After some much needed reflection (and after not being distracted by Jerk #3...long story), I realized that I needed a change. My scalp was almost as unhappy as my ends, but I figured the As I Am Coconut Co-wash was aggravating it and I seem to be correct. The hair and scalp oil has helped, but I've been wary due to mineral oil being the first ingredient. Then, I had an epiphany. I was using oil and coconut oil to boot when I first started, so I scoured the web for Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil. I'd heard and seen good things about it from SunKissedAlba (check out her youtube channel for real), and I saw the GNC carried it. We don't have a Whole Foods, but we have few GNC's. I never considered them because I didn't know that they were a curly paradise. I'm talking Jojoba oil, Grapeseed oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Liquid Amino Acids, etc. They also carry Almond oil which is what I went with since they neither had that brand of coconut oil and the other brand was out of my price range. I LOVE it! I used it to pre-poo and to do the Loc method after co-washing and deep conditioning my hair. The results were wonderful. I can already tell the difference.
So why do I call it intensive care? For starters, my DC needed help. It didn't have enough slip, and I wanted to love it because it was all natural. This was when my second epiphany happened...I added a teaspoon of honey. Granted, this made it soupy and generally disgusting (seriously don't make this while you're eating), but it smelled yummy and had slip like you would not believe. Here's the ICU routine from start to finish. I began by detangling and twisting my curls into 15 two-strand twists using almond oil. I then baggied overnight and washed it out with my new co-wash, Garnier Fructis' 3 Day Sleek Argan Oil Conditioner mixed with a little bakng soda. I followed that with my honey-enhanced DC, which I covered with a plastic cap and then a towel. I let the bathroom steam do the work while I finished my shower. I rinsed with warm water (I usually use cold..bad I know) and allowed my hair to dry for 35 minutes (a first) before applying almond oil and the Direct Leave-In. I applied the leave-in in sections and secured each finished section in large, loose coils (didn't work so well on short hair :( Booooo). Afterwards, I sat under the dryer for about 20 minutes to help my low porosity curls dry before the next year. I had somewhere to go that day, but I otherwise skip heat except to DC. I'm not sure if it was the combination of steps or the Loc method or the heat but my ends feel/look/act great.
I'm going to keep up with this routine for the next few weeks which brings me to my announcement. I'm extending the growth challenge until Labor Day. I figure it's really the official end of summer anyway, and it is a summer challenge. You can still join us if you like. Drop me a line and let me know how you're doing or if you're joining up.
Later Days, Curl Chasers,