Creating a regimen can be confusing and frustrating, but have fun with it! Experimenting and getting to know your hair will help you to find the regimen that works for you.
Here are my “hair stats”:
Density: Normal/thick (I have a lot of hair especially in the front & middle)
Texture: Fine (individual strands)
Porosity: Low. (hard to get moisture in but once it’s in…its IN!)
Type: mostly 4a with some 3c in the very back
Length: About 10 inches (stretched)
**Don’t know you’re hair stats? Stay tuned for the “Know Your Hair, Love Your Hair” challenge to help figure them out! **
I've pretty much had the same regimen since I started transitioning in 2009, through BC in April 2010...to current. The only major changes have been my product choices. Here's what I do:
1. Cleanse. I tried pre-pooing a few times but wasn’t impressed. I may revisit at a later time. I cleanse my hair once per week. I let the water run on my hair, put product in my hands and gently massage into my hair and scalp. Rinse with water then repeat.
Products Faves: Terresentials Organic Mud Wash, Giovanni’s Tea Tree Triple Treat
2. Deep condition (usually once per week). I apply a generous amount of deep conditioner while my hair is still soaking wet and cover with a plastic cap. I’ll usually DC for at least 20 minutes and rarely use heat (no specific reason).
Products Faves: Karen’s Body Beautiful Luscious Locks hair Mask
3. Detangle. while the deep conditioner is still in my hair, I rewet, section, and detangle with my fingers. I rarely use a wide tooth comb or the tangle teaser. Once complete I rinse out the deep conditioner completely with water.
Products Faves: I detangle with my Deep Conditioner
4. Remove excess water. I wrap my hair with an old T-shirt (never a towel) and tie it up in a turban to remove excess water. If I want to start with soaking wet hair, I slightly pat dry with the T-Shirt or a paper towel.
Products Faves: Old T Shirt or paper towel
5. Section hair & Apply Leave-In. I rub leave in conditioner on my edges and ends. Then I clip into sections (about 5), and apply my leave in to each section. I use the smoothing method (rather than the raking or rake and smooth method). I keep a spray bottle handy (plain water) to rewet sections that become dry. This method works best for me in preventing frizz and helping my hair to clump together.
Products Faves: Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia, Darcy’s Botanicals Peach Kernel Hydrating Milk
6. Apply styler of choice (gel, pomade, butter, etc.). I apply my styler to the same section using the same smoothing motion, applying more product as needed. I use this application technique no matter how I style my hair to make sure the products are distributed thoroughly throughout my hair. If I am doing a twist or braid out I twist or braid my hair after applying product to each section. If I’m wearing a puff or a bun I don’t add a styler while my hair is wet.
Products Faves: Darcy’s Botanicals Curl Styling Cream for braidouts and twistouts
7. Air dry. I always air dry my hair after styling. I don’t defuse, blow dry, or sit under a dryer to dry my hair.
Products Faves: Good ‘ole air
8. Nighttime routine. I tried different techniques and find that I can’t get a good looking twistout unless I put in work at night. I section my hair and spray with a little water. I want my hair to be damp, not soaking wet. I then retwist in about 20 twists. This makes me miss wash and go’s because I HATE having to retwist every night. I may skip a night and either wear a protective style the next day (bun, roll, pinup, etc.) or just rock a frizzy twistout….sometimes I don’t have the energy for retwisting!
Products Faves: I don’t add any additional products at night. If my ends feel dry I may apply the same styler I used for the initial twists when I twirl my ends.
9. Morning Styling. In the morning I add a moisturizer, butter or oil to my hair before I get in the shower. I feel like having the products in my hair, under a plastic cap, while in a hot steamy shower gives me a mini treatment. When I’m ready to style my hair, I add some product to my hands and remove the twists/braids. Then I add more product, this time all over my hands (both sides). I then separate the twists and rake my fingers through the sections to remove the parts. I rake my fingers about half way through to maintain the definition at the ends. I like definition and volume, so I continue to finger style until I get the desired look.
Products Faves: Jane Carter Solution Nourish & Shine
10. Trims. When my ends start to feel rough or look frayed, I clip my ends while my hair is in twists. I do this once every few months. 11. Treatments. I don’t do any special treatments. I deep condition often so I don’t find that my hair needs anything extra. I did a Rhassoul Clay treatment once and it left my hair very soft. But the Terresentials Mud wash gives me similar results. My hair is not really a fan of oil, so I don’t do hot oil treatments. I’ve never done a protein treatment…but plan to try one soon.
That’s it! My routine is pretty simple. I plan to experiment with winter wash and goes very soon so that I can cut down my nighttime maintenance time. If I’m successful, I’ll be sure to post an update.
Remember, everyone’s hair is different. Factors like genetics, diet, climate, and lifestyle play a big part in finding a regimen that works for you. Have patience, focus on the health of your hair, and have confidence. Once you find what works for you, your hair will reap the benefits.