***Updated 29th March, 2011
With 2 children and lots of responsibilities, I don't have time to do my hair more than once a week so I usually wash my hair only
on weekends once a week. Occasionally, if my hair feels drier than usual, I deep condition in the middle of the week followed by a basic conditioner co-wash. I find that when I do this, I don't need to moisturize my hair often.
1. Once a week, I do a protein prepoo with
Aubrey Organics Swimmer's conditioner Organic root stimulator replenishing pak or Joico K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor mixed with either Amla oil or Africa’s best organics olive oil and clove oil therapy. I like Amla oil because it helps hair to grow thicker. I usually massage it into my scalp first and then apply whatever conditioner I'm going to use.
2. I wash with
any SLS- free shampoo Hair one tea tree oil conditioning cleanser. I like to use Tigi bedhead superstar shampoo and L'oreal sulfate free shampoos only when I feel like the buildup in my hair is too much and I must use a shampoo.
3. Then I do a deep condition with Kenra moisturizing conditioner mixed with Pantene Pro-V beautiful lengths (when available) and olive oil. Before I apply the conditioner, I usually massage Jamaican black castor oil into my scalp. I also detangle with a detangling comb in the shower.
4. Afterward, I dry my hair with a t-shirt.
5. I use S-Curl Activator and Moisturizer "No Drip" Formula as my leave-in. I spray a lot of this on the scalp to soften the new growth. Sometimes, I also use Bumble and Bumble leave-in conditioner or Kenra Moisturizing conditioner for extra conditioning. Then I apply a few drops of Jamaican Black Castor oil to prevent excess water loss from my hair.
6. I've been airdrying more frequently these days but I do blow dry when I have no time. I use a 100% boar bristle brush for the front of the hair to help it slip down. If I’m air drying, I sometimes tie a scarf in front of the hair to keep it flat.
If it’s late at night, I twist my hair in two and hold up with bobby pins. In the morning, it usually dries while I’m getting ready to go out. When it's all dry, I usually do a ponytail and bun the ends to protect them from the elements. Sometimes, I go to the salon to roller set. When I don't get a roller set, I put my wet hair in a pony tail and it usually takes about 24-48 hours to dry. I usually take it out of the ponytail after 48 hours, comb through and then bun my hair.
It can be quite boring to have your hair in a bun so sometimes I divide my hair in sections, braid it and wear a wig. When I do this, I usually cover my hair with a satin bonnet (to retain moisture) first, then put a wig cap on it before the wig.
You could also have a sew-in or braids but make sure they're not too tight and don't keep it longer than 4 - 6 weeks. In addition, use a spray leave-in on your scalp, the weaving tracks and the braids regularly to keep your hair moisturized.
7. I use S-curl Activator and Moisturizer "No Drip" Formula or
Mane n' Tail Moisture Enriched Hair Strengthenerto moisturize my hair depending on how I feel. I divide my hair into 4 - 6 sections and apply one pump per section in my hair and massage it in. I like safflower oil as my sealant because it's very light and non-comedogenic, Since it's a cooking oil, it's quite easy to find. Sunflower oil is a very good substitute. You could use olive oil too but I don't like how heavy it feels on my hair.
I don't moisturize and seal every day but when I feel that my hair needs it. This might be every other day. When I do, I prefer to moisturize and seal at night because I've noticed that when I apply oils in the morning, I get an oily face during the day. In the morning, if I feel that my hair needs a little moisture, I only spritz a little moisturizer or and skip the oil.
8. I apply a scalp oil only on days that I wash my hair. Any oil without petrolatum or mineral oil will do. I use Jamaican black castor oil when I want to apply oil to my scalp.
9. I clarify my hair once a month (or sooner if I go swimming or depending on how I feel) with any good clarifying shampoo. I like V05 Clarifying shampoo and Pureology purifyshampoo. I follow this with a protein reconstructor like Motions CPR Protein reconstructor or Joico K-pak deep penetrating reconstructor then I deep condition and continue my usual regimen.
10. When I blow dry and flat iron my hair, I always use a heat protectant. I like AG set it straight for blowdrying and FX flat iron spray when I flat iron because they contain soluble silicones. Any heat protectant or silicone-containing serum can suffice though but make sure you use one before applying heat to your hair!!
11. I use a satin scarf to sleep at night to prevent moisture loss. Sometimes, for added protection, I cover this with a satin bonnet.
12. I relax my hair every 8 weeks with Affirm Fiberguard relaxer.
Picture taken November 2010: notice that the edges are smooth even though I only airdried! (I used my boar brush that I got from Yinka bodyline in Lagos on my edges).
Pic taken May 2009. Compare the change in hair length!
*** I've talked about many oils but if you must get only one, get olive oil because it penetrates the hair cuticle. For thicker hair, prepoo with amla oil and massage Jamaican black castor oil into scalp.
You can get many of these products at your beauty supply shop. If you're in Lagos, check out Yinka bodyline on Awolowo Road in Ikoyi. She has a wide variety of hair products. Sofo pharmacy in Port Harcourt is also a good place to shop for cosmetics and hair products. Health Plus Pharmacies in Lagos also have many varieties of SLS-free shmapoos. If you would like to know products that are similar, feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org