The night before washing I Pre-Poo’d (condition prior to shampooing – see great write up here) with the following mixture:
- 1 large part conditioner of any kind (Leave-In’s not excluded). I suggest using a cheaper brand for this one;
- 1 teaspoon or tablespoon (depending on how much conditioner you use) of your choice of oil. We use extra virgin olive oil, but I’ve heard castor, jojoba, grapeseed, coconut and sunflower oils are also great moisturizers; and
- Baking Soda, adding to the above parts little by little until the texture changes a tad bit (or you can add more till fluffy if you are pre-pooing a few minutes before washing vs. all night). ** As a side note, there are many mixed reviews on the use of baking soda on natural hair. It works for BBH, but I suggest, go moderate on your first try, or not even at all. You may achieve great results with just the conditioner and oil mixture alone as a pre-poo. I also do not recommend for daily or weekly washings. Also, some naturals use baking soda alone as a gentle cleanser.
Why Pre-Poo?? For BBH, it softens the hair (partly because of the baking soda) and DRASTICALLY minimizes tangling while washing. Also, you are loading your hair with moisture, so that you’re not completely stripping the hair when washing.
I then proceed to wash each braided section with Kinky Curly’s Come Clean Shampoo. It’s a very gentle cleanser and can be used daily. You can shampoo the hair while in the braid, but because of the baking soda, I take each braid out and shampoo individually paying close attention to massaging the scalp and rinse. Her hair just slips because of the Pre-Poo.
**At least once a month I do an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse before applying final Leave-In Conditioner. This consist of 3 parts slightly cooled water (to lock in moisture) to about a 1/2 cup of vinegar. The smell dissipates… And it leaves hair even more incredibly soft and shiny.
Depending on my schedule and how dry her has been, I either do the following ending in Bantu knots:
- a) on soaking wet hair, apply a water based conditioner to her hair like Kinky Curly’s Tiny Twirls Conditioner (vs. the thick opaque stuff), detangling w/fingers and cover with shower cap. Let her do her thing for 20-30 minutes and rinse out and unto 3b; or
- b) on soaking wet hair, apply Leave-In Conditioner, which is almost always Kinky -Curly’s Knot Today (I know, I’m a billboard for KC right?!?) and detangle with fingers. *Other Leave-In’s used in the past are Beautiful Curls Curly to Kinky and Giovanni Direct Leave-In.
From here, we generally style her hair in twists and then switch up the style the following week (or few weeks after in more stretched styles). BBH’s hair does not do well drying over night, so we start washing pretty early so that her hair is dry by night time. BUT, there are many blogs out there that highly recommend drying the hair (over night) while stretching it by banding, threading or other methods such as braiding in plats all around the head. Here are a couple links/videos:
- Banding/Beads, Braids & Beyond
- Banding/Newly Natural
- Threading Tutorial/Girls Love Your Curls
- Stretching Natural Hair: Twist Out vs Braid Out Video/NadieNinguem
Whelp, that’s how we keep it Curly!! What’s your hair washing routine?