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Washing My Coils

June 16, 2009

Washing your hair may seem like the most basic step in haircare. But, the way that I had been washing my hair and the shampoos I was using were doing my coils a disservice for quite a while.

The first thing I discovered is that sulfate shampoos are a huge no-no because of the drying effects of the harsh detergents like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate found in most shampoos. Also, washing hair in one big sudsy pile is only going to cause tangles. I educated myself by pulling some info from other naturals via Fotki and blogs. I notices that most ladies where cleansing with conditioner or sulfate free shampoos while their hair was twisted or loosely braided. This technique made sense for a lot of reasons. Having a head full of tightly coiled strands leaves hair highly susceptible to tangling. So in order to avoid this, which is where a lot of unnecessary pulling and breakage can occur, cleanse coils while they are in a manipulable style instead of cleansing loose tangle prone hair. Since this revelation, I’ve only washed my hair in twists.

To wash, I usually put my hair into about 8 or 10 twists first. I cleanse with a sulfate-free shampoo ( I’m feeling Oyin Handmade’s Honey Wash right now) or just some conditioner. I rub my fingertips along my scalp to cleanse thoroughly and squeeze the water through the twists. It’s important to make sure that all the product is rinsed from twists.

After rinsing, I deep condition by applying conditioner from root to tip and wear a heat cap or sit under a dryer for around 20 minutes. I’ll rinse again to get the conditioner out and follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse to clarify my hair of any residue. My rinse usually consists of 1-2 tbsp of ACV to 1 cup of warm water. I pour the mixture at the root and let it rinse down my hair to the ends. Finally, I rinse my hair with cold water, apply a leave in conditioner and air dry.

I’ve saved myself from rigorously detangling wet coily hair (yikes), stripping my hair with detergent filled shampoos and banished the gunk by clarifying with apple cider vinegar. Take the time out to find the proper cleansers and washing technique for you and your hair will be all the happier.

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