The Year of the Curl CHALLENGE Step 2 - Learning to Manage Your Hair Pt 1. (Hair Cleansing Products)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Welcome to the Year of the Curl CHALLENGE , Step 2!  If you're wondering what this challenge is all about, you may want to check out Step 1: The Decision, and the Year of the Curl CHALLENGE Master Post!

Today's post is about learning to manage your curly hair.  Before I talk about products that can help, I would like to speak briefly about the concept of "managing" curly/afro hair.

I put off going natural for years because I wasn't sure how I would manage my hair, or how my hair would look in its natural state.  I spent YEARS manipulating my hair to conform to the Eurocentric norm (relaxing and flat-ironing) because I thought that was the only way I could get my hair to look "good".  Part of learning to manage your hair is learning to accept your natural hair for what it is.  Your hair will definitely not be "perfect" at first.  It will take time to figure out how best to manage your hair, and accept your hair looks when curly.  Learning to manage your hair is not just about figuring out how to style your hair, it's also about being open to loving your hair.

Now, on to my favourite products for managing your hair!  I cannot speak to the success of these products for your hair, however I can give you a review of how these products worked for mine.  I also have compiled a post of YouTubers who post videos of their natural hair routines, in hopes that I will help you if this post does not!

Let's get into the products!  I have broken this post up into two parts.  Here I will discuss products for washing my hair, and the next post will discuss products for styling.


I've found that if I condition my hair well on a weekly basis prior to washing, I eliminate the need to moisturize my hair several times per week.  My hair retains moisture well, and with my pre-wash routine, it remains soft and hydrated for at least 3-4 days.  My pre-wash routine is simple, and standard regardless of whether I'm shampooing or co-washing.  I simply liberally apply one of my Shea Butter mixtures to my hair from root to tip at least one hour before washing, and tie my hair up in a bun/pineapple to avoid messing my my clothes.  Try one of the following DIY recipies:


Since going natural I rarely use shampoo.  I prefer to co-wash using cheaper conditioners, but there are times when my hair needs a good cleansing.  When shampooing, I use one of the following shampoos:

Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo by OGX

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Tresemme Colour Protection Shampoo

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When shampooing, I use an applicator bottle like the one shown below to apply a mixture of shampoo and water to my scalp.  I use about 2 tbsps of shampoo, and fill the rest of the bottle up with water.  Give it a good shake, and apply to your scalp only, then massage in using your fingertips.  When you rinse, the shampoo will travel down your hair to the ends, and remove any product buildup on your hair strands.

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To be quite honest, I only use these shampoos because I had them at home.  I will be looking into more natural shampoo options once I have finished with these ones.

Co-Washing & Conditioning

If shampoo is not your thing, or you're interested in co-washing, here are a few products that I recommend:

As I Am Coconut CoWash
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When using this particular product, I apply it only to my scalp using my fingertips.  If it gets on my hair shaft, I don't mind, but as it is a cleansing conditioner, it tends to strip my hair.  Though it's not as harsh as a shampoo, it still gives me a good cleanse without drying out my hair.

Tresemme Conditioners
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Tresemme is on of my favourite brands, and I especially love their conditioners for both co-washing and conditioning my hair.  They are very affordable for what they're worth, and a bottle will last me at least a month, if not more.  

OGX Conditioners
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OGX Conditioners are pricier than Tresemme, but they are still really good for your hair.  I apply these conditioners more sparingly than the Tresemme conditioners.  I also use these conditioners for styling my hair, but I will discuss that in part 2 of this step :)

To co-wash or deep-condition using regular conditioner, I simply slather the conditioner onto my hair, and put it up into a bun for a minimum of 5 minutes.  During that time, I shave and apply a face mask so I'm not standing in the shower with nothing to do!  While rinsing out the conditioner, I detangle my hair so that by the time I exit the shower my hair is silky smooth and ready for styling!

I rarely use deep conditioners now, as I find I don't need them due to the effectiveness of the pre-wash step.  When I do use a deep-conditioner, it's one of the following:

 Pantene Pro-V 2 Minute Deep Conditioner from their Curly Hair Series
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Pantene Pro-V 2 Minute Deep Conditioner from their Normal-Thick Hair Solutions
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Phew!  That was quite the exhaustive list of products.  Check out Part 2 for a list of products that I use to style my hair, and Part 3 for a list of resources that can help you in managing your curly hair!

I hope this has been helpful for some of you.  If you have your own list of products you'd like to share, post them in the comment section down below!  I'd love to hear from you :)

Until next time!

xoxo, Jayy

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