By: Mia Taylor
I’ve wanted to shave my head numerous times. Once I even gave in and pulled out the clippers. I have a full head of locs that’s moody. Sometimes, like a well behaved pet, it sits and stays where I tell it to. But other times, it’s a full blown rebellious toddler, always tangled up in an unruly mess where it ought not be. I don’t know if I have 4A or 3B hair or anything like that. What I do know is that my hair is prone to dryness and in its natural state it sticks out in all directions like a rogue cotton ball.
When Wash Day rolls around my concerns are erasing product build up, detangling wayward strands, and eliminating dandruff. I’ve made my own acidic rinses with apple cider vinegar and baking soda, and I’ve even combatted dandruff with scalp masks containing a generous amount of raw honey. There’ve been some trials and tribulations, but I’ve finally found a routine that works for me! I’ve got the deets on the top secret products under my bathroom counter that haven’t just made my clippers collect dust, they’ve also increased my sense of well-being.
The Shampoo I Use for Eliminating Product Build Up
I’m an Alaffia girl through and through. I love Alaffia Authentic African Black Soap and essentially slather myself in it from head to toe. If I need to shave my legs, I lather this soap. If I’m taking a shower, it’s my body wash of choice. And of course, on Wash Day, I give my hair the same sudsy treatment as my body.
How I use it: I squirt the liquid black soap liberally in my hair and then work it in diligently with my hands. After I’ve used my hands, I like to use an exfoliator tool to really loosen up any buildup and make sure any dead skin can be easily rinsed away. I got this light green silicone scalp massager on Amazon for less than $9. It’s been really helpful for getting hard to reach places like the nape of my neck. I like to let the soap sit on my hair for 10 or 15 minutes as I take a shower and then rinse it out. I wash my hair slowly and thoroughly the first time and then just do a quick lather and rinse the second time. A 32 oz bottle like this one can last you months, and it’s only $12!
Softening and Moisturizing My Natural Hair with a Hair Mask
Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask is a godsend. Back when I didn’t have locs, this was my go-to product for a soft and touchable twist out. Now it’s my leave-in conditioner of choice for having moisturized plump looking hair.
How I use it: I apply a generous amount (probably about two handfuls) and work it into my wet hair. After about an hour, I rinse it out and revel in how pliant and smooth my hair feels.
Pros & Cons: The only downside to this mask is the smell. I feel like it has a noticeable chemical aroma. It’s not bad, but the scent is powdery and artificial. Also, it does have a pretty long ingredient list with some long polysyllabic words that sound like molecules from high school chemistry class. It works well but it’s definitely not a top choice for a naturalista who likes very short and pronounceable ingredient lists. A definite pro is the price point; you can get a 16 oz jar for less than $15!
View this post on Instagram
My Favorite Natural Hair Detangler
So I know what you’re thinking, “a brush Amiah, really? You have locs. What in the world are you brushing?” The answer my friends, is my boyfriend’s hair. Hailing from Mother Africa, my man has a very thick head of hair that detangles best when wet. In the game of Mortal Kombat that is detangling his hair, our initial fighter of choice was an afro pick. But it was both painful and ineffective, so Hair: 1, Mia: 0. I thought of my own hair and suggested the Wet Brush. Despite its innocuous appearance, the Wet Brush is a formidable opponent against kinks, and comically tangled clumps. It was a TKO and his hair was brushed into submission. I see no cons with this product. It’s sturdy, unisex and under $15, what’s not to love?
View this post on Instagram
Sealing In Moisture With Castor Oil
After I deep condition with the Eva NYC Hair Mask, I like to rub Kreyol Essence’s Chocolate Castor Oil in my palms and then run my fingers through my hair. That way, I come away smelling like delectable chocolate instead of chemicals. This product smells delicious, a little bit like coffee and dark chocolate mixed together with the slightest hint of vanilla. Even when I don’t have an extra hour to spare for deep conditioning, I use this castor oil on my hair to seal in moisture.
Additional uses: Because my skin is prone to dryness, I love using small amounts of oil on my fingertips and massaging it into my scalp. It’s too soon to say for sure but I think it helps a bit with my ever-returning dandruff. I also have incorporated this oil in my skincare routine to follow the Korean method of double cleansing and I really think it’s brightening my complexion!
The only con: The only con is the price point. For $24 you get 3.4 ounces, which, for a broke college student, isn’t the easiest pill to swallow. The heart wants what the heart wants though!
All in all, I am not the same pissed off woman on the verge of tears on Wash Day. I don’t look forward to it with a sense of heightened anticipation but I don’t dread it anymore either. Let me know in the comments below, would you try any of these products? Have you seen any of these products at your local Ulta or beauty supply? I’d love to know!