After Angelica cut off the damaged ends the rest of my hair was in okay shape. Even though it was presentable, I had this fear that it would grow out and break all over again. I couldn’t take that risk. “Maybe relaxers aren’t for me anymore,” I thought. I did a lot of research and decided to go natural. My last relaxer was around November and we did the first chop in January. The end result was pretty hilarious, I looked like I had gotten electrocuted! No big deal, I made an appointment to get my hair braided in advance so I was covered.
It took a LOT of trial and error, YouTube fails, and epic bouts of frustration, but I’ve finally found products and techniques that work for me. If you want some laughs, here’s my Snapchat story from my second chop. I’ve listed all my regimens beneath the video. If anything is unclear, leave a comment or shoot me an email. I warn you, my regimens sound super OCD, but trust me they’re not.
Details: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration works really well as a leave-in but I don’t really feel comfortable using products in a way that they weren’t intended to be used. I’m concerned about long term use of this as a leave-in and am scared to have it sitting on my hair for too long. My wash and go’s usually don’t last very long so I can use it for this situation because I know I’ll probably be washing it out of my hair very soon.
Co-wash with the intent to wash and go: Pre-poo with coconut oil, co-wash with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, rinse, more coconut oil, more Hello Hydration or Cantu Coconut Curling Cream as a leave-in
Details: Any kind of wash and go for me usually revolves around Hello Hydration. If I know I’ll have time for a full wash day soon, I can use the Hello Hydration as a leave-in. If not then I’ll go for the Cantu. It’s great for activating curls and doesn’t freak me out like the Hello Hydration. (See the description above for deets on the “freak out” factor.)
Wash with the intent to protective style: Pre-poo with coconut oil, clarify with Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Pure Castile Liquid Soap, Cantu Sulfate-Free Hydrating Cream Conditioner, rinse, deep condition with any of these packets, rinse, more coconut oil, Cantu Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream
Details: Protective styling for me means I have to start with a super duper clean scalp. I like to oil my scalp throughout the week so it’s crucial that I start with a clean slate. Dr. Bronner’s gets hair SQUEAKY clean, so you absolutely have to pair it with a heavy conditioner like Cantu. I don’t like to use Hello Hydration with the Dr. Bronner’s because although HH it great for bringing out your curl pattern, I’m on the fence about how moisturizing it really is.
Protective styling regimen: Make about 10-13 “Bye Felicia” braids, oil scalp with Jamaican Black Castor Oil every other day or so, apply Cantu Leave-In Cream to ends, sleep in satin bonnet
Details: My go-to’s are wigs and have been wearing the hell out of the Freetress Creta Girl. (I’m wearing it in this style post.) It’s synthetic but don’t be scared, it ages very well and it’s not too shiny. I finger comb it until its super frothy and push it to one side. If I know I’m wearing my wig for the week I leave out the perimeter of my hair from my Bye Felicia braids. At night I flat twist the perimeter with a bit of Cantu to protect my edges. In the morning they have just enough curl to blend with the wig.