Fall is all about layering. It’s my go-to method for any on the go outfit. You can’t go wrong when you start with a blank canvas and build around it. I apply this same logic to my fall hair regimen. I am a firm believer in layering my hair essentials. How you layer is just as important, if not more important, than the mere fact that you are layering. If you can master the art of layering you can’t lose.
Layer 1: shampoo - I always start out with a clean slate (much like a basic t-shirt you build your outfit of the day around), which in my case means a full shampoo on detangled hair with, of course, a sulfate free shampoo or conditioning cleanser. A fresh start gives my tresses a fair opportunity to be shaped and molded into anything I chose. By starting off with a clean head of hair, I can manipulate the outcome the way I see fit and not have to worry about any previous product application affecting my results.
Layer 2: conditioner - by conditioning/deep conditioning my freshly shampooed mane, I can be confident that I have set the stage for a smooth style session. In other words, it’s the best “condition” (pun intended) possible for whatever comes next. Conditioning leaves my delicate curls pillow soft, even textured and detangled which otherwise would present a challenge to my styling process. Although there has been testimony to the contrary, I opt to rinse with cool water to ensure the cuticle is closed and flat thus minimizing frizz. According to chemist Mort Westman, “hair, contains no living cells -- it doesn't react to cold (or hot) water” source: Oprah.com. Clearly you should garner your own research to determine your process.
Layer 3: leave in-conditioner – this is the layer I like to refer to as the suit of armor. For me, a good leave in is the cornerstone of my hair regimen. My leave-in protects and serves like nobody’s business and is an absolute must. The elements are rendered almost defenseless to a great sheathing leave-in. Not only does it add moisture but it conditions all day long and blocks out all the kink monsters/destroyers.
Layer 4: styler/moisturizer) – your favorite styler should add moisture as well as a means by which to manipulate and style your curls. I look for a product that provides some slip making it easy to work with minus any sticky residue. I am always very mindful of the ingredients in my styler because I want to make sure they serve my purpose. For example, while a water based product is good news moisture wise, I find that it doesn’t serve me well on stretched styles because it causes the hair to revert back. It’s all about texture for me and playing it up so when it comes to application I make sure to work in the product section by section, thoroughly with my fingertips keeping in mind that less is more. An A+ styler pulls the look together like a good blazer or your favorite cardigan while offering maximum style and versatility.
Layer 5: oil – my final layer seals and locks the moisture in. There’s no point of adding moisture if you don’t lock it in. It’s like the top coat when you do apply your favorite nail stain. You need that final layer of protection. I liken it to the perfect accessory and final touches of your look. Now coif and go! *note- some naturals choose to use heavier butters rather than oils in the cooler months.