My Regimen

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.

Wash Day

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.

UPKEEP:

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.

*Conditioners

Aussie Moist

Aussie Moist Deeeeep Conditioner

Giovanni, Smooth as Silk

Giovanni 50/50

Tresseme Naturals

Suave Shea and Almond

Cantu Shea Butter

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50 thoughts on “My Regimen

  1. Pingback: Lo-Po’s BFF: Healthy Heat | lowporosityhaircare

    • Hi! I don’t use cold water in my regimen. I think conditioners are naturally acidic. So after my deep conditioner, I do a final rinse with conditioner, this seems to work fine. Hope that helps

  2. Hi Annabel, thank you so much for your dedication to making this information accessible to us Lo-Po curlies! I am at 20 months of growth in the midst of an arid summer and my hair was rejecting every conditioner that I have. After discovering your site, I decided to mix some baking soda with my conditioner and I had great success! =)

    • I have tried it. Wasn’t the worst but didn’t so much for me either. Don’t know if I’ll ever find a leave that I like as much as KCKT diluted with water.

  3. Hi! Thank you for your blog. I wonder if you can offer some advice. I recently gave my hair a hot oil treatment a couple of days ago with coconut oil, jojoba oil, and black castor oil. I hoped this would help soften my transitioning hair because I have had a difficult time doing so with it’s low porosity. Unfortunately it went horribly wrong. When my hair started to dry it became hard and crunchy. I tried washing it again today (thoroughly – I spent about an hour doing so) but as my hair started to dry, it was still hard and crunchy. Do you have any recommendations on how to address this? I’m only a few months into my transition, but this incident coupled with my inability to keep my hair moisturized has me feeling discouraged and tempted to go back to relaxed hair. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for stopping by! I sent you an email, please check your inbox. In any case, if going natural is something you really desire. I encourage you not to give up.

    • Hi, Elizabeth. I know that your question wasn’t directed towards me, but I wanted to share my experience with you. I have low porosity hair and my hair HATES coconut oil. Maybe you can omit it next time and see if you notice a difference in your hair. I think I heard somewhere that coconut oil acts like a protein as it strengthen’s the hair shaft. With low porosity hair, our hair is healthy and strong already and doesn’t need as much protein as normal and high porosity naturals. I hope that helps.

  4. When you mix your clay with vinegar, is it apple cider vinegar? How does your hair react to vinegar’s acidity? I am new to your blog and I’m sorry, if this question has been answered already. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Derika,
      No worries, ask away. I mix a small amount (1-2 tbsp) of apple cider vinegar. Normally my hair responds horribly to acv rinses, but combining it with my rhassoul clay it provides a moisturizing deep conditioning mask/ hair wash. You could also combine aloe with rhassoul, without one of the two in the mix, my hair tends to feel a little dry. Hope that helps!

      • Thank you.I have a whole bottle of Aloe Vera juice sitting in my fridge. I have been trying to find ways to use it so that it doesn’t go to waste. I will try it with a clay wash. I was like you and bought Aloe Vera because of all of the rave reviews. It turns out my hair hates it lol

    • Hi, I haven’t tried diluting it. I only use it in summer and never winter or fall, as dew points are too low. I also use a small amount, as a little goes a long way. However, my leave-in of choice is definitely diluted KCKT.

  5. My natural journey is objectively a complete fail! I am a low porosity head with 4c strands. I’ve been natural for nearly 3 years and have only grown very unevenly to my great frustration. On top, it’s 2 inches only! In the middle it’s 6 inches and in some random parts 10 inches. I get breakage from dry hair, low moisture absorption and ….even worse, detangling my 4c hair. Henna has worked the best in cutting down the single knot strands which led me to constantly cut my hair. I used top quality pure henna. Henna has not dried my hair but it has not improved my ability to gain moisture.

    I’m so happy I came across your blog. I don’t know how I missed it. I discovered I was Lo-po over a year ago and could have benefited from your advice.

    Strangely, I have tried the Cherry Lola treatment with success that could not been seen.
    Unlike you, I stopped, but you give me hope to continue. This week is the only time in 3 years that I have thought of a texturizer or texlaxing. This is how fed up I am. My husband discouraged me because I have spent so much so much money like literally over a thousand dollars. He says that I spent too much time detangling to give up on my natural hair. He likes watching movies with me while I detangle. (The blessing of being natural).

    Have you tried Castille Soap (like Dr. Bronner’s ) it’s supposed to have a ph of 10 and open the cuticles.
    Please let me know!

