In What Order Should Product Applications Be Done?

I watch videos and read various articles, but it's not clicking for me. In a step-by-step list, what are some good hair care regimens? I've been natural for about a year using only shampoo and conditioner. I shampoo once about every 1-2 weeks (typically every 2 weeks), then I just add a conditioner, do a 2-strand twist, and let the hair air dry. I twist it every night before bed (and I use a water bottle) and then pick it out into a fro in the morning. I use to use coconut oil, but it only caused my hair to dry out so I don't use it anymore--my hair dries out pretty quickly and always feels dry. Product wise, I use Shea Moisture shampoo (moisture retention or something) and the conditioner is called Softsheen Carson Sta-Sof-Fro Extra Dry Comb Out Condition with Lanolin Hair & Scalp Spray (this does pretty good, makes my hair feel really soft. A lady in a store suggested it to me when I was looking for AfroSheen (which I think isn't sold anymore)). So anyway, all I do is shampoo and condition. I want to use moisturizers, butters, and stuff in order to get my hair to be soft (and wavy/curly in some instances), but I don't know in what order I should use stuff. Should I use conditioner, moisturizer, and butter while my hair is sopping wet or should I just apply the conditioner and then wait for it to dry some before adding other stuff? Should the moisturizer come before the oil or the oil after the moisturizer? Basically, in what order should I use products? Please help... T_T

2 Answers

I think it's pretty normal to be confused about product application. I've been natural for about 5 years and I still don't put products on in the same order every time. It may take a bit of trial and error to find out the order that works best for your hair. In terms of adding butters, moisturizers, oils and stylers here are some tips that might help:Yes, conditioner should most likely be added while hair is soaking wet so that you can detangle your hair at that point with a wide tooth comb or using your fingers as comb. It sounds like you use a conditioner that you leave in, right? So, if you do leave it in, then you could gently squeeze out the excess water in your hair with your hands before you move on to the next step. If the conditioner you leave in is more of a detangler and doesn't act much like a moisturizer (you said your hair still feels dry so I'm assuming this is the case) or if you use a rinse out the conditioner then after you squeeze a bit of the dripping water out of your hair, you could use a moisturizer. It should be water-based (first ingredient is water) and not contain petroletum, paraffin, liquidum or mineral oil. These things may have other names which you can find it you google them, but they can seal out moisture and can end up drying the hair out. So the first product you put in your hair right after washing probably shouldn't have any of those ingredients in it (check you conditioner). Lanolin too, seals moisture in or out, so you may want to try switching to using a different leave in conditioner first after washing and then use your current conditioner after that so that it seals in the water left in your hair as well as the moisture from the moisturizer.After you use your moisturizer/leave in conditioner, then you could use an oil or butter if you want. Next you could use a cream or curl defining styler if you want to, though if you use a butter (thicker) instead of an oil you may want to skip this step. I would suggest finding a different style to wear than picked out everyday, since wearing your hair out all the time can also contribute to dryness. You could try any kind of up-do that involves tucking in the ends of your hair or if your hair isn't long enough, keeping it in braids or twist, single or flat can also give your hair a rest for a few days. You could also wear scarves or hats sometimes if you like.Also, on the days you do wear your hair picked out, you could spritz with a bit of water and use your moisturizer again (or some kind of daily moisturizer thats not to heavy or oily) and maybe a bit of a light oil or butter before twisting again at night. This should help to keep your hair more moisturized especially if you still want to wear it out everyday, then you should also re-moisturize everyday.You may also want to add a deep conditioning treatment to your routine to help with moisture. You can look up natural recipes or try a Shea Moisture DC. I like Bigen Protect & Repair Deep Conditioner. Look for moisturizing treatments rather than strengthening/protein treatments. The protein treatments can sometimes be drying. You could DC every time or every other time you shampoo depending on how dry your hair has been feeling. Here's an article that gives a popular product application regimen for moisture retention: LOC METHOD: THE ROUTINE EVERY CURLY SHOULD KNOWHere is an article with info on some different oils/butters: NATURAL OILS IN HAIR PRODUCTSI hope this helps!
Thank you so much for your detailed response. The conditioner I used didn't mention anything about detangling. Maybe it was just the wrong product for my hair? Prior to reading your post, I went shopping and bought some new shampoo and conditioner. Water does come first in the new product, but I still have to look up the other ingredients. I'll have to try the one you recommended at some point.My hair is sorta short, or at least it looks like it. My mom says because it's "packed tight", but that I do have a lot of hair. Reading the hair types, I think I'm probably the last one of the 4's since it shrinks so much. I water, moisturize, and twist before I go to bed every night in an effort to try to keep it stretched, but it still shrinks. I typically don't spray water on it in the morning because my hair shrivels into an even smaller form and no matter how long I pick it, it will not puff back out. The only time it really puffs out well is when the hair is dry. I do have a deep conditioner (by Shea Moisture), but I don't use it much because I read somewhere, deep conditioning wasn't supposed to be done so often. I typically washed my hair every two weeks because I read washing it too much may be detrimental to my sort of hair type, but it's all trial and error I suppose. Thanks again for your response, it was really, really helpful.