As a natural finding the perfect hair regimen can be as ever changing as a new tide, and until you find a regimen that works best for you the process can very much feel like the state of schizophrenia. After just a decade (of course with sarcasm) I have finally found a regimen that I am extremely content with. This is the complete rundown of everything and anything I do to my hair including all of the natural oils I use and their benefits, plus new additions I have added to my current hair regimen along the way.
Coconut Oil/ Jojoba Oil/ Olive Oil/ Rosemary Oil/ Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Concoction of oils I place weekly on my strands that I have lovingly dubbed “Love Potion #9”. Below is the breakdown of benefits for each of the oils previous listed.
• High in Lauric Acid which protects your hair from unnecessary hair lost.
• Contains Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps with the growth of capillaries. When more capillaries are present your circulation improves. Improved scalp circulation may prevent hair loss and also speeds the growth of hair in many individuals.
• Locks in Moisture. Not easily evaporated/broken down, coconut oil retains moisture at high capacities making it that much harder for moisture to escape which in return keeps your strands hydrated.
• Penetrates the hair shaft for actual moisture. Most oils coat the hair shaft, coconut oil can actually penetrate. Water is the only substance on this planet that can penetrate your hair shaft at 100%, coconut oil has the power of 50% penetration. The only oil that has this ability at such a high percentage.
• Anti-Dandruff. Coconut oil works much more effectively than any anti-dandruff shampoo on the market. Regular applications of this oil can help you rid of dandruff completely
• Closest to our natural sebum (oils) jojoba oil balances the sebum production in the scalp by regulating the excretion of sebum in clogged pores. Helping to balance out the flow of sebum along your strands. This is extremely beneficial for those with extremely dry or oily hair.
• Helps clears/dissolves buildup in pores. Blocked pores can cause hair loss/thinning.
• Thicker hair. Initiates the expansion of new hair cells which promotes and stimulates new hair growth.
• Like coconut oil, has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft
• Can help cure dry scalp
• May stimulate hair growth thorough rosemary’s ability to stimulate hair follicles from the dilation of blood vessels and stimulation of cell divisions.
• High in anti-oxidants
• Natural astringent for clearing scalp buildup
*As always when using essential oils such as rosemary do not use if you suffer from epilepsy, hypertension or are pregnant. If unsure on whether you should be using essential oils always consult with your doctor.
• May stimulate hair growth
• Heavy based oil which is perfect for a long lasting seal for your ends
Vo5 Tea Tree Tea Therapy Conditioner
Vo5 Tea Tree Tea Therapy is the conditioner I use to wash my hair monthly since I have not used shampoo in 5 years. Though not an all-natural product, Vo5 Tea Tree Tea Therapy Conditioner makes my strands feel so divine and one of those reasons is because it is not a silicone based product. Silicones form a thin layer around the hair shaft and are found in many products. Silicones are beloved by manufacturers because of the smoothing effect silicones “seem” to give the hair especially in your hair’s wet state. That SSS feeling (super, slippery, smooth) you experience after washing your hair is the effect of silicone products. Silicones can prevent the hair shaft from allowing too much humidity to penetrate the hair shaft while keeping intact your own hair’s moisture. Sound good? There is a catch…
*To find out the catch and more on silicones and other silicone free products click here –> “What I Use to Wash My Hair”
Dry Finger Detangling
Wow if I were to write my own 10 commandments of natural hair then dry finger detangling would be at the top of the list. Finger detangling has helped depleted unnecessary breakage that a comb could not, no matter how gentle I was in combing. With your fingers you literally are able to feel knots that you may be able to detangle that a comb would simply break. In addition to finger detangling I also finger detangle my hair in its dry state. While wet finger detangling can be very beneficial for many the process has proven to be the exact opposite for my strands. Due to the extreme finest of my strands coupled with a curly/kinky pattern I have found dry detangling works best. As you have heard me say a thousand times over, “The curlier the hair the more fragile because at every curling point along the strand is a potential point of breakage now by adding water to the equation this quickly creates tension to the strand once you hair has absorbed the water. Tension naturally occurs with wet hair pulling the strand from the weight of the water. Now all your potential points of breakage are even more fragile due to tension from water weight.”
*To find out more on my dry finger detangling process click here –> “Finger Detangling: My 10 Step Process Part 1”
Wash Hair Monthly
This is the part of my regimen that seems to stir up the juices in some individuals the most but that is the point of finding a regimen that works for you… it works for YOU. As my hair has grown longer along with my schedule, monthly washes allow not only more free time but for the sake of my sanity as well. Obviously there is the option of cutting my hair but everyone has a preference and I have found a medium that works for my preference and schedule.
