I took to YouTube and literally day and night I researched: products, ingredients, Curly Girl method, styling tools...you name it, I looked for it! I was amazed at the content available and I almost felt like I was fresh on my journey again. I opted to go the "no poo" (no shampoo) route, and focused on using conditioner to clean my scalp, at least once a week, twice if I can fit it in. Called "co-washing", I found this to be one of the best parts of my regimen. Since I am no longer using heavy chemical-laden products in my hair, I didn't need heavy chemical-laden shampoos to strip my hair. Make sense? You bet! And my hair loves it...that coupled with no blow dryer/flat iron has allowed me to grow my hair longer than it was when I was relaxed.
As my hair is getting longer I've had to take extra steps to nourish and protect my hair. Single strand knots and split ends are REAL y'all, and the first time I found each I freaked out a bit. A little patience goes a long way when detangling and styling my hair. The less "handling" the better my hair does, so I detangle in the shower with conditioner in my hair, and I started with 4 sections, but now I'm up to about 3-4 on each side depending on the state of my hair before cleansing. Patience, again, is your friend when detangling. I admit to not taking my own advice on several occasions, waiting too long to clean & detangle, and not being patient...it was NOT pretty! Needless to say I won't go more than 2 weeks (and only if my hair was in a protective style) without cleansing and detangling my hair. Naturals, moisture (aka water aka h2o) is your friend!! You don't have to be scared of messing your hair up, it NEEDS it.
A quick summary of my regimen (it may not work for everyone, but it certainly works for me!)
- Cleansing (co-washing every 3-4 days, every 4 weeks or so I'll add a bit of baking soda (2-3 tsp) to the conditioner if I need some deeper cleaning; will be trying Karen's Body Beautiful Juicy Shampoo Bar in the near future!)
- Conditioning (every 3-4 days, with a deep conditioning session every 2 weeks (weekly on Sundays if I can fit it in) I use a blend of oils in conjunction with my Hair Therapy Wrap to enhance the treatment)
- Detangling (in the shower with a head full of conditioner, I use a shower comb first to bust through any big tangles and my Denman D3 to smooth it out; I've ordered the Denman D83 paddle brush to try out...and I may break down and get a Mason Pearson detangling comb)
- Styling (I usually twist my hair fresh out the shower. I love a defined twist out and for me there's no better way to achieve that than on clean, damp hair)
- PRODUCTS...that's gonna need it's own page ;)