Before we start it’s important to note this. I am NOT a hair guru or scientist.
This is just a routine and products that I have found work for MY hair.
For resources on where I get my hair info as well as natural hair salons
Check out the links below.
A Typical Wash day
Okay first of all, I am a cheapskate and an avid DIY-er. When it comes to my hair I pretty much do everything myself cause I am a cheapie! Okay not just that, I genuinely enjoy it too.
So Wash day is probably the most important day of the week for my natural hair. This is when my hair get cleansed and most of all, it receives all of the nutrients and goodness it needs to thrive. It used to take me literally all day because I was jussssst doing the most but I hate complicated things and have simplified everything – now it takes me about 1.5 hours. There are things in here that some people will disagree with but, this is what has worked for me so yeah, that’s that. Let’s get into it.
Because I am always fighting dryness I use a moisturising shampoo – I want my hair to be clean but I don’t want it to be stripped where it feels naked and brittle. I use Aunt Jackie’s Oh So Clean and it does the job of cleansing as well as maintaining some level of moisture. Before this point some natties will do something called “pre-poo” which is applying oil and wearing a plastic cap for a few minutes and then shampooing after that. This is to protect the hair from moisture loss. I personally, for a good couple of months, tried the pre-poo thing and then tried leaving it out and never saw a difference so I skip that step. Note – I purchase all Aunt Jackie products from Sweet Penny, Midrand because they are much more expensive everywhere else.
2. Deep condition
Yes I have a normal conditioner which I will use if I don’t have time but that is rare. I always and I mean alwaaaaaaays deep condition because I need that moisture, I needs it! I use ORS Hair mayonnaise which I get from Clicks. This step is an absolute must for me and I definitely feel a difference if I leave it out. My hair has stays moisturised for longer and I have experienced less breakage with deep conditioning. Note – if your hair is dyed then deep conditioning has to be your best friend because the bleach in dye is very drying. I wish I knew this when my I killed my hair cause of bleach.
Even though I was advised to detangle while I condition, I used to do it after washing cause sometimes I am a rebel for nothing. Anyway I learnt my lesson and now I do it while I deep condition. There is no absolute rule here, some people use their fingers, a wide comb, a Denman brush, or they don’t do it at all. I use *que dramatic music* the most amazing detangling brush. I saw this from a Youtuber named ChazzzisAwesome and it’s probably the best thing I could have done for my hair. I bought it for R20 at Dischem and it sorts out the tangles, removes dead hair with minimal and I mean minimal breakage. It’s faster too
4. The LOC method (LCO for me)
After rinsing out the deep conditioner I then moisturise. This is where the LOC method (Liquid, oil, cream) comes in. L-O-C is basically the order in which you apply your products. Your L-Liquid must be water based or can be water itself. Water is where the moisture comes from, surprise, surprise! I know it’s a shock, it was for me too, but it doesn’t come from hair food or hair moisturiser. One of my favourite natural hair YouTubers Nappy Fu once said, “If you were in the desert would you want a cup of oil or a cup of water?” There you go. Then we have the O-Oil. Here you can use which ever one works for you or a blend of oils, to lock in the moisture. Finally the C – CREAM. A Creamy based product will add and seal in moisture and also help when handling your hair. Now some people say it all blends together and doesn’t make a difference the order you apply but that isn’t the case for me, I know because I tried it and was filled with regret. I also tried the traditional LOC order but I found with LCO order my hair stays moisturised for much longer.
For my LCO I use
L – Aunty Jackie Quench Leave in
C- Aunty Jackie seal it up butter
O – Extra virgin olive oil (purchased at Pick n Pay)
5. Getting that Afro!
I prefer to rock my fro and not leave it in its shrunken state so at this point I will either do a braid out or twist out. That is simply putting your hair, while it is still wet/damp into small braids or twists. I find braid out give me more length than twist outs. That In the morning or when they are dry I remove them and – AFRO! You will notice I don’t use heat on my hair. If I do it is very rare and on a very cool setting.
6. In the night time
To sleep, currently my hair is long enough to tie up or I just do four braids or six twists. Now most people have an issue with this part but it really isn’t that bad. I do my braids while watching my series or while my husband drives home. If you accept it as part of your night time routine like brushing your teeth or washing your face then you can braid your hair. Braiding it keeps it stretched and also prevents tangles. And tangles must be prevented because they cause breakage! I also sleep on a satin pillowcase because other materials are drying to the hair and cause what? Yes, breakage!
In between wash days
So after wash day, usually around the 3rd or 4th day my hair will feel a bit dry. At this point, before bed I will spritz with water mixed with the aloe juice (it just helps my sometimes itchy scalp), apply olive oil, braid it up. If it is very drive I might do the entire LCO method again. By morning my hair is totally refreshed.
Overall I try to wash my hair every week. Which really isn’t much compared to people who have to wash daily. Some people prefer to co-wash (washing with a conditioner) and then shampoo every two weeks, but I found my hair got grimy when I did this however I am open to trying new products.
-Join the South African Naturals group on Facebook. There are lots of helpful things you can learn there and it’s a great place to find places to get you hair done and get reviews on products you are thinking of trying.
-If you are going to enrol in the University of YouTube Hair Tutorials, follow people with hair that’s a similar texture to yours otherwise you will get very frustrated when trying to imitate their styles.
My final tip is Be patient – Beyoncé wasn’t built in a day guys. Your hair will get healthy, it will grow and you will retain length
Salons based in JHB – Hairtural, Maddy Maggoo Fourways, Indalo Nubian Naturals, Urban Zulu (jhb)
Youtubers I follow – Nappy Fu, Adede