my hair journey

Ladies, (if anyone is out there), the natural hair journey is so much fun if you are willing to experiment with products and educate yourselves.  Using my blog as a journal has helped me keep track of what works, what doesn’t, and what else there is to try along the way.  After four months of experimentation, I think I’ve finally figured out what to do to keep my hair looking good as I transition.  I even have a few leads on great ways to maintain my hair once I’m 100% natural again.  Still lots of products and looks to try, but I think I’ve found a good basic foundation for great hair.

Lessons learned:

  1. Buy a good flat iron.  My new Sedu  flat iron is fantastic.  It has adjustable heat, smooth plates, and adds lots of shine.
  2. Shampoo’s aren’t the focus.  I use Biolage Hydrating Shampoo, a good moisturizing shampoo, weekly or when I just want a good scrub.  It’s a little pricey, but can be found on sale at salons pretty regularly packaged with their conditioner for the price of the bottle of shampoo.  I just wait for a sale.
  3. In between, I co-wash with Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner.  It’s consistancy is similar to a shampoo, so those of us who like shampoos get that sudsy sensation without the suds.  It’s also extremely cheap and lasts a long time.  I got a bottle at Walgreens for $1.99.
  4. I am still experimenting with conditioners.  Every natural has a conditioner review and will always give you a new ingredient to explore.  It’s definitely a great product that can provide a lot to your hair routine.  Curlies can use it to draw out the maximum curl and hang, while all of us need it as a must have for healthy, moisturized hair.  Right now I am alternating between Biolage Hydrating Balm and Yes to Carrots Pampering Hair Mud Conditioner.  I’m doing my best to only try new products as I run out of the old to avoid being too much of a product junkie!
  5. Leave-ins are usually a watery substance I use because it sounds like a good idea, but that was before I started using Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Leave-in.  This is a leave-in with substance.  It’s thick and has a weird too citrusy smell, but who cares when it makes your hair so shiny!  Since getting this tip from a friend, it’s been a constant in my routine.  I am definitely open to other leave-ins, but so far, this one has worked well.
  6. Finding a daily moisturizer is something I’ve struggled with.  The online posts on this subject on blogs and such often blend the concept of moisture with that of sealing in moisture, so it isn’t often clear which product does what.  I believe I’ve found my solution with aloe vera gel (I’m currently using Proclaim Aloe Styling Gel).  Aloe gels are usually water-based and has glycerin, two basic ingredients for moisturizing natural hair.   It also has the soothing element of aloe which is thought to grow hair and doesn’t seem to create build up on my hair or cause my straight look to revert to curls.  I put it on liberally along my edges and in any frizzy spots, wrap in a silk scarf and let air dry (I sometimes spot dry with a blow dryer when I don’t feel my scarf will hold a spot smooth until dry).  My hair is always shiney and straight when I unwrap.
  7. Sealing the moisture in is a common step for healthy natural hair.  I have a laundry list of oils to try – shea, coconut, almond, black Jamaican castor oil – but I keep holding on to my tried and true African Royale Hot Six Oil.  It has all of the commonly loved oils and then some.  It smells good and I like it.

My hair isn’t salon straight with my newly established routine, but it looks good and healthy.  Best of all it feels great.  The journey isn’t over, but I definitely have found a good routine and solid products.

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