Hey Curlfriends & Natural Hair Enthusiasts-
I’ve had a few people ask me to share my hair routine and products that I use, so I’m finally making a blog post. Sorry for the delay!
First things first: be patient with your curls. It took me years to find what techniques and products work my hair and give me the consistent desired results. This wash & go routine that I am about to share is actually the ONLY routine that has given me consistent results. I’ve tried twist outs, braid outs, bantu knot outs (and everything in between ) only to be disappointed by inconsistent results. One day it comes out great, two weeks later-you use the same products and technique *or so I think* – and the results are an epic fail that makes you regret the three hours you spent on the effort. I know le struggle all too well. This routine, this right here, has been my friend. Its been loyal. Its been consistent. So I’m happy to share! And hope that it works for you too!
The first question I have for you is, what look do you hope to achieve for your hair? For a long time I couldn’t really articulate the answer. That was a big problem. If you don’t know that answer- first do some soul searching. Look on pinterest and online to find some photos of looks that you like and figure out what they all have in common. My answer? I like movement. I like individual curls. My biggest gripe with previous wash & gos was that they all had the movement of an afro, NONE! If I shook my head from side to side, all of my hair moved together in unison. Me no likey that look. I also like very defined curls that look hydrated and shiny, but not greasy! (As a blonde, not looking or feeling dry can be an issue) I also like my hair to be soft to the touch and not feel dry. I also like big hair, so I don’t want it laying flat. Tall order? Nah! This routine and products gimme alladat! Ok…if thats what you want…proceed!
Here are my products/tools:
- Spray bottle. Fill it with water
- Denman Brush. Can be purchased at Sally’s Beauty Supply for $9.99 or on Amazon by clicking the link.
- Eco Styler Gel with Olive Oil. There are many other types of Eco Styler gel. I have tried a few others and did NOT get the same results, not sure if its in my mind or real life, but for consistency sake-get this exact one! This can be purchased at Wal- Mart, Target, Sally’s, Walgreens, CVS, or any fine grocer.
- Rat Tail Comb.
That’s all folks! These are the ONLY products I use. Don’t go adding your favorite leave-in or moisturizer and wonder why the results are weird. A lot of products do NOT play well with others. Especially with gels. A lot of moisturizers mixed with gels result in white residue or flaking almost immediately.
Step 1: Wash hair. I wash my hair with whatever I feel like that day. Its totally inconsistent and varies based on my mood or what’s not run out in my shower. A few in rotation are: Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap -great tingle for the scalp especially if you have dry itchy scalp like me. Shea Moisture’s Grow & Restore Shampoo , it has apple cider vinegar in it which is also good for dry & itchy scalp, and I also use Kinky Curly’s Come Clean Shampoo as well. It feels like it gives a deep clean and gets rid of any built up product residue.
Step 2: Apply a generous amount of a slippery conditioner to detangle. My go-to fav is Herbal Essence’s Hello Hydration. You can find this in any store that sells conditioner I’m sure. Its easy to locate and cheap! I comb it through and detangle my hair using the Denman brush while in the shower. After your hair is fully detangled, rinse conditioner out.
Step 3: *Out of the shower* The real fun begins. Divide your hair into sections. I usually separate mine into two sections first: parted through the center of my head as if I were wearing it half up and half down. I put the top half in a bun. Then I divide the lower part into another half, through the center.
I pin that top part of the bottom section up.
Then I part the last bottom section in half so there is a right and left side. (Maybe I need to do a video and pictures?)
I use a rat tail comb to divide a small section of hair, less than an inch thick. Clip all remaining hair up.
Step 4: Use the spray bottle to saturate the small section of hair with water.
Step 5: Apply a generous amount of gel to saturated hair.
Step 6: Comb this through with Denman brush.
Note: If there is any frizz, repeat steps 4-6 until there is no frizz using equal parts water and gel.
Step 7: Use rat tail comb to separate another section and repeat steps 4-6 until you’ve covered your entire head.
NOTE***This IS time consuming. It usually takes me at least an hour. When you get to the front of your head, keep in mind how you want your hair to fall once its dry. If you want a part down the middle, complete this process with the part down the middle. This way it will fall this way once dried.
Step 8: Once you have completed steps 4-6 on your entire head, scrunch hair with your fingers to engage your curls. If you want to get rid of excess gel and water, you can use a paper towel to scrunch with as well.
Step 9: Now you have two choices: let it air dry or sit under the dryer.
If you let it air dry, you must be standing upright or moving around. DO NOT lay down or go to sleep with your hair still wet.
If you sit under the dryer, you do not have to let it completely dry under the dryer. You can dry it 80% under the dryer and then diffuse the rest with a blow dryer/diffuser if you’d like. I usually dry my hair completely under the dryer unless I am leaving the house-in which case I let it air dry.
NOTE: It will NOT be big hair on day one. It WILL be somewhat crunchy on day one. However, after you sleep on it one night (on a satin pillowcase) , it will be perfectly big and soft!
Here are my results! I would love to hear from you! Questions, comments or suggestions!
UPDATE: I got these questions..
I’m wondering things like .. How many days will it last? Do you comb it or pick it out once it’s dry ? Do I just sleep on a satin pillow case. .. No head gear?
I usually wear it for a week. Depending on the weather conditions, it may or may not hold up and look good that long. I do not comb or pick it, I simply fluff with my hands if needed. And I sleep on a satin pillowcase, no head gear!