Letting My Curls Be Free

in , by Hampton Ivy, 5/18/2020

Say hello to my natural hair! I think I've only ever shown it once before on my Instagram, hidden under a beanie, until recently when I made the decision to stop using heat and let my waves/curls be free. It's taken about three months to finally figure out a routine that works for my hair, and it's much simpler than I expected.

I've found my hair gets weighed down very easily. So while I have every urge to pile on the leave-in conditioners and styling products like I've seen a lot of YouTubers do, it just doesn't work for my hair. I guess that's a good thing though. I wont be using as much product, so then I wont need to repurchase product as often! My hair and my wallet can appreciate that.

The only products I find I need are shampoo and conditioner, of course, and then detangler/leave-in conditioner and curl styling cream. Every now and then I use a bit of mousse too, but I'm not sure I really need it. To finish my routine when my hair is fully dry, I use argan oil to tame any frizzy pieces.

Key things that make all the difference in my routine:
  • I only need at most a quarter size amount of curl cream
  • I've found applying products when my hair is still wet, not enough where it's dripping, but enough where I can squeeze it and still have a little water come out and, most importantly, hear that squish sound, is best. If I need it to be wetter, I spray it with a continuous mist water bottle.
  • Using a defining brush and brushing in vertical sections has helped a lot with creating nice curl clumps and volume.
  • Scrunching my hair with a microfiber towel at the end of styling removes the excess water and product, which helps my hair not get weighed down and promotes my natural curl pattern.
  • Hover diffusing (on low heat) and not really touching my hair until it's dry helps immensely with preventing frizz.
In addition to my regular routine, I exfoliate my scalp and deep condition my hair at least once a month. To exfoliate my scalp, I mix apple cider vinegar with sea salt and scrub my scalp with that mixture after I shampoo. It rids my scalp and hair of any product buildup and dead skin that can weigh my hair down and make my scalp itchy. You can also use a clarifying shampoo and shampoo brush to do this, but I don't have those yet. 
When I deep condition, I use an in-shower hair mask/treatment or sometimes an oil treatment instead. For the oil treatment, I'll put red pimento oil on my scalp and Jamaican black castor oil on the rest of my hair and put it up in a bun for a few hours. I usually do this the night before when I plan on showering and washing my hair the next morning. (But don't forget to put a towel on your pillow if you plan on sleeping with oil in your hair!)

Being gentle and patient with my hair has been really important in addition to all of these things in my routine. I haven't tried to manipulate my waves/curls in any way, I've just let them dry however they please. I've also treated them to softer materials than I used to. Satin or silk pillowcases, bonnets and hair ties make a huge difference to prevent breakage, dryness and frizz. The satin pillowcase is also great for preventing wrinkles, which is a nice bonus!

Both my decision to embrace my natural hair and my routine are absolutely thanks to Manes by Mell on YouTube. I've been watching curly girl routines online for a long time, but I haven't truly loved my natural hair until I started following Mell's advice. So from one Mel to another, thank you! I love how I feel in my natural hair and I love taking pictures with it now. I can't wait to see how it evolves over time!

If you friends have any favorite curly hair products, I'd love to know in the comments below! 
Give my routine a try or checkout Manes by Mell for some inspiration. If you've had a hard time embracing your natural hair, I hope this post helps you! Wishing you a wonderful day.

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