Even a veteran will tell you that they are still figuring out parts of their natural hair regimen. That would include me, someone who is constantly trying out new products, testing new curly cocktails and application techniques.
Photo: Marc Mayes / @thebenchmarc
However, there is one thing that has given me the same negative result time and time again. A couple nights ago I washed and conditioned my curls before bed, quickly remembering why it will always be a big no-no for my personal regimen.
It gives me a headache.
No, literally–lying down with damp hair does not fare well for a spoonie like myself. A voluntarily rush of blood to my head? No thank you.
It gets matted.
Since I keep my curls in a DevaCut shape, they are too short to properly pineapple. Additionally, I am too lazy to twist my hair, so freshly washed and conditioned hair usually ends up matted the next morning.
I prefer rocking a wash and go.
Big natural hair that swells throughout the busy day, I live for that. Since I embrace having frizz over super-defined curls, it just works better for me to co-wash or shampoo in the morning while I am getting ready for my day. Sure, I have to wake up about 30 minutes earlier, but it's well worth it in order to achieve the style I enjoy rocking the most.
If a crammed schedule calls for co-washing the night before, I like to run some cool water over my head as my final rinse. Then I wrap my hair into a microfiber towel, making sure to avoid rubbing it against my texture. While I dry my body off, I allow my curls to work their magic with the towel and the air while also making sure not to draw too much moisture away.
Although it is not always ideal, one way to speed up the drying process is by pulling out a good ol' dryer and diffuser attachment. The other night when my head was throbbing with cold, wet hair on my head and I wanted to wind down peacefully before falling asleep, I used my DevaFuser on the low setting, passing over each section of curls quickly with a focus on my scalp (rather than the length). I finished the drying session off with the cool shot for a quick blast of cool air to give my cuticles some love.
Once my hair feels and looks at about 70 percent dry, I divide it into quadrants, slathering a deeply penetrating leave-in onto each one. I usually create chunky Bantu Knots to keep each section in tact. The next morning I take each section down and gently fluff with my fingers to get rid of any flatness and create more of an even shape. Then I spritz with a refresher like Oyin Handmade Juices and Berries.
Following these steps prevents matting, an unwanted headache, doesn't require as much time commitment as two-strand twists, and allows me to keep my curls in their unaltered state so that I can properly rock a wash-and-go the following day.
Night or morning washing–which do you prefer?
Let us know on the NaturallyCurly Facebook page.