Seal Ends Weekly
This is a process that I have recently incorporated about 8 months ago into my regimen and I must say has helped tremendously in the condition of my ends, of eliminating breakage and drastically reducing split ends.
*To find out more on my sealing ends routine click here –> 8 Step Routine to Sealing My Ends
I would like to say I have been silk scarfing since I literally was pushed from the womb but that would be a SLIGHT exaggeration, but using a silk scarf in my nighttime routine has definitely been among the women in my family a tradition. As I like to say “There were a whole lot of mamas wrappin up some heads.” The sole use of the silk scarf is not to maintain a style but to help your hair maintain moisture. I remember those few occasions when I forgot to use a scarf and passed out from extreme exhaustion and man oh man was the moisture exhausted my strands.
Olive Oil Spray
Since I wear updo styles for the entire week, including at night, manipulation is limited to once a week when I take my loose twists down from the updo style to place my Love Potion #9, dust, clear & massage scalp and seal ends. Once this process is completed I will place back in an updo style and then repeat every week until wash day which happens at the end of the month. Now because I keep my hair an updo style during the week with no manipulation I have found using an oil spray helps to maintain my no manipulation process while sustaining the style. Not mention is a fast and great option due to olive oil’s capability of penetrating the hair shaft. The oil spray of choice is Trader Joe’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray which I apply every night before I place my silk scarf on.
You of course have the option to trim but I prefer to dust my ends. Dusting is a simple process of taking a section of hair and looking at the individual ends of that section and snipping away any split ends you may see instead of just a blunt cut. I prefer dusting because I never wear my hair down and have very few split ends. Dusting is also commonly known as “search and destroy”.
Protective Styling/Loose Twists
Loose twist is a technique I have created to incorporate protective styling while still achieving the look and feel of wearing my hair sans a protective style. As my hair has grown longer this technique enables me the freedom of low manipulation which is why I can detangle every 3 to 4 weeks versus if I wore my hair freeform, despite the hair being placed in and updo style the strands would go in locking mode. The individual twists help to control the locking.
Weekly Clearing and Scalp Massages with Coconut oil
Since I wash my hair monthly my regimen consists of weekly scalp clearings once a week. Weekly scalp clearings is a simple process in which I very lightly scratch my scalp with my nails to remove buildup, this creates a clearer environment when massaging your oils. In addition to scalp clearings I also massage coconut oil and rosemary onto my scalp afterwards. One of the reasons why I use coconut oil is because this oil is high in lauric acid. Hair can be the dirtiest because it is exposed to the elements on a daily basis and therefore attracts dust and microbes and microbes are simply organisms too small to view without the aid of a microscope. Microbes depend on the availability of water, nutrients, heat and oxygen or sometimes lack of. Dust works as a breeding ground for microbes, dust mites and fungus and they work over time to weaken your hair roots which leads to hair loss. So to protect hair against them we need an antimicrobial agent to destroy them which is lauric acid. Lauric acid is present in high percentages in coconut oil. While rosemary oil as previously mentioned is a natural astringent.
I sometimes hear the question “What is the point of having all that hair if you don’t wear it down or show it off?” To be honest whenever I hear this it makes me laugh because one look at my updo styles and it is bluntly obvious that I am not shy about my hair but in some individual’s minds they have concluded if you don’t wear your hair down what is the point of having long hair. While updo styles are a big form of protection I wear updo styles because I love them. So yes, I love creating sculptures on top of my head and in addition, updos help tremendously with tangling and single strand knots due to my extremely fine strands.
When dealing with extremely curly textures, adopt the snail attitude…slow and steady wins the race. Patience is one of the most important elements of natural hair care. Without patience, you can lose months of progress in just a moment of trying to rush through your hair.
Steam then Seal
This is a new process I have incorporated into my regimen about 2 months ago. Mid-month or around the 14th day of each month I will take my loose twists down from the updo style of the week and let the hot water run in the shower and simply let the steam moisture my loose twists. As my hair has gotten longer I have found it needs more moisture and the steaming process helps to incorporate the process of washing without all the work. You will be surprised how drenched your hair is from the precipitation of the steam. Once steaming is done I will place my Love Potion # 9 all over my strands in addition to castor oil to my ends.
Do You and Listen to Your Hair
We are fortunate to live in a day and age of the worldwide web. A wealth of information at your fingertips within seconds but sometimes too much information can frustrate your process of finding a regimen that works for you! How many times have you heard a natural say one thing and then another say something different, concerning the same method or product? In most cases both naturals can be right, it just depends on the individual. As they say no fingerprint is exactly the same well the same goes for natural hair. If you adopt the “fingerprint” aspect to you hair then you will know that your hair will not lie and will show you exactly what it doesn’t and does like.