Here’s a quick breakdown of my hair regimen, which I outlined in my last blog. You may want to read the first instalment for reference.
Some naturals can get away with moisturising every two to three days, maybe even longer – lucky you! Daily moisture is a must for me.
There may be odd times when my hair’s feeling soft and pliable so I don’t need to add any more moisture. Most of the time I spritz every day with water, seal with a little olive oil, then finish off with a cream – the LOC method. This is a very effective method of moisturising afro hair and I’ll come back to it another time.
The detangling process is everything. I detangle my hair thoroughly once a week while I’m in the shower with conditioner on. Some people may think this is too much, but my hair gets matted if I don’t detangle on a regular basis. I guess you could say this is causing too much stress on my hair and that’s why I’m not retaining as much length as I’d like. But if I don’t detangle regularly, I see more SSKs and it’s harder to style my tangled-up hair. If the curls get stuck together, I gently finger detangle the ends during the week, or whenever it’s required.
Every four weeks I spend some time seeking and destroying rough ends and SSKs. I’m pretty obsessive about this – which is probably another reason why I haven’t seen as much length retention as other naturals at this stage. But for me, the health of my hair is the most important thing. I’m playing the long game. I don’t want to grow a head of hair that’s split and rough at the ends. I trim just enough so that my hair feels fairly smooth and healthy all the way down the hair shaft.
Protein Moisture Balancing
I can only talk about what works for me, but protein-moisture balance is one of the make-or-break elements of caring for black hair. Briefly, your hair needs both…but not in equal measure. You can tell when it needs protein because over-moisturised hair feels kinda mushy.
When your hair has too much protein and needs moisture instead, you may hear a snapping sound when you stretch or detangle it. It feels hard, looks frizzy and breaks off easily. I guess it’s kind of like brittle bones. I saw a really good article on this subject a while back, so I’ll link you to it and you can read for yourselves.
I always use a protein conditioner to rebuild my hair again after a chelating shampoo, as this is when my hair’s at its weakest. I do this every six weeks. After the protein conditioner I always follow up by rinsing through with a moisturising conditioner to soften it again, otherwise I get protein overload. Believe me, it’s a very fine balancing act.
The rest of the time I err on the side of moisture. I wash my hair with a moisturising shampoo & conditioner weekly for around five weeks.
If I feel that my hair needs protein in between these times, I grab a protein conditioner. I leave it in for just a few minutes and follow through with my trusty moisturising shampoo.
So that’s my hair regimen, from start to finish. Need help trying to work out your hair regimen? Try the Natural Hair Forum UK for support.
Have you got your natural hair regimen sussed? Do you moisturise daily or get away with spritzing every so often? Leave your comments below…