Hello, all! I need to get back in the habit of writing here every single day. Things have been super busy between spending time with Ramon and going to school, so sometimes I forget to write until it gets late, and by then there seems little point in posting because you're all asleep! Today was another wash day, and it was kind of a weird one. I had HORRIBLE stomach cramps (thank you, Mother Nature) which kept me up all night. While I tossed and turned, completely unable to sleep, I noticed my hair had turned super greasy and flat, and decided that the warm water of a shower might help my stomach pain as well as my limp hair. I have to say it felt lovely after a week or so of not using shampoo and only co-washing (washing with conditioner). I used Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Hydrating Soak Shampoo and applied it liberally to get a good lather. Yes, I know it has sulfates in it. No, I don't care at the moment. I'm not quite on that all natural products kick just yet, and I want to use up the products I've got before I go shopping for anything new.
Next, I applied my Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner. I love, love, LOVE this stuff, as I've mentioned in the past. Sometimes I rinse it out, as I did today, some days I use it as a leave-in. Works great for both and keeps my hair super soft!
I let the conditioner sit for a bit while I scrubbed with my peppermint shower gel from Bath and Body Works, then rinsed off everything and hopped out of the shower. Finding a post-wash product order that works for me and gives me the curl definition I want is still a trial and error process, but this is what I've got going right now.
Once I've towel dried my hair so that it's damp, but not soaking wet, I apply my Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Coil Moisturizing Soufflé. If you've been reading the blog for a bit, you know that I didn't particularly care for this product after I got it. However, I've found a use for it in my routine -- it's great for moisturizing my hair and night and on wash day, and starts my hair curling so that it's prepared for the other products I use to give it definition.
So I apply a generous amount of this all over my hair, being sure to massage my scalp as I go. Then, I decided I needed an oil to seal in the moisture, something that every naturalista seems to recommend. Not having olive oil lying around the house like I usually do, I decided to use my Motions Marula Natural Therapy Hair and Scalp Oil, a product I used back when my hair was relaxed. My hair soaks it up like a sponge, and it seems to do a decent job of keeping the moisture in so it's not too dry. The oil comes in a spray bottle, but rather than spray it directly onto my hair, I prefer to spray it into my hand (usually about 5 sprays) and then apply it from there.
I then sat for a bit and let all that product work its way into my hair. I used this time to get dressed, watch TV, and of course play video games! After about 20 minutes, it was time to start putting on styling products. I began with my favorite, my Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Soufflé, because it adds extra moisture while giving great shine and curl definition. During the week, this is all I need to refresh my curls, but on wash day, an extra product with a little more hold is needed to really make my curls pop and keep my hair from looking frizzy or fluffy. So after applying the Shea Moisture product, I also add in a decent amount of Eco Styler Olive Oil Styling Gel. This adds a nice, firm hold to my hair and gives AMAZING curl definition. I usually use this for two to three days after I wash my hair, and after that there is enough product in my hair that it just needs to be refreshed with water and the Curl Enhancing Soufflé to look good.
My routine probably sounds very complicated and like I use a ton of products, but it actually goes by very quickly, and the whole process takes about 20-30 minutes. I'm learning very quickly that my natural hair needs lots of things to keep it moisturized and styled, and that natural hair in general tends to be just as high maintenance as relaxed hair, if not more. That is just the nature of ethnic hair and something I have to work with. I find this process of rediscovering what my hair texture is and what I can do with it fun, so the added time at home maintaining and styling my hair is not problematic, but it's definitely something to think about if you're still on the fence about going natural.
I hope this post was interesting/helpful to my fellow naturalistas, and to anyone else who wanted to know just what I'm putting in my hair to make it look the way it does. This routine will be adjusted gradually over time as my hair grows and requires different things, and I'll be sure to keep you updated as that happens, so stay tuned!