The last few months have been all about the Wash, Do The Most & Go (WDTM&G) and the forecast for the foreseeable is much of the same, ’cause I’m feeling myself *brushes shoulder off*.

Here’s a quick look at the routine-

  • Re-style (wash or co-wash) two or three times a week.  I shampoo on the weekend. Generally, unless I have a rough night, I only style on Sundays and Wednesdays.
  • Out styles 99% of the time (down or puff)
  • Henna once a month (at least, alternating between just roots and full head treatments)
  • Light oil every day, especially on ends 
  • Pre-‘poo religiously 
  • Daily multi vitamin + daily Biotin + half my body weight in ounces of water
  • Sleep with my hair out on a satin pillow case, well, ’cause I don’t know what else to do!  Pineappling isn’t working and bonnets smash the curls and I hate re-wetting daily.  

For those that want the nitty gritty, know that I follow one of three WDTM&G techniques depending upon the mood I’m in- The Tracee, The Pippi or The Unicorn.  I only do The Tracee once a week (because it incorporates the use of a modified Denman), and The Pippi and Unicorn get used interchangeably… whatevs.  All three aim to yield clumpier, more consistent, defined results on my naturally very piece-y, skinny curls, and most have similar steps.  The night before wash day, I do a pre-poo with coconut oil and then the morning of, I apply yogurt on top of that. So without further ado, check out the deets-

The Tracee (Ellis Ross, that is. This routine incorporates several of Tracee’s curl defining tips)

  • An hour before I shower, I apply a deep conditioner/yogurt treatment to my dry hair and don a plastic cap.  To generate heat, sometimes I’ll wear a beanie or my heat cap w/out microwaving it.
  • Hop in the shower and rinse.
  • Thoroughly saturate hair with water and divide into two (left and right).
  • Cleanse hair with co-wash or mild shampoo (it depends upon the state of my hair but I generally use a mild shampoo once a week, on Sunday, and use a co-wash the other wash session)– one side at a time. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Generously apply a slippery conditioner, usually Aussie Moist or Tresemme Naturals, to both sides in a smooshing motion.
  • Pass my head back under the water stream for a second, for better distribution and added slip.
  • Add even more conditioner
  • Clip the hair up and out of the way to complete shower rituals.
  • Take down the right side and section out the back piece near my neck. Pin up the rest.  I finger detangle thoroughly and then, using the Denman, brush through once or twice for smoothing and curl clumpage.   The Denman creates what looks like finger waves on my conditioner laden curls.  Next, I section out another piece, and follow the same routine- finger detangle then brush once or twice.  Sometimes,  I create a hair sandwich where I’ll use one hand to hold the brush and the other hand to smooth the hair as I pull the brush through.  I end up with about 6-8 sections per side.   
  •  Once all the hair on each side has been finger detangled and smoothed and clumped with the Denman, I rinse the right side.  I hold the clumped curls in the palm of my hand and stand under the shower stream, allowing the water to gently rinse away the conditioner.  I do the same on the left.  I rinse 100% of the conditioner. 
  • I then use the praying hands method to wring away some of the excess water and get out of the shower.
  •  Finally, I apply my cream styler of choice in a smooshing motion (not raking, as I don’t want to disturb the curls I just created with the Denman) to the right side, then the left.  I finger twirl any frizzy bits and smooth product down the length of any curls that didn’t clump, using my fingers like a flat iron. 

I usually sit under the dryer for 15 minutes to get things going and air dry the rest of the way.  Sometimes, I’ll hit the roots with the blow dryer for extra hangage πŸ™‚

Pros

  • Massive curl clumps- That Denman is a beast!
  • Even definition 
  • Thorough detangling 
  • Decent drying time if you use a quick drying curl cream 

Cons

  • The Denman, (aka Shredder) and I have a long and sordid history… a love/hate relationship if you will.  I’m pretty sure it caused split ends in the past, but I was also using it differently.  I was using it to define my curls later in the styling routine… like on hair that was just damp with a little leave-in on it.  I found that it had more drag and pulled more hair out, as well as left my roots very puffy.  I’ve also used it as my sole detangling tool with disastrous results. Using it after finger detangling to clump my curls in the shower, protected by a thick layer of conditioner, may be the way to go.  I’ll pay attention to my ends and keep y’all posted.  
  •  The Denman leaves me shrinkier, even when wet, so you know what it is, lol.  My hair dries much shorter than usual, which is actually not a con for me because it exaggerates the shape of my cut. 

