I took out my braids a few weeks ago and relaxed my hair. Cornrow braids has really helped me retain healthy length, so I will be doing it often. Click here out for posts on braid upkeep and takedown.
The regimen series covers the basics of how I care for my hair. I sectioned the series into 3 parts; The Wash, Moisturize & Seal, Protect & Style. This post covers the first (and what I consider a key) process, the wash.
I relax my new growth every 16-17 weeks, below is the summary of my regimen cycle.
Week 1: Relaxer touch up
Week 2-8: Wash and deep condition weekly, heatless styles, protein treatment in week 4 and 8/9(before braiding)
Week 9/10: Braid hair
Week 11/12-15: Wash/condition braids, moisturize braids using LCO method
Week 16/17: Take out braids, wash + protein treatment (before relaxing)
Week 17/18: Go to week 1
I always part my hair into 4 sections before applying products. I also wash my hair in 4 sections
Below are the wash steps that I follow, i have underlined the products used.
I do a prewash treatment before shampoo. My favourite treatment is honey and olive oil mix, which I reserve for winter or when I am over 8 weeks post-relaxer. My typical prewash treatment is coconut oil, or grapeseed and castor oil mix. I also add a few drops of tea tree oil to the mix to remove buildup and stimulate my scalp.
I alternate between a clarifying shampoo and a moisturizing shampoo. Clarifying shampoo removes buildup from hair; it also strips moisture, which is why I use it 1-2 times a month. I use a moisturizing (sulfate-free) shampoo every other week to retain moisture. I apply the shampoo using the techniques discussed in the relaxed hair guide.
I co(ndition) wash my hair using a regular conditioner. My second wash of the week is a cowash and I skip a prewash treatment to avoid moisture overload. I apply the conditioner and leave it in for 15-20 minutes with a shower cap on. I wash it out with warm water, and I follow it with a cold rinse.
I deep condition weekly to restore moisture lost to shampoo. I use a conditioning mix of honey, olive oil, shea butter and a conditioner. I heat the first 3 items in the microwave for 30 seconds and let it cool for about a minute, then thicken the mixture with the conditioner. I apply the mix to each section of hair and leave it in for about 30-40mins with a shower cap on. If I am short on time, I apply a regular deep conditioner for about 15-20mins. Deep conditioners typically have the synonym of water in their name (i.e. moisturizing, hydrating, etc.).
I do a protein treatment once a month, a week before/after a relaxer touch up, and a week before/after braiding. I use ORS hair mayonnaise and i always follow a protein treatment with a deep conditioner. Note that protein conditioners typically have the prefix “re” in their name (i.e. restorative, reconstructive, etc.).
I run cold water through my hair for about a minute as a final step of wash. I run it through my scalp very quickly because the water is just too cold. The rinse flattens the cuticles raised by warm water to minimizes frizz and add shine.
I do a tea rinse (before deep conditioning) about twice a month to minimize shedding. I love it because it slightly colours my hair. Black tea darkens my hair and green tea lightens it.
The slowest steps in the wash process are prewash and deep conditioning. I always pick a day that I am home and I have chores to do (i.e: cooking, cleaning, laundry). So I spend the wait times completing my chores. To speed things up, I apply the prewash treatment the night before and cover my hair with shower cap and a (silk) scarf to avoid any mess on my pillow.
Photo credit: Google Images
Which of the above wash process do you follow? What is your favourite shampoo/conditioner? Have you tried a tea rinse? Let me know your thoughts below