It took me a long time to admit that in order to maintain and reach 7 day hair, I had to put forth the extra effort to get it there. There really was no way to cut corners and still achieve the results I wanted, therefore each night before hitting the sheets & amidst a few grumblings and Kanye shrugs I twist & seal my hair.
With my regular go-to style, the twist-out I routinely twist the hair in a few medium sized-large twists before heading to bed & assess the moisture that’s either lacking or sufficient in my hair thus far. Summer months I often head to day 3 sans re-moisturizing with a regular hair cream or moisturizer, though during the colder Fall/Winter months I reach for a few favorite hair creams & butters. *Rarely do I re-moisturize the day after I’ve washed & styled the hair.* To also keep things pristine and easy to unravel for the next day, a sealing of the ends ALWAYS takes place. I try not to be overly tedious with this process, so instead I take a modest amount of hair butter or cream (I often reach for KBB’s Creamylicious hair cream) and apply directly to my ends after the hair is fully twisted. Typically a light butter cream mixed with oils works great on my hair to help seal & maintain moisture. Alternatively, Oyin’s Burnt Sugar Pomade can be used, Karen’s Body Beautiful Butter, Castor Oil or simply emulsifying a tiny morsel of Shea or Cocoa butter between fingers and distributing evenly on the ends, making sure to use sparingly so as not to weigh the hair down.
- Carol’s Daughter Hair Cream
- Jane Carter’s Revitalizing Leave-in (used mostly during wash-n-go days)
- Darcy’s Peach Kernal Hydrating Milk
- Karen’s Body Beautiful Creamylicious Hair Cream
- Fleurtzy’s Hydrating Hair Butter or Curls Nurture Cream (both work well to seal & moisturize)
After hair is fully twisted I apply a nightly oil treatment ( virgin coconut oil + lavender essential oil using an applicator tip bottle) to my scalp & give a quick massage before bagging the ends and donning a satin cap. I prefer to use a relatively light oil on my scalp as to avoid buildup & if I have time warm the mix in the microwave for 15 seconds. The warm oil applied to scalp followed by a quick massage aids in blood circulation, helps to spread the oil more evenly and feels just plain amazing! Few other great alternating oils that are light enough to use on the scalp & fast penetrating:
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Macadamia Nut Oil (available at most Whole Food Stores)
- Emu Oil (anti-inflammatory & available at most Vitamin Shoppe Locations or online)
*Not all scalps can tolerate nightly oil applications, so if you’re less prone to experiencing scalp problems try using it every other day or once a week to gauge how both hair & scalp react, at the end of the day it’s about striking the right moisture balance and feeding your hair & scalp with what it needs.
In the a.m. I gently unravel each twist and hair is typically well moisturized…albeit bigger & larger in volume, but that’s all the more fun isn’t it!
If I opt not to moisturize the previous night I make sure to dab a bit of hair cream over the twists in the morning before unraveling. There’s no hidden fun in twisting and up keeping the hair each night, but the results always outweigh the previous nights struggles. To help my mood along, I make sure to twist while either listening to a favorite record (*Lizz Wright’s new LP currently on rotation), or watch a guilty pleasure show on television (RHOA!!) or anything to ease your mind off of the task, trust me…it works, and before you know it you’re done. If twisting the hair each night to preserve your current style doesn’t fit into time constraints, make sure to have your trusty satin cap or satin pillowcase ready. On nights that I’m much too tired & exhausted from work to twist, I place hair in two loose pony puffs after quickly re-moisturizing & sealing then call it a night.
Hopefully this doesn’t appear to be too many steps, because it really isn’t. Over time a method is built and the process takes no more than 10-15 minutes from start to finish.