The Pippi (Longstocking, that is)-

  • An hour before the shower, apply a deep conditioner/yogurt
    treatment to dry hair and don a plastic cap.  To generate heat, wear a beanie, towel or heat cap (w/out microwaving it.)
  • Hop in the shower and rinse.
  • Thoroughly saturate hair with water and divide into two (left and right).
  • Cleanse
    hair with co-wash or mild shampoo (it depends upon the state of my hair
    but I generally use a mild shampoo once a week, on Sunday, and use a co-wash the
    other wash session)– one side at a time. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Generously apply Tresemme Naturals, to both sides in a smooshing motion.
  • Pass my head back under the water stream for a second, for better distribution and added slip.
  • Add even more conditioner
  • Clip the hair up and out of the way to complete shower rituals.
  • Finger detangle the right side, then the left.
  • Using praying hands, smooth away excess product and water. Do not rinse.
  •  Place each side in one large, two-strand twist 
  • Lotion and thangs… and after 10-15 minutes head to the mirror and gently unravel the twists
  • Finally, take small amounts of curl cream or light hold gel and smooth individual curls.  Finger curl pieces here and there and smooth frizzy bits.  No raking or finger combing at all.

I usually sit under the dryer for 15 minutes to get things going and air
dry the rest of the way.  Sometimes, I’ll hit the roots with the blow
dryer for extra hangage πŸ™‚

Pros-

  • Massive curl clumps from the conditioner and twists
  • Less manipulation than The Tracee (fingers only, no Denman involved)
  • Far less shrinkage than The Tracee

Cons-

  • Takes MUCH longer, like FOREVER, to dry because of the conditioner left in
  • If you leave the twists in for too long, you’ll be left with your natural texture/pattern at your roots with the length taking on silkier, chunkier curls. Don’t allow the hair to set, you just want to leave the twists in long enough to encourage larger curl clumps than you’d usually get. 

 The Unicorn (via NaturallyCurly forums circa 2006)

  • On dry hair, prior to washing, I apply one of two things – (1) full fat, organic yogurt, or (2) full fat, organic yogurt with conditioner mixed in.  I leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • I hop in the shower and rinse thoroughly, only reaching for the shampoo if it’s that time.  If it’s the middle of the week, I co-wash with a lighter conditioner. Rinse thoroughly.
  • I then apply my thick and luxurious conditioner, also known as my styling conditioner (Tresemme usually). I apply it heavy, and allow it to marinate while I shower.
  • Then I finger detangle, adding more conditioner and water as I go. I do this in 4 sections.
  • I then rinse out 80% of the conditioner, and while still in the shower, flip my head over and gather all of my hair into a loose two-strand twist at the crown of my head.
  • Next I reach for my t-shirt (which I leave right outside of the shower), and hold it as if I’m about to put it on over my head.  I insert the large twist into the shirt, placing the back, bottom seam at the nape of my neck.  I then gently wring the length in the shirt and pin it up.  Looks like this-
  • I leave the t-shirt on my head for 15 minutes while I lotion, and get dressed.  Next, I remove the t-shirt, and gently shake until my hair falls down in place. It’s still wet but not dripping.
  • Then, using a gel, I finger style the frizzy bits and air-dry before fluffing. Sometimes, once the hair is completely dry, I’ll stretch the roots with my blow dryer. 

Pros

  • Decent curl clumping from the big twist (more than I’d get simply finger combing but less than I get with the other two routines) 
  • Drastic decrease in drying time. I shave off an hour or two with this technique because I apply product to damp hair
  • Awesome hang-time. Shrinkage is minimal.

Cons

  • Wonky shaped, flat curls if you leave the t-shirt on for too long
  • Frizz if you use the t-shirt incorrectly
  • Frizz if you apply the products too vigorously

 PRODUCTS- you’ll recognize some Holy Grails and spot a few newbies that just happen to be in my shower.  Behind the newbies, I’ll give a brief review–

Shampoos-
-KeraCare Natural Textures Cleansing Cream


-Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo

Ouidad’s Curl Co-Wash (Gifted.  It’s aiight… an effective cleanser with mild sudsing action that leaves my situation moisturized.  But it falls flat in the detangling department and the price is ridic, so I doubt I’d purchase. However, if they re-formulate with magical detangling powers, I’d have to #ChargeItToTheGame!)

Living Proof Full Thickening Shampoo (Gifted…great moisture, cleansing and slip but wouldn’t purchase due to the price. However if someone happened to gift me some more, I’d use the hell out of it!)

Mizani Supreme Oil Shampoo (Gifted… it has more moisture & slip (yay!) than cleansing action and while I probably wouldn’t purchase (I’m a conditioner girl, I spend money on slippery conditioners and just use whatever ‘poo I have lying around!), I’ll gladly use the rest of what I have, which will probably take me into next summer!

As I Am Coconut Co-Wash (Purchased… amazing slip, amazing moisture and cleans (?) as well as any other co-wash conditioner.  Good price but I don’t know if I’d repurchase given that it doesn’t seem to do anything very different from Aussie or Tresemme.)

