Welcome to Outside The Kitchen, a new lifestyle column that shares tips, product recommendations, and stories that extends, well, outside the kitchen.
I’ve been doing my hair since I was 16 years old-styled it, cut it, relaxed it, fried it, etc. and by no means was I a professional. I was just an average teenager concerned about zits and boys who needed her hair to look somewhat presentable, not necessarily healthy. I started doing my own hair by default as my mother was white and wasn’t too savvy with black hair. And, for my dad….we’ll let’s just say he felt perfectly fine sending me off to school with shoelaces in my hair to secure my ponytail. Over the years, I’ve been forced to learn how to keep my hair as healthy as possible. So hopefully me sharing what I use to keep my hair healthy will help you avoid all the mistakes I’ve made.
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Here are a few ways I changed up my haircare routine that helped with my healthy haircare journey:
Skip the heat
For starters, I limited my heat use tremendously. I used to use my flatiron religiously DAILY which is a huge no no when it comes to healthy hair. I learned curlers can go a long way and sleeping with your hair in a few twisted buns can help preserve your curls.
Trim your ends
I realized the importance of a good trim. I know this sounds counterproductive if you’re trying to grow your luscious locks but once I started trimming off the dead ends regularly – once a month-my hair immediately started to grow faster.
Get yourself a wet brush
For under $10 you can help transform your hair from breakage with a wet brush. Do not sleep on this part of your healthy hair journey. This brush is scientifically designed to untangle your wet hair without breaking and ripping it out of your head. Much different than a standard hairbrush which can get caught in the web of wet hair and rip it to shreds. Things really took a turn when I switched over to this.
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My routine was shampoo, conditioner, blow dry, flat iron, repeat – with an occasional relaxer mixed in between.
For black women especially, because we have curly hair, the oils produced on our scalp can’t easily make it down to the end of our hair as it gets caught with each twist and turn. Compared to people with straighter hair, the oils on their scalp have a much easier journey down the individual hair.
I’m sure you can imagine the state of afHairs (get it?) my hair was in once I reached my mid twenties having never moisturized it. My hair was damaged beyond repair. Ten years later in my in 30-somethings, I have learned the lessons of my youth and discovered what it takes to breath life back into my hair. And now I can confidently say, it’s healthy.
Here’s What I Use to Keep My Hair Healthy
I like to call this product the ULTIMATE HAIR DEFIBRILLATOR because it quite literally brings your hair back to life. I recently started using this and I will never go back. It’s worth every dime.
PRO TIP: put it in your hair overnight and then shampoo and condition the next morning and watch your hair turn into strands of silk. Not to mention, it smells delicious.
Okay, this one isn’t technically a mask, but it’s a life savor. I was introduced to this product by the woman who did my hair for my wedding. I was really looking for something to help with smoothing my ends and giving my hair that bouncy look, and this was the first product she recommended.
PRO TIP: for the beach/pool days, stick this in your bag to coat on your hair after you get our out of water to extra moisture!
You might as well pull up a chaise, lay down, and get ready to go deep with because this mask is about to give you a therapy session. I can’t say enough about this hair mask. In just 15-20 minutes you will have silky, shiny, bouncy, flowing (you get the point) salon hair. This mask comes in the form of a cap that holds the treatment in your hair so it can really work its magic. Use this product after shampooing and massage the treatment into you hair.
PRO TIP: Use weekly instead of your regular conditioner.
When the ingredients are babassu butter (I had to google it too, but doesn’t it sound amazing?) and yellow clay, you have to only imagine the powerful things it’s doing to your hair. The magic is all in the name; Renaissance: rebirth, revival, reawakening, and that’s exactly what this does for my mane. Not only does this turn my hair into silk, but the small is.. INTOXICATING. This is my go to mask anytime I’ve used my iron one too many times in a week. It truly is a reawakening.
Pro Tip: Use this product if you’ve used hot tools (flat iron, curling iron, etc.) too many times in one week.
For straight, wavy, curly, and coily hair, this shampoo and conditioner combo is the greatest duo of all time. It’s free of sulfates, parabens, and all that other yuck, it combats frizz like the true superhero it is.