Winter Switch-up Part 2

Hey guys so as promised, here is part 2 of my winter hair repertoire. This time I will be focused on products and applications. However, I forgot to mention in my previous post one more protective technique. Sleeping in a satin bonnet. Now, usually I don’t bother wrapping my hair because I like my ‘fro to be free and I already sleep on satin pillows and sheets. However, In winter I’m not just protecting my head from sheets but also from the dry, hot air in my apartment so I cover up. Before I do this, I usually put my into hair as many or as few twists (not very neatly) as I feel like. This helps them fit under the cap more easily and stretches them somewhat so they can be more easily pulled into protective styles the next day. I moisturize them before doing so in a method I’ll explain shortly. So now for products.

I read on naturallycurly.com that not varying your shampoo can diminish or even reverse its positive effects. Is this without-a-doubt true? I don’t know for sure. I do not always agree with even the most reputable sites, however, I decided to be safe and bought a second shampoo/conditioner set to alternate in every other week. I chose L’oreal Ever Sleek mainly for the price and because I didn’t realise it was for straightened hair. Oh well! I don’t think that really matters. It’s cheaper than most natural products since it’s one of the drugstore brands getting in on the natural game and it was 7.99 a Duane Reade as opposed to Shea Moisture’s 10.99 ( I later realised that it’s only 8.5 oz in a bottle so per oz. the price is about the same.)

What did I think? Let’s start with the sulphate-free shampoo. It made my hair squeaky clean. It actually squeaked. It was clear and not rich and creamy like the SM shampoo at all. It felt…fine. I was neither here nor there with it. To be fair, I also realised the products were really for smoothing straight hair. It’s important, curls, to go off of research when buying products and not just price.  Still, even when you’re 3c/4a curly, you don’t want frizz so smoothing is a nice effect. The conditioner is the most important part to a curly in my opinion. It was extremely thick and creamy. It felt more like a curl-defining cream than a conditioner and did not give me the slippage I wanted. It took a lot of conditioner and work to detangle and ithe smell was nothing special, just like unscented body lotion. Afterwards I will say that my hair felt very smooth. However, that could also be attributed in part to the yoghurt deep conditioner.

That’s the other thing I am doing for winter: focusing on different conditioners. Normally I alternate between my Greek yoghurt conditioner and my caramel treatment. Now I may use the caramel Tx (treatment) occasionally still but am concerned that it contains honey, a humectant. Humectants are great for the summer because they draw moisture from the air to your curls. However in the winter they can have the opposite effect. Greek yoghurt is great for your scalp but rich in protein, which, in the winter, can make hair brittle. I use plain regular yoghurt mixed with olive, tea tree and peppermint oil. The two latter oils are great for a winter-dry scalp.
I just eyeball the proportions and I use plain yoghurt since sugary flavours can encourage fungus that can lead to dandruff. Yoghurt is good for fighting scalp fungus, the lactic acid is very good for your skin. Yoghurt also moisturizes the hair and the skin on your scalp and balances the pH of your hair, creating a shiny seal to the cuticle.

plain-yogurt

After washing, I recommend rubbing oils such as tea tree, peppermint or jojoba on the scalp, but a clean scalp only. Oil and dirt can cause buildup that makes a dry scalp worse. Ensure the oils you use are paraben-free because those ingredients also dry the scalp.

2010-11-03 08-36-13-peppermint_oil

Lastly, remember to use the LOC method on your hair: Liquid, Oil, Cream.
Spray your hair with whatever moisturizing sprigs you use, water, conditioner spray or whatever your personal mix. Not too much, as I said in my last post we don’t want to leave the house with wet hair. Next, add an oil of your choice for a light conditioning seal. I like coconut oil. Last, add a heavier cream or butter to seal, paying special attention to the ends of your hair, which may rub up against the rough, winter fabric of your clothes. Some bloggers recommend coating your ends in conditioner and sealing with a non-alcoholic gel. I can’t vouch for it personally. My LOC is an EVOO-condish-water mix followed by coconut oil followed by Shea moisture curl-enhancing smoothie.

Next post, I will take you through my routine for Trinidad. That’s right: no place like home for the holidays. Xox.
Daria & Angela

Time for some TLC

Day 1…

This has been a rough week on my hair (partly my fault, I’ll admit). The weather’s been terrible and I haven’t been detangling. I have just been slapping some moisturiser (curl enhancing smoothie) over it. Despite some efforts to at least oil my scalp, it’s still feeling a bit dry so I’ve bought some Shea Moisture African Black Soap Balancing Conditioner (what a name!) I put it on my scalp and (lightly spritzed) hair to seep in overnight, then wrapped it up in a satin scarf. Tomorrow I will do my regular yoghurt routine and let you know how it turns out. We’ll see how my scalp feels at the end of the week but here are my first impressions:
It has a thinner consistency than my restorative shea moisture conditioner and it smells like black soap (which smells like plantains since that’s what it’s made from). Now I love plantains but I’m not sure I want to walk around smellin’ like Sunday lunch. However I will say my scalp feels so far so good. Even when I put coconut oil on my scalp it helps only minimally. This is better so far. This conditioner is not a leave-in they say. However I use rinse out conditioners as leave-ins all the time. (see my “emergency wash n go” post) As Kanye says “who’s gon’ stop me huh?!” 😛

Day 2…

I was too lazy to do the yoghurt and figured, as it said on the bottle, the conditioner was a good enough pre-poo on its own. By the time I washed my hair this morning my knots had melted away. I washed, and used the last of my moisture retention conditioner and some of the new black soap conditioner (both by Shea moisture). Then dried with an old cotton pillowcase (I use satin ones now but waste not, want not!) then did my usual coconut oil (mostly on the scalp), curl smoothie (tinier bit than usual) and gel (kccc).Then scrunch and I’m off. Seems to have a good shape so far and my hair is as soft as if I’d made one of my usual Deep Treatments. So I guess I’ve found a lazy solution. Let me know what you think.

xox D