A Black Girls Guide to Haircare

“Is that all your hair?”, “Is that your real hair?”, “How do you do your hair?”, or  “What products do you use on your hair?” Are questions I get asked A LOT. I always stray away from talking about my hair or giving tips because hair is so unique to the individual. What works for my hair may not work for others. –Literally me and my mother can not even use the same products. Her hair is nothing like mine– I have gone to war trying to figure my hair out and what works for it. Sure, I’ve looked to youtubbers, like the Glamtwinz, and stylists to help, but ultimately it is trial and error.

As black women our hair is our crown. We hold a lot of pride in the way our hair looks. We spend hours to perfect it- or days cause lord know washing my hair is an all day process-. I used to be ashamed of my curls because growing up natural curls were the standard of beauty. I am a self proclaimed pseudo-natural, meaning, I’m completely natural, but use heat to manipulate my curl pattern to straight. I’ve always been natural, but I’ve been heat styled since the age of 8. Though my curl pattern has loosened since then, my curls are still intact and my hair is healthy. I love that our natural curls and coils are being more accepted now, however, the maintenance isn’t for me. I absolutely love the look of it, but I simply cant put the time and energy into maintaining my natural curls- more power to those that can I envy you!– I hate that its assumed that since my hair is straight that it must be a perm, I must be mixed or that my curl pattern is wiped because that simply isn’t true.

I’ve recently reconstructed my whole hair care routine because my hair started breaking off and wasn’t reacting in the way I was used to. I completely went down to the basics and started from there. 

Hair changes all the time depending on your age, your diet, your water intake, the medication you take, and the vitamins you consume. It’s really hard to pinpoint what may be causing your hair to thrive or fail. I have found that these basics are my necessity. I have found that whenever I skip these or remove them from my routine, my hair isn’t happy. 

1. The Products

It’s really important to know what your hair’s porosity is and the texture of your hair to find the right products. I have low porosity with a fine texture on one side and a course texture on the other. 

For my hair its a must that I prepoo with heat. I usually do a cocktail of oils, jojoba, olive, coconut, shea butter, tea tree, and argan oil, in a warm bath and massage that into my scalp. I let the prepoo sit on my hair either with a steam cap or under a hooded dryer for 20 mins to an hour ( an hour with the steam cap, 20 mins with the hooded dryer) 

I wash my hair every 2-3 weeks in the Summer or hotter months and every 3 to 4 weeks in the Winter or colder months. For shampoo and conditioner, I always use Joico Moisture shampoo and conditioner or Kpak shampoo and conditioner line. I don’t get too specific with the shampoo and conditioner. They aren’t in my hair long enough to do anything to it. I try to keep the shampoo and conditioner as simple as possible. Where I do get product happy is deep conditioners. I loveeeee deep conditioners. My holy grails are Shea Moisture Intensive Hydrating Manuka Honey deep conditioner, Joico Kpak intense hydration, Joico intense moisture, Cantu Intense deep conditioner 

Prior to blow drying using a spray leave-in conditioner is key. I use a spray over a cream because it doesn’t weigh the hair down while keeping the hair protected. The 2 I love are It’s A 10 and Aphrogee. Since I have thick hair, a blow drying spray that will cut down the time to dry is vital. The two I toggle between is OGX Blow dry spray and Kenra Blow dry spray. They both have many benefits and it’s an added layer of heat protectant for my hair while blow drying.  A heat protectant prior to flat ironing I like is Tresemme. I have been looking for other alternatives due to the chemicals that are in it, but honestly my hair loves it and I haven’t noticed any negative effects. I also use a light oil like argon or jojoba oil before the blow dry process and to finish and put back some moisture and shine.

2. The Base

 The key to get the perfect silk press is a solid bow dried foundation. I part my hair in 4 sections. In the section I’m getting ready to blow dry, I will apply my leave in,  blow drying spray and then I will detangle the section. I then blow dry that section on the lowest heat setting possible, starting from the bottom and working my way to the root with the fine comb attachment. After I have finished all 4 sections and they are 80% dry, I will add a small amount of light oil to my hair. I then blow dry on the highest setting possible to get it a little straighter for no more than 2 minutes. 

If I’m going for a silk press, I’ll part my hair in 4 sections, set my flat iron between 360-380 and use the chase method with a brush to flat iron. 

If i’m not silk pressing, but i want it to look uniformed and be easy to maintain, i’ll set my flat iron to 350 and curl large sections 

I try to get my hair trimmed every 3 months, it just curls better when it’s trimmed.  Due to medication I’m on I have to drink a lot of water or else my scalp gets really dry and looks like the before in the head and shoulders commercial.- and that ain’t sexy at all

I recently purchased 2 Babybliss flat irons. I use one for the silk press and the other for curling when I don’t do a silk press. The blow dryer I use is an Andis. I love this blow dryer. It’s easy to hold and gets the job done quickly- and the price point is the chefs kiss!

3. The Wrap

Protecting your hair at night and while doing sweaty activities is how to get your hair to last! It’s important for me to wrap my hair with a silk scarf. I use 2. One to hold my wrap in place and save my edges, and the other to contain the rest of my hair. I always lightly oil the ends of  my hair before I wrap it and I’ll spray it with a light oil once I have completed my wrap. 

If I am working out or participating in something that will most likely sweat my hair out -achem- I will pull it into a pony or a ballet bun and wrap the edges – if I’m trying to be sexy I will do this after said activity. This helps lay my hair back down. If it’s completely sweated out I will run the blow dryer through it on a low setting with the comb attachment. 

This is just a small glimpse of how I care for my hair. Though the most important tip I can give you is to take care of yourself from the inside out. Make sure your body is getting what it needs to thrive. Make sure you are getting your water intake, enough rest and the right vitamins. If you’re on medication check with your doctor to see if that could be affecting your hair, skin and nails.

What are you hair care tips? Lets talk about it!

And remember,

dont be bitter,

Be better!

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