Monday, 11 December 2017 13:18

Simplify Your Hair Routine

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Simplify Your Hair Routine Nappturality

Are you a product junkie but don't want to be? Are you frustrated using all these different products and none of them work for you? Step back and take a look at your routine.

I was doing my usual internet video dive the other day and came across an adorable video of a toddler who had gotten into the Vaseline. The child had dug right in with both hand and was spreading the greasy goop all over her head. A simple Google Search will bring up dozens of similar videos of all kinds of babies getting into the slippery stuff.

It’s funny that I was reminded of similar videos of “natural vloggers” and the amount of product they are putting on their hair to achieve this and that style. 6 – 7 different products! And all see in my mind is this little girl smearing her hair in vaseline. Too much goop!

Natural hair is not difficult. In fact ask any veteran natural and she will tell you that. What is making it seem difficult is because so many people out there are telling you (and showing you) that to achieve their natural hair look you must use all these products, layered on top of one another, or your hair will not style. But you know what? You really don’t need all those products to style your hair. And you certainly don’t need to layer 8 products on top of each other every time you want to do twists or a puff.

Have fun and experiment.

It’s fun to experiment with your hair. After 15 years doing this natural gig, I still experiment. In the early years, it was all about products. Product junky-ism is a real struggle. After all those products, and all that early experimentation and stress because my hair would NOT do what other people’s hair did --- I asked myself, why was I trying to fight so much with my hair? Everyone has bad hair days now and again but you should be enjoying your hair, not fighting with it every day.

Hair Texture and Hair Styling

There is a relationship between hair texture and hair styling. Certain hair styles are easier to achieve with certain hair textures and almost impossible on others. A looser hair texture will never work as an afro or hold twists the way a tighter hair texture will. And a tighter hair texture will never naturally do shiny loose ringlets like a looser hair texture does. So, whatever your hair texture is, the more you understand what it can do, the better you get at styling it and the easier you will find your journey. Your hair is beautiful and unique. Don’t try to emulate everyone else – do your own thing.

Signs you are doing too much:

Excess product usage. Is your bathroom cabinet stuffed with products? Have you overflowed products into your bedroom and kitchen? If you are using more than 5 products on your hair every day and have been doing it for longer than a month you are doing too much. What you are trying to achieve? Is it a style or a texture?

Why we OVERdo it. Excess product usage (product junky-ism) is all part of the journey, learning about what works for your hair and what doesn’t. It becomes a problem when you find yourself buying brand after brand but you are still unhappy with what your hair is doing (or not doing).

…this is why the Black hair care market is worth $BILLIONS.

To help you get started on simplifying, here is the 3 x 3 challenge:

  1. Pick an easy style. A chunky fro, puffs, up-do, or maintain twists or a twistout. Commit to this style or variations of it for 3 days.
  2. Limit yourself to using 3 products each day. Pick 3. Don’t be tempted to grab more. Act like you are on a desert island and only have 3 products.
  3. ALWAYS cover your hair at night and use one of those 3 products before you go to bed.

At the end of the 3 days, pick another comination of 3 products and repeat this 3 times. You can change your style with each challenge.

At the end of this, you will see how little you need to do to keep yourself styled.

My simple routine:

Daily products

  1. A butter for hair and scalp.
  2. A gel for hold and for edge control.
  3. A spritz for those afro natural days.

Other products

  1. An oil mix to seal in moisture on wet hair and for scalp health.
  2. A deep conditioner / masque
  3. A shampoo bar
  4. A conditioner
  5. Apple cider vinegar for clarifying

Enhancing your own unique texture is simple.

  • On new wet twists and similar styles, use a whip for conditioning and gel for hold.
  • On braids and extensions / weaved hair use a scalp and hair spritz as needed. Wrap up at night.
  • On dry hair in twists/coils, use a light butter to bring moisture back and hold it in. Pay attention to your ends and you can choose a heavier butter if your ends need help. Wrap up at night.
  • On afro’s, puffs, outs, leave-in conditioners after shampoo and water-based spritzes when you feel like it (don’t overdo glycerine or your hair will dry out). Wrap up at night.
  • Edge control – use a light gel, butter with water and wrap your hairline up. In 10 minutes you are good to go.

I hope these tips help you get through your natural hair journey and save you some time (and money)!

Last modified on Monday, 11 December 2017 13:40
Patricia "Deecoily" Gaines

Patricia Gaines aka Deecoily is the founder and creator of Nappturality in 2002, the beginning of the natural hair movement. Since 2000 she has been blogging on all things natural hair, Black culture and politics.

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