Image Credit: Chellbee and Jay
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Way back when before there was Chellbee.com I had a beauty blog all things makeup and natural hair. Today I wanted to take it back and share what I am currently doing to maintain my natural hair. It has been a long journey although I have never had permed hair caring for my natural hair in it’s natural state has not been easy for me.
The last time I cut my hair short was December 12, 2011 during graduate school. Due to my work and school schedule I quickly realized I was not going to be able to maintain straight hair so I began wearing wash and gos. This marked the beginning of my wearing my hair in its natural state (if I had to define my hair which I don’t I would say its fine and 4C). Within a few months I decided I wanted to grow my hair our and that I would try to use as little heat as possible.
I am still struggling to find products and styles that work for my natural hair texture. Every time I think I have found a great routine the ingredients in my staple products change or my hair gets longer and doesn’t seem to take the same to products as it once did. Just know this will not be my last routine update because I am on the search for new and improved products. I personally try to find product that are all natural, no sulfates, no parabens, etc.
To make matters more complicated there is the need to be able to quickly get up and go. Which if you have 4c natural hair you know that it is not an easy task. As someone who has been natural hair my whole life it’s important for me to see just how long I can grow my kinky natural hair. I’m happy to report I have already exceeded my previous longest length. Wearing protective hair styles have helped but I do get bored with my options at times.
I wash my hair every 2-3 weeks. In the past I washed my hair every 2 weeks religiously but since I have less buildup in my hair I don’t feel the need. I know for some people that may be gross but this is what works for my hair.
Oh but of course I condition my hair every time I wash. My current obsession is to go from wash to styled hair while in the shower, it takes a little bit longer. But its worth it to know that when I get out I’m done. I actually got the idea for this routine from Naptural85 its been such a time saver and saved my precious strands. I no longer co-wash (aka condition wash) I did when my hair was shorter and I was doing wash and gos but it no longer fits into my routine.
- Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
- Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Balance Moisturizing Conditioner
- Alberto VO5 Moisture Milks Moisturizing Conditioner
I only detangle my hair in the shower on wash days using a large tooth shower comb. After I detangle my hair in the shower I wash the conditioner out a section at a time. In the past I would either detangle my hair before I showered or detangle after I showered with conditioner. Both were time consuming, counter productive, and unkind to my natural hair. I rarely use a denman brush anymore my fine hair and the denman brush tension don’t agree.
Deep Conditioning “DC”
I’m a deep conditioning/DC offender, guilty as charged. I try to DC every other wash but I don’t always stick with it the way I should. My goal would be to DC once every 2 months. The most important DC product has been the light protein treatment which have strengthen my hair and helped retain length. I was considering dropping the treatment masque from my routine because I didn’t feel like they penetrated my hair. But thanks to my Q-Redew Hair Steamer that has changed, I have seen the difference in my hair after deep conditioning with the steamer so I guess my hair need some heat to help the DC penetrate. If you have the same problem you can also achieve heat with a shower cap or warm towel.
- Nubian Heritage Conditioner EVOO and Moringa Repair and Extend (Light Protein Treatment)
- SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque
- Nubian Heritage Grow and Strengthen Treatment Hair Masque, Indian Hemp and Tamanu
- ApHogee® Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor (Light Protein Treatment)
My Natural Hair from 2017-2007
While in the shower I part my hair in sections, add leave in conditioner, lightly rinse, add olive oil, lightly rinse again, and twist each section. After I’ve applied my products I typically end up with a total of 5 twists. As you can see I don’t use a lot of different mositurizer but I am on the look out for some new additions.
- Giovanni Direct Leave In Treatment Conditioner
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil
- SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Kids Curling Butter Cream
- Darcy Botanicals Avocado & Honey Twisting Cream
- DIY Oil Mix (Olive Oil, Safflower Oil, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E, Castor Oil)
- Nubian Heritage Evoo & Moringa Repair & Extend Hair Butter (no longer sold)
My primary style is twist which I style into a faux bun. My second go to is 2 flat twist, which always make for a great flat twist out. But twist are my favorite because they last about 3 weeks especially when I retwist the exterior. Every once and a while I’ll wear a twist out or braid out but it’s a rarity. Low manipulation is key to growth for my hair. When I’m to tired to twist or flat twist my hair then I pull out my wigs.
Watch Faux Bun Tutorial –> Here
Keeping my hair moisturized has become a huge priority for me and made a difference in my hair retention. Usually I refresh my hair every other day with my spray. Depending on how my hair feels I may use my hair milk once every other week.
- Shea Moisture Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Strengthening Styling Milk
- Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk
- DIY Refresher Spray (Water, Castor Oil, Aloe Vera Gel)
I trim my hair about once a year, with Shears that I only use on my natural hair. I don’t see the need to trim more often because I don’t use heat or over manipulate my hair. For the last 3 years I started doing all my hair care at home, no salon visits for me. Even for my wedding I did my own hair. I have found that the amount of hair I need to trim is minimal now that I do all my hair care myself.
Watch Flat Iron & Bantu Knot Out Tutorial–> Here
Natural Hair Staples Mentioned