Caring for Naturally Wavy Hair
When it comes to shampooing I like to stick with the suggestions of Lorraine Massey, author of Curly Girl. I avoid silicones and Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfate, and I cut back on shampooing as much as I am comfortable with. My shampoo of choice? Asian Pear & Red Tea Color Protecting Shampoo for Dry, Damaged Hair by Nature's Gate. I am careful when shampooing, concentrating on my roots as opposed to my ends, and I never pile the hair on top of the head, which can lead to some serious tangling.
I condition every time I shampoo, and occassionally I will skip the shampoo and go straight for the conditioner for a co-wash. Co-washing, short for conditioner washing, is the act of using conditioner in place of shampoo. When you co-wash, be sure to gently rub your scalp for approximately 120 seconds (2 minutes). This will ensure that your hair gets clean. My conditioner of choice? Asian Pear & Red Tea Color Protecting Conditioner for Dry Damaged Hair by Nature's Gate.
Once I've rinsed the conditioner from my hair and am ready to get out of the shower, I very lightly squeeze the water out of my hair. I want my hair to be halfway between damp and soaking wet when I get out of the shower. I do not towel dry my hair or wrap a towel around my head. I immediately add a bit of conditioner to my hair, avoiding the roots and concentrating on the ends (for this I use the same conditioner that I stated above). I then use a wide-toothed comb to part and gently comb my hair. Next I use a quarter-sized dallop of Aubrey Organic's B-5 Design Gel and distribute it evenly throughout my hair in a finger-combing method. I then use a quarter-sized dallop of Herbal Essences Set Me Up Gel (which is surprisingly free of silicones) to gently scruch the ends of my hair. I don't flip upside down and I don't attempt to encourage my curl too much. Because my waves will only curl to a certain amount, over-encouragement just leads to frizz. For the next few hours as my hair air-dries I avoid touching my hair like the plauge. Once my hair has dried, I gently scruch the ends and finger-comb my roots to work out any stiffness for soft, touchable waves that look effortless.
I love using olive oil as a hair mask. I take a few teaspoons, distribute evenly, and leave in over night. I also lightly coat my hands and very gently scrunch olive oil into my ends on days that my hair feels a bit dry. By using such a small amount and focusing it on only the ends of my hair I can wear this all day without that, "I really need to wash my hair," look. If your hair ends up looking oily, then you've used too much.