Wednesday

Miss A's Updated Natural Hair Care Routine

*Miss A's Hair Care Routine          
I have been getting a lot of questions about Miss A's current hair care routine and how her hair has retained so much length since starting the blog back in 2009 so I thought I would do an updated hair care routine post for you all. It has been such a long journey and so much trial and error and I believe I finally know what works for my daughters hair (and my budget!) I hope you find this information helpful!

*Washing & Detangling                  
I shampoo A's hair and scalp once a week. I cowash after each swim during the Summer months. I apply small amount of shampoo to the tips of my fingers (about the size of a quarter) and gently massage her scalp, working my way over her hair. I'm not too picky when it comes to shampoo, as long as it's sulfate free. Below is a small list of shampoos I've used.
    Now the most important step when it comes to Miss A's curls, detangling! After rinsing the shampoo I apply a very generous amount of conditioner on soaking wet hair. If her hair is not dripping wet I run the handheld shower head over her hair and immediately apply the conditioner because her hair soaks up the water. I like to use a cheap drug store conditioner since I use so much and it's only going to be rinsed out anyway. I look for a creamy conditioner with a lot of slip. I've been using V05 conditioner lately and I must say, it gets the job done! See below for pictures and more info on how I detangle my daughters hair.

    Here is Miss A's hair completely wet and loaded up with V05 conditioner. As you can see it's very tangled!

    The first step to detangling is to finger detangle! Never skip this step! I smooth my fingers over sections of her hair, if they feel "lumpy" I will focus on that section and gently pull apart the strands of hair. If the strands of hair (or knots/tangles) are not coming apart easily I will rewet the section, add some more conditioner, and gently try to work my way through it. I do not snap the hair apart, which causes unnecessary breakage.

    After finger detangling I use a Denman brush starting at the ends and slowly working my way up just to be sure the section is completely detangled. 

    This section is all detangled! You can see the difference between the detangled section and the section in the back.

    After detangled each 2-3 inch section I do a large twist so the hair does not tangle back up as I'm detangled the rest.

    Once Miss A's hair is completely detangled I leave the twists in and rinse the conditioner out.

    After washing Miss A's hair I get her dressed and remove each twist/braid, one at a time, and apply a generous amount of Bee Mine Luscious Moisturizer to each section from root to tip on wet/damp hair. 

    After applying Bee Mine Luscious Moisturizer to each section I will either twist, braid or band each section to stretch it out for styling the next day unless I plan on letting her wear her curls out.

    Braided or banded after moisturizing: (old pics)

    Still not sure what banding is? Check out our Banding F.A.Q. post!

    If I want Miss A to wear her natural curls out I will apply either Kinky Curly Curling Custard or Bee Mine Luscious Moisturizer to her wet hair. I rake the product through with my fingers, no losing brushing through. I  personally think the curls look better using the raking method. Be on the look out for a post better explaining it!

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    *Styling                                               
    How often? How long do styles last? How to care for styles while they are in? Products used? etc.

    I believe protective styling is one of the reasons Miss A has retained so much length over the years. I really prefer for her hair to stay in protective styles but with everything going on (Miss A's epilepsy, Lil Man autism, my weight loss journey- NikGetsFit, etc) it's been tough getting back into a styling routine.

    I like for Miss A's hair to be styled at least 2 or 3 weeks of each month. The longer the style lasts, the better.

    How long do styles last?

    • Updos - Usually no more than 1 week.
    • Cornrows - Between 1 and 3 weeks, depending on the style.
    • Twists - If they are large, no more than 1 week. If they are small, they can last up to 4 weeks if cared for properly.
    • Single/box braids - Between 2 and 6 weeks, depending on the size.
    What is protective styling?
    Protective styling simply means styling the hair to protect it from everyday elements. Whether it's being handled too often, combed too much, rubbing against clothes, etc. All of this can lead to breakage. 

    A few examples of protective styles:
    Two Strand Twists with Braided Roots Pulled into High Bun 
    Click here for more information and pictures
    Small Cornrows into Large Cornrows
    Click here for more information and pictures
    Side Swept Two Strand Twists into Side Bun
    Click here for more information and pictures
    Look in the right side bar under find posts and click "protective styles" for more examples of use the search bar. You can also check out our Style Gallery on Facebook.

    Caring for hair while styles are in:
    If Miss A is wearing a hair style that will be in for a while (such as mini braids), I continue with our regular washing routine. I will shampoo her scalp once a week and apply conditioner, letting it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Afterwards I will moisturize, focusing on her edges, nape and ends.

