This weekend marks the official end of my no heat challenge. I went 11 whole weeks without using any flat irons, hooded dryers, or heat of any kind. Things got a bit frustrating around at week 8 of the challenge (10 weeks post relaxer) for two reasons (both attributed to my new growth). With visible new growth it meant that I had to detangle frequently and carefully, which lengthened my wash day process a bit (but not that much). Additionally, my hair line was harder to tame, which required wetting it, applying “gel,” brushing the hairs into place and wrapping it up with a scarf. That’s a lot of manipulation around the hair line that I don’t particularly care for, which is what made me decide to try the Bantu Knot Out — anything to give my edges a break from the brushing.
I did my best to record my process for you all with my Grow With Me Series (In case you missed it check out My Intro, Weeks 1-5 and Weeks 5-8) and the final installment/length comparisons will be filmed this weekend. And it will be up here as soon as I get a chance to edit the footage.
But in the meantime I wanted to share my hair product superstars over the course of this challenge. Some of them are from the back of my hair product stash and others are new things that I wanted to give a try. For more on my Air Drying Hair Product Super Stars see below:
Oldies but Goodies
Organic Root Stimulator Smooth And Hold Pudding – This product was instrumental in acheiving polished buns as I approached (and passed) 8 weeks post relaxer. The more my new growth grew in, the more I relied on this Pudding. I like it because it holds my hair like a gel, but not so much that it created a hard shell around my hair line. It typically lasts about two days before I have to re-wet, smooth and tie down around my hair line. I also have Fantasia IC Gel, but I like the look and feel of my hair line much better when I use this styling gel.
Elasta QP Glaze Plus Silkening Polisher Serum – If you watched my Week 1-5 Update, you’ll remember that I casted this product aside because it left my hair feeling synthetic when I used it to “seal” after moisturizing. I replaced it with my Vatika Enriched Coconut Oil, but I have to back track on my initial thoughts. This product helps to smooth my hair immediately after applying my leave-in treatment. And when my Coconut Oil isn’t quite able to revive my hair mid week, this serum is a great option. It removes the “crinkles” associated with air dried hair and gives the relaxed portions of my hair a smoother look and feel. (I still like my Vatika Enriched Coconut Oil, but as I got deeper into my stretch I found myself reaching for it a lot less).
Elasta QP Recovery Anti-Breakage Moisturizer – This has been my go to moisturizer this year. Whether I am flat ironing, roller setting or (now) air drying it’s what seems to add moisture to my hair mid week when I feel like my hair is drying out. Two thumbs up because this one is an all around staple to my hair regimen.
Generic Value Products Moisturizing Conditioner – Another all around staple; this is a great moisturizing deep conditioner that leaves my hair feeling soft, smooth and moisturized how ever I style my hair. I like this version and the original. A++
L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm – If you watched my Weeks 5-8 Update at the 2:50, you will see my live reaction to this deep conditioner. I almost forgot that I used a new deep conditioner, but as soon as I touched my slightly air dried hair I immediately noticed a difference. It left my hair feeling suprisingly soft and equally as smooth and moisturized as the GVP Moisturizing Conditioner…dare I say I like it better… I won’t go that far yet because I’ve only used it three times. But it’s certainly a keeper.
Roux Treatment and Shine 619 Moisture System Leave-in Treatment – I had been eyeing this hair product for a couple of months and when I decided to try my hand at this no heat challenge, I immediately thought this would be the perfect excuse to finally pick it up. Plus, I knew that I only had one other moisturizing leave-in treatment in my stash (GVP The Conditioner) and I don’t like that product for air drying. Luckily for me, I am 100% sold on this product as a leave in treatment when I air dry. It moisturizes my hair without weighing it down. Each week it left me with soft and moisturized hair. I’m looking forward to trying it with heat at some point to see if it is just as lovely.
Organic Root Stimulator Creamy Aloe Shampoo – This has been a nice replacement to my Mizani Chelating Shampoo. I’ve been warned several times by some of you ladies about the fact that this shampoo may cause dryness when using it weekly. But I’ve defiantly been using it weekly anyway, hopefully it doesn’t bite me in the butt later. I’ve never been one to shout from the roof tops about a shampoo because cleansing comes firsts and its other effects (moisturizing, volumizing etc) are mild notes in the background. But this has been with me each and every week, so I felt the need to mention it.
The Supporting Cast
Seamless Wide Tooth Comb – Combs through my hair minimizing breakage.
Boar Bristle Brush – Smoothes my edges after 8 weeks post relaxer.
Spray Bottle with Water – I used this almost daily to refresh my hair overall and to “re-activate” the styling gel on my edges.
Hair Tie with no metal clip – creates my buns without snagging my hair.
Satin Scarf – I used this to tie my hair and edges down each night.
Cotton T-Shirt – I forgot to add this to the picture, but every wash day I air dried with using a cotton T-shirt. Without the smoother results that I get when air drying with a T-Shirt I’m not sure that I would have made it. I don’t know who came up with the T-shirt method at first, but bless their heart!!
What are your favorite hair products/techniques when you air dry?