Beauty Beat || My Curly Hair Routine
I have at least 2x more hair than the average person (or so multiple hair stylists have told me). With 28 years under this mop, I've learned a thing or too about hair management so when a hair care post was requested, I thought, absolutely! So here goes!
My natural hair is curly, dry, and can get very frizzy. In order for my hair to form intact curls, I have to apply a good amount of product to my soaking wet hair and not touch it until it's completely dry. Many people I've spoken to with curly hair have gone on a curly hair journey of sorts. Basically, they went from hating to loving their hair and I'm nooo different. For years I would get a Japanese straightening treatment (which is permanent) until one botched treatment left me with chunks of fried hair and I was forced to chop off all the damage and grow out my natural hair. Since then, it has taken me years to figure out what my hair needs to look it's best, from in-shower care to dry styling. And now, I love my natural hair! It's a lot to maintain but I love having big, curly, jet black hair. It's my thing. It's ME.
To maintain my waves/curls but save precious time (and sanity), I do the following.
Hair Care Routine:
- Shower Time: In the shower is where I do most of my work. First, I shampoo using OGX Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo. While I'm working the lather into my scalp, I use both of my hands to scratch my scalp. Yep, you read that right, I scratch my scalp. What does this do? For me, it removes build-up (either dead skin cells or product). TMI Alert: You may find you have gunk under your nails while doing this (that's the dead skin/build-up) so check your nails every so often and wash it out as you make passes around your scalp. I don't scratch so hard that I draw blood (DON'T do that) but I vigorously scratch/massage my whole scalp, front to back, then back again. Not only does this exfoliate my scalp, IT MAKES MY HAIR GROW LIKE A WEED. I tested it. I tried co-washing for three months, that is, cleaning my hair with a non-lathering shampoo. Without the lather, I stopped scratching/exfoliating my scalp and I noticed my hair barely grew in those three months. Normally, my hair would have grown 1-2 inches at least. After I stopped co-washing and went back to my lathering shampoo - and my regular scratching process - my hair started growing again at its regular crazy rate. After that experience, I asked my dermatologist if I was on to something. Could my weird exfoliating habit actually be making my hair grow? She said, yes! Scratching brings blood to the surface of the scalp, increasing circulation at the root and likely causing the hair to grow faster. I'm an itchy genius!
- Conditioning: I condition using OGX Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner. I have a lot of hair so I use a lottt, a good dollop, maybe two... maybe three. I finger comb the conditioner through my hair in sections, from ends through to the root (this might be too much for anyone with thinner hair but my hair is so thick and dry, it demands conditioner all over). I then rub my hands together over those sections like one would a stick to start a fire - hands together, hair between palms, rubbing back and forth - to massage in the conditioner. After that, I leave the conditioner in for the rest of my shower while I wash my body, exfoliate, and shave... whatever I need to do. The very last thing I do before I step out of the shower is rinse the conditioner out of my hair. I make the water very cold and lean back so my hair is the only thing in the water (not trying to torture myself here) and rinse it out. The cold water seals the hair cuticle, making strands smoother and shinier.
- Deep Conditioning Mask: When I want an extra boost of moisture, I use the Photo Photojoba Intense Hydrating Brilliance Mask. However, I find the OGX conditioner to be so hydrating that I rarely use this anymore, although it is an excellent product.
- Styling: Before I even step out of the shower, with hair soaking wet, I pump a dollop of Sebastian Potion 9 into my hands and glide it over the lengths of my hair, mid-shaft to ends, then glide whatever is left on my hands over my roots to soften those frizzies. I use this first because it more like a lightweight serum that really gets infused into your wet hair, adding shine and smoothness. I follow that up with Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Creme, a thicker creme to seal that extra hydration in, define curls, and add even more shine, also glided over the lengths of my hair. I say glide because I mean glide. This is specific to curly hair, but brushing product through your hair will break up the curls. Gliding product over soaking wet hair will allow thicker curls/waves to form. Then, I throw a microfiber towel over my shoulders and let my hair air dry while I get ready (eat, put on makeup, get dressed, etc...). Next, I blow out the front of my hair so the roots of my bangs lay flat, then curl the front pieces away from my face so they are uniform with my curls when the rest of my hair dries, then I leave my apartment. Yes, I more often than not go out with wet hair. By the time I get to my destination, my hair has dried into big, shiny curls and I have the disco hair of my dreams.
- Curling Iron: If I'm home when my hair dries or it's second day hair, I go over any frizzy pieces that didn't fully form into curls with my curling iron. I use the NuMe Lustrum Set. What's wonderful about the set is it comes with five wands so depending on what kind of curl or wave you want, there's a wand for that. I also love them because these wands are longer than the average curling iron, so if you have long hair like me, you're actually able to wrap the whole length of your hair around the wand in one go. No need to do a top section and bottom section like you have to with shorter wands. It's a major time-saver, trust me. I use the cone barrel on a daily basis. The curls it creates perfectly mimic my natural curl pattern so anytime I use it, the curling iron curls and the natural ones all seamlessly mix together.
What are your must-have products? What tools changed your haircare routine? Share them in the comments!
Photography: Jon Cospito