Learning to care for my natural hair has been my most challenging, terrible, and exciting past time. It really shouldn't be so hard to learn about my own hair, yet it is. ​

I didn’t realize how many people wash their hair everyday until I went to college. According to some,  straight hair becomes oily and greasy if left alone for even a day. 

Others disagree and say that no matter your hair type, it’s all about how much product you use. 

Either way, no one can tell you how you should take care of your own hair, including me. All I can do is show you how I take care of my own hair. 

Wash Day is truly a day-long process, because I need to give my hair all the love and attention it deserves. This is the day that I cleanse, moisturize, detangle, and style my beautiful strands. I’ve narrowed this process down to five core (essential) steps that have made my wash day 10x better. 

1. Pre-Poo

Over the week, my hair loses all its moisture and becomes bone dry. It doesn’t matter if I hydrate and moisturize it, within a week it needs to reset. 

I only started pre-pooing my hair once I got to college, because I didn’t understand why it mattered, or how to do it. 

Honestly, I never pre-pood “the right way” until a few weeks ago. 

The purpose of a pre-poo is to prepare your hair for shampoo. 

Shampoo often rips away at the oils and products on your hair, which not only cleanses, but causes the hair to become bone dry. 

With my high porosity hair, the dryness only increases. Pre-pooing is an absolute necessity for my hair. 

My homemade formula includes:

Coconut Oil + Water + Peppermint Oil + Tea Tree Oil + Aloe Vera Juice

It’s a refreshing feeling when my hair is re-moisturized. 

Though if this were all it took to retain moisture, this wouldn’t be much of a wash day. 

2. Shampoo

I keep my hair in sections of 6 to eight for this step. Why? Well, I have a lot of hair, it’s thick, and it’s long. 

Shampooing my hair while it’s free to become a tangled mess would be a big mistake. Trust me. I’ve done it before. 

I apply my shampoo to my scalp and massage with the flat parts of my fingers. 

This loosens up any buildup and dead skin. It’s important that you never scratch with your nails. You’ll end up cutting yourself!

After caring for my scalp, I use the shower water to rinse the shampoo through the rest of my hair. Make sure all the shampoo is out of your hair. 

I can’t keep my eyes open, but the feeling of my strands often becomes less soft once the shampoo is done doing its job. 

Even with the pre-poo, I can feel my hair becoming dry at times. This is why the next step is the most important step. 

3. Deep Condition

My hair remains in sections for this step, as well. First, I put some conditioner on my scalp and massage it again. 

Next, I apply more conditioner to the ends, retwisting as I go. 

The most important part of your hair to condition are the ends, because they are the most fragile. 

The ends are the oldest part of the hair, and struggle to retain moisture. 

If you apply conditioner to your hair without retwisting, your hair will begin to lock onto itself, making detangling much more difficult. 

I then place my hair inside a plastic cap, then an aluminum cap. 

The aluminum cap uses my body heat to humidify and moisturize my hair. 

Heat helps the conditioner enter my strands. 

You only need to condition for 30 minutes. 

Once the half-hour is up, I finger-detangle my hair, retwisting each time. 

I read somewhere that most people brush their hair when they deep condition, but I regret following that advice. 

The hair is still coated in conditioner, and is soaking wet. Using a brush only rips out hair that could’ve been easily saved if I waited. 

I then rinse all of the conditioner out. Make sure that there is none left, especially on your scalp. If any remains, it will lead to buildup, and possibly mildew. 

4. Apply Leave-In/Detangler

If I waited until night-time to wash my hair, this is the step I may end with. 

All I have to do is apply my leave-in conditioner, that also acts as my detangler, to each twist. 

This is when I may use a detangler brush. My hair becomes dry rather quickly, so within 10 minutes my hair will be dry if I don’t do something quick. 

I tend to put my hair into buns of four sections, to help them stay wet. 

I always finger-detangle first, then come in with the brush, and finally retwist. If I’m not in a hurry, I’ll move onto the next step. 

5. Apply Oils

After I apply my leave-in, to each twist, I go in with my moisturizing oils, then end with my sealing oils. 

You see, without oils my hair won’t retain all the moisture I spent hours putting into it. I use a variety of oils to create my own mixtures, suited best for my own hair. 

For example, I use coconut oil as a base, because it’s the cheapest oil, and does a great job at melting into liquid form. 

However, my hair has a preference for pretty much all the other oils (avocado oil, olive oil). 

It may take some trial and error to find the oils that your hair prefers, but if you’re looking for a starting point, make sure to check out my Pinterest board on How To Care for Type 4 Hair

Bonus Tip: 

Besides oils, a certain product (or a few) can also be used. As of right now, I don’t use products to moisturize my hair, but I do have my eye on a few I plan on trying in the near future. 

It’s taken me years to finally gain the patience to understand my hair’s needs. 

I’m still learning, and if you want to learn more along with me, make sure to follow me on my social media too keep up with my natural hair journey, and future blog posts!

Make sure to check out my previous post on this month’s 30-Day Writing Challenge!

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3 Comments

  1. Most people in my area have no knowledge of the fact that shampoos that grow your hair faster and longer (obviously with no sulfates, no parabens, no DEA) are even a thing. Hair styling enthusiasts are now able to achieve longer hair and attain more options. Surely worth investigating.

    If you’re exploring hair loss, damaged hair, preventing skin disorders, hair growth, hair health more often than not, almost the same rules apply.

    In most cases, you will want to avoid hair products and treatments that contain chemicals such as parabens, DEA or sulfates.

    What is healthy for your hair is beneficial for your skin also.

    Obviously your content above hits the nail in the head for various reasons. It steers away from the accustomed traps and errors most fall into- using horrible alternatives. Thank you so much!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you found my content useful, and thank you for your explanation.

  2. People are not aware that fast growth shampoos (of course with no sulfates, no parabens, no DEA) exist. Hair styling enthusiasts now may have longer hair and attain more options. Certainly worth looking up.

    If you’re addressing alopecia, damaged hair, avoiding skin disorders, fast hair growth, hair care generally, very similar principles apply.

    In most cases, you should try to steer clear of hair treatments and products that include chemicals like parabens, DEA and sulfates.

    What is healthy for your hair is beneficial for your skin as well.

    For obvious reasons the content above is so useful for various reasons. It steers away from the accustomed traps and pitfalls too many fall into: utilizing bad alternatives. Keep it up!

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