Welcome. This is my hair styling routine as of April 2019. After being on my natural hair journey for almost a year now, I feel I have learnt enough to be able to confidently experiment with different curly hair styling products and techniques to see what works and what doesn’t work for me.
It’s actually really rewarding, especially since I’ve spent for most of this journey not knowing how anything works with my hair. However, I seem to have finally learnt and understood something *cue cheers*
So without further ado, this is what I have recently been using on my wash day, not my refresh days. Refresh is a whole other blog post.
Let’s get started.
This is the first leave in conditioner I have ever used in my life. I remember being told by either a hairdresser or another family member that a leave in conditioner would leave my hair greasy and limp but now I know this is not true. Curly hair needs moisture and a lot of natural curlies get this moisture from, you guessed it, a leave in conditioner.
I use Too Shea! Extra Moisturising Conditioner by JessiCurl in the scent Island Fantasy. I apply this to my freshly washed hair, rake it in with my fingers, then brush it through with a wide tooth comb to distribute it evenly. Depending on what method I’m using that day (Laura’s Routine, Smasters) will determine how much leave in I use and what application methods I use. There are great blog posts and videos detailing different styling methods. Find the one that works for you.
On the bottle, it does mention that you can use this product as a rinse out conditioner, a deep conditioner or a leave in conditioner. I opted for the leave in route.
Next I go in with a curl cream to add some definition and moisture to my curls. My curls can lose their shape over time, so to counter that, I use a curl cream. I have been using Confident Coils Styling Solution by JessiCurl with no fragrance. It has a thin consistency which my curls just soak up.
I apply this right after my leave in and rake through with my hands to ensure even product distribution. Then I might do the ‘rake and shake’ method to promote curl clumps, and whilst my hair is still flipped forward I scrunch a lot to promote curling in my hair.
On the JessiCurl website, it is recommended that if you have tighter curls, you can just use this product alone. But if you’re like me and your curls need a little extra enhancement, you can go on to use a curl enhancer or gel/custard. I use a custard.
I have recently been plopping after applying my leave in and curl cream because I have been experimenting with the 80/20 gel method/Laura’s Routine and for those routines, you plop your hair after the leave in and curl cream step.
To plop, I use a t-shirt. I flip my hair upside down and plant it into my t shirt. Then I wrap the t-shirt around my hair, tie the arms together and stand up straight. I tuck in any bits of the t-shirt in that are flapping about and just leave my hair plopping for 5 minutes.
Here is an informative video demo from The Glam Belle about how she plops. The method is exactly the same, the only difference is that she uses a towel and not a t-shirt.
After 5 minutes, I gently take my hair out of the plop and apply my curling custard to it. With my hair upside down and using the ‘praying hands’ method, I gently glide the custard over my hair, trying as best as I can to cover all my strands. Then I scrunch again to promote the curl even more.
The custard I use is the Define and Shine Custard by Cantu from their Shea Butter for Natural Hair line. A lot of custards require you to use them on soaking wet hair, but when I’m doing the Laura Routine/80/20 gel method, I have found that this custard works really well for my damp hair.
Diffusing is next. Again with my hair upside down, I diffuse for about 10 minutes, remembering to switch my diffuser off as I move between hair sections. The aim here is to get my hair to lift and start curling from the roots. I don’t use a fancy diffuser, just whatever I could find here in Korea.
After diffusing, my hair is still damp, so I gently lift my head up so as to not disrupt any curls that might be forming, and see where my parting is. I then root clip my hair strands up, away from my scalp so my hair gets a chance to air dry with volume at the very top of my head. The root clip is also holding the length of each section, so the hair is free to curl without being weighed down. I leave this for 30 minutes, then remove and let my hair fully air dry.
Here’s a great root clipping demo to watch.
SOTC (Scrunch Out the Crunch) and final steps
When my hair is fully dry and a cast has formed around my curls, it’s time to scrunch out that crunch to reveal, hopefully, soft and defined curls. The product I use to help me here is Olive Oil Premium Natural Hair Oil from Difeel. I use about 2 drops on my hands, rub them together and scrunch out the crunch of my hair. Using oil helps to smooth and seal the hair to prevent any frizz.
I scrunch both sides, the back, flip my hair over and scrunch some more. Then I vigorously whip my curls about for a few seconds and then briefly scalp massage to add volume.
After all that, I look in a mirror and see if I need to do anything more or if I can leave it for the day. Sometimes I might dry scrunch in some Moisturising Curl Activator Cream from Cantu to really get my curls going if I feel they need it but apart from that, that is my wash day styling routine.
Thanks for reading what I have to say in my corner of the internet. Feel free to leave a comment showing love for any of these products or let me know if you use them too. Have a great day.