Sometimes it feels like my Type 2 wavy hair is a petulant teenager, and I’m its frazzled mother, trying to figure out what, for the love of God, is going on here! My hair-child is always “going through a phase”. One day it’s no-poo perfection; the next, my scalp is out-of-control, oily, and screaming for shampoo. This week, my waves might love the diffuser; the next, it suddenly leads to dried-and-fried frizz. As soon as a product earns a place in my regular routine, my hair suddenly starts acting out.
In a true, teenager-like fashion, it just needs some love and attention.
Never is this more true than during a seasonal shift. As the Northern Hemisphere transitions from summer to fall–temperatures dropping, moisture leaving the air–my hair feels it all. My scalp is flakier, my ends are frizzier, and my routine revolves around hydrating, nourishing, and natural ingredients.
Brushing and Combing
There’s so much conflicting advice on how and when to brush waves and curls. Only brush dry hair! Comb wet hair! No, never brush at all! Right now, I'm experimenting with not brushing or combing my Type 2 waves ever. During the fall and winter months, my hair is more prone to breakage, and brushing or combing only makes that breakage worse. (If I get a little tangled, I take a comb directly to the knotted area and work it through gently, but that’s it.) I notice that my wave pattern has been more defined since ditching the hairbrush.
When my ends are particularly dry, I whip up a homemade mask with a tablespoon of ghee, and a tablespoon of coconut oil. Both ingredients are full of fatty acids that inject hair follicles with moisture, and add a good amount of shine.
To treat, I warm the mixture for fifteen seconds, then apply into my roots and onto my ends. This can get a little goopy and messy, so after twenty minutes or so, I rinse it out in the shower.
In the Shower
Like clockwork, I always experience dandruff in the autumn months. To treat my dry scalp, I use an apple cider vinegar rinse once a week. It’s so easy: I just mix two parts water with one part ACV in a spray bottle, then spray the mixture into my roots after dampening my hair in the shower. I let it sink in for five minutes, then rinse with water. The apple cider vinegar balances the hair’s pH level, which in turn flattens the hair cuticle and leads to shinier, healthier, smoother waves. It also gently exfoliates the scalp to get rid of dead skin cells and product build-up.
I shampoo once or twice a week, usually with Love Beauty and Planet’s Hope and Repair Coconut Oil & Ylang Ylang Shampoo. It’s made with natural coconut oil to repair damaged ends and prevent breakage–and it smells incredible.
I condition every day, either with SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner (which has silk protein and neem oil to detangle and lock in moisture) or Nutrine Garlic Conditioner (garlic naturally adds shine and promotes growth–and don’t worry, it’s unscented).
A few months ago I got balayage, so occasionally I’ll switch out these products for Clairol Shimmer Lights shampoo and conditioner, because they’re both infused with violet toner. Khloé Kardashian turned me on to this line when I worked for her, and I love it–it’s so cheap, but really effective for battling brassiness!
After showering, I wrap my hair in a towel for a few minutes until it’s no longer soaking wet. Then, I’ll spray it with SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Leave-In Treatment. It immediately softens my waves and makes them easy to style. If I’m having a low maintenance day, this is all I use.
When I want a more defined wave pattern, I squish a little bit of SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie into my hair. I also like Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream, but since it’s expensive, I save that for special occasions.
During the fall and winter months, I try not to use the diffuser and instead let my waves air dry. They don’t need the extra heat damage!
Now that I’ve got my waves in check for the new season, I’m considering switching up my hair color, too. I’m obsessed with the golden highlights that are trending right now; what’s your favorite fall color trend? Share it with us in the comments below!