During the first few months of my hair journey I had little money to spend on hair care products. Since I was just starting out to see what worked for my hair or not, it would not make sense for me to blindly spend money on products I was not too sure about. The first few months mostly consisted of homemade concoctions which was truly the safest money saving method for a newbie like me who is/was just starting out, especially on a budget.
In this post I will share with you, all the tips, recipes and commercial products I have used to get me to a decent hair regimen.
To start, you have to figure out what you want to achieve. Many people immediately want long hair but if your hair is not healthy it may never grow. For me, focusing on my hair’s health was my main priority. What works for others may not necessarily work for you, so make sure you do your own research and you will eventually find what works best for you.
– Understanding Protein and Moisture Levels-
I noticed during my ignorant hair days I would for some reason gravitate towards protein deep conditioners and protein leave ins. This always lead to my hair being very dry, hard, difficult to manage and prone to a lot of breakage. Although proteins are needed to help strengthen the hair, I did not understand the concept of protein and moisture balance and so I was missing out on a simple but golden rule in my opinion, moisture! Too much protein can cause major breakage and dryness so it’s always essential to follow up most strengthening protein keratin treatments (reconstructors, etc) with a deep moisturizing conditioner.
The thread that saved my hair’s life: Hair Breakage 101
Basic Things a Newbie Should Know:
Favorite Homemade strengthening protein treatments:
Mayo and Olive oil or coconut oil/ Egg and Mayo
Yogurt and 1 egg/ Yogurt and honey
My hair tends to be naturally strong so strengthening my hair is not an issue. Maintaining moisture however can be very tricky and difficult for me to manage because even though my hair likes protein I tend to over do it with moisture at times.
Most deep conditioners are meant to moisturize your hair, there are some that tend to be a bit on the protein side so make sure you are picking up mostly moisture based conditioners if you don’t want to over do it with protein (list of protein free conditioners). I like to use deep conditioners every single week preferably with heat for 15-20 Min’s and have not missed a deep conditioner session since starting my hair journey.
Homemade Deep conditioners:
Banana, Olive Oil hair mask (great for air drying)
Cream of coconut w/olive oil
Coconut milk and honey or Olive oil
Avocado, Banana and Olive Oil hair mask
Best when used with Heat ( flat iron, blow dryer)
Miss Key 10 en 1
Silicon Mix (mild protein/ moisture based)
Queen Helene Cholesterol,
There are basically two types of conditioners/rinses, protein based and Moisture based conditioners. I use conditioners after every deep conditioner session. Now for me this can be tricky at times because depending, let’s say I did a Protein treatment, followed by my usual moisture Deep Conditioner… depending on how my hair is feeling, my hair may need on that particular day either moisture or protein. I may use Hello Hydration (moisture) or Mane N Tail (protein), again depending on your hair’s need you may need to alternate between the two types. I usually tend to be more on the moisture side so I usually reach for Mane n Tale to help bring in some protein into my regimen.
-Health, Diet and ingredients your hair should avoid-
I have always loved food and have always been amazed with the health qualities fruits and vegetables possess. Making sure you maintain an adequate diet is crucial to your hair’s health. It not only improved my hair’s success but also skin, nails and overall well being. Adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals as well as overall stress levels can benefit you hair’s health tremendously. Drinking water is very important for the body as well. It naturally rids the body of harmful toxins and it definitely reflects in your skin and hair.
Keeping away from chemicals is always the logical way to go. When I started out I wanted to use strictly all natural products. However I got all Dominican product crazy and I neglected to catch a very important point. Certain hair care products can be very toxic and straight up damaging for your hair so researching and being aware of certain ingredients is always key to a healthier overall you. Ingredients you should avoid.
I started out with Pre- Poo treatments but now (due to laziness) do them maybe once or twice a month usually before I clarify. Pre-shampoo treatments are mostly used to curve the drying effects of most shampoos, perms, dyes, beauty salon visits, etc (especially those shampoos with SLS). Pre-poo treatments also helps add moisture, shine and strength to your hair usually leaving you with shiny soft results. Most of my pre shampoo treatments consist of oils, you can use an array of butters and conditioners too.
My favorite pre shampoo oil treatments you can combine each or use separately:
I have not used a sulfate shampoo since starting my hair journey and I’m truly glad I stopped. Sulfates dries out the hair especially kinky curly types like mine. There are many types of Sodium Laurel Sulfate free shampoos on the market. One of my favorite homemade shampoos is Dr. Bronner’s. Very easy and affordable. Another shampoo I have been using for quite some time is Hair One moisturizing shampoo. At times Hair One causes build up, but it does a good job at cleansing and moisturizing. Clarifying shampoos are great to use when you feel your hair has build up, is not responding to treatments or greasy.
As I said, way back in my hair days, I always gravitated toward protein leave in and my one and only favourite one was Infusium 23. This is a very heavy protein leave in, now I’m not saying it’s bad in the contrary, I loved Infusium 23 and bought it religiously. But imagine doing a protein treatment followed by this leave in (usually skipping DC’s). I had severe breakage and dryness before I came to the simple realization of the true purpose of proteins. Leave ins are great and right now my favorite is Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. Also chi keratin mist has been a long time staple as well as Lacio Lacio (great when used with heat). Leave Ins helps your hair maintain strength, moisture and usually keeps my hair frizz free after rollersets.
Depending on the health of you hairs cuticle layer, the ability for your hair to retain and gain moisture can be very difficult. A simple porosity control shampoo always does the trick for me.
-Moisturizing, Sealing and Protective styles-
Maintaining protein and moisture levels was truly an awakening but second to that knowledge, I truly have to say that moisturizing and sealing has truly helped keep my hair breakage and split end free as well as contribute to it’s current length. Moisturizing your hair followed by sealing in that moisture with oil helps keep hair moisturized much longer and helps maintain adequate shine and strength. Protective styles are also crucial because it hides your ends and keeps them from drying out and rubbing on your clothes, reducing split ends significantly in my case.
So basically these are most of the tips and links I have saved throughout my hair journey. Everyday I’m learning something new so I may update this post every now and then. Finding out what works best for your hair type is very important, staying optimistic and well informed can lead you to healthy hair hassle free.