I'm not a real 3a. I'm a 3b in disguise. My hair is solid 3b when short but it stretches out to 3a when long. I don't want to post in two places so I'm picking 3a for the purpose of fitting in somewhere. :sniffle:
This is my current routine, copied from my hair journal at LHC. It looks long written down but it isn't actually very time consuming at all. From the time I step into the shower to the time I'm totally done with my hair, it's about 20-30 minutes.
I'm washing my scalp at least three times a week but up to seven times a week if I feel like it. When I scalp wash, this is what I do:
- Step in the shower and rinse out the whole length.
- Coat everything below the nape with a cheap conditioner. I'm using Trader Joe's Refresh, which only costs $2.
- Wash the scalp with Elucence Moisture Benefits shampoo
(Mastey Traite also works for me).
- Rinse it all out.
- Condition from the nape down with Elucence Moisture Balance
or Jessicurl Too Shea conditioner.
- Detangle with my Creative C9 comb while conditioner is in the hair.
- Lightly smooth hands over the top of the head before rinsing conditioner off them. This conditions the head hair without weighing it down.
- Leave conditioner in for at least a minute while doing other stuff in the shower.
- Rinse it all out.
- Rinse again in cold water.
- Turn off the water and gently scrunch excess water out of the ends.
- Apply leave-in (either Beauty Without Cruelty's old formula or CurlyBrunette's Shea It Ain't So) with fingers and/or detangling comb.
- Scrunch to encourage better curl formation. If enough leave-in has been used, there'll be a satisfying "sploosh" sound.
- Put hair in microfiber dog towel using these instructions.
- Leave hair in the towel while drying off, getting dressed, etc. Anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes.
- Take hair out of the towel. Bend at the waist so hair hangs down and fluff up the scalp hair at the roots. This stops hair from being plastered down to the head later.
- Mist with water if necessary (sometimes my hair is over-dry from the towel) and apply styling product/s* of choice.
- Scrunch and diffuse on low for anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes.
- If it's night, pillow plop over satin-covered pillows. If it's morning, just go. We're done. I can put it partially back with barrettes but not in a bun at this point because my hair is not going to be 100% dry. If I bun damp hair, I get dreads.
*Current products in my rotation: AG re:coil
, Boots Curling Cream, Ouidad Tress F/X, KMS Curl Up Control Creme. (I also like Jessicurl Rockin' Ringlets but I'm out of it at the moment. I also have Jessicurl Confident Coils
but I don't ever use it without Rockin' Ringlets
Variations in the Routine:
- If my scalp is feeling particularly gunky, I might massage it with jojoba oil before washing it.
- If my scalp is feeling particularly dry, I might do a pre-wash massage with aloe vera gel.
Deep Conditioning Treatments:
-Only when I feel like I need one. I could do them weekly, monthly or every few months. It just depends on how my hair feels.
-Weekly or monthly or whatever my hair feels like it needs. If the ends are tangling like crazy, it's probably time to clarify. My clarifying 'poos of choice are Elucence Clarifying, Ouidad Clear & Gentle and Ouidad Water Works.