How To: Washing Braids (Updated Version)

Hey Beauts!

How is everyone doing? Happy April to you and you and you! This year does not seem to be lingering one bit.

So remember one of my first posts on here? I think it was probably my first post. It was about caring for your braids. That post was written a little over a year ago and it should come as no surprise that in the last month, I discovered an updated method to wash braids without having to create frizz prematurely. What do I mean? In the method described in the old post, I described how I washed my hair under running water from start to finish. This new method is pretty much the same, except with a tweak at the start of the process.

1. Shampoo

 

To do this. Fill a spray bottle with some water and pour in shampoo.

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Shake the mixture. Spray the cleansing mixture onto your scalp, along the parts of your braids.

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Scrub with your fingertips. This is very important because using your nails may cause your roots to frizz and get old very quickly.

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2. Rinse

Now you can step into the shower and rinse out under running water. Smooth the braids from root to tip as you rinse the shampoo out.

3. Repeat 1.

Depending on how filthy your hair is, repeat the first step until you are convinced that you have a clean scalp.

4. Oil Rinse

I have added this to my routine just because I love the results I get, especially when my hair is protectively styled. I use olive oil because it is always available in the kitchen and I don’t have to have a heart attack about literally pouring it down the drain. Put some oil in an applicator bottle and run it along your scalp until your hair is saturated.

5. Deep Condition.

Yes, people, you can deep condition your hair when it is hidden in braids. You can either choose to dilute your conditioner/ deep conditioner a little bit such that it can be dispensed via a spray bottle or an applicator bottle head. My reason for saying this is that you do not just want to slap on thick conditioner all over the length of your braids and scalp. What might end up happening is that you will not saturate your head of hair with the product. Using a spray bottle or an applicator bottle helps to direct the product where you want it to go. So just as was done with the shampoo, apply the conditioner/ deep conditioner along the parts. Also apply it along the length of the braids to wherever your hair stops. Put hair in a bun or pony tail and hide it underneath a shower cap or a heated DC cap, if you have one of those. I am looking to invest in one of those pretty soon.

6. Final Rinse.

You can now return to the shower for the home stretch. Rinse your braids as before underneath running water. Remember to smooth your hair with your palm as your rinse. And fin!

Personally, I have found that I get a lot of product build up and itching within the first week of any protective style. However, after the first wash (which I usually end up doing in that first week), I can go two or even three weeks without feeling the need to wash the hair again. The oil rinse tends to keep the hair shiny for an elongated period of time, and the dryness I feel in that first week which makes me use more and more products, is usually absent in the subsequent weeks, post-wash.

Have you found a hack to wash-day when you have a protective style on? Please share!

P.S: All the pictures in this post are screenshots of a video tutorial by JourneyToWaistLength. See below for the full video:

– Mee Mee

:* :* 

Washday: Relaxed Hair Edition

My hair has been in twists for a week, and I am putting off Washday for at least one more week. With washing, frizz is inevitable and I really have not evolved to the point of liking frizzy twists (but more about this later)

My sister’s friend K asked me to install crochet braids for her. Her hair is relaxed, and she had been wearing a closed weave for one month. She did nothing to her hair the entire time she wore the weave so there was a lot of dandruff, and the hair was really dry and quite brittle. I was not supposed to do the hair prep initially, but I decided to because I figured (and I was right) that her hair would be in bad shape. Plus, I have a bunch of products I’m trying out, and as I no longer have a roommate to co-opt as a fellow guinea pig, I was happy to try them out on her hair. Here’s what happened:

  1. I took down her weave and loosened the cornrows.
  2. I finger detangled with coconut oil, so you could say this doubled as a pre-poo. As I did this, I sectioned her hair into loose bantu knots.
  3. Her hair was really dirty, especially at the scalp, so I shampooed twice with a sulfatey shampoo (Nature’s Gentle Touch Herbal Blend, it has Sodium Laureth Sulphate), focusing on the scalp, and rinsed with warm water.
  4. By the time I was done shampooing, I did not have any of the sections I started with, so her hair was tangled again.
  5. To detangle and deep condition, I used a generous amount of the accompanying Deep Cholesterol Treatment on her hair. I detangled with a wide tooth comb, and securing each section in a loose bantu knot, I covered her hair with a plastic cap. The plan was to have her wear it for 20 minutes, but she ended up wearing it for 45.
  6. I rinsed the Cholesterol treatment off with cool water, and wrapped her hair with an old cotton tee, to soak up the excess.
  7. When the hair was damp, I separated it into 4 sections, moisturised generously with the African Naturalistas Moisturising and Detangling Leave-In Conditioner, and sealed with a dab of the Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey, giving extra attention to her ends. Her hair absorbed the products really fast.
  8. To blow dry, I used a comb attachment, and medium heat. To protect her hair, I applied a small squirt of the Carol’s Daughter Chocolat Smoothing Blow Dry Cream to each section. I also oiled her scalp with coconut oil before giving a final blast of air with the blow dryer.

