October 20, 2010

Achieving 7-Day hair with a Consistent Nightly Routine…

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.

Nightly Moisturizers:

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:

*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!

3-Day Hair

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.

16 Responses to “Achieving 7-Day hair with a Consistent Nightly Routine…”

  1. GG

    Once you accept that this is what you have to do to get the results you want (7 day hair, length retention, whatever) and stop resisting it, it does become easier. Just like any other habit you’re trying to sustain. I find moisturizing and twisting my hair to be quite relaxing once I get down to it. Especially when coupled with some good TV, music, reading, etc. Me and my hair are friends, and just like any other friend, I’m happiest when my hair is happy too. ;-)

    Reply
    • chai

      same here. somehow I always think of my own mum while twisting…as a kid I remember her putting rollers and rods in her hair before heading to bed without fail, lol. It was always a routine in our home, and realizing that I’m sort of doing the same thing is kind of fun…and you’re right, it makes me happy & so is my hair!

      Reply
  2. PBG

    This is a GREAT post, on all levels: clarity, advice, instruction, aesthetics…the whole nine. I REALLY appreciate this as a newly-loose natural (just took down 5 year-old locs last month) who is still trying to master a decent twist-out and a different way of caring for my hair overall. I caught your post on Twitter, but I will be following you regularly from now on. Thanks!

    Reply
    • chai

      thanks PBG! I’ve followed your un-locing journey and loved the time and patience you took in prepping for loose hair(which looks great btw)…now the fun begins, congrats;-)!

      Reply
  3. Carla

    I’m not new to being natural, just new to treating my natural hair better :) I jumped on the Eco gel train (I found mine at the supermarket for $2 !). Thanks for all of the helpful information — much appreciated!

    Reply
    • chai

      $2!! oh dear…that’s an amazing deal. I’ve never checked the markets for the gel, never would’ve thought to, lol!

      Reply
  4. Chinye

    Had to come in and visit some of your suggestions. After my wash I did a braid out I’m looking to maintain for the whole week. I’m pledging to commit to my hair so that I’m able to wear my out style. Thank you for this post.

    Reply
    • chai

      good luck! I’m still taking baby steps with braidouts…unraveling them takes a lot of time before heading out for work, but would love to know how it turns out for you at end of week;-)!

      Reply
  5. MO

    Hey Chai! Do you find that re twisting each night is more manipulation and thus has caused more damaged to your ends? Or is it the way you handle your hair that you find has made the difference– I mean misting, sealing, and baggying each night? I

    Reply
    • chai

      hey Mo, not really. It’ probably the lowest manipulation when it comes to taking care of my hair. I avoid the use of combs/brushes etc. when doing my nightly routine & often only use the baggying method when necessary. It comes in handy for some ladies who have trouble retaining moisture during the night, which I did. The misting & sealing are kind of essential for my hair because they help to prevent further knots & tangles leading up to the next wash day. If I left this step out, I’d have a Fro that was practically unmanageable. Again, this process takes me no longer than 15 min at a time, sometimes less if I already have the hair in twists or pulling back in two ponies. I’ve seen what happens if I neglect the routine & it ain’t pretty, lol. What’s your nighttime routine like? Mine are simply guidelines, so feel free to make modifications & find what works best for your hair;)

      Reply
  6. MO

    I don’t have a consistent night routine. I’ve noticed that when I want a twist out to last, misting/spritzing, re-twisting, and sealing definitely works. But, my question comes because at one point, I noticed little shed hairs (which always kills my heart) when I was just putting my hair up at night. I think it was due to lack or moisturizing and maybe harsher manipulation. But, I haven’t followed/not followed a consistent routine to figure out what really works and doesn’t work on my hair. And, whenever I do have problems I’m not sure where it comes from! Lol. Anyways, all this to say that as this is my third year natural, and I hope to figure it out soon. Anyways, you’re totally right, in that it takes efforts, so here’s to figure out a night time routine! I’ll definitely adapt your routine and make it my own. Thanks again for the advice. And, thanks for all your help! If I figure it out, I’ll def update you.

    Reply
  7. Alexie

    I like how your curly hair. But, for me, it’s to much. Applying treatment to make your straight hair into curly can make our hair damage.
    Alexie recently posted..emu oil skin care

    Reply
  8. CurlSense

    Awesome post. I usually re-twist every night and sleep in my plastic cap with my silk cap on top of that. I just started using Shea Moisture products and I swear my hair is retaining moisture like nobody’s business. I usually twist my hair while watching a good movie or talking to my fiance, it makes the time go by quicker.

    Reply
    • Chai

      yes! I always have Netflix Streaming or a show on-demand that I might’ve missed during the week. Makes the time go by SO much quicker.

      Reply
    • Chatel

      yes! I always have Netflix Streaming or a show on-demand that I might’ve missed during the week. Makes the time go by SO much quicker.

      Reply

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