After shaving my hair off, I had to restructure my entire regiment. For the first 2 to 3 months I focused on my scalp. Even though as the little strands started sprouting, I focused my care on my scalp.
- Shampoo – weekly using a gentle shampoo.
- Moisturizer – Water rinses daily (every shower). Only water.
- Hot Oil Treatment: Weekly I would heat up some oil (usually olive/grapeseed/avocado oil), apply it to my scalp and cover it with a plastic cap for 5 minutes and voila, my scalp is conditioned.
- Daily I would spritz my scalp with water mixed with some essential oils and also massage my scalp with oil.
At month four going forward, since my scalp was officially hidden under hair, I started pulling out all the stops and all the moves.
TWA (teeny weeny afro) Care: I pretty much started following my original regimen listed below
Daily/Every Other Day:
I don’t use keeping my hair in twists as an excuse to skip treatments for my hair. At the same time, I don’t always do what I’m supposed to. In a perfect world I would spritz my hair daily with some water and seal with oil but there are just those days and nights I don’t. This is why I make sure that every two to three days I spritz my hair with plain water. I normally do this in the morning before I start my day. This is easy for me to do as I am already in the bathroom getting ready and dressed. It’s just an easy routine for me plus the moisture helps manipulate and in a way wake up my strands.
I normally wash my hair weekly. Unless I have used a gel in my hair mid-week, My wash day is usually Sunday evening. I do the whole routine. I start with an hour or two of pre-pooing and 9 times out of 10, I use raw coconut oil. I use a lot of kinds of butter and waxes so I love shampoo as it removes every bit of build up on my hair. I try to use sulfate free shampoo but to be honest, at times I use shampoos that have sulfates. I try to avoid these but it’s life man, things happen. I then follow that up with a moisturizing deep conditioner. I need to get back to making my own deep conditioners at home but lately, I’ve taken the easy yet expensive road and purchase my treatments. After rinsing that out I use a moisturizing rinse out conditioner and then use an oil to seal that moisture goodness in. I then use a styler plus butter to style my hair.
Monthly: Once a month I choose a time that month that my hair is starting to feel less strong and more stretchy to do a protein treatment and on this day I also do a hot oil treatment. Whether or not there is a difference between a pre-poo treatment and hot oil treatment is still debatable (blog post coming once I’m done researching). Our hair is made of over 80% protein, the exact number is evading my brain right now but it’s over 80 lol. It’s important to infuse the hair with protein to strengthen it because when hair is over moisturized, it will grow limp and lifeless. I do this once a month because, in addition to my protein intake, my hair only needs a monthly treatment of protein. Too much protein will make the hair too stiff and break to the touch.
Night Time Routine: This is a process I do whenever I have my hair out. By that I mean my hair is not in a protective state like in braids or twists. It’s important to twist your hair or put it in a bun to reduce tangles. As we toss and turn during the night, our hair strands meet, connect and promise to never let go. Some of the knots created can only be removed by cutting. To avoid this, please tie your hair in a bun if you are too tired to twist it up. This I do try to do every time though, to be honest, I have nights where I take a risk and almost always regret it the next morning. Another thing I do is tie a scarf or turban or wear a bonnet to bed. I do this just for an added measure to help my hair retain moisture. I also sleep on a satin pillowcase. It’s very slippery so if that isn’t your thing, just stick to the bonnets. Only when my hair feels really dry will I spritz some water. I normally leave that for the morning as I mentioned above.
Protective Style Hair Care: How do you keep your hair clean Yem? What do you do to your hair before and after a protective style Yem? How long do you keep your protective style in Yem?
Well, guys here it goes. Before I install a style I plan on wearing for a long period I do my whole wash day routine mentioned above that I do weekly. If I plan on adding weight to my strands by using extensions I add a protein treatment to my moisture deep conditioner but if there is no added weight, I just do a moisture deep conditioning. In most cases, I keep my styles in for at most 3 weeks. When my hair is in braids I clean my scalp by simply swiping a cotton ball with my apple cider water on it This helps remove any oils or product that is clogging my pores and also alleviates any itchiness. Since I keep my styles for only at most 4 weeks and I fully prep my hair before installation, I don’t bother myself with moisturizing my hair. When I remove the protective style, I immediately wash my hair and do a protein deep conditioner. This is important for me to do first as I feel my hair is in need of strengthening. I Allow my hair to dry 80-100% and then do a moisturizing deep conditioner then proceed as usual with my wash routine.
Scalp Maintenance: I have a very sensitive scalp. I never used to, well I don’t remember having a sensitive scalp in my childhood. I wasn’t tender-headed, I always had cornrows and African threading styles that create lots of tension on the scalp and still, I don’t remember always feeling like scratching my scalp. I think I did this to myself. I moved to the states and no longer had my mom to care for my hair. I was now in charge and I screwed things up. You know my story, self-relaxing, playing with color, using way too many products and not caring about ingredients. I could go on so, I now do the least when it comes to my scalp. I always avoid putting products on my scalp. The only products that I actually intentionally place on my scalp after well researching the benefits are oils. To clean my scalp I use African black soap and apple cider vinegar. Yes, I use shampoos but I must say I always follow up with an apple cider rinse. When using the rest of my products, I try to focus on my hair strands.