Hair! What I do & What I use

I've been natural for over two years now. I'm 10 months post Big Chop, and I have to say that I'm in LOVE with my hair! I love how it curls. I love how it feels. I love its versatility. I LOVE MY NATURAL HAIR! I get lots of hair questions all the time about who does my hair, what products I use, how often I do what, etc. So I'm here to answer as many questions as possible.

I decided to "go natural" because I was at a point where I was perming my hair only three or four times a year. My hair was very healthy at that time, so nixing the creamy crack wasn't that big of a deal for me. The perms stopped, but I didn't change anything else about my hair routine. It wasn't until I chopped of my hair that I went from washing my hair every two weeks to washing it everyday. After some quick research, I found that products that include sulfates in their ingredients are good for stripping the hair of grease and build-up, which is why it was ok to use only every two weeks. But since I was now washing everyday, I needed something that was a lot more gentle and that would help my hair retain moisture. I didn't do too much research beyond this point. I just went to WalMart and picked up what I thought was the best sulfate-free product for me.

This is it. This is all I used on my TWA! I used the LÓreal EverCreme Sulfate-Free Cleaning Conditioner on my hair while in the shower. Just a couple pumps from the bottle was enough to do the job. And once I got out, I just sprayed in the Nourishing Leave-In Spray. That was it. That was all there was to my routine.

As my hair grew, my hair routine kinda evolved with it. When I got around the six month mark, I continued to use the LÓreal EverCreme Sulfate-Free products, but I added coconut oil and Fantasia IC Hair Polisher Styling Gel to define my now longer curls and to give them some shine.

I love this gel. It doesn't contain alcohol, so it doesn't dry out my hair. It has great hold, without being crunchy or hard. And it gives my hair some extra shine, without worrying about it flaking on me.

Now, once I hit the eight month mark, my hair was long enough to manipulate into braids and two-strand twists. So with this new milestone, I decided to try some new products. Not that anything was wrong with my LÓreal products, I still loved them greatly. I just knew that I would be adding a creamy moisturizer to my hair, since I knew I'd now be creating new styles. (Plus, I had just so happened to run out of my LÓreal products and that's the only time I will use a new product. I'm no product junkie!)

So here are the products I've been using for the past two months

 I wash with the Shea Moisture Curl & Shine Shampoo. I smooth on the Curl & Shine Milk as a leave-in conditioner and then rub a quarter-sized amount of coconut oil throughout, making sure to get roots and ends. Next, I break down my hair in small sections, rub on a small amount of the Curl Enhancing Smoothie, detangle it with my brush, and finally twist each section.

 The twists you see above are a couple days post wash, but you get the point. I leave my twists in for about two days, before taking them down and freeing my curls.

Once I take my twists down, I run my fingers across across my scalp (as if I'm giving myself a massage) but I don't disturb the actual curls. This helps to get rid of any parts or spaces and adds more volume to my hair. The results are always big, poofy, curly hair...and I love it!

Oh, and to ensure that I have big, poofy curls for the next day, I sleep with my hair sectioned in about 10 poofy ponytails. I call it the mini version of "pineappleing". (You can YouTube "pineappling"if you aren't familiar with it.)

So that's pretty much the gist of my hair routine. I wash it once a week. Leave it twisted for a couple days. Wear a fro for a couple days. I may pin it up on the sides and wear it in a fro-hawk for a couple days. Then I do it all over again.

As I've stated before, I'm no product junkie. I won't try a new product until I run out of what I'm using. First of all, I feel that it's a waste of money, a waste of space and a waste of product. Secondly, I feel like you can't really get the full effect of how a product treats your hair until you've used it a while. If you're wanting to try new products, try going to product websites to get free samples or get samples from friends who are using the products already. You don't have to fully commit before you're ready.

I hope that this has helped some of you guys. Remember, this is just what works for my hair and these are just my opinions. Do not take my words as bible. Do what your hair tells you to do; not what I, or any other natural, tells you to do. And love your hair for what it is; not what you think or wish it should be. The more you embrace it, the more beautiful you (and others) will find it to be!