Hair Care

I think the question I get from most people now is What do you do to your hair? I understand that the healthy hair care movement in the African American community is still a relatively new topic. There is so much information out there and really, everyone has to go through their own personal journey and discovery. I can't educate you on Everything about hair. But I will do my best to condense the basics and let you know what I do. The more simple you can keep it, the better. Weather you are relaxed or natural, long healthy hair can be achieved if you take care of your hair.

I will do my best to keep this page as current as I can. I have been on a hair Journey for 2 years now... natural since February of 2012. I have learned a lot about my hair and myself on this journey. I have come to understand and enjoy the beauty of what comes out of my scalp. I have met all my healthy hair goals, and now, my next goal is length. I am striving for waist length hair and I know that I will reach my goal following healthy hair care practices and being consistent. Because of the transition from relaxed to natural, my hair has had different needs. I have had to change up my regimen to better suit my afro kinky texture. . Please keep in mind that everyone's hair is different and everyone has different hair needs. What I list here is what works for me and it might not work for you. It is also important to keep in mind that no product out there will grow your hair. It can only help you to retain the length that you achieve on a daily basis. Hair grows every day, and it is up to us to keep it moisturized and well conditioned consistently so it can flourish. Also, don't limit yourself when it comes to hair products. Just because a product targets a different demographic does not mean it will not work for you. As a matter of fact the hair products that are made for "white" hair are probably better than many of  the "black" hair care products. The reason for this is the ingredients they contain. Usually, the first ingredient on most black hair care products is mineral oil/pretroleum/petrolatum aka  vaseline or "grease." I RUN away from any product with this ingredient. It is used as a cheap filler for the product and it prevents any moisture from getting into the strands and clogs your hair follicles. That is really the only thing I will not use on my hair.The products I list below don't contain mineral oil.  Silicones are an issue for many as well but I find that my hair is ok with them. I also shampoo with a sulfate shampoo every month to remove product build up..... I will talk about all of this in more detail.

 Taking care of my hair to me is like taking care of any other part of the body that God gave me. I will never have another body. This is the Body I was given and I will embrace it, accept it, and love it.

  The two main hair forums you can visit for more information which helped me through these two years are and The founders, Traycee and Sunshyne have an amazing vision which has helped thousands of women with fountains of information about their hair and getting to know themselves a little better. These forums are also very interactive and provide an awesome support system for all like-minded people. Also, I would recommend the book The Science of Black Hair  by Audrey Sivasothy to anyone who is interested in healthier hair care because that book has EVERYTHING you need to know and it answers all your questions. In fact, I wish I had it when I started. Anyway, On my YouTube Channel I have more videos talking about my hair journey and how I got to where I am today. I am simply going to post my  hair regimen here and some of  the main products I use. I do change the products I use sometimes to try new things. The products I show here are the ones that I keep coming back to because they work for my hair.

Less Detailed Video On my Hair Regimen :

Hair regimen when my hair is out. 

  • 1x a week - Deep condition with an intensive treatment. 
Deep conditioning is a crucial part of a hair regimen. I have to do this at least once a week. As a scientist, structure and function always come into play. Because the ends of our hair are the oldest, the nutrients from the scalp find it hard to travel all the way down the hair shaft. Having kinky afro-textured hair makes that journey even more difficult because the oils and nutrients not only have to travel the distance, but they have to go around each coil. That is a main contributing factor to the fragile nature of this hair; the hair is very likely to break at the point where the strands are dry. That is where deep conditioning comes in. It continues to provide those much needed nutrients to the rest of our hair. 

I use/rotate the various products in this picture. I do this to keep the moisture/protein/ph levels in my hair balanced. I feel all these add something different to my hair. I don't really have a staple deep conditioner, but any one of these will do. I usually deep condition on saturday morning. I let it sit on my head with a plastic cap for 2-3 hours as I work out and clean around the house. Then, I get in the shower and rinse. 

