This is my current regimen as of January 2016
My regimen is pretty simple. I typically wash my hair once per week. I do change-up my products and try to test new things, but have my staple products that I use most of the time.
The goal on wash day is to remove product build-up, refresh, cleanse and moisturize my hair. I also try to put it in styles that can carry me through the week. I always cleanse and condition my hair in 3-4 sections for easy detangling and washing.
STAGE 1: CLEANSE ONCE PER WEEK
Option 1. For zero to mild build up and dry hair: Rhassoul clay.
I heart this stuff! It’s an amazing, moisturizing cleanser.
To use: In a glass bowl and with a plastic fork/chopsticks or any non-metal utensil, I mix my rhassoul clay with water, 2 teaspoons of vinegar or aloe (this seems to be one of the few ways aloe works for me) and tea tree oil (optional). Note: clays should never be mixed with metals. I gently apply this mixture to damp hair, in sections and cover with a plastic cap. I allow it to sit 30 minutes, detangle and rinse it out. That’s it. I use this about 3 -4 times per month.
Option 2. For a flaky scalp or medium buildup: Shampoo
I use diluted shampoo (e.g. Giovanni Tea Tree Tingle, Cantu Moisturizing Shampoo). I apply my shampoo directly to my scalp and lightly to my roots, I just avoid applying it to close to my ends. I massage my scalp with the pads of my fingers and rinse. I use shampoo once every other month in winter and once a month in summer.
If I am low on time during the week, I occasionally co-wash. However, I prefer my clay wash followed by a conditioner.
STAGE 2: CONDITION
Conditioning my hair, helps keep it hydrated, keeps my curls defined and shiny. Unless the product I’m using has a higher than neutral PH, then I use heat to help my hair absorb the conditioner.
Option 1. DIY moisturizing conditioner and detangler. I mix up a batch of hot water and slippery elm, let it cool, strain the mucilage and apply this to my hair, detangle, let it sit a short moment, then rinse well. This leaves my curls hydrated, soft and defined. I do this every other month, so not often and I only do this after a shampoo and not after a rhassoul clay treatment.
Option 2. Reverse oil rinse
Step 1. Apply a moisturizing conditioner of choice to hair. I apply my conditioner and work it into my hair by rubbing each section between my hands (think when you’re cold and try to warm your hands). I think this helps my hair absorb the product and the friction helps open my cuticles (that’s my non-tested theory however). DO NOT RINSE CONDITIONER.
Step 2. After that, I apply an oil of choice on top of my conditioner. A small amount is all you need about 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp per section, concentrating on your ends and working your way up. My oil of choice now is grape seed oil, but it varies depending on my mood and season. =) After this, I throw on a plastic cap and either let it sit a few minutes. If
my hair is in need of a little pampering, I’ll sit under a bonnet dryer for about 15 – 20 minutes.
Step 3. Under a stream of water, rinse each section, using a little conditioner to help with slip.
STAGE 3: MOISTURIZE
I don’t towel dry, but do wrap a t-shirt or muslin cloth around my hair for about 3 minutes to absorb some water.
I apply my leave-in of choice to damp hair. My leave in of choice in the winter is Kinky Curly Knot Today (KCKT). I dilute 2 TBSP of KCKT in 2 TBSP water, shake it up and apply this to my hair. I concentrate on the ends and work my way up. I don’t apply my leave-in too close to my scalp.
I seal my ends with a very small amount of oil. I primarily seal my ends and sometimes frizzy areas, such as my crown. As my hair gets longer and rubs against fabric more, I noticed sealing my ends tends to reduce split ends. I typically apply grape seed, olive and avocado oil, I have used a tiny pinch of shea butter in the winter, as we experience very dry winters here.
STAGE 4: STYLE
- Pull it back in a bun and wear it like that for the rest of the week.
- Twist or braid my hair and wear a twist/braid out for most of the week
- Protective styles
Note: After all these styles, I tend to either sit under my bonnet for 15 – 20 minutes. I find it helps the product absorb in my hair faster, reduces air drying time and helps to hold the style.
Two braids in the front for added definition (leave the ends loose, spray them with water then pin them back). Wrap the rest of my hair and hold it in place with pins. I wrap my hair with a silk scarf to protect it. I
If my ends feel dry and rough, I trim them, probably every other 3 -4 months. Usually when I blow dry or straighten my hair, because it’s easier for me.
I know this is a lot of information, but my process is actually really simple, I just have a lot of options that I use. This is not a low porosity regimen guideline, it’s just what works for me.
Aussie Moist Deeeeep Conditioner
Giovanni, Smooth as Silk
Suave Shea and Almond
Cantu Shea Butter