Although short styles are currently all the rage in the natural hair community, length retention continues to be one of our main priorities for healthy hair. And whatever regimen that you follow, you most likely focus on at least one of the three “Cs” I follow for healthy hair and retention. So what are the three Cs? Cleanse. Condition. Coat. Follow these three techniques, and you’ll be sure to be successful with your natural hair.
Okay, so if you follow my blog at Quest for the Perfect Curl, you’d know that I’m not a huge fan of co-washing. And I mean that in it’s literal sense — marketing can often be confusing with their names of products, but cowashing is traditionally meant to mean “washing” your hair with a conditioner. However, I believe that our scalps need some kind of cleansing agent to truly clean our scalp and eliminate product buildup from our hair. I’ve “washed” with conditioner before and if I have gel or thicker oils in my hair, I experience white gunk at my roots after washing. So, I opt for products that have actual cleansing agents in the ingredients, such as Curl Junkie Daily Fix or Ouidad Curl Co-wash (don’t let the name fool you). Keeping your scalp clean will definitely encourage hair growth and prevent your follicles from becoming clogged.
This one seems pretty obvious, but I know a LOT of people who didn’t know the importance of conditioning their hair before going natural and learning about proper hair care. Proper moisture/protein balance is vital to hair growth and length retention. It’s even more important when dealing with natural hair because our sebum (the natural oil your scalp produces) has difficulty traveling down all the twists and turns of our strands. Deep conditioning and regular conditioning are the BEST for your hair — Coco Curls and Curl Junkie have blessed my hair and my soul.
Coat is a funny one because the term definition isn’t as blatant as cleanse and condition, but when I say “coat” I mean to oil/seal your ends. Your ends are the oldest part of your hair and they are very fragile. Let me repeat that, VERY FRAGILE. Even the wind blowing on your hair can be damaging, but oils and butters create a barrier that prevents the elements from damaging your hair. I personally prefer oils and butters that are part of blends that contain some kind of moisture, because I like the double whammy with moisture and oils. Beija Flor Naturals and Darcy’s Botanicals both make awesome moisturizers that will give you a dose of both.
In my opinion, these three characteristics are the foundations of growth and retention and have served me well over the last five years that I’ve had my natural hair.
Do you have any natural hair techniques that you abide by?