A Quarantine Hair Story

I’ve been #teamnatural my whole life but I am far from perfect when it comes to knowing and doing what’s best for my hair.  I have type 3 hair (though I’m 100% not sure if I’m A or B if I’m totally honest) and it has suffered through some major heat damage in the last 10 years due to straightening with heat. Since my sophomore year in college it has become a sort of traditional to straighten my hair every fall/winter, be it via a roller-set or blow out. It started out as something I did for internship/job interviews but later it I realized that having straight hair also made things much easier for me during the colder seasons as my curls are not fans of winter outerwear, hats or scarves.  (For context, my hair tends to get a bit matted and seriously frizzy under any kind of duress from wool and other winter knits.)

How it started (March 2020) vs. How it’s going.

Quarantine began around the time I would normally begin transitioning back to my natural curls, however once it became obvious that I wouldn’t be working at the office anytime soon, I started to change up my weekly hair care routine in order to give my hair the care it desperately needed after so much neglect. By the time my birthday came around in May, I started to see an improvement so I fully committed to staying curly for the rest of the year. No heat styling at all.  I even went so far as to packing my heat styling tools deep in storage so I wouldn’t be tempted to keep up with my old ways.

While it did take some trial and error with products, as well as patience, my hair now is the healthiest it’s been since probably high school. I know that all curls are not the same, but I wanted to share the products I’ve used  (in the order that I received and tried them) that helped get me to this point. I hope you find it helpful whether you have curly hair or not, as some of these work on all types of hair.

Disclaimer: Some of the products listed here were sent to me as samples for review. All opinions are my own. 

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Scalp Scrub Shampoo

Ok, first let me just say that this is probably the priciest product I will ever share on this blog, but I had to. I got a sample of this product last May as my Sephora birthday gift and from the first time I used it I was in awe. In an attempt to limit frizz, I tend to be pretty heavy handed when it comes to applying styling product to my hair which often times leads to my scalp flaking so having a product like this is a God-send. I immediately went to see about getting myself a full size bottle only to see the $42 price tag.  It would be months before I could convince myself to spend that kind of money on my head, but I don’t regret it for a second.

It is sulfate-free and has a scrub affect that really gets your scalp feeling refreshed and clean, especially when you rinse it out with tepid water. Seriously, give this rinse method a try, you’ll thank me later. My scalp feels renewed every time I use it and the best part is that you don’t even have to use much of it, so this investment is going a long way. So the next time you make a trip to Sephora don’t forget to  take a scroll through the hair care section and pick one of these up. You won’t regret it. (Note: It works great on both flaky and oily scalp!)

Botanika The Revitalizer Deep Conditioning Mask

Commandment number one in naturally curly hair care: Thou shall deep condition your hair AT LEAST once a week. If there is one thing I have been guilty of it’s not taking the time to heed this part of curly hair care doctrine. Part of this is just me being  lazy, though the real reason is that I am barely able to squeeze in the 4+ hours I need for my wash day as it is with my crazy schedule.

I legit have no real excuse now and so I’ve been deep conditioning my hair faithfully with this  mask since April.  Honestly I feel like this is the primarily reason why my hair is flourishing the way it has these last couple of months. It is the final step of my washing routing, just before I move onto setting and styling. To use this I part my hair into 4 sections, apply a reasonable amount of product to each, twist and pin it up and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off. I’ve found that the longer I leave it on, the better results I get. While I have yet to accompany this product with some time under heat for ultimate moisture (baby steps),  I am curious to see how the other products from this hair care line works with my curls. I plan on checking those out in the summer and I’ll be sure to report back.

Zotos Professional All About Curls No Lather Cleanser & Quenched Cream Conditioner

These are both products I received as small samples over the holidays. No sooner had I tried them that I ran out and purchased the full sized set. This is not an exaggeration, but as soon as I massaged the cleanser into my hair it got so much softer and it only got better once I applied the conditioner. It truly surprises me each time I use it. Like, what is this witchcraft?

The cleanser goes on like a conditioner but rinses off like your typical shampoo, only better because this one doesn’t have sulfates yet leaves your curls clean. Combined with the quenched cream conditioner, my hair is the softest and moisturized its ever been in winter. My mother who has type 2B wavy hair has also gotten into this brand and its probably the first time that we’ve both been able to use the same products and get great results. She also uses the styling products from this line, which unfortunately are too light to handle the full might of the beast that is my hair, and it really makes her curls pop. So if you have her wavy/curl type I highly recommend checking those out too.

Sosoon Detangling Brush

After all the hoopla I’ve been seeing on Instagram about this brush I had to give it a try. Granted I’m not entirely sure if Sosoon is the original brand for this brush type, but it is the one that I found on Amazon. If you happened to miss all those videos on Instagram, the hype is that this 8-row brush detangles your hair quickly without pulling or damaging your hair.

I follow steps from the “Tightly Curly Method” where in which I detangle my hair in the shower and this brush has cut my time in half as it easily glides through my hair. Also it is so easy to clean after use unlike my old detangling brush. It is very affordable so adding this to your styling routine won’t break the bank. That being said, I have heard that in addition to detangling, this brush works well for styling. I’ve been fairly committed to my Denman brush since I got it last year and I can’t claim that this is true, though I hope to give it a try sometime soon to compare the results.

Carol’s Daughter Coco Crème Curl Shaping Cream Gel with Coconut Oil & Perfecting Water Coco Mist Spray

I’ve been meaning to give Carol’s Daughter a try for longest but never got around to so I was super excited to try these full size product samples when I received them. And I must say it was worth the wait as I was incredibly impressed by these two. For starters they smell AMAZING and they work well in styling my hair without drying it out, which tends to be my problem with most styling products. After I part my hair and  apply my leave in (I use the Coconut Shea Leave- In Condition from EDEN Bodyworks) I use the prayer hands method to apply a bit of the cream gel before using my Denman brush to style and define.

I tend to apply some more as I go through each section as needed, but not a lot as thankfully a little bit goes a long way with this product.  I use the mist spray last to set everything, and should I need to refresh (which is rare now), I also spray a bit to fix those coils that may have frizzed out a bit in between wash days.  I should point out that the website recommends that these two products be used for type 4B and 4C hair, but it has worked wonders with my type 3B (?) hair so don’t let that stop you from trying it if you’re looking for both moisture and hold in your gel. I mean look at these results!

Unrefreshed Day 3 curls.

I am ecstatic with the progress my hair has made in just 1 year, though I am tempted to straighten my hair once before spring comes just to see how it looks now that I don’t have my old asymmetrical cut and have more traditional layers. What can I say? I’m curious. If I do, here’s hoping that all of the work I’ve done helps my curls to bounce back after heat styling faster than before. I’ll keep you all posted.

Have you tried anything new with your hair while under this lockdown period?

In addition to changing up my routine, I’ve actually cut my own hair a total of 7 times at home before I went to Miss Rizos salon to get it professionally cut in October. Not because I screwed anything up too bad,  I just wanted to make my hair even and try some layers which I felt best to leaving  to the professionals.  I highly recommend checking them out if you have curls and live in the NYC area.

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