Pre-Poo Oil Treatment

Happy New Year Everyone!

The other day, I was skimming through a book a friend gifted me many years ago. The book is about all natural Indian beauty secrets. It also includes a section on healing from the inside, which I appreciate, as all beauty starts from within. The hair section discusses cures for dry hair. Some of the suggestions to combat this problem include: shampooing on an as needed basis, gentle brushing and combing, using creamy conditioners, reducing exposure to strong winds and sun, and overnight coconut oil treatments.

Honestly, nothing new here, but it helps to read about it and have it reiterated. As a lo-po natural, I obviously can’t go without an occasional shampoo. However, I typically cleanse with rhassoul clay, only using commercial shampoos every other month if I notice any product build-up. I’ve never prepped my hair with an oil treatment before cleansing. So I’m giving it a go for the first time today. Ideally, the book suggests doing this overnight. However, I can’t work this into my schedule. So here’s my approach to pre-poo oil treatments:

  1. Divide hair into four sections and generously apply coconut oil to both scalp and hair, concentrating on the ends. You could treat yourself to a nice scalp massage at this point.
  2. Cover hair in a plastic cap, wet a small towel with very hot water and carefully squeez out the excess water. *Place the damp, hot towel over the plastic cap, place a plastic bag (the kind you get at the grocery store in the fresh produce section) over the towel and cover with a scarf or bonnet.
  3. Leave this in for as long as you like, but if you’re stressed for time like me, about 20-30 minutes should be fine.
  4. I’ll follow this treatment with rhassoul and condition my hair if necessary.

*Remember heat is the key for effective moisturizing for lo-po hair.

My due date is rapidly approaching and I’m due in a little less than two weeks, but could go at any moment, so my goal today is to get my hair into some kind of protective style and forget about it until after the birth. If you’re a long time follower, you might remember when I was pregnant with my son, I had a fear of going into labor mid-styling. Same thing this time around. So some simple elegant two strand twists might be the way to go again.

I’ll report back with pictures and results after styling (if I’m not in labor— I’m that uncomfortable at this point, I wouldn’t actually mind!).

Do you pre-poo? What kind of results have you noticed?

XO

**UPDATE**

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After washing with rhassoul clay, conditioning and applying my leave-in, grapeseed oil and gel, I twisted my hair. I then sat under the dryer for 15 and to let me leave-in absorb. My twists feel moisturized and soft and my hair is shiny and smooth. I think the pre-poo gave it more of a shine than my usual routine, but I’m not 100% sure, so I’ll have to give it a few more tries to test the results. In any case, I’m happy to have my hair twisted and out of the way for the next couple of weeks.

 

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Round 2: Oil Rinsing

Yesterday I washed my hair. I can never go longer than a week without washing and wash day always feels like a giant exhale to me. #hairwasonitslastleg

As previously done, I separated my hair into 4 sections. Shampooed. Applied my oil of choice, coconut oil. Applied conditioner and rinsed under very warm water. Conditioned again and detangled, plastic cap, 30 min deep condition. Rinsed.

First, coconut oil has never done anything for my hair, so I usually use it on my skin. This time around, using it as an oil rinse yielded amazing results. Did I notice a difference this time around? I kind of think my hair felt even softer than last week, when I used EVOO. However, I did do a DC with the oil and conditioner in my hair so that could have been why my hair felt softer. Coconut is known to be one of the few hair oils that can penetrate the hair shaft… So maybe its healing and moisturizing properties are stronger.

My hair still felt like straw when I applied the oil. It’s surprising how soft it gets after that second condition.

After my deep conditioner I rinsed my hair, leaving a small amount of conditioner (Tresseme Naturals) in my hair. Applied KCNT and a small amount of gel, then put my hair in about 12 medium-large twists to achieve a fluffier look and save time. Ain’t nobody got time for long wash day sessions. Especially when preggo with my first, there’s only so much energy I can devote. I can only imagine how challenging it will be after the baby arrives.

So there you have it, right now I’m still a fan of OR. I hope by using a little conditioner a la Curly Girl Method, my hair will stay moisturized longer than last time. Last time, I was reaching for the KCKT on days 3 and 5.

Speaking of Curly Girl, tried it in the past and it never worked for me. Anyone else ever experiment with the curly girl method?

Have a good weekend!

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LoPo’s Frenemies: Kimmaytube Leave-In, cold water/vinegar rinses and heavy oils

Before I discovered my hair was low porosity, I was all about closing my cuticles with low Ph products or cold water and locking in moisture with heavy oils such as shea butter and coconut oil. Coconut oil has many health benefits and I really wanted my hair to enjoy being coated in it, but it just did nothing for my hair but exacerbate its dryness. Just imagine low porosity hair as a spong covered in cling wrap, if I proceed to cover the cling wrap in oils, the moisture is just not going to reach my hair, no matter how hard I try. After I realized this, I made some major adjustments to my regimen.

1. I stopped using Kimmaytube leave-in. The original recipe, which comes from famed Youtube personality Kim Love, contains:2 tablespoons of Kinky Curly Knot Today + 2 tablespoons of  aloe vera juice + 2 teaspoons of castor oil +2 teaspoons of jojoba oil. 

This leave-in left me with frizz, white residue and dry hair. My hair felt coated and tacky. Once I removed the oils and the aloe from the mixture, essentially leaving me with just leave-in, I saw an immediate improvement. Again, I’ve tried to make my hair love aloe, because it’s such a wonderful natural hair product, however, my hair just despises it!

2. I stopped doing vinegar rinses/cold water rinses. Again, great all natural products and techniques to enhance shine and seal the cuticle. For my low porosity hair not so great. My story would start like this, I’d wash and condition. After my conditioner, my hair would feel nice and detangled and soft. I’d then pour my vinegar rinse or freezing cold water over my head and my hair would instantly shrink up and frizz up. I’d then spend the next hour trying to apply creams and serums to regain the moisture.

3. After my cold water/vinegar rinses, I’d follow by sealing with shea butter or coconut oil. My hair would shine like a new penny for the first day. The second day it was both dry and oily. It was like I was suffocating my hair, any hope of moisture was ruled out by the fortress of oil I’d applied. It took me a long time to accept that my hair doesn’t always need oil. It was only until one day when I spent hours trying to wash out layers and layers of shea butter– not fun! I know that coconut oil is one of few select oils that can penetrate the hair shaft. That’s fine and dandy, but my hair just wasn’t having it.

Eliminating these three stages, has not only saved me a lot on time, but also money. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what works best. Now I know my hair:

  • doesn’t mind some light oils like jojoba and sweet almond.
  • loves water based creams for leave-ins (if it’s not water based, I add water to it).
  • can handle a small amount of aloe or shea butter on the ends. I think this is because this part of our hair is the oldest and most susceptible to damage.
  • hates to be rinsed in cold water and is not a friend of vinegar.

I attribute eliminating these products from my hair regimen to contributing to fast and healthy growth. Believe me, I’ve had set backs and had to cut and trim here and there, however, after I started figuring out what worked for me, that’s when my hair started to flourish. I’ve included pictures below of my hair, one year after going natural in 2012 and this month, two years after going natural.

Did you use any products or techniques for a long time, only to discover they did more harm than help your hair?