I have had my share of hairstyles that never saw the light of day, they are usually hidden under a hat, or pulled back into a makeshift bun. These mishaps usually happen when I try a new product, fail to detangle properly or skip adding conditioner to my hair [really bad move].
- For styles that are free-flowing such as braid outs or twist outs, I like to use minimal amounts of products that are lightweight. This makes for fluffier, shiner, hair with lots of body. Now you can use a combination of products, however, use them sparingly, and choose them wisely. Too much product can yield "dull" hair appears weighed down, and lacks movement.
- Get the hair uber CLEAN before styling, whether you use bentonite clay, sulfate shampoo, herbs, or baking soda, make sure the hair is free from residue before styling. Your hair will be shinier and have more body if you start with a clean palate.
- Detangle hair only while loaded with conditioner. I usually condition for about 15 minutes to let the moisturizing properties penetrate my strands, THEN detangle, and finally sit back under my dryer for another 15 minutes.
- Make sure hair is detangled and conditioned thoroughly prior to styling. Also if you are braiding or twisting your hair, do so with caution; split ends galore surely awaits you if you aren't careful [believe me, I have been there and it 'aint pretty].
- If you have tangle-prone hair, try shampooing and conditioning while in (4) fat braids or twists. This has helped me out IMMENSELY, and I know it has played a major role in length retention. Less hair loss and split while detangling = more retention.
- When you are shampooing your hair, use your fingertips not your nails to gently cleanse your scalp.
- Don't overdo it on the shampoo [because of the potential drying effects sulfates], keep in mind that some professional products do not produce a lot of lather. Try getting into the habit of using dime-sized portions or less for each round of shampoo. Not only will you benefit by using less shampoo, but you can also save your tresses from sulfate overload.
- If you have hard water as I do, it may be necessary to add an additional step to your regimen like an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse [do this after rinsing out your conditioner]. This gently gets rid of minerals and deposits left behind from your water. Other bonuses include restoring the PH balance of your hair, adding sheen, and sealing the cuticle which aids in tangle freestyling.