It’s been about a week since cutting off my relaxed hair. And for every room I walked into (or person I encountered) I was met with various reactions — some interactions were more awkward than others. But despite being nervous about each impending interaction, I think I faired pretty well. The hardest part for me was talking about my hair. I know, you’re like, “What? You have a hair blog?? That’s all you do!” But in real life, I almost never talk about my hair. Every person probably got a different reason why, but oh wells. When I wasn’t talking about my hair, I was fine. For the most part I’m not even thinking about it. Of course, it crosses my mind here and there, but it was business as usual. I just need everyone else to get into it, lol. Anyway, here are the details from my first week natural.
What Have I Been Doing With My Hair?
Probably like most people who are newly natural, I was overwhelmed with all the new information out there. And I felt all over the place when it came to finalizing my natural hair regimen. But let me at least share with you what I’ve done so far. Immediately after big chopping, I shampooed with a sulfate shampoo (GVP Tea Tree Shampoo). This got all the hair products and gel out of my hair. I applied my homemade Amla-Brahmi Oil (recipe coming soon) to my scalp and hair. I wanted to enjoy my afro so I didn’t do anything else for the rest of the evening.
My First Full Wash Day
The next day, I shampooed with Chagrin Valley Ayurvedic Shampoo Bar (new purchase). It’s sulfate-free and chock full of Ayurvedic herbs and natural oils. It felt amazing in my hair, but as some suggested my hair felt coated after rinsing it. I was warned that minerals in the water will cling to your hair when you rinse the suds. To combat this, I followed up with an apple cider vinegar rinse (1 tablespoon of ACV plus 1 cup of water) as recommended. The vinegar rinse sat on my hair for 1-2 minutes before rinsing and surprisingly my hair felt good again (Yay science!). I deep conditioned with Creme of Nature Pure Honey Moisture Replenish & Strengthen Hair Mask. It was literally one of two conditioners in my hair stash that had no silicones so I used this one first. While my hair was still wet from rinsing the deep conditioner, I applied Whipped Shea Butter. And to style my hair, I raked flaxseed gel through my hair and wrapped the ends around my finger creating tiny coils. This style lasted for 3 days.
The Next Wash Days.
After rinsing my hair to begin my next wash day, I noticed that my hair was pretty dry. And it got me thinking about all the work involved in styling my hair. After some research about curl definition, curl clumping, and what natural hair needs, I decided to deep condition my hair more often with heat. For this second wash day, I hadn’t come to that conclusion as yet. So I had co-washed with GVP Conditioning Balm (the other deep conditioner in my stash without silicones) — my hair still loves this stuff! And I used whipped shea butter and flaxseed gel to recreate my coily hairstyle. Two days after this wash day, I deep conditioned with GVP Conditioning Balm for 30 minutes under my hooded dryer. I rinsed my hair and used Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream. This was probably my favorite combination so far (pictured below). I can’t say whether it was using heat to deep condition or the Jane Carter cream, but my hair felt great. I’ll be doing this combo again this weekend.
Pulling Together a Natural Hair Regimen
My current hair regimen will most adhere to the curly girl method: No sulfates, No silicones, and mostly botanical ingredients. Pictured are the products from my pre-big chop hair care stash that are sulfate and silicone-free. I’ll continue to use them as I figure out what works best for my hair. The curly girl method also says to abandon shampoos and instead co-wash. But I will continue to shampoo (sulfate-free) and just deep conditioning more often. I haven’t seen many people who deep condition more than once a week, but I’m giving it a try.
My hope is that it: (1) boosts my hair’s hydration and (2) helps with curl clumping/definition because I worry about over manipulation. To get the “wash and go” look, I have been doing a mix of shingling and finger coils. And I do this three times a week. Without styling I end up with an afro right now. But if my curls clumped on their own I could get away with a little less manipulation. After some time with this hair regimen (deep conditioning with heat more often), I’ll be back with some clarity on my thought process and whether I will continue.