My hair is all types of textures, curl patterns and frizz! I’ve always had a love hate relationship with my hair but I think that I’m finally starting to understand it. The main problem with my hair is the mixed texture. My hair isn’t corse and afro-like but it’s also not long locks. I would say I have 3b/3c/4a type hair…which makes it incredibly hard to find products and hair care routines that work for me.
When I was younger, my aunt used to cornrow my hair every Sunday. She would wash it with shampoo then conditioner and put in leave in conditioner. That was it. It was really long and healthy but I hated sitting for hours and getting my hair done. When I became a teenager, I decided that I didn’t want braids anymore. The other girls at my school used to straighten and colour their hair. That’s what I wanted.
After years of damaging my hair with dyes and straightening it constantly, I lost my curls and volume. My hair had loads of split ends, which made it look short and frizzy. I had to change my hair routine as I was losing clumps of hair daily. I finally put the straighteners down and had a ‘big chop’. I wasn’t that upset as my hair has always grown really quickly. But it didn’t…it was a slow process as my hair began to repair itself.
Now that my hair is a lot healthier, I have curls again but still have straight strands here and there. I maintain my hair with a co-wash routine. You’ve probably heard this loads from other’s who speak about their curly hair but it works! Honesty! I rotate using the Cantu range, Argon and the Shape Moisture range. I rotate it so that my hair doesn’t get too used to it, it usually starts to dry out after a while and that’s when I rotate my products. This is what I do:
I start off by wetting my hair and raking in my conditioner. I usually split my hair into four to make it easier and to get the product through all of my hair. I then massage my scalp to promote blood flow and cleanse my scalp. I try to avoid using a comb to detangle my hair, but if I do, I use a wide toothed comb. I will then shower as normal, to let the conditioner soak into my hair strands. I rinse my hair thoroughly then apply my leave in container.
I have stopped using towels to dry my hair and avoid it as much as possible. It makes my hair frizz up and it doesn’t dry it completely. I usually keep an old t-shirt about to dry my hair. I use the neck section to keep it secure on my head then wrap the rest around and tuck it in. Once I’m dressed, I take the t-shirt off. Usually it’s mostly dry at this point where i scrunch the ends of my curls with my hands to keep it bouncy. I then let it air dry or if I’m in a rush, I’ll blow dry it on a low heat setting using a defuser.
If I’m just chilling or having a relaxed day, I often leave my hair out. If I’ve got an active day where I’ll be out and about or in and out of the car, I will tie my hair up into a loose bun. I don’t like having my hair out when I’m out and about as it sucks smells. For example, if I walk past someone smoking, my hair will smell like that for the rest of the day. Also, when I’m driving, the head rest causes my hair to go flat at the back. That’s not cute. I rarely straighten my hair, maybe once or twice a year. I’ve seen loads of ‘protective styles’ online but they have never really worked for my hair. Plaits don’t stay in as my hair is too soft, it just unravels as you plait it unless I used elastic bands or pins to secure it. I try to avoid pins because they tug at my hair.
My routine is pretty simple and straight forward. I don’t do anything fancy. I just avoid putting too many products in my hair and anything that promotes hair breakage. One thing to note is the clothes you wear. Last winter, I noticed that my hair was thinning at the back and I couldn’t figure out why. My partner suggested that it would be my coat or scarf or turtle neck. He was right. Be mindful of what you wear as things like scarfs or high neck attire can cause friction as you move about causing your hair to break. Similarly, things like headscarfs can tug at hair if you tie it too tightly.