    • Hi! Thanks for your comment. Stick with it. My hair grows unevenly as well, I think that’s normal. I haven’t tried Dr.Bronner’s , but have heard positive things from other lopo naturals. Rhassoul clay works best for me for opening my cuticles, I highly recommend it! I don’t do the Cherry Lola, just a little baking soda in my conditioner to open up my cuticles. I don’t do this often in winter, more on summer/spring. Xoxo

    • Hello Nice4cgirl! Thanks Annabel for having this site. I am in the exact exact boat as nice4cgirl!!!! Mirror image situation. Same hair issues. Same supportive DH. My experience with breakage is so terrible with uneven growth (exact same 3 lengths) that I have been strand testing a relaxer for Texlaxing this week. Low porosity is already difficult. Add to that tightly coiled 4c strands and that’s a whole new ball game. Love the info on this site though!

  6. I’m so happy I found your site. I just discovered I have low po hair and found it difficult to keep my ends hydrated. Nothing seemed to work and I kept getting single strand knots even though I protect 80% of the time during the month. I feel relieved that I now have some guidance on what to do and some products to try. I do own a steamer (awesomeness) but found it hard to figure out what deep conditioners worked best with it. My hair absolutely hates coconut oil and castor oil on the hair and scalp. I tried cold rinses and aloe vera juice and now I know that is probably one of the main causes for my hair being so dry. Last night I tried a different approach when I co-washed my hair and this morning I must say my hair is super soft and hydrated. I diluted my KCKT and made sure to take my time and get each section and I sealed with a little bit of argan oil. I didn’t use a butter or cream because I wanted to see how my hair responded to less product. I hope that I can finally get my regimen right and get my hair out of this dry state. I am excited that I found your blog right on time because I just got a fresh trim so no better time to start.

    • Hi,
      I use KCKT 90% of the time and I place a little oil on my hair (mid length down to ends). I rarely use gel, but do sometimes in the summer if it’s really humid outside and I want more hold.

  7. Coming across your blog is God sent. My hair is texlaxed, and my hair and I can relate to almost all the behaviours and characteristics of LP hair. I have been having difficulty keeping my hair moisturized and not ending up with a dry and oily hair the next day. My question is can this suggestions work for texlaxed hair as well?

    • Hi! Thanks for dropping in. I don’t have experience with texlaxed hair. I’m sorry not to be able to offer abt specific advice. Have you tried rhassoul or bentonite clay, deep conditioning, trimming? Check out my regimen and my pages on low porosity hair introduction and you might find some info that applies to you. Readers with texlaxed hair, any advice?

  8. Hallo Annie. Please what’s the difference between aussie moist conditioner and aussie aussomme volume conditioner. I am about to order. Thanks . And hey how is your bundle of joy,your baby?

  9. #badhairday 😦 😦 😦 oh Annnnie so I took down my braids. My first issue was shedding. My hair cut so much. I detangled with just avocado oil(I think my hair doesn’t like it). washtime: I opted for baking soda + aussie conditioner( my conditioner was thick, is that how it is?). My scalp was so clean 🙂
    Conditiontime: I did the reverse oil rinse. My hair was loving the conditioner but NO SLIP. I saw CURLS POP( I am texlaxed how? 😀 ) I added my avocado oil and everything went bleh(I think)!!! After the rinse out my hair was feeling stripped of and sort of strong. I deep conditioned for 15mins (body heat).
    Leavein time: I added my leave-in(aussie moist + water) and oil to seal ends.
    😦 could it be the lumpy aussie moist or avocado oil?

    • Or could it be the baking soda , when I was rinsing it out that caused my hair to be somehow? + I got a tingling sensation on my scalp when I applied the bakingsoda conditioner mixture, do you get that when you use bakingsoda+conditioner.

      • Hi! I’m not sure what the issue could be, but how much BS did you use? Maybe too much? I use about 1/2 teaspoon when I use it. And I apply it gently to my hair without too much friction, let it sit, then rinse it out again with warm water and more conditioner. Perhaps your hair doesn’t like the reverse oil rinse in combination with baking soda. I don’t have experience with tex laxed hair, perhaps another reader would like to chime in? Thanks for stopping by.

    • Hi all. I am LP as well. It took years and a great deal of hair loss to realize this. My hair hates coconut oil and avocado oil. It reacts as it would to protein with these oils. Grapeseed oil is now my go to oil, olive oil is too heavy and results in an itchy and flaky scalp. Hope this helps.

