Current & Routine Overview (as of 27/05/2016)
At the start of 2013 I decided that while I am enjoying my natural hair I also want to try and incorporate a lot of natural products into my hair care. I mix up about 90% of the products I use and I try to keep my mixes simple. You will notice that I use a lot of the ingredients again and again for different purposes and if I can come up with a product that has two purposes that is winning right there!
Please keep in mind, while you will see the products I use, I am not saying “this is what you must have” because everyone’s hair is different. I have not been endorsed by any company to feature the products I use nor would I ever advocate for a product/ingredient I have not personally used and liked. I basically made this so that when I breakdown my routines you know what I am using and in the hopes that maybe this will help someone out there who is considering mixing up their own products.
IMPORTANT! If you are allergic to any of the ingredients I use, DO NOT use them! I am not a Doctor, Physician nor a Dermatologist. I am just providing information for educational purposes and any use thereof is solely at your own risk. The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition. Once you have done that, do patch tests before you put anything all over your head. Please consider this as my advice. You are responsible if you choose to follow some of my methods.
My curly hair routine includes all or parts of the following, depending on the condition of my hair and what my hair needs: Pre-poos/hot oil treatment, Cleansing/Clarifying, Co-Washing & Detangling , Moisturizing Deep Conditioning, Protein Treatments, Henna Treatments, Moisturizing (L.O.C method) and styling.
Depending on the day of the week or month I have tailored a routine that works best for ME. The important part of this is that this method is something my hair likes and one that works with my day-to-day life. It is important for you to follow a routine that fits your hair needs and your lifestyle.
You will be able to find all the individual DIY’s I have for each of my processes under the “Mai Hair Routines” Tab.
Pre-Poo/Hot Oil (at least once a month sometimes more):
*While it is called “Hot Oil” it is actually mildly warm, DO NOT USE hot oil – you will burn your fingers, hair and scalp! I usually do a pre-poo the night before I plan on clarify my hair with Shikakai (the following day). While doing a pre-poo I usually do a scalp massage at the same time which helps to lift product buildup on my scalp, helps to circulate blood flow which helps stimulate hair growth and feels AWESOME! Whenever I do a pre-poo I first spray my hair with a little water and then use the oil. The benefits of hot oil treatments: it provides protection from the stripping effects of clarifying products (even though I do not use traditional shampoo I still protect my hair), the combination of water and oil allows you to restore and seal in moisture, it provides shine, softens the hair, eases detangling, soothes a flaky/itchy scalp and fights against dry hair.
I clarify once a week on Wash Day using 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar to 3 parts Plain (bottled) water. I pour the mix in a spray bottle and first focus on my roots and scalp and then using the “prayer hands” motion I distribute the mix on the length of my hair.
Clarifying (Once a month sometimes once every 3 weeks):
I usually tend to clarify at least once a month if not every three weeks (If I have A LOT of product on my hair/scalp). I again do not use shampoo for this step but instead I use Shikakai as my clarifier. It is an all natural alternative to shampoo and does not leave my hair feeling stripped of its natural moisture/oils, doesn’t leave my hair feeling dry or “squeaky” clean – all of which I use to experience when I use to use traditional commercial shampoo.
Co-Washing & Detangling (Weekly):
I Co-wash (conditioner only) using a moisturizing conditioner at least once a week (if my hair is dirty I might have to co-wash mid week). Using conditioner to wash my hair allows me to clean my hair without stripping it (through the use of shampoo) and since I do a natural cleanse with the ACV my hair is cleaned without feeling dry. I usually have my hair in sections and/or in twists before I apply the conditioner and once it has been applied I finger detangle my hair going from the ends to my roots, then twist away the section to keep my hair tangle-free. After I have washed my hair I will usually also run my wide-tooth comb through it to make sure I get all of the shed hair and any extra tangles.
Moisturizing Deep Conditioner Treatments (Once a Week):
Truth be told I have a number of different Moisturizing Deep Conditioners (DC’s) I mix and use on my hair depending on my mood and the ingredients I have on hand. Sometimes I mix up a lot and store them in my freezer however, my rule of thumb is to ALWAYS DC once a week. I usually DC for no less than 1 hour with my hair covered under a shower cap and/or a plastic bag along with a scarf covering it all. This helps to trap in heat from my scalp which helps to lift the hairs cuticles thus allowing the DC to better penetrate the core of the hair strands. Doing Moisturizing DC is usually the last step prior to me moisturizing my hair using the L.O.C method (Liquid, Oil, Cream) and styling my hair.
Protein Treatments (every 3 weeks – once a month):
My hair really likes and needs protein. Protein provides the hair with strength and since I have fine and fragile hair, it needs all the strength it can get! I usually do a Protein Treatment every three week – once a month . I also have a Hard Protein Treatment that I will switch in once every two months. Keep in mind that some of you might have protein sensitive hair and therefore might not need to do protein treatments as frequently, so do what works before for you! ALWAYS do a Moisturizing DC after applying protein to the hair in order to restore a Protein/Moisture balance otherwise you run the risk of causing breakage since protein makes the hair hard!
DIY Henna & Amla Treatment (Once a Month):
I try to apply henna to my hair at least once a month. My henna combition includes Amla other Ayurvedic herbs (e.g. Hibisicus), Green Tea and Carrier Oils. I also throw in some henna masks, henna glosses and so on depending on how much time I have to leave the henna on my hair and if I need to do a touch up or an overall application. Henna is known to provide the hair with shine, strength, reduces frizz and also provides a natural orange/red undertone to dark hair.
Moisturizing – L.O.C Method (Weekly and re-moisturizing mid week):
To moisturize my hair I do the L.O.C Method which stands for Leave-in Conditioner, Oil and Cream (moisturizing the hair, sealing in the moisture and then sealing in the sealant). I have two different types of leave-in conditioners, a spray and a creamy leave-in and I use them according to how dry my hair feels. There are a different number of ways in which you can moisturize your hair e.g: L.O.C, L.C.O, L.O.C.O, L.O, L.C and so on. After I washed my hair I do the L.O.C and then when I need to re-moisturize my hair mid week I do either the L.O or L.C method depending on how dry my hair feels.
Styling (Once a week):
I create my own styling products which is either an all natural Flax Seed Gel (FSG) that I make with/without protein/hibiscus) or a setting “lotion” which is a combination of FSG and whipped butter. I usually use my styling product after I have washed my hair and if I need to reset my hair mid week, using my spray leave-in conditioner or water alone will help reactivate the product I already have on my hair and I reset without adding additional products (if I can).
That is it!
I have written up my routines and the DIY’s I make which can all be found under their designated titles under the “Mai Hair Routines” Tab.