Wash Days (I wash my hair once-twice a week.)
1. I pre-poo (prepare my hair for shampooing) using coconut oil or my detangling mix. I apply the microwave-heated coconut oil to my dry matutas (three strand twists), put on a plastic cap and leave on overnight. Remember, water repels oil. So to ensure you get the most out of your prepoo, your hair needs to be dry. Also, coconut oil is absorbed into your hair strand and as such strengthens your hair shaft by preventing hygral fatigue (the weakening of the strand due to swelling during the uptake of water). (Watch this YouTube Video on how I prepoo my hair!)
2. I co-wash my hair using Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner. Another favorite conditioner that I often use is Yes to Carrots Conditioner. When my hair is icky and gross, say after the gym, I shampoo my hair with a moisturizing light shampoo such as Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo.
3. I deep condition my hair using Spiral Solutions Deeply Decadent Intensive Moisturizing Treatment. On the fourth week I use Spiral Solutions Repairing Protein Treatment. I always deep condition with steam - I got this steamer on sale for $60 in my freshman year. If my hair is realllly dry, I add 1 tspn of honey and 1 tspn of olive oil to my mix. Hydration galore! Check out this series for detailed tips on how to maximize your Deep Conditioning Sessions.
Post publish edit (August 2015): The Etsy Store from which I bought my Spiral Solutions has closed down! :-( I still have a couple of tubs left. I've been loving Shea Moisture's Manuka Honey. Check out this post here for details.
4. I often do an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse (after I rinse off my DC) to restore my hair's pH to 4.5. I put it on for 4-5 mins. I then rinse off my hair with cool water. Cool water keeps your cuticles flat while hot water lifts them and let's all the moisture we've worked so hard to capture, escape!!
5. My last and final rinse is done with ice cold water!! Yep! I'm a brave heart! Hahaha!
6. I then wrap my hair in an old cotton t-shirt. Cotton t-shirts prevent mechanical damage caused by rubbing your hair with a towel.
7. I then let my hair air dry till it is 70% dry.
8. I apply my leave-in conditioning mix: 1 tspn of Aloe Vera Juice, followed by a coin size amount of Kinky Curly Knot Today, Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Hold and Shine Moisture Mist, and Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Style Mix (I didn't know it had such a long name till I had to type it out! Smmmh!), and some olive oil. Notice that this also serves as my prepooing mix when I am about to detangle my hair!
9. Seal with olive oil/coconut oil on my ends and castor oil on roots the of my hair.
10. Lock it all in Apply Shea Butter and Karen's Body Beautiful to the ends of my hair.
The process takes me 2 or so hours from start to finish, as my hair is always in three strand braids/two strand twists to prevent breakage from matting and over manipulation.
Once a month
I apply Henna once a month as a strengthening treatment. Read my recipe here.
Maintenance and Styling
Call me a lazy natural if you will, but two strand twists are my go-to style! In my first year of haircare I had lots of fun with buns and marley braids, yarn locs and all that shazam. Now that my hair is longer, I stick to very simple styles. Check out a styling series here.
I also take a Daily Women's multivitamin with Biotin and Zinc. Click here for more details on how I use multivitamins for hair growth.
That's pretty much it!
If you have any questions on my hair regimen please read and comment here.