Our expert this month is Anthony Dickey – Hair Stylist and Co-Founder of The Hair Rules Salon in NYC – which offers the healthiest approach to hair care and styling based on clients’ natural texture. Mastering the mystery of textured hair, for over 20 years Dickey has created iconic hairstyles for designers, advertisers, photographers and celebrities including, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alicia Keys, Kelis, and Andre 3000. Dickey has also contributed editorial imagery to magazines including Vogue, Vanity Fair, Essence, Vibe, The New York Times Magazine, Glamour, and Allure.
Question: Janice asks: I’ve let my relaxer grow out leaving my hair in its natural state; and gray in color. Please advise me on how to take care of it. Which shampoo, conditioner and daily hair products do you recommend I use? Is it advisable to braid it at night? Thank you for any insight you’re able to provide.
Answer: Janice, I’m curious. When you say you let your natural hair grow out, does that mean that there is still relaxer on the ends attached? How much or how is your natural hair? Are you still in the transitional stage? Or is all of the hair on your head natural?
Knowing which category you fit in will help to determine what kind of styles you can wear. Because at the end of the day, I assume that you need to look and feel cute! :-)
In any case, for the new natural and/or natural and relaxed hair, avoid shampoos that have suds. (FYI: That doesn’t mean sulfate free! Sulfate-free only applies to shampoos that have suds.) What you want is a cream non-sudsing cleanser that’s closer to a conditioner than soapy sudsy or even low foaming shampoos. Try Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream. This will gently clean your naturally dry texture without stripping it of essential moisture and oils which in turn will allow your conditioner, Hair Rules Quench Ultra Rich Conditioner to work more effectively. This leaves whatever your natural texture is, softer and more pliable for greater versatility.
If you all natural, you will co-wash every day or up to as many times a day as you like with your conditioner but never beyond 2-3 days. The looser kinky 4s and curly 3s can go a bit longer. The kinkier 4 types shouldn’t go beyond 1-2 days. This makes for a better curl pattern and allows heat styling without heat damage.
If you are still in the transitional stage, then you can blow dry with a comb attachment to smooth out roots and flatiron as usual for straight styling or do a twist out with Hair Rules Wavy Mousse for full voluminous curls.
For more information on Anthony Dickey and Hair Rules, visit HairRules.com or you can follow them on Twitter at @HairRules. Remember, if you have questions for our experts you can submit them on our submissions page.