Guys and girls with curls, you’ll know my struggle!
It feels like every bit of patience I have has gone into improving my wash day routine and learning what products work best for my natural curly hair.
After countless hours of research and trying a bazillion products, only to be left with bottles of half-used hair care (that didn’t work out like I thought it would), I can truly say I found my natural-hair-styling groove.
I know I’d still be struggling if I hadn’t gone to a salon in my town and gotten schooled by an expert that specializes in curls. I didn’t even know such a salon existed. Look for one in your area!
Here’s how I’ve perfected my natural hair routine
Finding the right products for your hair is the key ingredient to success! Because I’m loving the products that were recommended to me by a professional stylist, who’s an expert in curls, I’m dying to share them with you.
Since I started my wash routine with these specialty hair care products that are clean and have no harmful ingredients, I’ve seen true progress with my hair. After about 1.5 months of consistency, my hair is hydrated, shiny and growing quicker.
What is wash day for me?
Wash day is the day I spend the most amount of time cleansing, conditioning and moisturizing my hair. Wash day might consist of co-washing or shampooing.
I co-wash my hair once a week (sometimes twice). Co-wash doesn’t contain shampoo and is very gentle on your curls. Shampoo can be over drying for curly hair, which already lacks moisture, dries out and breaks easily. Overly dry natural hair is also very difficult to style.
Wash day with co-wash
On wet hair, I apply co-wash all over. With the co-wash in my hair, I clip it up and part it in sections, detangling it with my fingers. I really take my time here for two reasons, 1) it gives the co-wash time to moisturize my curls and 2) I want to make sure all tangles are out before I run a brush through my hair.
Hair is more fragile when it’s wet and a brush can cause breakage, so it’s best to brush when all the tangles are out.
Afterwards, I rinse and towel dry gently. When you rub your hair too harshly with a towel it can get tangled and break, fraying at the ends.
- Co-wash once a week (maybe twice)
- Apply co-wash, let sit
- Section hair and run fingers through it
- Brush hair once all tangles are out
- Towel dry
I still shampoo my hair, but with much less frequency than before. I shampoo my natural hair once every three weeks and by that time, my scalp is ready!
On shampoo day, I shampoo, rinse and follow up with a co-wash or a deep conditioning treatment.
I used to use a clarifying shampoo, thinking it was helping my hair. The curl specialist from the salon educated me about clarifying shampoos and how they can be extremely harsh on your hair. Yes they get rid of the dirt and build-up but they also strip your hair of all the natural oils.
Instead of using clarifying shampoo, my stylist recommended a moisturizing and conditioning shampoo. And since it is beneficial to remove build-up, she also suggested adding Vitamin C powder, (the store bought kind that you add to smoothies), and mix it in the moisturizing and conditioning shampoo every 2-3 months. Just like for your skin and immune system, Vitamin C has some major benefits for hair. It removes build-up, strengthens hair and leaves the natural oils intact. Mix about a teaspoon of Vitamin C powder with shampoo right in the palm of your hand.
Moisturizing & Conditioning Shampoo
Restorative Hair Mask
*deep conditioning treatment
- Shampoo (once a month, about every three weeks)
- Use a moisturizing and conditioning shampoo
- Add ~ teaspoon of Vitamin C powder to your shampoo every 2-3 months to remove build up
- Co-wash or alternate with a deep conditioner*
- Towel dry
Styling natural hair
Every bit of this process becomes a perfected, personal process but I’ll share mine to help you get closer to natural hair you love.
Applying primer on natural hair
After towel drying, I use a moisturizing primer.
This product is recommended for people with dry natural hair. It hydrates your hair and doesn’t weigh down your curls. It’s pretty liquidy and easy to apply it all over.
Note: I used to use oils to moisturize but they tend to cause build-up and weigh curls down.
I part my hair leaving the bottom hang and section it with clips. I add the primer one section at a time, rubbing it through with my fingers.
Mousse for natural curls
I love adding this bamboo starch volumizing mousse to my hair. I use it when I wear my hair out or half up.
Be sure to shake it well, a little goes a long way.
I clip the sections just like above and apply mousse and style with a diffuser.
Next, I add a little gel because it helps set my hair. I never use gel alone, so it’s either after mousse or not at all. I use a small amount and diffuse after.
I use this when I wear my hair down and half-up.
Mastering my edges
I love the look of tight edges. So, to top off almost any style, I do my edges to complete the look.
I apply Aunt Jackie’s Slicked, blow it dry quickly and viola!
Note: edges might be a little flaky the next day but it’s nothing a damp rag can’t handle.
Flexible Styling Glue
In case you’re wondering, I use the Dyson blow dryer and diffuser. It’s hands down worth every penny! It only took one major fail for me to realize this is a diffuser I can’t live without. I’ll tell you the whole story in an upcoming email. If you’re not on my email list you can sign up here.
Tell me, think these tips for my wash day and natural hair routine are helpful? Let me know in the comments!