Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Hair Routine

Learning my hair continues to be a beautiful journey.  When Giselle did my hair, she gave me a list of everything she used and showed me what she was doing as she was doing it.  This was such a sharp contrast from some past experiences I'd had with stylists, where many act as if what they are using on your hair is a state secret.  Giselle empowered me with information, so I could go forth and do my hair well.  Since that time, I have experimented with different products, which can be expensive, but ultimately rewarding when I find what my hair loves.  Here's what I use now.


Products
Shampoo - Max Green Alchemy Scalp Rescue or Hugo Naturals French Lavender shampoo
Conditioner - Trader Joe's Nourish Spa
Deep treatment - Aveda's Dry Remedy Moisturizing Treatment Masque (occasional)
Leave-in conditioner - Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla
Moisturizer and styling cream (1st choice) - Komaza Care Coconut Hair Milk and blend of Qhemet Biologics Honeybush Tea Soft Gel and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Moisturizer and styling cream (2nd option) - Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercreme and Miss Jessie's Curly Meringue
Moisturizer and styling cream (3rd option) - CURLS Curl Souffle and Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding

Process

Once I shampoo and condition as usual, I spray the leave-in conditioner and blend thoroughly with my hands.
I part my hair into sections and apply the hair milk and blend through my hair for option 1, and then apply the styling gel from the root to the ends throughout my hair. 
If I'm using options 2 or 3, I do not apply hair milk, but just the blended creams from the root to the tip throughout, making sure to spray water (I prefer distilled to tap, as it's bad enough I have to wash my hair with that hard water) on my hair to keep saturated while applying the styling products.  I then let it air dry.  Different product combinations give me different types of curls.  It's great to have options!

A note about spray bottles: I recommend getting one with a nozzle that screws open.  This allows for a finer spray for wetting the hair when opened slightly and a more concentrated stream for wetting the scalp when opened all the way. 

A Joint Journey

Ten days after I did my big chop, my Mom did hers too!  Her hair is a different texture than mine, so she has a slightly different set of products that she uses.  She also went to Giselle.  A long-time product hound, my mother has been invaluable to me in experimenting with different products.  Here's what she writes about her routine.

Products
Cleanser Recommended: Shampure shampoo by Aveda.
6 months ago: I was using Scalp Rescue by Max Green Alchemy.
Now: I use French Lavender Shampoo by Hugo Naturals.

Conditioner Recommended: Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner by Jane Carter Solution.
6 months ago: I use Nourish Spa Conditioner by Trader Joe's.
Now: I am still using Nourish Spa Conditioner by Trader Joe's.

Deep Treatment recommended: Rapid Recovery by Miss Jessie's.
6 months ago: I had not found one that I liked.
Now: I use Dry Remedy Moisturizing Treatment Masque by Aveda (which I absolutely love)

Styling Aid Recommended: Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding.
6 months ago: I was using Curls by Sisters Smith Wet Set Hair Pudding.  I liked it because it kept my hair much softer and felt made my hair feel much more natural. It also contained all natural ingredients.
Now: I am using Qhemet Biologics Honeybush Tea Soft Gel and Kinky Curly Curling Custard.

Moisturizer Recommended: Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercreme.
6 months ago: I used the recommended product. At the time I was advised to mix 1 teaspoon of the styling aid with the moisturizer. However, I had to experiment to get the right amount for my hair. I found that I needed both products. They did not work individually for me.
Now: I use
Qhemet Biologics Castor & Moringa Softening Serum as a combination moisturizer/leave in conditioner. It seems to provide protection for my hair before I apply the styling product to my hair.  I also like Kinky Curly Knot Today as an alternate. I have found that it is good to switch products from time to time since some products will give you different looks and some have longer drying times.

Scalp treatment: None was recommended. However, I have found that I do need some kind of hydration and moisturizing for my scalp. I use Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment only on my scalp.

Maintenance Recommended: Refreshen 2nd day hair with Jane Carter Solution's Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner.  I did not use since it left my hair dry and shrunken. I also tried Carol's Daughter's Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner, but it did not work for me.
Now: I simply use a spray bottle with distilled water. I am still searching for a product. It seems like whatever I get I will have to be diluted because of my hair texture.

Process
After shampooing and conditioning the hair, I leave my hair dripping wet. I then squirt drops of the Qhemet Biologics Castor & Moringa Softening Serum in my hands and then distribute it with my fingers through sections of my hair trying to make sure that it cover every strand of my hair. I then use the Qhemet Biologics Honeybush, placing some in my hands and distributing it in sections of my hair. I begin in the back and sides since those areas seem to get dry faster. I also keep a spray bottle of distilled water so that I can keep my hair wet. After that process I then use very small amounts of the Kinky Curly Curling Custard (making sure to emulsify it in my palms) to "set" my hair. I find that when I do this my hair responds well to the refreshing process and I am able to hold the curls for several days before having to cleanse and prepare again.

Final Note: I recently tried a new product, Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair, that I am using along with the Qhemet Biologics Castor & Moringa Softening Serum as a leave-in conditioner. So far I like it. I seems to elongate my curls a little because I experience an enormous amount of shrinkage.
I let my hair air dry, so I usually try to begin my routine as early in the morning as I can. The Kinky Curly products seem to take the longest drying time. You can also use a diffuser or go under a hood dryer and see what works for you.

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