  • 2-3x a week - CoWash after Intense Workouts. (Note: the number of times depends on how intense the workouts are)
Co-Washing is simply washing your hair with a conditioner instead of a shampoo. The whole Idea behind it is to have the best of both worlds- Keeping your hair and scalp clean while retaining the maximum amount of moisture in your hair strands through the week. The horrible myth that is causing millions of African-American women to suffer from unnecessary breakage by not washing their hair is taken care of here. We were taught to wash our hair as little as possible because water and moisture was bad for us... but that only caused us to have drier strands resulting in severe breakage and shoulder length hair at the most for many years. Washing with conditioner 2 to 3 times a week allows you to wash out the dirt, salt, sweat, and anything else from your strands. They also permit the dirt surrounding the hair follicles to be washed away allowing a clean and healthy environment for them to grow at their maximum potential.  The fact that you are using conditioner only will aid in retaining the mositure levels in your strands and you will not get that stripping effect that shampoo gives you. 

I use not only these conditioners, but others within these brands as well. When these run out, I usually try out different conditioners just for variety. I usually put the conditioner on in the shower, rub my scalp with the balls of my fingers gently for 2 minutes and allow the conditioner to sit on my hair while I wash the rest of me! I rinse the conditioner out with when I am done with everything else and I come out of the shower with soft clean hair. 

  • 1x a week Shampoo with a sulfate free shampoo and Clarify with a sulfate shampoo once a month. (Usually after my deep conditioner)
Shampooing is a critical part of my hair regimen. I find that spending a lot of time without a good shampoo causes my scalp to itch. I have very sensitive skin (including my scalp) which needs to be cleaned at least once a week. To maintain my moisture levels in my hair strands, I use a sulfate free shampoo once a week. A sulfate free shampoo will cleanse the hair of product build up (from moisturizers, cowashes, oils) without stripping it. Depending on the type of products you use (scilicone free) that is all you might need. Because some of the products I use contain silicones (and I don't have a big problem with them coating my strands) I need to Clarify my hair once a month. Using a shampoo with sulfates is clarifying because It can lift those silicones and unseen product build up from products and hard water. Removing this build up once in a while is important. Keeping the build up can cause the hair to become ambiguous. 

L'Oreal Ever strong seems to be the best sulfate free shampoo I have used so far. I am left with soft clean hair and my strands don't feel stripped. I purchased this huge tub of aussie moist shampoo by accident (i thought it was the conditioner) so I have a feeling that it is going to last me a very long time. It has sulfates and It is clarifying without making my hair feel too dry. I think I will go for a more natural clarifying shampoo when I finish this one off. 

  • Do a Porosity or Protein treatment when needed. 
My hair likes protein. Our hair strands are made up primarily of protein so protein treatments are needed every now and then. When my hair was relaxed (or any type of chemical treatment) I needed more protein treatments because relaxers strip the protein from your hair strands and change the composition of the hair. My natural hair is stronger now so I don't do it very often. There is a HUGE importance of balancing the pH and the protein/moisture content in the hair. Having too much of one thing is detrimental and can cause protein or moisture overload. (of which I suffered from both.) A way to control this is to alternate your products. For example, Aussie moist conditioner is moisture based so I deep condition with it one week, and the following week I use the ORS deep conditioner which is protein based. I find keeping my balance with my DCs is the best for me. Learning how to balance these two comes by trial and error. With time on your hair journey, you will be able to listen to your hair and recognize what it needs. I have  videos on moisture overload, protein overload, ambiguous hair and how to do a strand test to check for porous hair (hair which has it's cuticles open usually caused by too much manipulation, overly basic products or even heat damage.) Feel free to check those out for more Information :) 

If I feel my hair is getting a little mushy and overly moisturized, I use the aphogee 2 minute reconstructor. I LOVE how my hair feels after. I never exceed two minutes because I do not want my hair to break! If i perform a strand test (which I do every month) and my hair is porous, I use some of the Roux porosity conditioner for the allotted time only. The acidic formula normalizes my hair's pH. An alternative would be an apple cider vinegar rinse/spritz to close the cuticles. 