I loved how her hair felt when I was done, and so did she! It was nice and soft. According to her, her hair had never felt so good. We thank the Lord! ^_^ When I knew nothing about hair care, I only remember the ONE salon visit after which my hair felt amazing. They treated me to a typical Healthy Hair Journey washday but to me it was so brand new. Sadly, it was expensive (cost 5 to 8 times as much as a regular wash and set) and as a student I could not make it a routine. Knowledge is power y’all.

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She needs a trim, but I do not feel qualified to give her one. It was my first time using the blow dry cream and the outcome now has me looking forward to the day I will use it on my own hair. I blow dried with ease, her roots were not bone straight, but they were stretched nicely.

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I can’t cornrow (yet) so she had to go to a salon to get that done. The next day, I installed kinky extensions for her, crochet braid style. She had used them previously for Kinky twists, so they had some curl definition to them like a twist out. I used a latch hook for this (Available in our blog shop) and it took me 90 minutes.

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This post is dedicated to all the unbelievers out there who say caring for natural hair is too much work. I treated her hair to pretty much the same regimen that I treat mine. You should put in this much work (which isn’t a lot really) to your relaxed hair. Read relaxed hair blogs too, and you’ll see that as I did with K, Wash day is a similar process for us all. Just teach yourself to be patient and give your hair a little more attention! I never handled my own hair when it was relaxed, so I was actually surprised by the amount of detangling I had to do with hers.

I considered using an egg for a stronger protein treatment, but I wasn’t sure how her hair would react to it, and I figured the Cholesterol treatment would be okay, as it has Keratin in it. If I get to do her hair again, I will definitely take my chances with more protein.

Tell me about your last Wash day?

Love,

AB,

xx

The Washday Experience: Making the Best of What You Have

Hey guys!

It’s Monday, it’s a new week, a new month, and I’m excited. I have a very good feeling about the month of March, and I’m extra extra excited for Naturals in The City 10, happening on Saturday! I hope I’ll be seeing you! ^.^

The theme for this meet-up is Making The Best of What You Have and this morning, I realised with gladness that I successfully did quite a bit of improvising last week, with my hair and in the kitchen.

I washed my hair last Monday, intending to twist it when I had more time, at the end of the week. I didn’t want to manipulate my hair in any way, so I spent the week in my mother’s pashminas. I wrapped as my spirit led me and it led me to tie two new styles that I quite liked. My regular Turban style doesn’t look so good when my hair is flattened.

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Fake-Serious. I was going to a meeting.

Sunny Saturday & I was feeling bright!

Sunny Saturday & I was feeling bright!

By Saturday, I was ready to twist but I could not. My hair smelled a little stale (EWWW lol) From going out into the hot sun with my head wrapped tight, and being indoors with a satin bonnet on and no AC (thank you, PHCN!), my hair had not had much space to breathe. I am determined to carry these twists for at least 4 weeks, so twisting slightly unclean hair just doesn’t sound right even though I’d still wash my hair while wearing the twists.

So. What To Do??

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Wash Day: The Last One of The Year!

Heyy booskis!

Tomorrow is Christmas day! Whoop! ^_^

Our Big Fat Giveaway closes on Boxing Day. You can still enter over here.

My hair is currently in Marley twists. Long, fat, not so many twists. Apart from the classic fro, I think I’m happiest (hair wise) with my hair when it’s in this state. Faking it till I make it, Rasta baby!

Last Wash day, the last one of the year, was one I took very seriously because I was washing in preparation for this protective style which I’ll wear for about four weeks. Harmattan was playing games with my hair and scalp, and I wasn’t ready! See, Harmattan never really comes to Lagos and even when it does, it’s like fairly used Harmattan lol (when you compare elsewhere) so, I was surprised that this time it came early and that my hair was acting up. It was all good last year!!

Anywayyyy. Here’s how it went. 🙂

FIRST, HAIR PREP!

First, I really love this photo. Haha.

First, I really love this photo. Haha.

