***Originally posted 11-25-09***
Many of you in the natural cyber world know of "Grow It!" author, Chicoro and how knowledgable she is when it comes to natural hair. (She's got the healthy hair to show for it)
She graciously took some time out of her busy schedule to share with the AGrlCanMac community her take on moisturizing and sealing afro textured hair, especially for these cold winter months that have arrived.
A. The goal of the method is to keep hair moisturized as much as possible between washes. The method I use is based on evaporation rates of moisture or moisture loss on the hair. Every product we put on our heads, for sealing allows for some type of evaporation of moisture on and sometimes in our hair strands. Pure alcohol, which I don't recommend putting in our hair, evaporates the fastest, for example. Somethings like shea butter or petroleum jelly are more occlusive. They seal the hair but moisture still can escape, but at a much slower rate. So,they are good sealants because they can slow down the evaporation of moisture on the hair strand.
1) What I suggest is that you start with clean, conditioned wet hair. First you use a water based product or leave-in. If you don't add anything else, this will most likely dry and take the moisture out of the strand by the end of the week,
especially if you don't wet your hair for a week or so.
2) The next step is to then seal in that water based moisture, from the washing and from the leave-in, on and in the hair strand. I usullly like to leave an oil based product on my hair for step number two. I might use a walnut oil/aloe vera gel mix. Olive oil, castor oil and coconut oil work as well. It really is a personal preference.
3) The last and third step is to use an emulsified product to lock in the water. Remember, the water is sealed over by the oil. I like the big no- no which is petroleum jelly. It works for me so I use it. An emulsified base is simply a product that has ingredients of oil and water that have been combined by adding some kind of binder (or-holder- together ingredient) to make something more creamy or solid. Some butters like shea are already solid. But creamy leave-ins and pomades are a form of emulsified products.
You can do a water/aloe/oil mix and count this one mixture as layers #1 (water based) and #2 (oil based). Then, just put your heavy emulsified or more solid or more creamy product on top of this mixture on your hair.
If you comb your hair everyday, I do not recommend this method. When I use this method, I usually wear a baggie, and don't touch my hair to comb it out until the next wash day. I do wet down the hair on the endes with a mixture I make that is water based, on a daily basis.
In the Winter, I place a satin scarf on my head and then a stylish cap or hat over that to go from my home, to my car, to my job. Once at my job, I remove the scarf and the hat. No point in getting sick just to have pretty hair.
A. I feel that this method works for me because it keeps my ends moist. Prior to joining hair boards, I always used oil sheen/curl activator, kept my hair tied up and let my hair dry naturally. I did deep conditioning as well. My hair was still split, brillo pad crunchy and dry and gray on the ends. I learned about using vaseline and a baggie from a lady who had the prettiest, silkiest, full hair ends I had ever seen. She was on Long Hair Care Forum (LHCF). I just kicked it up a notch and added the layers.
Q. Can this method be applied to TWA wearers?
A. Yes, it can. I would modify the method and not use anything heavier than a creamy base for the third step.
1) First I would recommend that the TWA wearer start with clean, conditioned hair as I did before in this conversation above.
2) Then add something 'light' and creamy, but heavier than their water based and oil based mixtures.
3) Then put on a plastic cap over that. In the Winter it gets cold. The whole head baggie leaves hair wet sometimes (whole head baggie is defined as using a plastic shower over the entire head for the purpose of locking in moisture). So, do this when you wash on your off day, in the day time.
4) For maintenance, spritz the hair with something moist again, apply a little dab of your oil and creamy leave-in. Put on shower cap until bed. Remove shower cap. Towel off any excess dampness. Place a satin cap on the head and go to bed.
Q. If not, can you suggest another method that may work better for them (TWA wearers)?
A. I think the above should work with TWA wearers. I would experiement with this style before trying to wear it out. No one wants to be overly greasy and drippy during their work day! Determine which products and how much product works for you. After you have experimented and feel comfortable wearing it out, try it for work. You may need to wash the hair 2 to 3 times per week with this method.
The purpose of this method is to protect fragile ends and save the length. It is extreme and can be modified to fit the lifestyle and personal preferences of the user!
Thank you Chicoro for generously sharing your thoughts and methods with us!
You can get more of your Chicoro fix at the following:
On her fotki- her hair is beautiful and so inspirational and she has tons of picture hair care and styling tutorials up there
On her website
Check out her book, "Grow It!". I've been successfully growing my hair implementing her techniques from the book.
Q. Why do you feel that this method works?
Q. Please describe your method for moisturizing and sealing for afro textured hair