Natural Hair Chronicles, Part I: Wash Day + Staple Products

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The beginning of my commitment to natural.
The most important thing to note while reading this post, is that everyone's hair is different. What works for me, may not work for you and that is okay! The best part about natural hair, is the freedom to try new products and new styles and the opportunity to share that with your curly frans (like me).

My natural hair journey began in 2012 when I first entered undergrad. Honestly, I was slightly forced into being natural. I was a broke college student who 1) didn't know anyone in Raleigh who I could trust to put a relaxer in my hair and 2) couldn't even afford to maintain relaxed hair if I did know anyone.  But nonetheless, going natural has been one of the best decisions I've made!
Circa 2013/14 - before the blonde and before the length.

*Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.*

This post will detail my wash-day routine. Wash-day typically takes me about 2 to 2.5 hours from start to finish (honestly, it probably takes longer than this because I take quite a few social media breaks AND my arms be hurtin', y'all. lol). Depending on the style that you are trying to achieve OR the style you are transitioning from, you could spend more or less time on wash day. For example, if my hair is in a puff on wash day, it takes me a significant amount of time to detangle my hair from that style and if I want lots of definition, it's going to take me longer to twist my hair than it would if I wanted to do a chunky twist out or something. So, basically you can take the estimated finish time with a grain of salt; just go get your Denman brush and mark your calendar as "busy" for a while.
My must have products:

These are the products that give me a slight heart attack when I realize how close to the bottom I am when I sit down for wash-day after I just got back from the store and forgot to get more...yeah, it's that bad.
The products that you use will definitely depend on your hair type. I honestly have no idea what my hair type is; but, for reference, if I had to guess, I'd say that I have somewhere between 4A and 4C. You can learn more about hair types here. Certain products work better in certain hair types - most Cantu products do not work well for me and I believe this is a result of my hair type, and the fact that I've bleached my hair (we'll talk color later). 
I'm not too picky about the shampoos and conditioners I use, but I always know when I don't like a shampoo/conditioner. I do prefer conditioners with LOTS of slip though because my hair is very thick and very dry, so I need all of the moisture I can get. Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Curls NEVER disappoints. I also have a very dry scalp; so, shampoos that contain tea-tree oil are always my go-to (if you have issues with dry scalp/dandruff, read about the benefits of tea-tree oil here). Again, Shea Moisture comes through with what I need; their new African Water Mint & Ginger Detox Shampoo both clarifies and moisturizes my hair and scalp (I know I sound like an ad, but I promise you this shampoo is the truth!). I've only found it on Amazon and at Bed, Bath & Beyond; but, you can find the OGX dupe pretty much anywhere and it's half the price - Target has it here. I start with the Aussie Conditioner, wash my hair twice with the Detox Shampoo, then, because the Detox Shampoo pretty much strips my hair of all oils/product, I wash once with Not Your Mother's Natural High Moisture Shampoo  and then condition once more with Aussie or the Not Your Mother's Natural High Moisture Conditioner.

For most of my styles (except blowouts because that is a style that requires little to no product), I utilize the L.O.C. method (liquid-oil-cream). This is a method a lot of naturals use to retain moisture by hydrating the hair, sealing in moisture and preventing the loss of that moisture by closing the hair cuticle. I spray each section of hair with water and then apply a generous amount of the Shea Moisture Leave-In Conditioner. Then, I apply an oil (I love the Anaya Hair Butter, but I usually just use whatever oil I have at the time which is usually a mix of a few different oils such as olive oil, castor oil, jojoba oil and tea tree oil). My favorite cream to use after I've applied my oil is Shea Moisture Smoothie. The Denman brush is a staple tool because it detangles while also evenly distributing product(s) through so I swear by it! 

After I've completed the L.O.C. method, my go-to style is typically a flat twist out (and it never dries - *insert eye roll here*); but, we'll talk more about styles in Part II of the Natural Hair Chronicles. 

Was this helpful?? What are some of your go-to products for wash-day? How long does your process usually take? I wanna know!

With Blessings & Imperfections,

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Affirmation of the Week

“You have always been a blessed thing, and goodness has no trouble finding you because goodness is what you deserve." – Upile Chisala