I finger detangled very carefully. I lightly misted hair with water, and then applied olive oil section by section, for slip. This took about an hour or longer, watching The Grand Budapest Hotel as I did so. Washday is really like the only time I actually watch “TV”. I twisted up each section as I went, because I had no bands. This approach to detangling is the longest for me, but I really appreciate it on days when my hair really needs that work! I was able to remove all the shed hair, without breaking any. I wish I could be this patient all the time!!

Shed hair :)

Shed hair 🙂

It’s easier for me to detangle efficiently when my hair is not wet. This way, I can feel my strands properly, and identify all the knots and tangles. You can say I killed two birds with one stone at this step, finger detangling & prepooing.

All detangled and twisted up

All detangled and twisted up

DOUBLE POO?

I contemplated using a very sulfatey shampoo to deep cleanse since I’ll probably not wash my hair for the duration of these twists, but changed my mind. Maximum moisture was the goal last Wash day. So I used my sample sachet of Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream. I had about 0.5oz of that, and forgetting that it takes a lot to lather, I’d mixed it in a bowl with some water. Hair was super dirty because of the dusty Harmattan breeze, and so my 0.50z wasn’t enough. What to do, what to do…. So I remembered the Miss Jessie’s samples MeeMee sent me. I decided to risk the Creme De La Curl. It surprised me by being a really thick paste. Truly, thick like a creamy leave-in.

Miss Jessie's Creme de La Curl

Miss Jessie’s Creme de La Curl

It is a no-suds formula, so I applied it to my scalp very well, and then bent over to rinse it off. The results, very clean hair with no brown dusty water in the sink. Plus, my hair did not feel stripped!

OIL RINSING

I still don’t know if Oil Rinsing is going to become a regular part of my routine. I like the Wash, DC & seal life. But it helps a great deal with moisture and this season I need all the help I can get! So I oil rinsed- applied olive oil generously with the help of an applicator bottle (favorite tool!) and rinsed off with not so warm water, 5 minutes after. Hair felt great but we weren’t done yet,

DC, DC

I deep conditioned with the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Purification Masque, which I can officially say I love. I have one use left, so when I try that without oil rinsing, I’ll give my review. I smoothed the masque into my hair, doing a little finger detangling and then twisting to secure. The Miss Jessie’s ingredients are not exactly 5 star, so I was happy to still get some cleansing action in with this masque. I applied it to my scalp too.

After finger detangling again with DC

After finger detangling again with DC

I tied two plastic bags around my hair, and with the aid of a blow dryer, applied heat. Don’t go too close or forget the dryer in one spot, it will burn the plastic, lol. I did this for 30-40 minutes as I finished the movie (RIP Monsieur Gustav!!) and when I was done, I rinsed off with cool water. Hair was happy and super shiny.

MOISTURISED AND SEALED

Finally, I put my hair in chunky twists, moisturizing each section with Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream and sealing with Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade. Its been a long time since I used a leave-in after Washday, but I had to this time. It was also at this point that I used my comb, to go over after smoothing/ finger detangling, just to make sure I got all the knots out.

At the end of the night, when my hair should have still been butter soft, I could feel the base of the twists drying up again (ugh) so I applied more leave-in to those parts.

The next morning, I went with my slightly damp hair to the salon. I didn’t let them blow-dry it, had them twist just like that. So bye bye fro, see you next year. 😀

How did your last Washday go? How is the weather at your end? Have you made any changes to cope with it?

A very merry Christmas to you and yours, from the both of us!

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Another Good Washday, Pleasant Surprises.

Hey guys!

How is the going going?

I currently have my hair in mini-twists, just three weeks after I swore “Never Again!” LOL- so let me tell you the story about how I got back here, after my last Wash Day.

I started with tangled, very shrunken, soft but kind of greasy hair. This is the typical state of my hair after a week or so. *Kanye shrug* We’ll talk more about this later!

1. Sections first!

First, I sectioned my hair into four puffs.

2. Poo!

I squeezed the last of my L’Oreal Ever Crème Shampoo, to give myself a nice poo. I’d used Aunt Jackie’s Curl La La to style the week before, and it was still very much present in my hair, so the poo was necessary. Working my scalp, and getting the lather all over my hair. I rinsed it off with very warm water.

3. Finally Got Oil Rinsing Right

After rinsing out my shampoo, I put Olive oil on, trying to cover every bit of my hair from scalp to tip. 3-5 minutes later, I rinsed with very warm water. I guess I used too much oil because my hair was still oily afterwards. On the bright side though, it was super soft and amazing to run my fingers through. Great slip thanks to the oil. Now I see the hype about Oil Rinsing. I’d previously been doing it wrong- putting oil and then deep conditioner before rinsing.