Deep Conditioners-
-Jessicurl TooShea

-Curl Junkie Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment 

Aubrey Organic’s GPB

Detangling and Co-Wash Conditioners-
Aussie Moist Conditioner

Tresemme Naturals

Living Proof Full Conditioner (Gifted… Great moisture, definition and is great as a leave-in but the price is prohibitive.  I won’t be purchasing, especially considering the clumping results are the same as Tresemme’s. And it’s too damn expensive to rinse-out, so yeah.)

Mizani Supreme Oil Conditioner (Gifted… Amazing moisture and slip. AMAZING! I haven’t tried it as a leave in yet, but I will.  I’d purchase if I knew where to find it.)

Leave-ins and Stylers-
Tresemme Naturals (Purchased… great by itself or coupled with Ouidad’s Hydrafusion)

Living Proof Full Thickening Cream (Purchased… doesn’t play well with any other conditioners or creams but truly does add volume.  It leaves my hair soft, moisturized, shiny and voluminous.  The price is INSANE, but I charge it to the game. I use this underneath As I Am Smoothing Gel. )

Ouidad’s Curl Quencher Hydrafusion Intense Curl Cream (Originally Gifted… amazing moisture, definition and light hold. Great alone or over Tresemme Naturals. I’ve charged it to the game countless times.)

As I Am Smoothing Gel  (Gifted and used over Living Proof Thickening Cream.  Haven’t used it in a while but as far as gels go, it’s the kitties titties!)

Oils-
Optimum’s Miracle Oil  (Gifted… I like the idea of a modified, extra light weight oil that soaks in fast and provides shine. However, in my opinion, shine is all it provides as I didn’t detect much nourishment.  I’ll gladly use the rest of what I have, but probably wouldn’t purchase.  The fragrance is light and pleasant and the price is decent.  I really, really LOVE the shine, I just wish it did more for me.)

Ouidad’s Mongongo Oil (Gifted… this modified oil soaks in quick but also leaves my hair softer and shinier. It doesn’t break apart my curl clumps like natural oils do and doesn’t weigh me down or go greasy no matter how heavy handed I get.  It also touts heat protection properties.  The fragrance though.  Damn. Entirely too strong, like, turned all the way up, and smells of ‘old church lady’.  But yeah, my hair seems to like it, so I’d charge it to the game.  We won’t even discuss the price.)

Coconut Oil (I use this as a pre-poo and used to use it on my ends daily until I found the above, lighter oils.  Coconut and similar oils break up my curl clumps on dry hair.)

Refreshers-
Mop Top Herbal Detangler and Refresher (Gifted… Okay, I’m not a fan of the strong herbal fragrance and boy does it linger, but the results on my dry hair are awesome!  It provides moisture, shine and a touch of hold. I can’t speak to the detangling properties. I’d definitely purchase.)

Blended Beauty’s Kick for Curls (Gifted… love this for Gia’s hair and I use it sparingly on mine in the same way I use Mop Top.  The fragrance is coconut-y and sweet and dissipates quickly.)


*if my hair dries too long or the shape is a bit off, I can spritz the ends in the back and on the sides, creating excess shrinkage, to exaggerate the shape of my bob.  It also adds moisture if needed with minimal frizz.  These are the BEST two that I’ve tried and I’ve tried a bunch.  If you want to try a ‘faux bob’ try spritzing the sides and back of your dry twist-out.  One of two things will happen- you’ll wanna curse me out ’cause of the frizz or give me hugs ’cause your hair is dope. 

Tools/Accessories-
-Modified Denman
-Satin Pillowcase

Henna-
Mehandi.com
 –Butters-n-Bars

Yogurt-
Dannon Naturals (full fat, plain)

NOTES-

*I get the clumpiest results from The Tracee
*I get the fastest drying time from The Unicorn
*The Pippi takes the absolute longest to dry 
*I get the most consistent results from The Tracee and The Pippi
*I need to figure out this sleeping regimen situation… 
*I notice fewer single strand knots when I use a product with stronger hold… when I use conditioner only, it’s knot city
*I know my hair is in the need of a ‘poo when the curls go ‘piece-y’ no matter what I do.  I do a clarifying treatment once a month or once every two months.  
*When I have the time and I feel like subjecting myself to a night of plastic bag criknling, I’ll do an overnight DT before wash day using one of the above conditioners w/ a little yogurt. 
*I don’t touch my curls as they dry but I fluff and fluff and fluff with my fingers and sometimes a pick if I’m wanting to create particularly obnoxious hair.  I’ll also hit the roots with a blowdryer concentrator attachment for extra volume. 
*I get 3 beautiful ‘out’ days with all three routines if I use the right product combo.  If I must, I’ll puff, but usually, I can rock it out until the next wash day.  
*I’m LOVING my new hair shape and the shrinky awesomemess that is the WDTM&G