    Products used for styling:
    I almost always use Bee Mine Curly Butter when styling Miss A's hair in braids, twists and cornrows. When styling hair for twist outs or braid outs I use whatever I have on hand whether it be Bee Mine Curly Butter or Curls Whipped Cream. See below for a complete list of products.

    What about rubberbands?
    When styling A's hair, I try not to use styles that require rubberbands or anything at the base of ends to avoid breakage. I can't always avoid rubberbands though so when we do decide to use them I dip them in Extra Virgin Coconut oil and make sure the area I am applying the rubberband is extra moisturize. When using rubberbands I'm careful not to wrap them too tightly. I avoid keeping rubberbands or ponytail holders in her hair for a long period of time. I don't feel comfortable leaving rubberbands or ponytail holders in her hair more than a few days, sometimes I will go up to a week but that's rare. When I use ponytail holders I only use Goody Ouchless Cloth covered ones without metal.

    still adding more info.

    *Curl Definition                                
    Miss A has been wearing her curls out a lot lately and I have been getting so many questions about what products I use and how I get her curls so defined so I'll just give you our basic routine when I'm styling her curls.

    I have finally found out the secret to beautiful curl definition- RAKING the product through with your fingers into of brushing/combing! Pretty simple, right?

    First I have to figure out what look we're going for that day, very defined elongated curls or big fluffy careless curls?

    For defined elongated curls: Immediately after washing and detangling Miss A's hair I apply a very generous amount of Kinky Curly Curling Custard to a 2-3 inch section of her hair. I make sure her hair is soaking wet. If her hair is not soaking wet I spray it with the handheld shower head. I run the product through the section of hair with my fingers. I make sure every curl is completely coated with KCCC. I continue this process until I am done. Her hair takes a long time to dry with the Kinky Curly Curling Custard in her hair so I get her dressed and keep a towel on her shoulders for a while. Once her hair is dry (or almost dry) it looks like this:




    For big fluffy care free curls: On wet/damp hair I apply a generous amount of Bee Mine Luscious Moisturizer and run my fingers all through Miss A's completely detangled hair. I rake the moisturizer through with my fingers, fluff a little and leave it until it dries. It doesn't take very long. Afterwards her curls look like this:



    will add more soon
    *Products                                           
    Here is a list of products I like. There will be a star * next to the ones I must have available.

    Shampoo:
    Note: I'm not too picky when it comes to shampoo. As long as it's sulfate free and doesn't strip her hair then it's fine by me! 

    Conditioner:

    Note: Since I use so much conditioner, I really prefer to go the cheaper route. I love some of the pricier conditioners but in the end it doesn't make sense to my budget so I splurge when I feel like it but stick to the basics most of the time.

    Deep Conditioner:
    Styling Aides for Curl Definition:
    Styling Aides for Hair Styles (braids, twists, twist outs, etc):
    Moisturizer:

    *Summer Hair Care                      
    Summer is not kind to Miss A's hair. Between the chlorine and the sand at the beach, we're almost asking for a disaster! Don't let the picture fool you, she rarely wears her hair out when we hit the water.

    Swimming Routine:

    • Rinse hair with water and apply a light leave-in or whatever conditioner I have on hand. Coat the strands of hair with the conditioner and leave it in. Apply extra virgin coconut or olive oil on top of the conditioner (optional).
    • Put the hair up into a high ponytail or bun with ends tucked under.
    • Braids & Cornrows hold up very well for Miss A in the water so try to incorporate those during most of the Summer months.
    • Cowash (washing the hair with conditioner only) after each swim. Leave the conditioner in for at least 10 minutes before rinsing. Continue shampooing once a week unless I feel it is necessary to shampoo more often.
    • Apply Bee Mine Luscious Moisturizer to hair. Focus on ends, nape and edges. Seal with Extra Virgin Coconut or Olive Oil.
    If sand is involved I will have her wear a loose style and completely wash (shampoo, condition, detangle) her hair once we get home. We went to the beach in Texas and her hair was in a protective style (cornrows on top, large two strand twists in the back) and the sand got all up in her twists. I don't like two strand twists at all for the water anyway, they tangle too easily.

    We don't use swim caps. No real reason or explanation, we just don't.

    Don't forget to apply sunscreen to your child's scalp if they are wearing a style that shows a lot of their scalp such as cornrows. Just apply a little sunscreen to the q-tip and apply directly to the scalp in each part. We don't want our babies to have a sunburned scalp! No bueno.


    Will be adding a little more information soon! Thanks for stopping by!

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    *Pictures                                           
    More hair pictures:

    Curls with Bee Mine Luscious Moisturizer










    STILL UPDATING. Please continue to check back! Thanks!