This is definitely a long awaited post, I think. Ever since starting my natural hair journey back in December 2012, I have been trying a number of different products and techniques. At first, it was in an effort to help my hair blend better into one look/texture during the initial transition phase, and that worked great. But of course, as the predominance of natural hair vs. relaxed ends became more noticeable, those things changed. And that means, update time for you my lovely readers!
In this post I’ll be sharing the products that I am currently LOVING for conditioning and cleansing my hair (no worries, I’ll be sharing other products that I’m using in later posts, I promise!)
Now the reason that I say Condition + Cleanse is because that’s exactly what I do….in that order. I’ve found that doing my deep conditioning in the form of a pre-poo of sorts is more time-efficient and also more beneficial for my hair personally. But I’m sorta getting ahead of myself…so let’s get to the GOOD stuff, shall we!
I usually start by using a half strength mix of Apple Cider Vinegar (I just use the generic brand from Safeway that I got while visiting the DMV) and water in a spray bottle to apply to my scalp. ACV is GREAT for ridding the scalp of impurities and dandruff while also easing dry, itchy scalp, with which I sometimes have issues. After separating my hair into 4 – 5 sections, I spray the mixture directly onto my scalp section by section, massaging it in to not only help with loosening any residue/product buildup on my scalp, but the massaging also helps to stimulate hair growth as well.
Next, I apply my miracle worker product, the Mane ‘n Tail Detangler (purchased from Sally’s) to each section of hair, saturating it enough to finger detangle but not so much that my hair is dripping wet. When I tell you that this detangler is purely amazing….I ain’t neva lied! It is definitely one of my holy grail products that I will forever continue to purchase because it definitely makes detangling my hair after a week of bunning a WHOLE lot easier. Once that is completed, I then apply my deep conditioner/pre-poo, and the product I use for this purpose is the Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Replenishing Conditioner (purchased from Target). This product can be used as a pre-poo, regular rinse-out conditioner, and/or deep conditioner. It provides amazing slip and ALWAYS leaves my hair feeling incredibly soft and manageable. I apply the ORS conditioner to my damp, finger-detangled hair section by section, then use my wide-toothed comb (pic coming up) to detangle. I then two strand twist each section, put on a conditioning cap, and do housework/work for work (lol) before getting into the shower to do the hair washing.
As far as cleansers go, I feel like I’ve tried them all: Sulfate-containing, sulfate-free, cleansing conditioners; you name it, I’ve probably tried it lol. But what has kept my hair in consistently great shape has been sticking to using a sulfate-free shampoo on a weekly basis and then a clarifying (sulfate-containing but moisturizing formula) shampoo maybe once a month (or for when I get lazy and skip washing my hair for a couple of weeks and need some serious cleansing…don’t judge me! lol). The sulfate-free shampoo that I use every single week is the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo w/ Sea Kelp & Argan Oil for Dry, Damaged Hair (purchased from Target). It is SUCH an amazing product! Even if I use it on its own, I don’t feel like I need a protein or deep conditioning treatment. My hair is left soft and extremely manageable without feeling squeaky clean. It definitely doesn’t clarify my hair completely though, so when I’m looking for that in particular, I go to my Aussie Moist Shampoo (purchased from Wegman’s when I randomly needed a clarifying conditioner and this was on sale; best purchase ever; can also be found at Target). Definitely gets my hair super clean but somehow without feeling stripped. It’s amazing! The other shampoo in the pic (on the far left) is another Shea Moisture Shampoo (Tahitian Noni & Monoi Smooth & Repair Conditioning Shampoo w/ Keratin, Peptides, and Botanical Extracts) that I bought because it was on sale at Target, I’d seen pretty good reviews on YouTube for this new collection, and the ingredient list looks legit! Definitely great ingredients for strengthening and smoothing hair. I’ll keep you guys posted regarding my thoughts on this product.
I do usually shampoo my hair in sections (the same 4- 5 that I started out pre-pooing) because it makes it more manageable to handle and shower detangle.
While in the shower, I detangle my freshly washed hair with my wide-toothed shower comb (far right) that I got from Sally’s. Sometimes I use my Denman brush (also purchased from Sally’s I believe…) instead depending on the mood I’m in *shrug* lol. Also depending on what my hair needs, I may apply the ApHogee Keratin 2-minute Reconstructor(you guessed it, Sally’s) after cleansing (and while I shower, shave, and what not) if my hair has been shedding more than normal, has recently been straightened, or I just feel so inclined. You can leave it on the hair for up to 5 minutes for an intense protein treatment. I’ve used this product for years and I truly believe this is one of the many things that has helped me avoid having to do a big chop in this process of transitioning to natural hair.
Once my hair has been rinsed, I go on to style! A braid & curl out or twist & curl out seems to be usually be my initial style of choice these days, if I have time to dry my hair overnight. I promise I’ll share the info on what products and techniques I use for that style very soon!
In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed reading this very detailed post! Let me know if you’ve tried any of the products I talked about or if there are certain conditioners or cleansers that you absolutely can’t live without. I’d love to try out some new things soon!
Until next time,
Love and God Bless,