Note: edited the post to add in my leave-in conditioners.
Hi all, I’ve received quite a few emails about my regimen and the “whys” behind what I do so I thought addressing them in one post would be the easiest route. I truly believe that everything we do to our hair, apply to our hair should be with purpose. It does take time, trial, and error to really get to know our hair, what works for it and what doesn’t but once we do, purposeful actions pay off!
A clean scalp is a healthy, happy scalp. I use a clarifying/chelating shampoo (check here and here for more info about clarifying and chelating) when I need to remove product and mineral build up (because I have hard water) from my hair. I use a protein shampoo when I do not feel like doing a full on protein treatment and want to balance out my moisture use, I use a moisturizing shampoo when my hair is feeling drier than normal or when I plan on doing a protein treatment. I use a “smoothing shampoo” when I need help with tangles. Edited to add: For about 3 weeks now I’ve been using a color applicator bottle (like the one shown here) to shampoo my hair. I simply pour shampoo in the bottle, add water to dilute it and make it easier to squeeze out of the bottle and apply the shampoo to my scalp. Using a color applicator bottle has helped me reduce manipulation and the tangles it causes because I no longer have to shift my hair around to get the shampoo to my scalp. All I have to do now is squeeze, massage with the pads of my fingers (never nails) and rinse. Clarifying/chelating shampoo: Redken Hair Cleansing Cream. Protein shampoo: Organix Repairing Awapuhi Ginger Shampoo. Moisturizing: Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo; Mizani Supreme Oil Shampoo. Smoothing shampoo: Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Daily Shampoo.
Tea rinses have many benefits (check out this post and this post) but I really focus on one benefit when I do them: reducing shedding. I do them after I shampoo because my hair and scalp are clean, giving the tea are better chance to work its mojo. Black tea darkens hair so I’ve been trying not to use it as much because I don’t want to change my natural brown; green tea is a good alternative. Teas: Black tea; green tea, peppermint tea, marshmallow root, burdock root.
I like using Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Daily Treatment after I shampoo or do a tea rinse because it helps smooth my hair, loosen tangles, and softens my hair. Tea rinses make hair feel stiff so I like using a smoothing conditioner after a tea rinse because it makes my hair feel normal again.
I faithfully deep conditioner every time I wash my hair. My hair loves moisture. DCing helps keep breakage at bay, helps moisturize my hair and soften my hair. Dry hair is extremely prone to breakage because hair that lacks elasticity and moisture cannot withstand manipulation. I always deep condition with heat, either with my heating cap (it’s a Gold N’ Hot conditioning cap that I purchased from Sally Beauty) or my Secura Steamer that I purchased on Amazon. DCs: My go-tos are Silk Dreams Hair Care Vanilla Silk Cream Moisture Dream and KeraPRO Restorative Treatment, but I also have Kenra Moisturzing Conditioner and Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing Conditioner.
I do this every night. A picture is worth a thousand words so the picture to the right of moisture loss from the jar without oil (sealing) says quite a lot, no? Read the full post about my “sealing experiment” here.
Dry hair is prone to breakage and that’s the last thing we want when growing our hair long. Keeping my hair moisturized helps reduce/prevent breakage. Moisturizers: Darcy’s Botanicals Coconut Lemongrass Transitioning Creme. I recently added Hairitage Hydration Cocoaloe Hair Hydrator and Darcy’s Botanicals Sweet Cocoa Bean Moisturizing Hair Whip to the staple gang.“Sealers:” Grapeseed oil, Hairitage Hydrations Coconut Mango Moisturizer, sometimes Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakge Serum; hempseed oil.
I apply my leave-in conditioners to damp hair, this applies to both when I am air drying my hair or roller setting it. Leave-in conditioners: Darcy’s Botanicals Daily Leave-In Conditioner and Silk Dreams Hair Care Mocha Silk Hair Milk. Of the two, Darcy’s Botanicals is the lighter leave in so it’s more suited for roller sets and flat ironing.
Heat protectant: When using direct heat, using a good heat protectant is a must! Heat damage is a no-no so I use Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide (has been discontinued and replaced with Redken Smooth Lock Heat Glide) to protect my fine strands. Serums: I love Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum (review), to the point that if PM were to change the formula I’d go on a hunger strike. Okay, I may be exaggerating but I had to convey how much I love this stuff. I use it when air drying and when roller setting because it helps me detangle my hair, it’s made from the nectar of the gods (kidding, maybe) and smooths my hair. Y’all know I love smooth hair!
On wash days I only detangling after applying my leave in conditioner and serum. I only use a wide-tooth seamless comb to detangle (either this one or this one). I recently switched to detangling after my hair has dried a bit (t-shirt dried, meaning wrapping my hair in a t-shirt for at least 30 minutes) because hair is weakest when wet. During the week, I don’t detangle my hair. I run my fingers through my hair when I moisturize and seal to remove shed hairs. Combing with an actual comb though… nope. I gave that up in 2010 I think. Even though I don’t use an actual comb during the week, I promise my hair doesn’t look a hot mess haha. Finger combing gets the job done.
The following is how I prepped my hair for my last relaxer and will be how I prep it in the future. I coat my hair first with silk amino acids. Silk forms a protective coating over our hair, preventing it from being damaged by the chemicals in relaxers. I coat my hair next with Roux Porosity Control. Roux PC lowers hair’s pH level. Relaxers have a pH level between 10-14 so coating my hair with Roux PC helps prevent my previously relaxed hair from being processed from relaxer runoff. I coat my hair next with Paul Mitchell The Detangler for its detangling properties and Paul Mitchell Super Charged Moisturizer because it’s a thick moisturizing conditioner, squeezing in a moisturizing pre-poo. Lastly I based my scalp with Vaseline. Vaseline protects my scalp and weakens the relaxer because I the Vaseline is gets on my new growth. Because I texlax my hair (I purposely underprocess it when I relax) getting Vaseline on my new growth is perectly fine for me.
Well there you have it. I hope this clears up some of the big “whys” about my regimen. Have a great weekend!