I follow Ms. JenellyBean aka Blakizbeautyful on twitter and the other day we were discussing my hair routine. On May 25th I will celebrate 11 mos of being completely natural. When I started transitioning, I had several friends who were natural, but it was my stylist who suggested I go natural. She told me that because I loved to have my hair color changed often, I should not keep relaxing as well. She said she could flat iron it for me and it would still look relaxed. I gave her the side eye, but I told her we’d try it.
For a couple months, I went to her faithfully every other week to get my hair washed, flat ironed and styled. One of my friends read on my blog that I was going natural and she sent me a list of natural blogs and YouTubers that she followed. Once I started seeing all those beautiful heads of curly, coily and kinky hair, I was hooked. I ditched my stylist and vowed to put myself on a no heat challenge for the month of June. One of the techniques I kept reading and hearing about was cowashing. Once I put myself on the no heat challenge, I began to cowash often and do curly styles and twists. I really didn’t last a month and one day decided, I’ve had enough of these permed ends and I’m going to big chop today and that’s what I did.
I believe cowashing is one of the most effective things that I do for more hair. Of course I do a combination of things in order to have healthy, moisturized curls and coils, but cowashing for me is the FIRST and maybe most important part of the process.
I started hearing the “Curly Girl Method” pop up around the natural hair blog world and I started researching what it was all about. I found out that an author who is also a hair stylist, coined a book about curls. One of the suggestions in her book was that rather than using shampoo which contains sulfates, curly haired women wash their hair w/conditioner instead. If you are like me and hate science, seeing a list of product ingredients does nothing for you. However, reading a basic explanation of how most shampoos contain sulfates and those sulfates strip the hair of all of the dirt, oil, buildup, etc. is easy to understand. When we wash our hair with shampoo, our goal is to have clean hair and scalp. However, most of us would shampoo our hair and then follow it up with a conditioner which puts oils and moisture back in the hair. So why not eliminate the first step of stripping our hair of the natural oils, etc.?
As I previously stated, I’ve been natural for almost 11 mos now. I’ve taken lots of photos of my hair from pre-BC, BC and up til now. When I look at my BC photo, my hair doesn’t look “curly” in my opinion. It looks like I have lots of coils and it looks dry. But with a strict routine of cowashing almost 100% of the time and lots of deep conditioning and moisturixzing, I can now say that when I have no product on my hair and its freshly cowashed, I can see lots of curls and coils all over my head. I never would have imagined that underneath that relaxer was beautiful soft, manageable curls and coils.
For those of you who are on the fence of whether you need to shampoo at all, remember that every head of hair is different and what works for some, doesn’t work for others. Also, I know that there are lots of sulfate free products on the market now. If you are so used to shampooing and feel that you must shampoo and see and feel the suds, then don’t’ change what you’re doing at all. But if you aren’t married to shampoos, I’d suggest you at least try cowashing ONLY for a set period of time and see how much your hair will love you for it after. Be sure to take before and after photos so you can tell the difference!
Keep it Nappy!