lots of hair) go to the website and they have it by the gallons

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  2. Stunning hair and good routine!! How long does it take to dry your hair?

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  3. This looks gorgeous! How often do you need to repeat the process? My hair looks like yours when I do a twist-out...but to do the twists takes HOURS. I need a new routine, desperately. :(

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  4. Your curls look great! I've had a love/hate relationship with mine ever since I went natural in 2004. This is so simple and I have almost all of the items. I may give this a try and see if it works for me, too. Thanks for sharing!

    The Kimmie Chronicles

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  5. Natalie,

    I have been reading your blog since the beginning of the year and only stumble upon it by accident. Let me tell you how refreshing it was and last but not least I love,love your hair.

    I love keeping up with your "Tiny Closet". It extremely inspirational.

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  6. Oh Nat, South African kinky hair is not that wondrous and I feel so jealous when I see how beautiful your hair is.
    Mine is very hard and curls are usually achieved by putting a chemical that curls them out.
    So I can walk around with a straight afro all year long, with different styles to match.
    But with the tuts, I enjoy reading how you guys take care of your hair.
    It teaches me a lot about how to take care of mine and keep it healthy in its state.

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  7. Hi Nat, thank you so much for sharing you new wash and go method. I love ur hair!
    Also thanks for sharing ur Tiny Closet, ur look is so refreshing & inspiring... U give us lots of ideas...
    Pls keep on doing what u're doing... It's great!!
    X

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  8. I think your gorgeous hair is one of the first things I noticed after the intriguing idea of "The Tiny Closet". I know curls can be crazy to deal with, and I'm glad you've found something that is easier. They look lovely (and I think they always do).

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  9. gorgeous...please also try the Bee Mine products..they are terrific..a lil pricey but a lil goes along way.

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  10. Your hair looks so good!! We're hair twins! I use Kinky Curly Knot Today as my leave-in and Kinky curly Curling Custard as my gel and my hair turns out lovely. I'm not sure what the porosity and density of your hair is, but it looks and sounds very much like my own hair. I'd really recommend trying the Custard. Every since I've been natural, which has been two years, I've never seen the custard go on sale. It's definitely worth the splurge imo.

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  11. I am going to have to try this out because I have the same hair type as you! You are the first person I have seen that has curls that look like mine :) The price is definitely what throws me off for sure. Lately I have been using my shea butter mix or s curl (if I don't mind the shrinkage) and ecostyler.

    http://www.lovejessicarae.com

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  12. Your wash n go came out pretty. I am frustrated with my own hair for various reasons, but this post was motivating.

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  13. Your hair looks great. And so healthy !!!!

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  14. Beautiful, you make it seem so easy. I'll have to try this out. Just rebraided my hair because I didn't know what next to do. Thanks for the enouragement

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  15. Like I said in your last post, I came in for the clothes and stayed for your hair! Looks gorgeous!

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  16. Hello there!! I'm going to attempt your this easy as pie wash and go. I am currently wearing extensions to add length and volume while my natural hair grows back to it's regular length (after I had a fun time with a chic short cut :) my extensions match my own hair nicely (kinky curly)..I'd like to recommend you try Pantene's version of kinky curly custard..it smells like heaven, it isn't nearly as sticky, in fact, not sticky at all like kinky curly custard and waaaaaaay cheaper. I got it from Target for about $3.69. I've seen it in beauty supply store for upwards of $6.00, so I'd stick with getting it at Target if you can. Give it a try!! ;) Also, I love Knot Today by Kinky Curly, but sooo expensive...(worth it though) & I can't wait to try to the DOVE conditioner.

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  17. I totally tried your hair regimen this morning and I'm sitting at my desk at work with globs of Shea Moisture in my hair lol. Now granted I didn't blow dry my hair. I didn't have time. But I'd like to know how you apply the Shea Moisture into your hair without it leaving residue. Thanks!

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    1. Shea Moisture, depending on the hair, leaves a residue. That happened to me so I stopped using it. Try As I Am's curling soufflé. Or an indie brand called Koils by Nature.

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  18. I'm sooooo glad I got on your blog this morning! we are curl pattern twinsies and my hair went to a similar melt down a couple of months ago after being natural for 3 years and having shoulder blade length hair when straight. I had always done wash and go's, they worked, easy and cheap. I didn't know what to do, matted clumped hair..so i straightened it..turns out i had 3 inches of split ends..it was like hay at the ends! so now my hair is shorter..like shoulder length when straight and I am in bliss but I worry about it getting that long again with the same results..finding your post this morning..now I know to try it to see similar results..wash and go's are life!!! lol..

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  19. How often do you go through the entire routine a week? I was always told that washing your hair everyday was bad for it, and the last time I did afros for a week or two, my hair got crunchy.

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