The longer your hair is, the more time and product it demands for maintenance. Here's how I keep it simple.
The longer your hair is, the more time and product it demands for maintenance, so over the years a simplified hair routine has been my biggest ally in keeping it simple. Here is my natural hair routine for my tailbone length hair.
I shampoo once per week because that is what works for my hair plus, I tend to get a lot of buildup. My go-to shampoo at the moment is the Aussie Moist Shampoo.
Deep Condition (weekly)
Deep conditioning is important for any curly or coily, but especially for those with low porosity hair like myself. For me, deep conditioning weekly infuses my hair with ample moisture and adds shine. It is really important for those with low porosity hair because it's hard for moisture to penetrate the hair strands and prevent dryness.
To deep condition, I start off by shampooing and then applying a rinse out conditioner such as Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner silicone-free formula to soften up my hair. Next, I apply my deep conditioning mixture, which consists of the Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner mixed with a bit of honey and olive oil. I generously apply this mixture all over my hair from root to tip, detangle, and then sit under a hooded dryer for 15-20 minutes.
Clarifying rids the hair of any buildup it has amassed. I like to clarify with raw apple cider vinegar, which also conditions the hair. I use one tablespoon to one cup of cold water after shampooing. After clarifying, I move on to deep conditioning. I clarify to get rid if any product buildup from all hair products, even shampoo. Since I have low porosity hair, the product buildup can make it look dull. Doing a ACV rinse is my way of making sure there is absolutely no buildup. I also use it as a way to naturally condition my hair.
My go-to hairstyle is the wash and go and I typically do one wash and go per week. My technique is the conditioner only or, tightly curly method. I use Aussie Moist Conditioner for this. Sometimes I like to switch it up, just so my hair doesn’t get too use to the same products. When that happens, my go-to curly hair gel is the As I Am Curling Jelly. This stuff works like magic and my hair loves it, but since I have issues with dryness, the conditioner method is my first choice. After styling I seal with olive or argan oil.
99% of the time I allow my hair to air dry. When plopping (or plunking) I get better results, but if it’s cold out or I just don’t feel like being soaking wet for hours, I will diffuse until my hair stops dripping. Now, back to plunking. I discovered this little gem not too long ago and it soaks up all the extra water after my hair is done and simply makes my life easier when I need to finish getting ready. I also love how it lifts my roots so they aren’t so flat when they dry. Here’s how typically style my hair throughout the week:
Days 1-3: I usually wear a wash and go that can last for up to three days.
Days 4-5: After a few days, my wash and go has got to go, but I usually re-moisturize and transition into a ponytail, high bun, or some other protective style for two days.
Other styles: My other go-to styles include twists, twist outs, and flexi rod sets. I do these styles when I need a break from the wash and go’s or any maintenance. These styles typically last for one week.
My nighttime routine varies and here’s why: when I have a fresh wash and go (day one), the pineapple works great. After day one, it just tends to frizz my hair out and disturb my curl pattern. Bonnets stopped working for me a long time ago because they just stretch out, so for most nights I wear a silk scarf that is enclosed at the end. Just think of a classic dew rag that you’d typically see a man wear, and instead the flap hanging in the back it’s enclosed like a little silk bag, that’s where the hair goes and it works great.
Other hair regimens:
Trimming– I trim my hair approximately every six months and generally take off an inch. I may also do some dusting in between then.
Straightening– I hardly ever straighten my hair because I just get bored with that look. When I do, it is once per year or even longer. I strongly feel that my low use of heat has strongly contributed to my length retention.
When it comes to my hair routine, I like to keep it simple by using decent products and listen to my hair. I don’t sway too far left or right, just because I have long hair doesn’t mean that I use only organic, natural products. I try to stick with quality, which helps but I think more than that; keeping my hair routine uncomplicated has allowed me to enjoy my journey instead of being overwhelmed by it, and that plays a key role in my length retention.