Holistic Healing: Trippy Tress Chronicles
I had internalized for so long that I would never know my hair. She wrestled with me, cooperated but would then dehydrate, leaving me confused and like many of us, a product junkie. I was lost trying to figure it out for years. This society has fed us the ideal that Black hair should be straightened, chemically processed, or stored away under wigs and weaves. Although I have grown to love the versatility of my Black hair, I had yet to better understand the science behind my gravity-defying hair. Growing up with a cosmetologist mother, I never had to really do my own hair until I was in college with a box of color and a friend down to do the same. I colored the sides and back of my hair causing my hair to break and shed for the first time in my life. In 2012, I fell into a journey of growth and countless trial and error that has brought me to revelations and new beginnings.
Recently, I unlocked the door to many answers from past and present knowledge. I had searched and struggled, but pushed to reach a consensus. Here are some key nuggets that helped me.
Everyone’s hair requires different care and attention. My fellow sister with a similar hair type might not use the same products or regimen for healthy hair.
Chemicals are not necessarily bad for your hair. It matters which ones you are putting in your hair. There is a stigma around natural hair that suggests that all chemicals are bad. In fact, our hair needs smaller properties to better receive nutrients from anything we apply to our hair. Some chemicals help restore, revive and maintain healthy hair. Better understanding which ones are good for your hair is key.
Moisture retention is key to growth and health in Black hair. Understanding porosity, density, and the climate of your location will help determine what your hair needs for maximum moisture and retention.
Protective styles such as twists, weaves, braids, and wigs, are great ways to help growth. Your hair still needs attention. Rule of thumb: After one month, remove these styles to prevent breaking and suffocating your hair as it grows. And most importantly, prepare your hair by deep conditioning before putting in these styles. Oil your scalp weekly. Refrain from tightly pulled edges as well.
After learning that my hair was actually high porosity and not low porosity like I initially thought, I realized I was doing some things wrong and needed to revisit certain products in my regimen. I live in sunny Miami, Florida and the humidity robs my hair of so much moisture. After three days, my hair would be dry again and thirsty, which I could not make sense of. I learned that I needed to add an anti-humectant to retain moisture which was a game changer.
Here is my restorative hair care regimen that unlocked a whole new world of healthy hair I’m excited to share!
I washed my hair with a sulfate and paraben free shampoo called Sayblee’s Lime Shampoo focusing on my roots and edges where I had the most build up. I love this shampoo because my hair is not stripped of all moisture yet clarified. The bottle goes a long way considering a little lathers a lot!
I used a cotton t-shirt which does not snag my coils to remove excess water. My hair was so dry and weak, I applied a ORS Hair Mayonnaise packet which is a medium strength protein treatment. My hair is protein sensitive so my porous hair cannot handle coconut oil or treatments that are too strong. The protein treatment is a repair mechanism that fills protein into the bonds of your hair strands that are missing from breakage and damage. Time: 15 minutes.
I rinsed my hair with lukewarm water and cold water after to close my hair cuticles. The elasticity and curls were popping and defined! I sectioned my hair into four parts and dried off the excess hair.
I applied Mina Organics Hemp Conditioner which includes keratin, hemp seed oil, and rosemary oil. My porous hair needs keratin and loves hemp seed oil which help repair and maintain moisture. After two minutes, I rinsed out the conditioner.
To help rebalance the pH level of my hair, I prepared an apple cider vinegar rinse (acv) with ½ cup of water to ¼ cup of acv. I had refrigerated water to rinse my hair and close all my pores and hair cuticles. I dried my hair and sectioned off my hair.
Here is the holy grail for this humid weather! I mixed aloe vera juice with my Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow and Restore Leave-in Conditioner. The key ingredients are shea butter, peppermint and keratin which are perfect to assist my high porosity hair. The aloe is a humectant and helps the other products work better to retain moisture for longer and stop humidity from robbing those goods.
I applied Crème of Nature with Argan Oil Pudding Perfection Curling Enhancing Crème. I revisited this product since it has worked beautifully in the past which ingredients my hair loves: argan oil, glycerin, shea butter, avocado oil, olive oil and water.
I use the LCO method (liquid/leave-in, crème, oil) which I learned works best for my porous hair. Oil is a sealant which makes more sense to use last instead of the common LOC method. I applied Black Jamaican castor oil last to seal my ends. Your ends need the most love to keep the dryness away for as long as possible.
I applied all these products generously which left my hair feeling soft, defined, and smooth. No frizz! I did a wash and go style and let my hair air dry. I re-moisturized my hair after five days which is record breaking for me. I hope this helps someone and provides more clarity to better understand your beauty tresses.
~ Much love, TangySpiceTami ~