  • Moisturize and Seal every night. This entails using some sort of moisturizer and an oil right after to help seal the moisture into those strands. I also Use a scalp stimulating oil 3x a week. 
Moisturizing is another critical part of healthy hair. Keeping the strands moisturized consistently with drastically improve the health of your hair.  Water is the most moisturizing element that there is so many people just choose to use water and seal that in with an oil. I find that my hair needs a little more than that. The type of moisturizer i use also depends on how I want to style my hair.

*SOMETIMES when I find my hair needs  extra moisture or extra shine, I use a little glycerin and castor oil as soon as I get out of the shower. This is not a necessary step. Just something I am experimenting with courtesy of Au'Curlsnaturelle

The Cantu Shea Butter leave in cream  is light, watery and very moisturizing. (fyi it does contain protein.) I use it after I wash my hair every time. I also use it for styles lite twist outs, braid outs and bantu knot outs if I want maximum definition. It also dries fairly quickly so I can use it for next day styling results. I also use the Shea moistures curl enhancing smoothie as a thicker moisturizer. I love how soft it makes my hair feel and it smells amazing. It takes a little longer to dry so I use it with styles if i have a longer time for my hair to dry. I prefer it as a moisturizer instead of a curl shaping cream because it is too thick and I find that it does not work very well with gel.  I usually try to moisturize every night or every other night before bed depending on how dry my hair feels.

Bear Fruit Hair--Olives and Avocados Leave-In Moisturizer * I also Use The Desert Castor Moisturizer from bear fruit hair for pure moisture and I would Definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a moisturizer without protein.

As far as keeping the moisture in all day, we have to use oils to seal in that moisture. Using a natural oil is best. The oils on the right hand side are the  oils I use on my strands. Orofluido is more like a luxury oil which I fell in love with after I got a sample so I probably use it once a week after my shampoo. The other two are extra virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. I use any one of these immediately following my moisturizer. These oils are usually light oils so my hair isn't weighed down.

The oils on the left hand side are the oils I use on my scalp. Sometimes my scalp gets itchy. Sometimes I just want to stimulate my scalp for maximum hair growth. Using an essential oil like tea tree, eucalyptus or peppermint oil can be tingly and stimulating on the scalp. I usually mix a little of the essential oil with some castor oil above and use it on my edges because they tend to grow a lot slower than the rest of my hair.

I use the Jane Carter Nourish and Shine when I am styling my hair and I want that extra shine with the end result. A little goes a long way. It is an expensive product but you only need a pea sized amount for your whole head so I think it is worth it.

Any natural oil should be fine. Different oils do different things so you can research and figure out what you want. 

  • Use healthy styling producs.
Using Styling products that do not dry out your hair is important. Products that contain alcohol are probably not the best because alcohol can be drying. I don't completely rule them out because sometimes I might need a style that requires a little hair spray here and there. I just don't make it a habit. I have narrowed my favorite styling products to the ones below.

As a matter of fact, I only know much about the Eco styler gel and the  Curls passion fruit pomade.

*I did this blog post before I figured out that I don't like the Curls unleashed curl shaping creme. I do not use it anymore and I will update the picture soon.

 I use the Olive oil Eco Styler gel because it is flake free and does not dry out my hair. I get maximum definition with my wash and goes using it. I use the curls pomade more as a fly away control product. I use it on my hair when I want to pull my hair back or up and brush it and It stays put up all day with no flakes. Keep your eyes open because I think I will be doing complete product reviews for most of the products on this page.

Styling could also mean using heat. I always use a heat protectant if I am going to apply heat to my hair. Heat for me at this point can only mean sitting under the hooded dryer or lightly using my blow dryer. A hooded dryer is relatively safe. A blow dryer, flat iron, curling wand and any other heat styling device can be very damaging and can cause blisters on the hair shaft and split ends. An important part of healthy hair is staying away from heat as much as possible. The less heat used, the healthier the hair. my hair is too short to use the wand and flat iron so the heat I might use the most is my hooded dryer if i need a style to dry quickly. Regardless of the level of heat, I always protect my hair. If your hair is relaxed, you might not necessarily see the damage heat causes but it is a different story for naturals. Our natural hair has a specific curl pattern and some times a flat iron can cause hair to be come so straight that the hair does not revert back to its original pattern. I want to be able to enjoy straight hair when the time comes so I will always protect my hair.

