I don’t know about you, but I have a love hate relationship with routines. When it comes to my daily routine (i.e. get up, brush teeth, get ready for work, drive to work, work, drive toward home after work, kill myself at the gym, go home, work some more cuz I’m running a business) I don’t handle interruptions well. I’m a creature of habit.
I say this just to highlight that creating a new routine, or even adding to a current routine is hard. It takes about 21 to 30 days to establish a new routine. But routines are necessary. It’s how ish gets done. Routines are important for both healthy skin care and hair care. So, I’m going to share with you all today one of my routines. It’s my weekly washday routine. It does not contain the random treatments that I do (for example, henna). But it may be helpful to any new naturals out there still trying to figure out this whole “natural hair” thing. Maybe it will be helpful to the OG naturals out there.
1. Cowash weekly
Shampoo. Don’t shampoo. It’s up to you. I don’t shampoo very frequently because I don’t find shampooing super necessary to healthy hair. Most of the shampoos out there create more tangles than they get rid of, which forces me do some major remoisturizing after the fact. Instead, I cowash most weeks. It soothes my itchy scalp (cuz I forget to pay attention to my scalp throughout the week), and gets rid of all the knots and tangles that have accumulated throughout the week. Cowashing is super-moisturizing, almost to the point that deep conditioning seems unnecessary. Cowashing never leaves my hair feeling dry or stripped of moisture.
2. Weekly deep condition
Right now, as I right this, it’s winter. Even in socal, deep conditioning is necessary in winter, because it is DRY. I run my humidifier at night just to be able to breathe through my nose at night, it’s so dry. So, I find one of my fave conditioners and slather my hair in it (you can never have too much conditioner) before adding a plastic bag and a heat cap to my hair to help the conditioner dig deep. Just a note, I have low-porosity hair, so heat while conditioning is a necessary step. I’ve tried just leaving the cap on and letting my “body heat” do the work or hanging out in a hot shower and letting the humidity in the bathroom do the work. It’s a no-go. Tangles and knots galore. And no added moisture. A heat cap is key if you’re a lo-po natural. You need that direct heat to penetrate your hair strands and to activate your conditioner so that detangling does not become a nightmare. Heat is Queen.
3. Detangle. Detangle. Detangle.
Everyone had their own method of detangling natural hair. Some people say use a wide-tooth comb and start from the ends and work your way up. Others say use a wide-tooth comb and start at the roots and work your way down. Others swear by finger detangling. Do what works for you. I use a comb and start at the ends and work my way up to the roots because that’s what works for me. I finger detangle the big knot, but my comb can handle everything else.
So, with it being winter I protective style. I love and miss my wash and gos, but I can’t be bothered with restyling my hair midweek when it’s this dry outside. I’ll remoisturize midweek (if I remember); the dry white spots along my hairline are usually a good indicator that I’ve gone a little too long without paying attention to my scalp. Don’t do like me. To help combat this problem, I saturate my hair in moisturizers on the weekend in preparation for the week. That means deep conditioning, moisturizing my hair, oiling my scalp (preferably twice a week), and protective styling.
Don’t forget to wrap your at night. Find that satin cap or pillow case and wrap it up. This will make your style last longer and maintain its neatness. It’ll also help your hair retain moisture, because pillowcases aren’t meant for natural curly and kinky hair. If you can (i.e. you work at business that lets you do so), wear a head wrap and protect your hair from the heating and air-conditioning systems. Yes. They will dry out your hair. And your skin. Protect yourself where you can.
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