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

Advertisements

Aussie Spotlight: MooGoo

Well, it’s been a shamefully* long time since I last posted, hasn’t it? I’d like to say that I’ve been busy (to an extent, I have been) but really, there has been time for me to post; I’m just really good at procrastinating.
How have you guys been while I’ve been away? I hope the world is treating you well, and if you’re into Halloween, I hope you’re having lots of fun gearing up for it. I spent yesterday afternoon talking to Mum about Jack O’Lanterns and decorations coming up to the 31st, and I’ve been on a massive horror film kick lately too. Do you love getting the bejeesus scared out of you too?

Aaanyway, I’m getting distracted (this is why I should post more often, I’d be able to spread my ramblings out a bit) – do you want to read my next review of an Australian hair care brand? Of course you do – so keep reading to find out my thoughts on MooGoo 😉

Milk Shampoo
MooGooShampoo
This shampoo tricked me. At first, it felt kind of drying – my hair was squaky clean and I was worried. But after I applied conditioner and my hair dried, my hair felt very soft and less frizzy than usual.
By the third time I used it, my hair wasn’t feeling stripped and I wonder if my hair was simply adjusting to the particular combination of ingredients in the shampoo.
The best thing about this shampoo is what it did for my scalp; my scalp didn’t start to itch as soon and I managed to stretch my washes from every three to every four or five – pretty amazing to me!

Cream Conditioner
conditioner_web
MooGoo is one of my go to conditioners and my favourite all-rounder. I use it to co-wash, condition and as a moisturising and light leave in. And paired with the shampoo, it’s even better. I got multiple compliments on my hair while I was trying out the duo and my hair had less frizz than usual.
If I weren’t so keen to keep searching out and reviewing Australian brands, I’d want to keep going with these.
And, rumour has it, MooGoo is in the process of trialling an actual leave in conditioner! Exciting 🙂

Where can you get MooGoo? They sell online, have a search feature for stockists on their website, and ship internationally.

How much is it? $$

Eco-friendly? 9/10

Animal testing? No.

Curly Girl friendly? Yes, 3/3

Colour safe? No; I couldn’t find anything on the label to say so.

Have you tried MooGoo? Let me know what you thought in the comments, and if you have any suggestions for an Aussie brand to try out, add that too! Also, I’d love any horror film recommendations coming up to Halloween 😛

Love and waves,
Astrid

*I use that word lightly. Shame is a pretty strong emotion to feel about something that’s a hobby. But you know what I mean; colloquialism etc.

As with all my posts, opinions are my own and I purchased these products myself. The images come from the MooGoo site.

What the Heck is Co-washing?

Good afternoon readers. What’s the weather like in your corner of the world? Today is a lovely winter day in Sydney – dry and sunny. My finger tips are still cold, so I’m not being fooled into thinking it’s spring just yet. Which brings me to the point of this post: co-washing or conditioner washing. I tend to utilise this method of cleansing the hair more often in winter, especially when I have coloured hair.
Co-washing is a way of washing the hair using only conditioner. It was first mentioned by Lorraine Massey in her book Curly Girl: the Handbook. Then it was made even more popular by NaturallyCurly.com; many of the users of the site swear by co-washing. It’s where I first heard of it six years ago. At the time I had awful blonde foils throughout my hair (not to say that blonde foils are all bad – but I didn’t know what to ask for and the hairdresser did not do a consultation with me beforehand), and I was still using strong sulfate shampoos. I had never had any advice on curly hair beyond ‘no brushing’, so I was eager to try anything.
From day one, my hair was so much better. Suddenly I was getting compliments on my hair, and it wasn’t even straightened. For about six months – over the cooler half of the year – it worked. Then the weather started to warm up and my hair got a little bit oily – but by then I knew about sulfates and knew to avoid shampoos with the strong stuff. Over the years I’ve switched back and forth between co-washing and using low-sulfate/sulfate free shampoos. And my hair definitely thanks me for it.

So how do you do it? The usual way is to use a light conditioner – or cleansing conditioner – to scrub at your scalp. The friction is really important to the cleansing – just make sure to use the pads of your fingers and not your nails. Rinse well and follow with more conditioner on you mid-lengths and ends – most curlies like to use a heavier conditioner for this step.

Why does it work? Well, I’m not a scientist, but I’ve done a lot of reading and the small amount of hairdressing training I’ve had has also informed my hypothesis as to why it works. The hair shaft has a cuticle that either lays flat – healthy and low-porosity hair – or stands up to varying degrees – damaged and high-porosity hair. Things that open the cuticles of the hair are heat, physical manipulation, shampoo, colouring and perming/relaxing formulas; and water. So curly hair – which is usually dry as it is – will have the cuticle opened just by the water, so the conditioner will soothe the cuticle, while attracting oil and dirt and removing them.

What else should you know? This shampoo free method is very gentle, so there are some ingredients that you’ll need to avoid. These are insoluble silicones (ingredients ending in ‘-cone’ and ‘-xane’), polyquaterniums and mineral oil. These ingredients tend to build up on the hair when you don’t use a shampoo to remove the build-up regularly.

My favourite co-wash conditioner is Moogoo Cream Conditioner:
conditioner_web
It’s light enough to clean my scalp, but rich enough to moisturise the rest of my hair as a rinse-out conditioner. I also like to use it as a leave in.

Some further reading:
NaturallyCurly.com article on the No Poo Method
Waterlily716’s video on conditioner washing
Jillipoo’s post on silicones, polyquats and soap in hair products – while you’re there look around, she has some excellent curly hair thoughts and advice.

I hope this post was helpful to you guys. Have you ever tried this method/would you be open to trying it? Let me know in the comments.

Love and waves,
Astrid