These posts were originally uploaded in August 2017.
My name is Cherrelle and I have puffy hair. If I had to give my hair a type I would say it is somewhere between 4b and 4c curls. I have been natural for about 5 years: I stopped perming my hair in July 2012 and decided to cut off my relaxed ends in April 2013. Before cutting my hair in 2013 I had no idea what my natural hair looked like, so I definitely did not know how to care for it. Over the years I followed natural hair YouTubers with curl patterns I felt were similar to mine, in the hopes of finding a hair care routine that would work for me.
What I’ve learned over the past 5 years is that you can mimic the routine of a vlogger or blogger, but the reality will remain that what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. But, the keys to remember while handling your hair are:
- Have patience,
- Love YOUR hair,
- Be gentle, and
- Be consistent.
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing my natural hair care routine. If you have puffy hair similar to mine, I would recommend adjusting my routine to build one specifically for your curls. The topics in this series will include:
- Shampooing vs. CoWashing
- Deep Conditioning
- Trimming Ends
- Moisturizing, what is the LOC Method?
- Protective Styling
- Pros and Cons of heat styling
The following posts in this series will be full of detailed descriptions of the steps in my hair care routine, product recommendations, videos, and pictures so make sure you are following the blog to receive updates.
Wash Day With Puffy Hair
I know we all have seen those shampoo commercials where a woman is in the shower with a head full of soapy bubbles. She’s vigorously lathering up her hair, washing it without a care in the world. That is not the reality for a woman with kinky curly puffy hair.
My hair tangles very easily, so before I shampoo my hair I make sure to detangle thoroughly. While in the shower, I soak my hair with water, use Aussie Moist conditioner as my detangler, and gently work through my hair with a wide tooth comb:
- Soak hair in water;
- Part hair into four sections (part down the middle and then create another part from ear to ear);
- Taking one section at a time, apply Aussie Moist Conditioner;
- Finger detangle: separate hair and gently work out knots starting at hair ends and working up to the roots;
- Using the wide tooth comb, work out any additional knots starting at the ends of hair and working up to the roots; then
- Two strand twist each section before moving to the next to keep hair out of the way.
This is my preferred way to detangle my hair at the beginning of my wash day. But, it can also be done outside of the shower on damp hair with coconut oil. Click the video below to watch a tutorial on detangling puffy hair:
Shampoo vs. CoWash:
I shampoomy hair once a month, because I have noticed that shampooing more often will dry out my hair and increase split ends. Shampooing is great for removing product build up (especially gels), sweat, and dirt that has accumulated over time. The following are shampoos I have used and recommend:
- SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Shine Shampoo (price: $9.99)
- Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Conditioning Sulfate-Free Shampoo (price: $12.99)
- Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo (price: $6.44)
I cowash my hair once a week during the summer and once every two weeks during the rest of the year. Cowashing is great for removing some product build up as well as sweat and dirt from your hair. A Cowash will not strip your hair of moisture the way a shampoo potentially could, yet I feel a cowash does not have the ability to remove products like gel from your hair. The following are cowashes I have used and recommend:
- As I Am Coconut Cowash (price: $7.99)
- Eden Bodyworks Cowash Coconut Shea (price: $8.99)
- TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner (price: $12.99)
Shampoo How-To: With hair still divided into four sections, I apply my shampoo (or cowash) first to my scalp and work my way down towards my ends. While gently creating a lather, I make sure to not re-tangle my hair (I hold the section of my hair by the ends with one hand to keep it in place, while lathering with the other hand). I work one section at a time and retwist each section once I’ve rinsed out all of the bubbles.
The Puffy Girl’s Guide To Moisture
When my hair was in the TWA stage (Teeny Weeny Afro), I wore a wash-n-go most of the time and I had no problem keeping it moisturized. But, as my hair grew longer I noticed that it would become excessively dry and even break at times. This lack of moisture became an even bigger issue for me during the colder winter months. The solution to this problem, the LCO Method: apply your Leave-in Conditioner, Cream/Butter, and then an Oil to you hair, in that order, to seal in moisture. The products listed below have been used as a part of my LCO Method and are highly recommended for puffy hair. A combination of consistent deep conditioning and the LCO Method are my keys to healthy hair care.
