My Routine March ’15

One thing that changes constantly is my hair washing and styling routine. Not only am I a product junkie, but I’m also intrigued by new techniques (and if you’re familiar with the curly care world, there are tons of different ways to wash, rinse, detangle, apply products and dry the hair).
Pretty much all of last year (the year I took to try my hand at professional hairdressing), I was shampooing and conditioning my hair the way you’re instructed on the bottle: lather, rinse, repeat if necessary, rinse and apply conditioner, rinse. I even started using sulfate and silicone laden products.
I did this because I was a hairdresser in training and thought I should be taking care of my own hair the way I was being taught to take care of the clients’ hair. Despite knowing that the CG method worked for me – I’ve been using the CG method in some shape or form for seven years now. And every time I stop following the CG method of hair care, eventually my hair gets cranky; it gets frizzy, dry, stops curling as much and causes general frustration (despite any claims otherwise on product labels).
When I returned from Europe, my hair was just doing some weird frizzy-straight kind of thing and I just wanted to get some semblance of a defined wave back into my hair. So I did what I’ve known to work before: I hid away all my products with sulfates, non-water-soluble silicones and drying alcohols and made sure to only detangle my hair when it was soaked in conditioner.
And so, from beginning to end, this is my current routine. This has been working for me for the past few weeks.

Method (to the madness):

1. Co-wash with Shea Moisture African Black Soap Balancing Conditioner (I picked this up on my recent trip to the States). I scrub at my scalp with the pads of my fingers, nice and thoroughly.

2. Condition with Sukin Moisture Restoring Conditioner. I split my hair into two sections; I put quite a bit of conditioner on each section, until I can easily slide my fingers through the strands without catching on snarls.

3. De-tangle with my new Denman brush – I picked this up in the UK recently and I love it! You can find these brushes at Hairhouse Warehouse or Price Attack in Australia but there are also cheap dupes that work just as well. I use this brush to gently get through any of the smaller knots I may not have got through when I was using my fingers. Remember: gentle is the key.

4. Leave the conditioner in my hair while I go about my other shower routines (wash face etc).

5. Rinse. Some curly gurus suggest leaving in a bit of conditioner, but I try to rinse as much out as possible. When I’m rinsing I say to myself: ‘soft, not slimy’.

6. So now the water is off and my hair is rinsed out, but I don’t step out of the shower yet, and I don’t even squeeze the water out of my hair! This is where I begin my styling routine. First product: leave in conditioner! Splitting my hair into two sections again, I apply a small amount of the Living Proof No Frizz Leave In Conditioner to both sections – just over the surface of the section. My hair doesn’t like raking and combing in the styling stage.

7. Next comes a serum or oil. At the moment I’m using the DevaCurl MirrorCurls (I don’t remember it being quite so expensive when I bought it). I apply just a pea sized amount to both sections.

8. Last comes the gel: DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel (another goody from the US). Again, I apply a blob to each section and work it through. Now that all my styling products are applied, I flip my head over, take another, smaller blob of gel and begin scrunching – I scrunch upside down, then tilt my head to either side and scrunch again.

9. Now, drying! Using a microfibre towel (you can go fancy or plain), I scrunch my hair again – upside down and each side.

10. My hair scrunched and no longer dripping, I put it into a plop while I do everything else I need to do to look presentable for the day.

11. Air dry. This leaves me looking a little straggly until my hair fully dries (watch it expand!), but it’s worth it to keep it healthy.

And there you have it! My full hair-wash routine. It doesn’t take as long as it seems to when it all happens fluidly. But this is also one of my more complex routines. I fluctuate between full routines like this and way more pared back routines. I’ll keep you guys updated now and then when my routine changes.

So I hope this gave you some ideas for caring for your own hair. Wavy and curly hair can be frustrating at times, but it’s also fun to play around with new products and techniques. Let me know if you have any questions, or leave a comment if you just want to say hi! I’ll say hi back 🙂

Love and waves,

Astrid

I <3 Oil

Since the early days of learning to care for my wavy, curly hair, I’ve played with different oils. In the last year or two, oil has started to become one of the buzz words in the beauty industry. I think it started with argan oil and spread from there. The first oil I ever used was sweet almond oil – I believe I started using this with some essential oils as a night-time moisturiser. Then I decided I wanted to grow my hair out and read on the naturallycurly.com message boards that oiling your hair the night before you wash it helped with condition and growth. So my sweet almond oil was put to two uses.

That was back in 2008 and I’ve been pretty consistently oiling my hair at least once a week since then. After the sweet almond oil ran out I used coconut oil up until the end of last year when I decided to give jojoba oil a try. When that ran out I bought some avocado oil and that’s what I’m using at the moment. It does smell pretty avocado-y so I have to add lavender oil to it (which also helps with dry scalps and is supposed to be good for hair growth), but it adds a delicious flavour to my cooking 😛 (yay multitasking).

Now, in regards to the claim that oiling helps with hair growth – I can’t be certain. My hair grows steadily no matter what I do to it, and I’ve never been one to measure it every month. However, what I do know, is that it helped with the condition of my hair. I used to swim a lot and I was told by my hairdresser that my hair was in good condition. It was probably a combination of keeping sulfates to a minimum and doing regular deep treatments, but I’m sure the oil didn’t hurt. Besides, it’s a nice ritual and I like giving myself head massages while I catch up on TV shows.

How do I oil my hair?

1. Apply a small amount of oil with one drop of essential oil to the hairline.

2. Part hair from hairline to nape and repeat along the parting.

3. Part hair from ear to ear and repeat step 1 along this parting.

4. Repeat step 1 along the nape of the neck.

5. Apply a last puddle of oil to the ends of the hair and really work it in.

6. Massage the scalp. Try and cover the entire scalp at least three times.

7. Optional – gently detangle with tool of choice. This will help evenly spread the oil throughout the hair.

Do you use oils at all in your beauty routine? How do you like to use them, and what oil is your favourite?

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Love and waves,
Astrid

Ew… You don’t brush your hair?

Yesterday, I made a passing mention that brushing hair dry, especially hair with any kind of texture, is not a good idea. And why? Because not only does it look ridiculous (see the last image in this post), but it can cause breakage to the hair.
Bear with me now, because I’m about to whip out my rusty drawing skills:
This is what curly hair looks like when it is ‘clumped’ in a curl.
20140626_121520
And this is what happens when dry hair is brushed.
20140626_121935
The individual hairs separate, increasing volume and flyaways. Even worse, the bristles of the brush snag on the kinks in the naturally textured hair and cause split ends 😦

But, because I love you guys, I brushed out my hair this morning and took a picture of it, so you can have actual proof that brushed wavy, curly and kinky hair just doesn’t look good.
20140626_120700

For as a parting quote, I saw this on NaturallyCurly.com today:

Never ever ever brush your hair when it is not sopping wet with conditioner.
Brushing hair while it’s dry causes breakage and split ends. This is because your hair curls and twists around itself and you are ripping the knots out with your brush.

You can read the whole article here.

Love and waves,
Astrid