4. Deep Conditioning, dum dum! The step of my Washday that I do not dare miss!

I finally opened the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Purification Masque that I was gifted by The Kinky Apothecary in October. A full review will come in due time, but I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t know what I expected from this masque but the end result? Lush soft coils. They were poppin’ and I was so happy!!

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One awesome thing about this masque is the ingredients. When I use conditioners (instant, deep, leave-in), I’m always a little wary of applying down to my roots because I don’t shampoo after I deep condition, and I do not want build up. I love me my silicones, but I don’t want them on my scalp. The ingredients of this masque are 5 stars yo, and it’s actually great for use on scalp too, so I didn’t have to be careful. I smoothed the masque onto wet hair, finger detangling and then going through gently with a wide tooth comb. Look how much hair I lost after detangling! Not bad eyyy?

Amazeballs.

5. Styling Time!

I don’t know why but for months now, when I know I’m going to be using a styling product, I skip using a leave-in conditioner after I wash. Instead, I just seal with an oil, butter or pomade. Not sure what the rationale is, I guess I tried it once and it worked, and so have I continued. I’m enjoying it so far, I like that my hair doesn’t have to wear more layers of product than it actually needs.

After rinsing out my DC, I took down the puffs and chunky twisted my hair, using Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade to seal. I put my satin bonnet over that and went to make dinner.

Done for the day, a few hours later, close to midnight, I put ‘Once Upon A Time’ on (who else watches & loves this show? ^_^) and settled to style.

My hair still felt wonderfully soft! Like erhmahgerrd. Not using a leave-in after a wash is also one way I test a deep conditioner. If my hair still feels 100 without a leave-in after a wash, I’m sold. But, if I still need a leave-in after using a deep conditioning treatment, I conclude that it’s not very moisturising. Duh.

I decided to do a Twist & Curl since it had been such a long time. For this, I used the Shea Moisture Frizz-Free Curl Mousse to do my twists, and perm rods to curl (I got the perm rods from Olori. 350 naira for a pack of 12 over here)

Hair was still damp, but some areas needed a little misting, so I spritzed them with water before using the mousse. I put my hair in 20 twists and curled each twist with a perm rod.

Twisted and then curled

Twisted and then curled

12 hours later, I took down the rods and unravelled the twists.

I had a promising twist out if I do say so myself! Way better than the first time I styled with this mousse. Hair was shiny, felt amazingly smooth (like not just stretched- actually smooth and can I say, polished? It was the first time my hair has ever felt this way, I’m just trying to put the feeling into words.) and the definition was kind of pretty. Wet styling is a big problem for me. My wet styles rarely ever go as planned. So I was so excited with these results!

Ignore my pout lol

Ignore my pout lol

The only problem was that I didn’t like the way it was arranged. I haven’t yet mastered how to combine my braids or twists for a twist out or braid out. So after trying to figure out how to style or arrange, pushing hair this way and that, I had frizzed the whole thing. And I didn’t have an afro pick to fluff the roots. Haven’t replaced mine since it was seized at an airport last year.

😦 Oh well. It was nice while it lasted.

So smooth!

So smooth, y’all.

LOL sorry guys, but this was my first time of experiencing "smoothness" with my curls. And to think that I'd applied no heat! Loved it!

LOL sorry guys, but this was my first time of experiencing “smoothness” with my curls. And to think that I’d applied no heat! Loved it!

I held my hair up in a very loose undefined puff and covered it with my satin bonnet. The next morning, not in the mood to manipulate my hair again, I decided to do mini-twists. Hair was still well moisturised & smooth feeling & kind of stretched so I did my twists with no additional product as I watched more Once Upon a Time, except a little dab of the Oyin Burnt Pomade here and there, to smooth the ends of each twist.

Voila!

Day 1 hair. I love mini-twists until they shrink and get frizzy.

Day 1 hair. I love mini-twists until they shrink and get frizzy.

Hopefully I’ll let my twists last this time. I don’t want to wash my hair for another two weeks. ( ._.)

I was very happy with this Washday. I don’t know why I dread washing my hair these days. I’m like “Noooo, I don’t want to”, but then I do and it’s really a piece of cake- and I love how my hair feels afterwards. It’s alright to feel lazy about it, don’t feel bad. Just still do the work, lol.

Alright lovers. How did your last Washday go? 🙂

For more healthy hair posts, see more from this week’s link-up on The Wash Day Experience.

Love,

AB,

xx