The days of deep conditioning, using henna, and shingling each curl ended when I became a mom. I remember readers commenting that they didn’t have time to make all the DIY hair concoctions I shared on the blog. Well between being a stay and work-from-home mom, I don’t have the time now either.
My focus when it comes to hair care now is to keep my scalp clean, and my hair moisturized, organized, and protected.
It’s taken me a long time to figure out the best way to care for my hair now since moving to the south with real seasons and humidity. On the west coast the air is dry so daily hair rinses year round were no big deal because my hair would dry in an hour using only an oil or butter. I no longer have the time and the south is humid year round.
No More Henna
Truth be told one of the main reasons I cut my hair last year in the spring was because I couldn’t deal with my hair’s new growth versus the hennaed hair. Yes I had been eyeing a curly bob for awhile, but the style was a solution to a problem I wasn’t willing to openly admit at the time. My hennaed hair had been excessively dry and breaking.
I had stopped hennaing my hair during my pregnancy. For the first time in years I saw my true hair color. It was much darker than I remembered. Regardless I’d learned enough about how to care for my hair that I didn’t feel like I needed henna for strength and manageability.
The Simple Hair Cleanser
This summer I’ve been using a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse with a few drops of essential oil as my hair wash. It’s very easy to make. I mix 1 oz of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water and 5 drops of essential oil. I wash my hair in four sections.
Using an applicator bottle I focus the solution on my scalp then the rest of my hair. I let it sit a few minutes then rinse and repeat to the other sections. I usually wash my hair twice a week. One of those times I may skip the apple cider vinegar rinse and just rinse throughly detangling under water.
Banding Hair- My Favorite Stretching Method
Over these last few years, I’ve been banding my hair to avoid knots and minimize styling during the week. The main difference now is that I don’t use any combs and brushes at all. Using hair tools put too much tension on my hair and edges. I used to gel my hair to the sleekest look possible with flax seed gel and a brush.
Now I gently finger detangle and loosely band the roots instead. Banding is a faster way to dry the hair in an organized method than braiding or twisting the hair. Since I’m no longer using a comb or brush my hair doesn’t have the initial stretch it used to, but it does elongate more during the week.
The only thing I put in my hair is small amounts of oil. My favorite oil now is surprisingly jojoba oil. I do use castor oil on my edges to help grow the hair where my super sleek flax seed gelled buns got the best of me. I still do like trying other oils too, yet jojoba oil is hands down incredible.
Jojoba oil really does mimic your scalp’s natural sebum, and they work well together. One of the main reasons I stopped using other hair cleansers was so that my scalp’s natural oils would have a better chance at coating my hair from root to tip. Sebum is still the best hair conditioner in my opinion.
One Hair Style
Last year after I cut my hair, it was only long enough to get into a small ponytail. As soon as I could start wearing buns again I did. It was fun having a curly bob for awhile, but it was more work that I honestly didn’t have the time to put into. Styling loose hair takes time and my focus has instead shifted to simply caring for my hair instead.
Since I wear the same low bun daily, I switched to only using satin scrunchies or wooden hair forks which I shared in this picture. I don’t use the same bands that I use when banding my hair. If I truly desire a more polished look, I use flax seed gel but still no brushes. More often than not, frizzy edges is the daily look.
As long as my scalp is clean and my hair is moisturized, detangled, and organized, I don’t bother much more with my hair’s appearance. When I was taking photos for this article it really occurred to me how little time I spend perfecting curls like I used to. I enjoy seeing my hair texture which is why I no longer use combs and brushes, but I prefer to keep my hair protected and out of the way. I also like to wear head wraps like the one shown.
Night Time Routine
At night I wear my hair in two low and loose buns which have been moisturized slightly with a bit of water and sealed with a small amount of oil. I will finger detangle any areas that may need it prior. After a few days of this routine my curls are elongated and I rarely have excessive tangling because it is always up. I always wrap my hair at night with a satin scarf.
This is the most minimal hair regimen that I have done to date. Hopefully it won’t get any simpler than this because at that point it will just be straight neglect. You can find more elaborate natural hair regimens here. I am growing my hair back out once again, yet this time 100% natural without any alterations.
I know this was a long time coming, yet I hope you enjoyed the update. Much love!
Images by Dawn Michelle