- Deep ConditionerI deep condition my hair at least once every two weeks. I divide my hair into about 6 sections, then apply the conditioner thoroughly, from root to ends. Once each section has been covered, I two strand twist the section then put on a plastic shower cap for approximately 30 minutes. After the deep conditioner has had enough time to work, I rinse my hair with cool water. The three deep conditioners listed below are my favorites to use because they each leave my hair soft and manageable.
- WonderCurl Restoring Hair Treatment: $22.00 at www.WonderCurl.com
2. Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner: $19.99 at Target
3. Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque: $11.00 at Target, Walmart, or Walgreens
- Leave-in Conditioner:After rinsing out the deep conditioner, I apply my leave-in conditioner to damp hair. Leave-in conditioner is slick enough to act as a final detangler while providing my hair with the moisture it needs after being cleaned. It is the “L” in the LCO Method and the first step towards sealing in moisture. The leave-in conditioner can also be used as a daily moisturizer when you want to revamp your braid-out or twist-out. The following three leave-in conditioners are highly recommended and reasonably priced.
- Taliah Waajid “The Great Detangler” Leave-in Conditioner: $7.99 at Target or Walmart
2. Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk: $13.99 at Target
3. Jane Carter Solution “Curls to Go!” Untangle Me Weightless Leave-in Conditioner: $10.99 at Target
- ButtersThere are so many different types of hair butters available (Mango Butter, Muru Muru Butter, Cocoa Butter, etc.), but my favorite to use is Shea Butter. In the LCO Method, butters would fall under the C- creams and butters. It is applied after my leave-in conditioner and can be used to set braid-outs, twist-outs, and Bantu Knot-outs. In my personal experience, it has always been a wise decision to only apply a butter to my hair AFTER I have applied some other form of moisture first (a leave-in conditioner for example). Butters are great at sealing in moisture, but you must apply the moisture first in order for it to work properly. If you apply a butter only, you risk drying out your hair. Read the ingredients on your hair products and make sure that your hair butter is whipped with other moisturizing ingredients (such as aloe Vera, jojoba oil, etc.) if you decide to use it alone. All of the hair butters listed below work well when used alone because they are whipped with other nourishing and moisturizing ingredients.
- WonderCurl Butter Than Love Pudding: $20.00 at www.WonderCurl.com
2. Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter: $16.99 at Target
3. Fro Butter with Emu Oil: $5.00 at www.FroButter.com
4. Naturally Smitten Moisturizing Hair Butter: $13.39 at www.NaturallySmitten.com
5. My Fluffy Puffs Twist Frosting with Biotin: $7.99 at www.MyFluffyPuffs.com
- OilI have oily skin so I tend to stay away from adding oils to my hair in the summer. Sweating the oil out of my hair and onto my face caused a serious break out a few summers ago; I learned my lesson. I only apply oils to my hair in the Fall, Winter, and Spring, in which case the oil will help to further seal in moisture and protect my strands from potential damage caused by cold weather. Oil is the final step and the “O” in my LCO Method. It has been my experience that the following three oils work perfectly with my puffy hair.
- Jojoba Oil: $5.99 at www.now-2-u.com
2. Be Kekoa Pure Tamanu Oil: $29.99 at www.brandiekekoa.com
3. Sweet Almond Oil: $12.99 at www.now-2-u.com
- GelI rarely use gel in my hair. But, there are times when I want a really defined braid out or I need to slick back my hair. In these types of situations, a gel would be my only real solution (after using a gel be sure to use a shampoo, not a cowash, to thorough cleanse the product from your hair). Of the gels listed, WonderCurl Get Set Hair Jelly has the ability to define my braid-out without creating flakes or that crunchy feeling.
- WonderCurl Get Set Hair Jelly: $15.00 www.WonderCurl.com
2. EcoStyler Olive Oil Styling Gel: $2.99 at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Sally’s Beauty Supply, as well as your local beauty supply stores
3. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Souffle: $10.99 at Target, Walmart, and Walgreens
Have you used any of the products listed above? What was your experience with them?
What ingredients do you require/look for in your hair products?
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