Thank you thank you thank you for your blog I must say first and foremost. I really can't thank you enough for all of the great information and inspiration. I am a singer songwriter currently living in Germany but from Florida. I have struggled with my hair and decisions as regards what to do with it nearly my entire life. After relaxing as an early teenager (I think my mother was just a bit fed up with it) and then of course same story having severe breakage, I then stayed in line with the black girl hair story and opted for weaves, usually always micros which went well. Spent one year in Nashville and before I left home I took all of my braids out and hadn't had my hair relaxed in almost 5 years. My hair was gorgeous. Of course I didn't know it then and immediately put a store bought relaxer in it (stupid stupid stupid) and got a sew in before my big move. But after about 6 months of constant straightening and the occasional kid relaxer, most of my hair in the front completely broke off.
I put the braids back in for my next journey to Europe which would allow me some versatility and then see what was happening in about 6 months. So I've been here in Berlin for exactly 3 months now and just couldn't stand it any longer. I felt like my hair was still suffering in the braids because it wasn't being washed adequately or deep conditioned ever ( because the micros would've come out). So after visiting your website several times, I was inspired to began the labor of love that so many smart and beautiful women of color have already embarked upon. I took all the micros out and looked at myself in the mirror, a bit uncomfortable with what I saw but decided I would deal with and love me (regardless of what my hair was doing..lol).
Are there any tips you would recommend as far as a daily night time routine? I just have no clue what to do with my hair at night..A good friend of mine braids it every night and then takes the braids out in the morning for curly fullness but I didn't know if that's what most natural girls do.
Hi Chandra! Thank you for following BGLH. I'm glad you've been inspired to stick with the decision to go natural! I am honored to be 1/3 of this movement that is BGLH! How cool that you moved to Germany to make your dreams come true! All the best to you!
Now to your question! Most of you already know I'm a proponent of low manipulation so I don't braid or twist my hair every night. I try to do protective styles that last throughout the week refreshing at night only if necessary. Here's what I do before bed:
1) spritz my ends and scalp (a nice scalp massage on occasion)
2) add moisturizer to ends (refresh braids/twists if necessary)
3) seal ends with castor oil
4) put on my satin cap then it's beddie-bye time!
I like to call my nightly ritual "SMSP": Spritz Moisturize Seal Protect!
(you like that right-lol)
The spritz is important because it hydrates the hair. For this I like to use floral waters, chamomile or sandalwood. I use floral waters so I don't have to worry about contaminants and chlorine in tap water (you can use filtered water if you wish). I keep the floral waters refrigerated and add to a spray bottle as needed. Besides smelling wonderful, my scalp feels so refreshed afterward! It's my daily aromatherapy :) Sometimes I mix the waters with panthenol (an idea suggested by Chicoro). If my hair is craving protein, I use my Aphogee Pro-Vitamin Leave-In Conditioner. You can use protein to help revitalize the hair, but unfortunately damaged hair must eventually be cut out. Click here for some ideas for a daily spritz ideas previously featured on BGLH!
Next is the moisturizer. I like to use a creamy water-based moisturizer (dr. bronner's magic organic lotion). I love how it seeps into my thick hair. It also softens the hair and makes it easier to detangle. When refreshing twists or braids, you can use a wide-tooth comb or detangle with your fingers.
For the sealant, your options aren't limited to just castor oil. Many naturals love coconut oil or hair butters like shea for sealing, especially for the shine that they impart not to mention the nutrient content.
Pin the hair up and sleep on a satin pillowcase or use a satin cap.
As you can see, my nightly routine is really simple making it easy to follow. Thanks for your submission Chandra! I thought your "before and after" pictures were especially great in light of the recent "then and now" posts (one of my favorite here at BGLH by the way - great submissions ladies!). Cute cute cute!
So now it's your turn! Natural ladies give up the goods!
What's your nightly regimen?