Cleansing My Natural Hair & My Basic Twist Out

Finally, a natural hair post!

Today I wanted to show you how I cleanse my natural hair without shampoo and how I do a basic twist out. When it comes to how naturals should cleanse/wash their hair, there's a lot of conflicting information out there. Some naturals don't have a shampoo preference, some use sulfate-free shampoos only, while others have sworn shampoo off completely and only do co-washes (washing hair with conditioner only). The great shampoo debate mainly surrounds the sulfates (the sud that it created when you lather up your shampoo) and it's effect on our hair. Sulfates found in shampoo essentially strips your hair of moisture, which is why you then have to follow up with a conditioner to put the moisture back in (whether you're relaxed or natural). While I can certainly go more in depth about sulfate's, I'm going to save that for an upcoming post!

This particular entry is to show you what I do and why when it comes to shampoo. By paying attention to your hair and experimenting with products, you will learn the needs of your hair. What works for my hair may not work for yours, and vice versa.

"You don't use shampoo? That's gross! How do you clean your hair?"

Retaining moisture is top priority when it comes to Black/African-American hair, no matter if you have a relaxer or have gone back to your natural state. One of the biggest mistakes I made early in my hair journey, was not moisturizing enough. With my hair being color treated, I have to work twice as hard, otherwise I end up with those little fairy knots at the end of my hair, split ends or dry looking hair. For me personally, I prefer to co-wash when washing my hair on a weekly basis. By using conditioner only, my hair is still clean and moisturized without being stripped of it's essential oils from the sulfates in shampoo. However, there are certain weeks when I need to use shampoo because I've been using really heavy creams to style my hair that end up sitting on my strands causing build up. In those cases, I use a sulfate free shampoo and follow up with a conditioner. Typically I use shampoo no more than once a month, based on the products that I use and when. Naturals aren't the only group who are putting down their shampoo's, there are so many natural (shampoo) cleanses that you probably already have in your pantry or can create right in your kitchen. But I'll stop here before I go off an a tangent...well another one...

Every 4 weeks however, I make it a point to cleanse my hair. For cleanses, my hair loves clay! I started using Bentonite Clay last year {read this post} and it's everything! However, it requires lots of mixing and creates a mess that I have no time to clean up these days. A few months ago I started using the Hertitage By Airest's Cleansing Clay, and I love the result.

"How do these clays clean your hair?"

Without sulfates and harmful parabens, clays gently draws the dirt out of your hair. Simultaneously, it makes hair softer, more manageable, and can enhance your curl pattern. It does the job of a bottled shampoo while aiding in bettering the actual health of your hair.

Products Used In This Video

Heritage By Airest: Cleansing Clay

Lavender & Lemongrass Hair & Body Oil

Shea Moisture: Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque

...but enough about sulfates today! The second part of this video shows how I typically style my hair - a basic two strand twist out. This is a simple style for those of you who are transitioning, not sure how to style your hair if you're newly natural, or just need a style that doesn't require much effort.

My Twist Out Tips //

  • Lightly coat your hands with an oil of your choice when unraveling twists to prevent frizz
  • Take your time when unraveling so that you don't disrupt the pattern you created
  • Remember that twists on wet hair will have more shrinkage than twists on dry/stretched hair

What Should You Take Away From This Post?

Besides knowing what sulfates do and how to do a basic twist out, essentially I want you to pay attention to what your hair needs. I'm more in tune with my hair these days than in the past (definitely more so than when I had a relaxer), which has made growing healthier hair so much easier. I now know when my hair is lacking something, when I need to use/slow down on certain products, and how I need to adjust my regimen depending on the climate. If you haven't mastered this already, it's ok! With a little patience and experimentation, it will come to you before you know it.