I've stopped relaxing my hair for a year and it's been almost a year after the big chop. You would think I know my hair right now and not fall for the obvious hair no go's. But after taking good care of my natural hair, I became a bit lazy the last couple of weeks. So I ended op looking like this.
Thankfully, I've taken good care of my hair, so my hair can deal with a little setback. But I decided to take my mistake and give you guys 7 tips natural hair care tips, especially for these cold and wet winter months.
1. Avoid heat In the first 6 months of my natural hair journey I didn't use any heat on my hair. Not even a blow dryer! But when it got colder outside, it was impossible for me to go out with wet hair, so I used a hairdryer with diffuser. But with my low porosity hair, it takes my hair 12 hours to dry on itself. And me being impatient, so I bought a hair dryer cap. Well, using this didn't have a good effect on my hair. I used it way too often. So from now on, I use a t-shirt to dry my hair and after this I diffuse on the coldest setting with my blow dryer. For more on hair porosity and elasticity, read this article: http://iammode.com/natural-hair-journey-6-months-update/
2. Deep condition I think deep conditioning is key for healthy winter hair. Sometimes we're in a rush, and deep conditioning is one of the thing that takes a little more time. Instead, I would condition my hair for max 10 min and go on with my life. I also got a new hair mask that didn't do much for my hair. So the other day, I pimped up my Novex hair mask with banana, castor oil and jojoba oil. My hair literally sucked up all the moisture and my curls were poppin'! To give my hair the boost it needs, I left the mask in for 30 minutes, put on a shower cap with a towel. This keeps the moisture and heat in your hair, so your cuticles stay open. For me using heat while deep conditioning is key, with low porosity hair.
3. Use the LOC or LCO method The L stand for leave in, the o for Oil and the C for cream. Some people also use gel instead of oil or cream, depending on their hair type. I personally prefer the LOC method and add gel at the end. Also, I add most of my products under the shower. Water is still the best moisturizer, so I make sure that my hair is soaking wet when applying the products. The oil is used to seal the moisture and the cream for extra moisture or styling. My hair always shrinks up a lot, so I use the banding method to stretch my hair.
5. Give some extra love to your ends! This point is important, definitely when you don't wear your hair up. Your hair will rub against your collar or scarf, which can cause breakage.When your ends are moisturized, they'll break less easy. Tip: when you wash your hair with shampoo, add conditioner to your ends. And adding oil or cream to your ends will also help.
6. Know your ingredients Some ingredients can really cause your hair to dry out. Sulfates in shampoo strip your hair from product build up, but also from your natural oils. I would recommend not to use shampoo's with sulfates but only when you stop using products that cause build up. These products clog up your pores and cause your hair to feel dry. This is the case with silicons and mineral oils.
7. Detangle with care Detangeling can be a pain in the *bleep* sometimes, but not when you handle with care and patience. This is the one thing I really take my time doing. Thankfully, it's easy for me when I have conditioner or a hair mask in my hair. Never detangle your hair when it's dry. Or at least, don't use a comb or brush. Finger detangling is the softest way to detangle your tresses. Honestly, I start with finger detangle, then I go in with a wide tooth comb and at the end I use my denam brush, for extra definition. Always start at the ends, working up. By being to rough detangling, can cause real breakage! So show your crown extra love during the detangling process.
These are my most important natural hair care tips. When I take care of my hair like this, I can stretch my wash & go's to 4 and sometimes 5 days! What do you guys do to protect your hair during the winter?