- Hair type: 3c/4a
- Natural or relaxed: Relaxed
- Starting condition: Dry, brittle, very prone to breakage
- Starting length Feb 2012: Ear//Neck (EL/NL)
- Current condition: Much stronger, less breakage, soft and supple
- Current length April 2014: Collarbone length (CBL)
- Goal length: Bra Strap Length (BSL) by December 2015
Now that you have an idea of what my crown is all about, here's my current regimen as of October 2013. It's not a rock solid regimen yet, because I'm still playing around with products and trying out new things and seeing what effect they have on my hair. But I have come to develop a couple of practices and thus forms a regimen.
- Moisturize and Seal (M&S) every night using either Dark and Lovely Moisture Plus Oil Moisturizer Spray, which contains no petrolatum or mineral oil, and the main ingredients are water and glycerin; or I use a self made moisturizer with 3 parts water, 1 part glycerin and 1 part
Pantene Sleek and Smooth MoisturizingTresemme Naturals Ultra Nourishing Conditioner in a spritz bottle. I seal using either coconut oil or a light silicone serum. Update: New moisturizer in rotation is Amla Legend 1001 Oils Wrap Cream.
- I sleep using a silky wrap, covered with a silk scarf to prevent the wrap from slipping off during the night.
- I use a wide tooth comb and avoid direct heat.
- 2-3 times a week I treat my edges (and eyebrows) with castor oil, (update: Jamaican Black Castor Oil) lightly massaging it in after my M&S routine in order to fill in my edges and have it be fuller and thicker. My eyebrows are too sparse for my liking and thus they also get the treatment using a cotton bud.
- 1-2 times a week I give myself a light scalp massage using coconut oil, as a growth aid..
- I wash my hair once a week, wash day usually falling on either a Saturday or Sunday. If however my hair feels heavy or greasy from product mentioned above I might wash my hair twice a week, with one wash being major and the other minor, the minor sometimes being accompanied with some time constraints. Here's the difference:
- Major wash day:
- Pre-poo (step done prior to shampooing, i.e. a pre-shampoo treatment) with either warmed up coconut oil or a moisturizing conditioner, applying it thickly as if it's a deep conditioner, covering with a plastic cap and letting the treatment sink in for about an hour. During this time I usually read or catch up on my favorite TV shows. Sometimes I pre-poo overnight, starting the washing process first thing in the morning. Update: Prepoo arsenal now includes sunflower oil. Rich in ceramides, my hair loves it!
- Wash with
Pantene Sleek and Smooth Moisturizing Shampoo or ORS Creamy Aloe ShampooTresemme Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo, concentrating on washing the scalp and not vigorously rubbing the hair itself. I have trouble finding sulfate free shampoos, but once I do I will try them and see what difference they make.
- Whilst still in the shower apply
Pantene Sleek and Smooth ConditionerTresemme Naturals Ultra Nourishing Conditioner and detangle using a wide tooth comb and gentle handmy fingers. The conditioner is rinsed and once I'm out of the shower I apply a deep conditioner (DC), alternating between moisturizing and medium protein, which I leave on, under a plastic cap for 45 minutes to an hour. I name no brand as I'm still experimenting with different DC's. My staple DC is ORS Replenishing Conditioner. Update: ORS HAIRepair Nourishing Conditioner is a second staple DC.
- After rinsing the DC, I put on my leave in mix of Avon Moisture IQ or Avon 3D Leave in Treatment, TCB Bone Strait and Kair Serum and then proceed to roller set. I've roller set religiously ever since I was a little girl, it is the most consistent thing of my regimen. Update: Staple leave ins now also include MoroccanOil Treatment. It might be a little pricy but one bottle lasted me a full year, so true value for money.
- I airdry my hair whilst in the rollers, usually takes about 2 hours. Once dry I remove the rollers and very lightly M&S before putting my hair in a protective style (PS) like a EZ-comb bun. (Edit: If the wash occurred in the evening, after removing rollers, I proceed to cross wrap with the help of pins and then cover with silk wrap, scarf and bonnet before heading to bed)
- Minor wash day:
- Pre-poo as well, but for only about 5-10 minutes, basically the time it takes me to brush my teeth and put out an outfit.
- Jump in the shower and wash my hair lightly, using the same shampoos as above.
- Instead of using the
PanteneTresemme Conditioner, I use a moisturizing DC as the conditioner in the shower, putting on a shower cap over the conditioned hair whilst completing my shower, which is also between 5-10 minutes.
- Rinsing out all of the conditioner, I apply my leave ins and rollerset.
- I dry my hair using my blow dryer set on its coldest setting but highest speed. Hair is completely dry within 20-30 minutes, after which I apply a few drops of silicone serum, style, usually in a bun or 50's style pin up, and give a finishing touch with ORS Olive Oil Sheen Spray and out the door I go.
- Once a month after a major wash day, and only if it coincides with a special occasion I straighten my hair using my GHD flat iron, after M&S, specifically sealing with a heat protectant serum.
- When I'm 8 weeks or more post I flat iron my roots only lightly about twice a month before wrapping my hair, always using a heat protectant serum.
- Once a month I DC with a stronger protein treatment, coupled with a more moisturizing leave in prior to roller setting to maintain a good moisture/protein balance. Edit: I protein DC only about every six weeks after realizing that my hair is actually somewhat sensitive to hard protein treatments.
- I stretch my relaxer touch ups to 12-14 weeks. Longer than 14 and breakage increases and the stretch does more harm than good. I relax using either the Dark & Lovely Beautiful Beginnings Regular No Lye Relaxer or ORS Olive Oil No-Lye Relaxer, also the kit designed for younger girls. Edit: Predominantly I will now be using the ORS kit for Girls, I found it to be a better match for my hair than the other brand. Yes, I use the kiddie brands. My sensitive scalp thanks me for it. In addition I am now incorporating to mixing a teaspoon of castor oil or coconut oil or sunflower oil in the relaxer mix prior to application, as well as a mid-protein step using ORS Hair Mayonnaise after rinsing the relaxer and initial shampoo with neutralizing shampoo.
- Coinciding with relaxer touch up I dust my ends only to get rid of any splits and weak ends so as to maintain maximum length retention.
And that's all she wrote folks.