I did a post on my skin care routine back in May, and Maggie asked if I could write about my hair care routine as well—so here we are!
Let’s start with what I’m working with. My hair is long, thick, and straight. If you’re into “hair-typing” I’m probably a 1b, but maybe a 1a. It’s generally quite well behaved, and I don’t have any major hair frustrations. I’m also very determined to have low maintenance hair, which is likely a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don’t have my hair cut often, but when I do it’s generally long layers with a touch of shaping around the face.
One of my favourite articles on natural(ish) hair care dates back to the early 1900s, and is written by Mlle. Aline Vallandri, a woman who is famous for the length and health of her hair. The article is accompanied by a rather shocking (to modern eyes, at least) photograph of her with her hair… which drags at her feet. When you see the photo, you can understand the fame:
It’s now been over two years (25 months, technically!) since I’ve ditched store bought hair products, and my hair is happier than ever. I feel like I really “know” my hair now—that without all the artificial crap I know all about its true texture, scent, and overall attitude (ability to hold styles, cooperativeness, desire to tie itself in knots, etc.). I’d say it’s been a definite improvement, and I would never go back. While my hair has more or less settled (I’m not noticing any changes to it anymore beyond seasonal ones), I’m still learning things. Here’s what I’ve figured out since the 18 month mark.
I’m now 18 months into my natural hair care routine, and I’ve learned a few more things since the 11 month mark.
Gratuitous pretty picture of me with hair. La la la.
The seasons matter
I’ve found that you can’t just force the length of your wash cycles. The seasons really do make a difference. I’d hit a week last winter, but as spring and summer rolled in, that just wasn’t feasible anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m less inclined to look disgusting during my favourite season, but I’m pretty sure it also had something to do with the warmer temperatures and the marginally higher humidity. So, I shortened my wash cycle down to four days for the summer, and I’ve found it’s creeping back up as the temperatures drop.
For the last almost-year I’ve been eschewing store bought hair products in favour of shampoo bars, hair serums, balms, and gels I can make myself. I’ve also been stretching out my washes, and using only wooden combs and boar bristle brushes. And here are a few things I’ve noticed over the last 11 months.