  10. Holla… Annie I have good News for you .. *Drum roll* I am transitioning from texlaxed to Natural Hair. After my bad hair day with the baking soda I realized that without heat my pores won’t open at all and all the products will just sit on my hair even tho I baggy over night , Nothing. Heat is the hair’s kryptonite. I am loving my hair and my new growth so soft. Deep conditioning has been a friend. I am also trying to overcome my hand-in-hair syndrome.(I have been so amazed at my natural hair coils.) enough of my hair rant. How is your holiday/vaca ? How is your baby too. Y’all have fun. Ciao.

    • Congrats on your decision to transition! Happy to hear you found a routine that works for you.
      My trip was great! Unfortunately, I didn’t have wifi at my vacation rental. I’ll post a summary (and an update on peanut) soon. =)

  11. Hi Annabel. I hope you and your growing family are well. 😉 Just a few quick questions with regard your styling. 1) is your hair white before you go under the bonnet? 2) Do you use a plastic cap under the bonnet please? 3) How does your hair stay moisturised with no sealant like oil etc? Won’t it just evaporate? 4) How do you refresh your hair doing the week? And how often do you have to do it? 5) if you just let your hair air dry do you get the same results as going under the bonnet? And finally 6) I can see that someone else has already asked you, but you don’t close the cuticle with anything afterwards. Is that because the cold air will just close them naturally with no heat present, aside from the acidity of the leave-in? I’m getting SO fed up of this hair of mine, and have officially given up in trying to find something that it likes. I read in Audrey Davis-Sivasothy Hair Care Rehab Book that a reason for dry hair could be that the ph is off.
    But every time I I use ph balanced products my hair feels dry! The only time it’s really soft is when I’ve got warm water and glycerine in it, but then my hair doesn’t like oils or butters. I’m so at a loss as to what to do. 😓😪 But I’m gonna try your method tomorrow and see what happens. Thanks for your response in advance.

    • Re your questions. 1- no, 2- yes, 3- I seal my hair midway down with a light oil, and the very end of my hair/twists with a heavier oil— not too much though, since my hair low porosity, I don’t have that issue for the most part, 4- spritz with water, add tiny bit of water or gel, protective style, 5- no, 6- I assume the conditioners and leave-ins do this as their low ph and negatively charged, but I’m not recommending you not do a cold rinse, this is just what works for me. Overall simplicity is the key, go with your gut and then adapt based on your individual needs. Maybe try a little protective styling to give your hair a break. I hope this helps!

  12. Hi, I want to share my hair routine with you guys because it has been a real game changer. I have low porosity, low density 4b hair and fine in certain places. This make my hair a bit difficult because its difficult to condition and because it is low density I can’t use large amounts leave in products. My hair used to be so frizzy that I really felt like I didn’t even have a real curl pattern because it was all frizz and no curl. I stopped using conditioners and mask completely because I found they clogged my hair follicles (bad for hair growth) and made my hair very soft but weaker. So this is what I do now. Every third day I do a scalp and hair oil massage onto dry hair & scalp. I use khadi tulsi oil because it unclogs pores. Then under hot water in the shower I comb my hair then I wash it with Hesh powder shampoo. I love this shampoo because it’s all natural. It is made out of 7 herbs only. One of the herbs being soapnut (reetha) which is a natural foaming agent. I don’t condition after but that’s ok because the massage oil is doing a good job with keeping my hair soft and moisturized. I air dry hair and when hair is dry I do twists to elongate my curls, then take them out after two hours. If hair feels a bit dry on no wash days I will use a grapeseed oil and John Masters apricot rose hair milk. I like the feel from coconut oil but it is’nt the best oil for low porosity hair, so what I do on days that I am not washing and doing the oil massage but I want to rinse and comb my hair. I put the coconut oil on my hair avoiding my roots but concentrating on the ends and then I comb my hair under hot water (opens cuticles). Once it’s combed through I rinse hair under cold water to close cuticles then coat hair with aloe vera water or violet water when I have them available. I know everyone goes on about conditioners, masks and cowash but I honestly think they weaken the hair. I think people with kiny curly but fine hair should stay from rinse conditioners and masks.

    • Interesting. I hope your routine will help someone out there. There’s no one-fits-all regimen, so great to have readers discuss what works for them. I can’t use soap nut where I live bc I have hard water, was always curious about it though. I don’t use leave-in on a regular basis either but haven’t eliminated them completely.

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