Hair, Hair Products (Bought), Hair Products (DIY)

Week 2: My Old Hair Care Routine vs My New Hair Care Routine (Part 1)

As you can see, I’m making some real progress here. It’s crazy that the photos I took to announce my baldness to the world, beautifully taken by my lovely husband, are now out of date. I had that look for such a short amount of time, I’m not even sure if it was worth going THAT short. But it was fun while it lasted. I do not think my hair growth rate is even close to half an inch a month (average for everyone) but we will plod on regardless because I have no other choice. Now I am emerging into the world of hair again, I need to make sure that I look after it and don’t make the mistakes of old.

Before doing my big chop, I obviously did a lot of research. This was mainly because I was trying to fix what I had. I was not originally intending to cut all my hair off. I wanted to fix my edges, due to various issues  causing them to basically disappear. I was rubbing a mix of olive oil and pure essential ginger oil into my hairline every night for a good few months and I had some success. I’m sure I’ll go into more detail about that in another post. The point I am trying to get at, was that my research essentially told me that I was a bad person. I was coming across terms I had never heard of, techniques that seemed to be common knowledge that I didn’t know and I felt shame. How had I let my hair get into this state!

It only takes about 2 minutes of searching natural or afro hair care to find out what the basic rules of looking after our hair are. I, however, must have mislaid the rule book about 30 years ago! So below is my take on all of the steps I need to start a journey to healthy hair. I could be wrong, misguided, or right on track. Only time will tell but I think I’m off to a good start and I think I have the right end of the stick with the steps I need to take.

MOISTURISE & SEAL

Your hair needs to be soft day and night. Basically don’t let it get too dry even if that means you have a spray bottle of water and a bottle of oil in your hand bag at all times. Even if some apocalyptic event occurs, your hair will still be moisturised. This is what I know now but until recently, I hadn’t even heard of sealing in moisture. I would put oil on after getting my hair wet because it worked better than on dry hair but I didn’t know that it was the right thing to do.

What was I doing before?

I honestly could not tell you. I may have sprayed a leave in conditioner on my hair every now again. Possibly a little Argan Oil rubbed in but generally just water, every now and again. Shameful.

What I do now?

I definitely do more than I did before that’s for sure. I have spray bottles coming out of my ear holes, just everywhere. I fill them with water, I was at one point filling them with water and conditioner until I realised I had the wrong sort of conditioner. I try not to get my head dripping wet but just to have full coverage. I then use my own oil concoction to seal in the moisture. When I first started looking at the right way to do things, I hastily bought so much stuff. Turns out I needed to do more research because I bought a lot of the wrong products. Luckily the oils were generally a good call, maybe not of the highest quality i.e. organic, cold pressed, unrefined etc.

So the current oil mix is, wait for it – olive oil, flaxseed oil, grape seed oil, castor oil, almond oil, argan oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil and I’m sure I’ve forgotten something as I threw a bottle out a few weeks ago but can’t for the life of me remember what it was! If I am completely honest with you, if I had more money right now (I’m still on maternity leave and I’m in the bit that doesn’t pay), I would have bought more to try. Anyone heard of Mongongo Oil? No, me neither but I have to have it. So with my oil mix, I rub a little in and then finally a little bit of hair creme. I bought the creme for the kids and for some reason, even unknown to me, I mixed the African Pride Shea Butter Miracle Creme and Strengthener Miracle Creme  together.  They smelled delicious separately and even better together but I don’t think there is any added benefit to doing this. Unfortunately, I am not 100% on the ingredients all being good for my hair if I go by what other bloggers say you should and should not put on your head. But if it is marketed for my hair type, the companies, their scientists and cosmetologists must know what they are talking about to some extent, surely? They are not claiming to be completely natural and they have some very good things in there too so I’m happy to give it a go until I can get some shea butter or something similar. The liquid, oil and then cream method described above is the L.O.C. Method that so many naturalistas swear by so I will, to a degree, follow the rules! I am trying to complete this journey the right way but I may need a bit of leeway due to budget, time and thinking I know better!


