There are many ‘rules’ in the natural hair community aimed to help achieve and maintain healthy hair, but sometimes life gets in the way and all those rules fly out the window. You end up stuck with shrunken, dry and not very nice looking hair. I found myself in the same boat over the December holidays, my hair was a mess! I did not moisturise for days on end – don’t even get me started on deep conditioning. Add the fact that I was at my in-laws and had to have a doek on at all times, so my hair was conveniently forgotten. However, after I got my act together, I was determined to get my hair back into it’s health and here is what I did to revive my hair.
So after the neglecting my hair, it was super dry and it was completely shrunken and this means that single strand knots were all over! Here are some tips and tricks that I used to get my hair back to health…
Minimal manipulation Do not overly manipulate hair while it is still in it’s worst state as this will increase the likelihood of damaging it.
Infuse moisture Work with products that are moisture based rather than protein based, but look out for over moisturising the hair as this will lead to more damage. How I combated this was by using a light protein deep conditioner to give the hair some strength.
Add heat If possible, use a heating cap/ steam your hair during the prepoo and deep conditioning steps to ensure that the hair gets the maximum amount of goodness from the products. If you don’t have heating tools, you can do a hot oil treatment as a prepoo.
Use products with slip Shrunken hair means tangled hair, especially when your hair is kinky coily 4c type. So you want to use products that offer great slip that will melt the tangles and remove them with minimal damage.
Holy grail products By this I mean that use the products that you know work for your hair, don’t be stingy! Bust out that R1 million deep conditioner that you had shipped from overseas and you only use on special ocassions.
Rinse and repeat If you feel like your hair still needs a bit of TLC, repeat the same process a few days later until you feel like it is back to its original health.
Now that you have some guidelines on how to ensure that your hair gets back to its healthy state, I will share my wash day regimen for my first wash day after that fateful period.
- Prepoo Tresemme Naturals Conditioner + Coconut oil, I applied the mixture to my hair, detangled and sectioned the hair using 2 strand twists. I sat under my heating cap for 30 minutes. I usually only use coconut oil for my prepoo, but for the sake of adding slip and moisture, I added the conditioner as well.
- Shampoo Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Moisture Replenishing Shampoo; I like this shampoo because even though it contains sulphates, it leaves my hair feeling clean and not stripped.
- Deep Conditioning I mixed the ORS Replenishing Conditioner with Jamaican Black Castor Oil and applied it to my hair. I put my hair under my heating cap for 30 minutes.
- Leave-ins I used all Design Essentials products: Coconut and Monoi Deep Moisture Milk Souffle and the Curl Stretching Cream, I sealed all that goodness with coconut oil. I received some samples of the Design Essentials Coconut and Monoi range when I was at the Essence Festival, I’ve been using them since then as my leave-ins… I am in love! I don’t know why I have been sleeping on these products for so long – I am planning to purchase the full sizes.
- Styling I did some jumbo 2 strand twists in order to dry the hair in a stretched position, as the days went on I halved the sizes of the twists and applied some EcoStyler Gel until I ended up with mini-ish twists which I wore out for a few days then I rocked a mini twist out.
My hair felt so good after my rescue wash day, it was so soft and buttery. I will try by all means to not let my hair get into that state again, but it’s nice to know that a bit of TLC can get it right back to where it was.