Following up on my last post, I’d like to share my haircare routine with y’all. I wish I could say that this is the PERFECTEST HAIRCARE ROUTINE OF ALL TIME, that will solve all your hair woes forever. But, alas, there is no magic bullet, no perfect product, no single solution that works for all hair. There are as many haircare routines as there are heads of hair and more. Each scalp and each head of hair is different, and it takes experimentation to figure out what’s right for you. Sorry.
But on the bright side, we’re all very special snowflakes!
I only wash my hair about every three weeks. When I do, I use Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo. It contains no sulfates or silicones, and it’s safe for color treated hair. I vigorously massage my scalp but not the length of my hair. Shea Moisture products are available at Sally’s, Target, and many (but not all, strangely), Walgreens locations.
In between washings, I use a cheap conditioner (V05 or some lines of Suave that have no sulfates or silicones) to massage my scalp vigorously. This is called “co-washing”–using conditioner to wash the scalp. This is great for people with hair that’s on the dry side. If you tend more towards having greasy hair, you might need to wash more frequently.
Every time I wet my hair, I use Sally’s Generic Conditioning Balm (generic for Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm) from Sally’s Beauty. I work it into wet hair and leave it in. And I am NOT STINGY. This product is quite thick and heavy. If you have dry hair like me, your hair will eat it up and love it. If your hair is fine, you might like this product as a once-a-week deep treatment, but not as a leave-in. If you have superfine hair or hair that tends to run flat or greasy, try a lighter conditioner.
Every week or two, I do some kind of treatment on my hair. I sometimes use the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque , sometimes I use coconut oil or some other homemade concoction.
When I get out of the shower, I “plop” (plopping is a particular way of wrapping hair to promote curl and enhance curl pattern) using cheap cotton cloths I bought in bulk at Target. There are a gazillion awesome plopping tutorials on youtube.
After that, I use my miracle product on my wet-but-not-dripping hair: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I get a decent amount in my hands and work it through tip-to-root. If it’s a lazy day, this is the only product I use.
For more control, I use Shea Moisture Curling Gel Souffle gel. I use the TINIEST BIT IMAGINABLE (the gel is really liquidy, so I pretty much dip my fingertips in the jar and call it good). I cannot stress enough that a little goes a long way with this stuff. A single jar lasted me almost two years. This product is also quite heavy and is definitely not for everyone–some of the online reviews are pretty scathing. But it works for me.
After that, I GENTLY blow dry the roots of my hair using a diffuser and a medium setting. My hair is long and heavy, so I like to blow dry the top to prevent flat-head. Only in time emergencies do I blow-dry my hair until it is dry.
FOR SECOND DAY HAIR
Finding the perfect second day (or third day) hair routine is like the grail for curlies. Drying our hair can take forever and be a giant pain in the ass–but sleep can really muss up curls. Having rockin’ second day hair actually begins the night before. Lots of sites recommend sleeping on satin pillowcases. I have yet to buy a satin pillowcase, because I’d rather buy dresses. Maybe someday. ANYWAY, I prep my hair by doing a “pineapple.” Bend upside down and gently tie your hair into a loose ponytail or bun on the tip-top of your head with a scrunchie (yay 90s!). It must be a scrunchie and not a rubber band–you want it to be as smooth and loose as possible. The next morning, I wet my hair gently with homemade lavender spray and scrunch in a little tiny bit of Curl Enhancing Smoothie and it bounces right back.
It sounds complicated to explain, and it was complicated during the 8 or so months I was experimenting and trying it all out. Now it’s the easiest thing in the world. So go forth and EXPERIMENT!