CO-WASHING

Say what now? Until a few months ago, I had never heard that term. It’s simple though, it’s just washing your hair with conditioner only and skipping the shampooing step. This is because shampoos can be quite harsh on your hair, stripping away that essential moisture I mentioned above. If the goal is to keep your hair moisturised, you either need to not use shampoo every time you wash your hair or use a gentle moisturising shampoo. I have decided to mostly co-wash and shampoo every other wash.

What was I doing before? 

To be honest, I don’t even know. I washed my hair with whatever shampoo was available, sometimes I would condition too but to say I had a routine would be stretching the truth to the point of snapping. I feel shame at the dereliction of duty to my hair. I am a bad person.

What I do now?

Now I plan to co-wash twice a week, maybe once if I’m pushed for time with the kids. I try not to use too much oil or creme but I’ve spent years with the mindset that more is better when it comes to hair products which can lead to product buildup. So I need to learn moderation. To wash, I’m currently using Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Smoothing Shampoo and Replenishing Conditioner. *I didn’t know they did hair care now either*. I like the smell and it seems to be doing what I need it to do.

DEEP CONDITIONING

This process, I hope I’m describing it properly, is a super penetrating moisture treatment that you do after washing. It helps your hair stay looking healthy too. I’m sure there are more positives to it than that considering how lauded it is, I just know that it makes my wash day even longer and depending on how I plan my day may lead to me having to get back in the shower to rinse it out. That makes it sound laborious but it really is a positive step.

What was I doing before?

I definitely was not doing this at all. Recently though, before the chop, I had tried a DIY one which was equal parts honey and olive oil heated in a microwave, covered with a plastic cap for at least an hour. I tried another DIY one which was made with an egg, honey, olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar. I did have issues with rinsing the spices out of my hair though it smelt good. I could feel the grittiness up there but my hair did feel better. Both worked well and I would try them again.

What I do now?

I haven’t  actually deep conditioned since I shaved my head *tut tut* but I think this is something that I will need to add to the routine straight away, especially if I can do something as simple as mix some olive oil and honey together, both of which I have in stock.

CLARIFY

Cleansing all the crap off your hair and scalp that you’ve loaded on by doing the above!

What was I doing before?

What do you think?

What I do now?

Shampooing should strip some of the build up off my scalp but I’ve read that it is recommended to do a specific clarifying wash every 4-6 weeks and normal shampoo may not be effective enough. Apple Cider Vinegar is apparently very good for this, you can add it to your normal shampoo or you can do your own rinse. I haven’t made my own clarifier yet or bought one, but again this is something I need to get into my routine ASAP.

Gosh, that was all a bit long and it’s only part one!

Part two will cover my take on pre-pooing, heat usage, finger detangling, protective styling and bedtime routines. So much to learn, absorb and remember!

 

Let’s keep growing.

xx Lee xx

Comments welcome below (Is there anything I can do better? Tips you can share? Correct me if I’m wrong, please!)

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2 thoughts on “Week 2: My Old Hair Care Routine vs My New Hair Care Routine (Part 1)

  1. Try not to use too many oils at the same time you won’t know which one is really working & might end up wasting money on some. I’ve been advised by a relative (she has long thick healthy natural hair so it must be legit advice lol) to only use coconut oil & Jamaican castor oil. Also taking biotin, I’ve used it before but I noticed my nails getting longer, didn’t see much of a difference with the hair but I’m giving it another shot religiously this time.

    1. Thanks. I’ve actually been using JBCO at night and I hope it does the trick. Maybe your right about the oil mix, I do have a tendency to throw everything and the kitchen sink in! When this cocktail is finished I may re-evaluate. But I know all the oils separately are good for you so that was my thinking but happy to try anything!

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