Christina and Makeda here! As naturalistas, we have to continuously try out different products and routines to get it just right. It’s hard out here! From oils to conditioners, curl texture numbers to protective styles, it’s really tough knowing where to start. There isn’t a wide range of resources out there for brown girls thinking of transitioning or even just caring for their coily textures better, so we thought we’d share ours. Here’s our master list of our must-have products, our wash n go techniques, and our best practices!
1. What our hair is like
Makeda: I literally just met my natural hair two years ago. As a kid, I had dreadlocks. I cut them out when I was 14, and immediately got micro braids afterwards. In high school, I started perming the crap out of my hair to achieve the scene girl look, and I decided to transition into my natural hair when I was 19, the summer after my first year of college. It was a huge step for me, as I never had my childhood/teen years to really learn how to do my hair. It’s been a process, but I’m fully natural now and my hair has a 3C curl, it is quite fine (thin cuticle) and is very dry.
Christina: I’ve known my natural hair my whole life and it’s def been a journey. I think it was my second year of high school when I decided to wear my hair permed. Then was when I thought my life was going to change, but literally all that happened was I got lazy with my hair and decided to cut it all off. Throughout college, I had short hair. I started off with a mohawk and eventually cut the back off, rocking that cute undercut. From there I stopped with the perms and decided to maintain this weird transition between my permed and natural hair. It’s 4B textured.
2. Shampoos & Conditioners
Makeda: I found my favorite shampoo & conditioner combo a month ago! Garnier Whole Blends collection, (in coconut water + vanilla milk for me, because it’s supposed to quench & soften!) I also have used Organix Coconut and Shea Moisture in the past lots!
Christina: I’ve noticed that since I have a lot of hair and very tight curls, that I have to use lighter hair products. I found that the Olive Miracle leave in conditioner by African Pride works best for me! It leaves my hair feeling soft and nicely moisturized after I’ve washed it with the Olive Oil Formula shampoo.
3. Natural Oils
Makeda: My favorites are tea tree, coconut & olive oil. Tea tree is a really strong smell, but good to help breakage. Olive Oil quenches and Coconut oil does literally everything good in the world.
Christina: My favs are olive and coconut oil. Ya know, everything natural is just good.
4. Deep Conditioners/Masks
Makeda: Mixed Chicks deep conditioner is my goto, but the Garnier Whole Blends mask (in coconut water + vanilla milk) is a new favorite.
Christina: I like to do that mayo and egg deep conditioner. It’s really good for the anti-breakage and strengthening my hair.
5. Wash-n-Go Routine
Makeda: I usually wear my natural hair out this way. I start with a light deep conditioner combined with coconut oil. I keep it in for a while before showering, and in the shower I rinse it out, shampoo & condition. When I finish that, I usually wear it air-dried with no more product, or sometimes if it’s dry I use the Olive Oil Hair Lotion or As I Am’s doublebutter cream, a thick, yummy smelling moisturizer.
Christina: My wash-n-go routine is pretty simple. I wash and I go. Lol, jk. I do the washing part, making sure I comb my hair through in the shower with the shampoo still in. Once I hop out, I add the Olive Miracle leave in conditioner. Combing my hair through with my fingers, almost like I’m clawing my hair to sync my curls. Bam! I’m out the door!
6. Protective Styling
Makeda: I straighten my hair because I love it straight every once in a while. I add hair extensions and wrap it up at night. After a few days, I apply an oil to my roots to help keep it straight and moisturized. After a week or so of wearing it like this I make sure to deep condition. When it’s curly, I wear a top-bun or two buns with my bangs twisted up. Sometimes I put lots of oil in my hair before doing two twists to the back that look kind of like cornrows.
Christina: I normally like to do two stranded twist, of course for that popping twist out, but mostly when I just need to chill from putting my hair into high pony’s and pigtails(my fave)! If not that, then my hair is box braided.