I mostly use the tresemme heat protectant. It is light, and it smells good. The argan oil is used in addition only if I choose to use a wand or a flat iron for added protection. A little goes a long way.

This is the hooded dryer I use. I inherited it from one of my aunts and it has served me well for several years. I think I will have to trade it in for a smaller one that is more portable. Also, I think I would love to incorporate a steamer into my regimen but that will come when I am more financially stable and able to afford one.

These are all my heat styling tools. I got the flat iron from sally's and the wand from cvs. I mostly use the wand for my extensions, but I made sure both of them have ceramic plates which are better for the hair. The blow dryer is an ed hardy dryer I picked up from ocean state job lots for $20.00! What a steal! I plan on purchasing a diffuser, and that will complete my heat tool collection. I rarely use these on my own hair... Mostly extensions.

  • Use the proper styling tools to maximize length retention and minimize unnecessary breakage. 
I usually use my fingers to detangle. I use the double sided boar bristle brush lightly on my hair if I need to brush down fly-aways for an up do. I use my denman brush mostly for extensions, but I have used it to detangle small sections if I want to have a fro without any curl definition. I mostly use the pick in the middle to fluff my fro. Having the right tools is important. Sometimes combs have harsh lines on the inside from the plastic that could snag the hair and cause unnecessary breakage. Keep an eye out for that. 

I have a box full of hair ties, bands,hats,  pins, etc.... Yes. I know. A little messy but I have not had the time to get this box more organized but you get the point. Having accessories became more important to me since I chopped my hair. I needed to "juj" up my hair. As long as your hair is not being strained, you should be fine. 

Below are some extras. My bonnet, and my scarf for sleeping (esp when I don't use my satin pillowcase.)  I got both from Walmart. I find that this particular bonnet is the best because it does not fall off my head in the middle of the night. The Turbie Twist is what I use to soak up the water from my hair after the shower.  I got it from Cvs. The last item at the bottom is actually really useful especially if you work out like me. It is a sweat band. The material actually magically absorbs sweat from your hair during your workouts so it minimizes the dirt that is on your hair and scalp. I got it from Walmart and it was definitely worth the buy. 

The last thing to mention is trimming. I dust my ends when I feel like they need it. Usually when I do twists, I can determine the point at which my hair needs to be dusted. I have a picture giving you an example of  a dusting.

Trimming or dusting (As needed) every 3-4 months keeps split ends away. You don't want them to split up the shaft of your hair. It also eliminates some of those single strand knots on your ends. They don't really bother me that much. I use the pair of  scissors below for my hair only. I got them from Cvs. I also own a split ender which I have not used since my big chop but I will be using it the next time I straighten my hair to really get rid of the split ends. 

 If my hair is in a protective style, I will do a different blog post including the details. For styles like micro or box braids or senegalese twists, I come up with a moisturizing spray containing moisturizing elements and oils  that  are light enough for braid upkeep and good enough to keep my hair underneath moisturized and healthy.  I will let you know :) 

Conclusion? If you are new at this all of this might seem a little overwhelming. I have developed this regimen over 2 years of research and trial and error and this is what works for me. Some people do much more and some people do less. Everybody uses different products as well. I will try to update this page when something changes. My best advice for a beginner would be to pick one product per category (maybe 2 for conditioners (protein an moisture)) and go from there as you do more research. 

I hope I answered all your questions but if I didn't, feel free to drop them in the comments below and I will get back to you! Thanks for reading and stay blessed! 


  1. Thumbs Up! Written very well and i m Strongly agree.. thanx for sharing these Hair Care Tips

  2. Wonderful hair care tips! I love all tips that are related to beauty and hair care is no exception! Anyways, I have been thinking of investing some more in a good flat iron that is safe for hair. Can you provide suggestions for best flat iron?