There is a common misconception that in order to have beautiful natural hair, you have to do a lot. But the natural gurus on our writing staff know better than that. Over the next several days we will share how our writers maintain incredible natural hair on very simple and basic regimens. Next up is Portia. You can read Tori’s regimen here, Elle’s regimen here, Geniece’s regimen here and Cassandre’s regimen here.
Twist outs as a base style
After my hair started gaining some length, I changed up my styling routine from wash n go’s to twist outs. I found that wash n go’s were making my hair matted and tangled so I had to change it up. That was at least 8 years ago and I’ve been a huge fan of the twist out ever since. Most assume that my hair takes up a lot of my time throughout the week, but it really doesn’t. The most time consuming part of my hair routine from week to week is actually wash day.
Wash day is most time consuming
This day is the day that I fuss about the most, mainly because I hate detangling. However, the routine is pretty simple. I always wash my hair once per week while in the shower. After washing, I apply a hot oil treatment and a deep conditioner. Once my concoction is in my hair, I detangle with a wide tooth comb and a Denman brush.
Style on wash day
After detangling, I put on my conditioner cap and either do chores or sit under the dryer for 15 minutes. I usually do chores. After my hair has been conditioned, I rinse my hair out until the water runs clear. Next, I pull all of my hair into a pony tail and start two strand twisting using butters, oils, and stylers along the way. Once my whole head is twisted, I either sit under a hooded dryer until it’s completely dry (45 mins) or I put on my bonnet and let my hair air dry if I’ve got some time to kill. After my hair is completely dry, I unravel my twist in the morning and separate them into four sections. I finger style my curls into place and sometimes use an afro pick for fullness.
Let my hair be free which means low maintenance styling
As far as styling goes, I don’t do a lot of styles on my hair. I just like my hair to be free. This helps me to avoid tangles and knots throughout the week. Every once in a while, I may do a low bun or a high faux bun with kanekalon braiding hair, but that’s very rare. I mostly wear it parted on the side or all over my head. Sometimes I pin up one side with bobby pins. When it’s wash day, I wear my hair in a high afro puff.
Light refreshing during the week
Over the course of the week, my hair maintenance routine is simple. At night I pineapple my hair and tie my silk scarf on my head. This takes me 2 minutes to do. The next morning, I will finger style my hair and use an afro pick to fluff, which literally takes a minute or two. However, because my hair needs moisture every other day, on that Wednesday, I will dampen my hair, apply shea butter and twist it into large sections. This takes me 15 to 20 minutes and I usually do this while I’m watching a television show. I repeat this process until its wash day again. Also, there are some days throughout the week when I skip the twisting process all together and just lightly mist my hair with water, run shea butter through my hair at night, pineapple it, and tie it up.
Faux buns and bangs when I’m feeling fancy
If I want to spice up my hair a bit, I usually wear a faux bun with a curly or twisted bang. The style takes me about 30 minutes to achieve. I’ve done the low bun version of this as well using only my real hair and it’s cute, but still low maintenance because all I have to do is tie my hair up at night and fluff my bang in the morning. This is perfect for me since I’ve got a busy family. However, I’m going to try and experiment with other styles soon.
Don’t do too much, don’t overthink it, accept your hair for what it is
I’ve learned over the years that while there are days when you may feel like doing your natural hair is too much, it’s really not that deep most of time. Naturally, if you want a healthy head of hair, you will certainly need a routine that keeps your hair in tip top shape. However, I think sometimes we make things out to be more difficult than they actually are. It took me a while to get my hair routine down to something this simple. In the beginning of doing twist outs, I was spending way too much time on my hair. I would actually do a whole twist out routine every night so that I could have perfect curls every day. It would take me an hour to do my hair every night. Who has time for that? Now, I don’t care if my hair is huge and semi‐curly/kinky. It’s a part of me, so take it or don’t.