Stylishlee: My Natural Hair Routine

STYLISHLEEHaving naturally curly hair has its perks, but it can be a challenge finding the right products and routine to enhance your curls and eliminate frizz. I get asked daily to share the exact steps in my hair routine, to get such ‘perfectly defined curls.’ Not so sure about my curls being perfect lol—but I’m more than happy to share my routine with you.

When I first started my journey my number one question to ask fellow naturalistas was “what products do you use in your hair?” Little did I know, what works for one curly gal may not work for another (I learned that the hard way). I had no clue which products to use to bring out the full potential of my coils, and overtime I stopped copying routines and went through a process of trial and error and I think it’s now safe to say that I finally found products that I love and my hair loves. I hope this will help some you curly haired gals, but remember what works for me may not work for you and if it doesn’t work for you don’t be discouraged, you can always take away some tips and techniques from my routine.

The Breakdown

• I always pre-poo (pre-shampoo) my hair with coconut oil either the night before shampoo day or 15-30 minutes before hopping in the shower. I get in the shower and I thoroughly saturate my hair with water and divide into two sections (left and right).
• Once my hair is divided I apply about two handfuls of a conditioner with lots of slip, my faves are, Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner, or Aussie Moist Conditioner. (I co-wash with these same conditioners once a week or twice a week if I have an event, special occasion or if my scalp is sweaty from working out).
• After coating my hair with conditioner I pin everything up and take down one side and section off a piece at the back near my neck. I Pin up the rest, then detangle that section thoroughly using a wide tooth comb. I continue this step section by section and by the end I am left with about 3-4 sections on either side, then I rinse thoroughly with warm water.
• I then shampoo my hair with whichever cleanser I’m using at the time. (BTW, I cleanse my hair once every two weeks usually with Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo).
• After rinsing with warm water, I apply Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque to the sections of my hair, then clip my hair up and out of the way, cover with a shower cap to help generate heat while I complete the rest of my shower rituals. (I deep condition every two weeks—usually on shampoo days).
• After about 20 minutes I take my hair down and gently use a wide tooth comb to detangle some more and get all the shed hairs out. Once it’s all detangled, I rinse out the Deep Conditioner in cool water to help close the hair follicle and I hold my head upside down under the pressure of the water to encourage volume at the roots. I eliminate excess water by smoothing my hair between the palms of hands using what many naturalista’s refer to as “the praying hands method.

The LOC Method

L (Leave-in)– While my hair is still soaking wet (and still upside down) I apply Giovanni Direct Leave In Weightless Moisture Conditioner or African Pride Shea Butter Miracle Moisture Intense Leave-In Conditioner. [For special events or if I want my coils to look even more defined I’ll use Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner and my Leave-In, and Yes, you can totally use the Raw Restorative Conditioner as a leave in – it works for me and I’ve been doing it for almost a year)].
C (Cream)- After my Leave-In is applied I then apply my Cream-Moisturizer to small sections of my hair while smoothing and stretching hair with the palms of my hands. My favorite is Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, which also doubles as my styler,
O (Oil)-  & finally I add 100% pure coconut oil to seal in moisture.

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• After applying hair products to soaking wet hair I grab my microfiber towel and plop my curls up into it and leave it on, while I get ready for my day ahead (aka MAKEUP TIME LOL). This allows me to reduce drying time, since the towel will help soak up any excess water.
• Once I’m through getting ready I remove the towel and begin smoothing my hands over the entire length of my hair almost as if I am flat ironing my hair with my hands pressed together. This helps stretch the hair a little while allowing my coils to become tight as they spring back into place each time my ‘prayer hand movement’ goes over a section.
• I get my hair shape by flipping my hair back and forth, alternating between hanging my hair upside down, shaking it to the left and switching over the right, this encourages the curls to separate from one another, resulting in amazing curl definition. It also really helps with volume at the roots. I then flip my head up to normal and fix any stray curls into place.
• I follow that with some more coconut oil for added shine or I spray a bit of Giovanni High Gloss Hair Mist for added shine.
• I personally always air dry but you can opt to use a blow dryer diffuser (on cold) upside down to dry your hair if you’re in a rush.
• & I’m good to GO!

From start to finish this generally takes me an hour or so, but this routine is only done once or twice a month. I promise you its actually not as time consuming as it seems I just wanted to be as detailed as possible for you and I also just like to write a lot.

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Daily Routine and Maintenance

Since I am a wash and go type of gal, nightly maintenance is pretty important to me especially if I plan to rock my wash and go for the majority of the week. I pineapple my hair nightly, by placing my hair in a loose high ponytail to help prevent my curls from being flat and lifeless in the morning. The following day, I’ll take my hair down and then spritz with cold water, apply one of my go-to Leave-In conditioners, then my cream styler to bring back some life into my curls and finally and seal with coconut oil or castor oil and coconut oil mixed depending on the humidity.

Author: Natasha Lee

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