There are quite a few options when it comes to using a natural hair care methods to guide your hair regimen. Up until recently most hair care products were geared towards hair that is not afro textured. With that, some amazing pioneers in the natural hair community came up with methods to help other natural haired women navigate their afro textured hair. These methods have helped countless women find hair regimens that allow their hair thrive. Having just big chopped I am fortunate enough to have a selection of natural hair care methods to choose from. There is the Curly Girl Method, the Max Hydration Method, the Tightly Coily Method, the Anthony Dickey Method, and probably more that I haven’t come across yet. After researching all of these different methods, I created a natural hair regimen for my TWA (teeny weeny afro). Here’s how I got there:
The Two Most Popular Methods.
The Curly Girl Method
The creator of this method realizing that dryness is the main culprit for natural hair woes recommends that you remove all ingredients from your hair regimen that cause dryness in natural or afro-textured hair. Dryness leads to frizzy, brittle, breakage-prone hair that is difficult to work with. This method requires you to abandon hair care products that contain sulfates and drying alcohols. Sulfates are in hair products like shampoos. They effectively remove all product buildup, dirt and oils from the hair. The problem is that afro textured hair tends to be to dry and the regular use of sulfates is too drying for our hair. Because of this, the curly girl method recommends removing shampoos completely. And instead, use conditioner only to cleanse AND condition the hair. This is called conditioner washing or cowashing.
Without sulfates in your hair routine, it’s recommended to remove a few other ingredients that can’t be washed away easily. That means while on the Curly Girl Method: no silicones, no mineral oil, no petroleum and no parabens. Ingredients like silicones and mineral oil certainly have their place on the ingredient lists of hair products. But without sulfates in your regimen to remove them, they cause product buildup and eventually lead to dryness. [More details on the Curly Girl Method Here and Here]
The Max Hydration Method
The Max Hydration Method (MHM) is another method that many naturals ascribe to, especially women with low porosity type 4c hair. This method is a very specific and detailed hair regimen that promises its users maximum hydration with well defined coils from root to tip. This method starts with a Cherry Lola Treatment to prepare your hair for the method. After doing the Cherry Lola Treatment once, then every day for the next seven days, you are to follow their specific hair regimen. It calls for clarifying, Co-washing (or overnight DC), a Bentonite Clay Mask, Leave-in Conditioner and Gel to style the hair into a wash n go. After the first seven days, the daily regimen is repeated every 3-7 days until maximum hydration is reached. More details on the Max Hydration Method…
These are the two main methods that I am pulling from to create a hair regimen for myself.
My Main/Mane Objectives
Hydrated and Moisturized.
Hydrated hair is my number one goal. Remember, when natural hair looks its best when it is well moisturized and properly hydrated. From my first two weeks natural, I can see that when my hair is moisturized, there is luster, elasticity, less frizz and (what I’m also on the hunt for) curl definition. With about an inch of hair to be seen, I need it to be in prime form at all times. At this point, my hair looks best on wash day and good enough on day 2 (after spraying it with water). But you might as well call me ‘FrizzyFroLady’ at the end of day 3. My hair is a tired dry frizzy afro that needs a lifeline.
From there, my regimen starts to fall into place because I now know I need to rinse, condition, and restyle my hair every 2-3 days. I’m also pulling from the curly girl method in the avoidance of sulfates, silicones, petroleum, drying alcohols and parabens because I want to ward off dryness. Avoiding these ingredients, I can shampoo less often and again limit dryness. My current goal is to shampoo once a month (sulfate-free, of course).
This is my second objective. Everyone says curl definition, but what I’m really after is curl clumping. I have lots of curls (or coils), but without manipulation it’s an afro. The only way my wash and go works at this point is by manually smoothing the hair strands and coiling the ends to create clumps of curls. From what I’ve been reading, the way to curl definition (better yet, curl clumping) is hydration. (See max hydration method above). That is why I’m not just co-washing every 2-3 days (as recommended by the Curly Girl Method), but I’m deep conditioning (with heat) 2-3 times a week.
Clay masks/washes are also great at enhancing curl definition and curl clumping. (See youtube for clay washes and the max hydration method results). Bentonite clay is the most effective for its curl clumping capabilities (with Rhassoul (or Ghassoul) clay coming in second place). I go back and forth on whether I am going to incorporate these into my hair regimen. But I ordered a few clays to test out and if they work, then I’ll include them in my hair regimen as well.
Obvi! As much as I am enjoying my twa, I’m also putting steps into my hair regimen to promote hair growth. I’ve been researching herbs and Ayurvedic ingredients. Along with playing around with some DIY hair products, I plan to use hair products that contain ingredients known to promote hair growth.
And finally scalp massages! They are a big component in maximizing hair growth (and Ayurvedic hair care). I’ve been doing daily scalp massages, which is a lot for me guys. I am typically the worst about keeping up daily hair requirements, but this twa has me MO.TI.VATED! lol.
Natural Hair Regimen for My TWA:
Cleanse: Wash day with a shampoo bar (or maybe clay mask) every 2-4 weeks.
Condition: Deep Condition my hair every 2-3 days (preferably with heat).
Moisturize: Refresh my hair each morning with water and a moisture mist.
Daily: Daily scalp massages with my homemade Amla Brahmi oil (or at least 3 times a week).
Protein: As needed, but at least once a quarter.
Hairstyle: Wash and go.
Overall: No sulfates, silicones, petroleum, drying alcohols and parabens. Opt for hair products with hair growth promoting ingredients in them.
My 2 Weeks Natural Hair Update:
I’m sharing my current healthy hair care stash and some snippets from my first 24 hours natural!