Curly hair Journey: Routine for fully transitioned Hair
Since I began my Natural hair journey, learning to style my hair over the last year and a half has been a real challenge. Constant changes in texture & length has made it difficult to establish a routine. However despite the difficulties of transitioning my relaxed hair to its natural curly state, I finally am 100% natural!
Trimming off the last inch of relaxed hair was super rewarding for me, I no longer have to compromise to find products and techniques that work for both my transitioning hair & natural hair.
I have established a really good routine which is so quick and simple (as I train 6 days a week so don't have time to spend hours on my hair).
Going natural has meant so much more than I thought it would, although I am still getting used to my hair, I am happy to say I have a new found appreciation for my afro hair, even with all its shape shifting qualities and tangles. So I thought I would share my routine (for 3C-4A coils and curls) to save anyone else on a hair journey the time as I wish I'd know all this when I started.
READ THE LABELS
Most hair care available will list key ingredients they do not contain clearly on the front of packaging. However, curly hair can be more reactive to certain ingredients in products so its good to try different hair care and always read the labels. All suggested products below are free from Silicones & Sulphates. I personally do not use any sulphates and silicones on my hair because sulphates leave my hair feeling dry and silicone can coat the hair, preventing them from absorbing the moisturising ingredients that I work so hard to get into my hair, that help it stay healthy and grow. There are lots products out there that are of real benefit containing Silicones & sulphates, however I personally find them extremely drying for my hair type.
Parabens are used in a lot of hair and skincare because they preserve the shelf life of products. There is some evidence out there to suggest that they can be unhelpful, however there are very few substances used in hair & skincare that are actually harmful to us and I would recommend doing your research on all of these chemicals before reducing your beauty product choices.
SOME OF MY FAVOURITES
SHAMPOO - Maui Moisture revive + hydrate Shampoo - £5.99
If I have had my hair in a long-wear style like braids or weave (up to 1 month) I do a double shampoo. This helps to clean the scalp and hair to ensure the hair follicles are not blocked and the hair can grown from the root. Shampoo can also strip hair of its natural oils which help keep hair moisturised and healthy, Therefore I tend to only shampoo my hair once a week and if I have had particularly sweaty sessions then I co-wash (wash with conditioner rather than shampoo).
CONDITIONER - Maui Moisture Revive & Hydrate Shea Butter Conditioner - £5.99
It is important to work the conditioner into the ends of the hair and 'finger detangle' the hair with your hands while conditioning. I let this sit on the hair for 5 minutes then rinse to leave hair soft and manageable.
MASK - Noughty To The Rescue Hair Mask 300ml - £8.99
I tend to do a deep treatment once a week as I find being so active and washing regularly can leave my hair feeling dry. I apply the mask all over, targeting the ends and using a shower-cap to cover the hair for 15 minutes. I like to also add a wooly hat on top to create natural heat which helps the mask absorb more effectively into the hair shaft. This is particularly important for me as I have learned I have low porosity hair and the hair strand is often reluctant to open up; heat helps to achieve this so the hair strand call fully absorb the moisturising ingredients from the product.
LEAVE IN CONDITIONER - Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner -12.99
Leave in will help protect the hair from any heat you may go onto use in the drying process and also helps creates a good base for any stylers, oils or gels. I like to use a generous amount of leave in, applying it and finger detangling with my hands to encourage curl definition.
STYLER - Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker Curling Jelly 355ml - £16.99
A styler helps to define and hold curls, reducing frizz. Camille rose curling jelly is my current favourite, it provides the necessary hold without making curls crispy like some products I have tried. All the ingredients are natural and there products are also vegan. I apply products after leave in all over my hair, especially the ends.
OIL - Avocado oil , Jamaican Black castor oil, Olive oil + Pumpkin oil
I make my own mixture of these oils to insure I don't have the added silicones and sulphates that some shop bought oil products can have. When hair is damp and not saturated this is a great time to apply oil. When I wear my hair down I often apply oil after my styler to make the hair look less 'neat' and give the ends some hydration and shine.
This is one of the best edge control products I have used. I can style my hair up for training and even two days on I won't have any flaking from the product, which happens a lot with other gels. I used this with my DENMAN Edge tamer brush -£12 to create the slick style below, which is a favourite protective training style.
HEAT DEFENCE - Shrub Heat Protection spray -£10.00 or Azure Healthy Shine Xtreme Heat Protecting Shield 150ml -£10.99
Even though I tend to use my hair dryer on a cool setting it is still a good Idea to use a heat defence product. I still like to straighten my natural with a flat iron maybe once every 2 months, just to mix things up and enjoy the length I've worked so hard to retain. When I do use a flat iron I always use heat protection prior to straightening and blow out my hair first.
PROTECTIVE STYLES - Buns & Plaits
These are the two easiest and quickest styles to keep the ends of my hair tucked away and protected while training. I never spend more than 10 minutes putting my hair up but find braids to take a little longer than a quick top knot bun. If I do plait my hair it means its nice a detangled when I take it down and braids normally help to stretch out my curls too. Plaits are also a great option if exercising outside in bad weather conditions.
Photo's by Roco Runs + Adelle Tracey