At the beginning of this year I decided to start wearing my natural curl pattern versus always setting my hair in braids. I read the 2nd edition of Curly Girl–The Handbook by Lorraine Massey in one day, and revamped my hair care completely. Prior to this change I was using only DIY herbal and botanical concoctions for all of my hair care.
The Curly Girl Method taught me to confidently detangle and style my hair without a comb or brush, how to trim and cut my hair curl by curl, and the importance of conditioner. This method is based around using a silicone free and sulfate free conditioner only to cleanse hair and for styling. I began co-washing my hair every other day with a store bought natural conditioner and also my own homemade conditioner to first build moisture back into my hair. I now co-wash or “deep condition/cleanse” my hair every three days.
Frequent co-washing creates beautiful hydrated curls, yet also for me an unhappy scalp. I discovered that the solution to my irritated scalp was a simple herbal treatment that I had been using last fall. A scalp massage with the DIY Green Tea Cleansing Hair Rinse using an herbal infused apple cider vinegar this time in the ingredients was exactly what I needed. This basic rinse also helped to clarify my hair.
I also started using flaxseed gel again with great success. On the few days that I did not leave conditioner in my hair, I was able to easily detangle and style my hair with flaxseed gel alone. I added a tiny bit of oil to my flaxseed gel to maintain more moisture in my hair.
I’ve noticed that my hair responds better to being cleansed more frequently. Co-washing every three days has been wonderful for the health of my hair especially since it gives my hair a chance to become completely saturated with water often. It is moisture that dry curls need most, and co-washing adds that needed moisture.
My hair regimen consists of using the DIY Green Tea Cleansing Hair Rinse for my scalp on every wash day, and co-washing with a natural or homemade conditioner. I use a natural conditioner to detangle my hair, and also as my leave in. I detangle my curls with my fingers only. Flaxseed gel makes a great styler and creates great curl definition. I also like the look of my hair with flaxseed gel by itself. I add a mix of natural oils to my hair focusing on the ends of my hair every day. One of the most important steps for me creating perfectly defined curls is smoothing each curl individually which I learned from the Tightly Curly Method. Yes it takes a bit more time than simply raking product through your hair, but the final look is fuller more defined curls.
On the days that I deep condition my hair, every third wash day, I instead combine deep conditioning and cleansing in one step. I simply mix rhassoul and/or bentonite clay to coconut milk. Coconut milk is my favorite deep conditioner, and I truly love using clays to cleanse my hair. I’m playing around with other herbal ingredients to add to this mix as well. On the days I “deep condition/cleanse” I follow with a natural conditioner and/or flaxseed gel to style.
At night I put my hair up into a very high ponytail or “pineapple.” I always sleep on a satin pillowcase to protect my hair from rubbing against cotton. In the morning I spritz my hair lightly with water or the DIY Skin Hair & Body Mist, and add a mix of natural oils to my hair focusing mainly on the ends of my hair.
This month I’m taking a break from my own cosmetic line formulations to focus on some other projects. I will instead be testing other conditioners, and using the simple herbal hair treatments that I already formulated. I have been asked many times about wonderful toxic free conditioner options. This month will give me the opportunity to create a list of all natural conditioners that work well with the Curly Girl Method.
(Images by Dawn Michelle)