Deep Conditioning and Moisture are critical in a Healthy Hair regimen. One of the major questions I get asked is “Preye how do you keep your hair soft/manageable”? For a start I would like to make it clear that my hair (well, my natural afro hair) has never been soft.I mean it is what Nigerians would describe as kpako (meaning hard/tough) hair. Overtime, I have embraced my hair as it is, stopped comparing it with others that have looser curls to mine and had to learn how to keep it as manageable as possible. Glory be to God for better hair handling techniques and overall hair knowledge. I have been delivered lol. So, instead of using the term soft I will be referring to it as manageable hair.

I deep condition every single time I plan to wash my hair. I leave my deep conditioner on my hair covered with a shower cap and plastic bag for about an hour before I wash. The good thing for me is that my deep conditioning routine serves as a pre-poo treatment as well, my time to detangle my hair (pretty much almost the only time a brush or comb touches my hair), also use the same method to revert my afro hair (get it to shrink back) after I have straightened it (so far, I have not straightened with a flat iron more than twice in a year) and most importantly to give my hair that much needed big dose of moisture infusion.


PRE-POO TREATMENT: I give my hair a pre-poo treatment before I wash my hair every time. It consists of either coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil (sometimes vegetable oil from the kitchen = any oil of your choice) and conditioner (I use Herbal Essence Hello Hydration). I do it in sections (sections of chunky twists because my hair tangles less and I loose next to no hair once I am in the shower washing – sectioning becomes essential as your hair grows long particularly) and seize the opportunity to detangle my hair thoroughly with either a denman brush or tangle teezer (I separate the hair strands in the section I am working on with my hands first add some of the mixture then use my brush gently from the tips working my way up to my scalp. Once done, I twist it back up) . 

The only thing different when I straighten my hair and I want to revert it back to it’s kinky curly afro state is I add protein (e.g. mayo, yes mayo because it’s made from egg OR you can add egg yolk to your conditioner but that stinks). I have recently decided to just start adding the mayo to my regular deep conditioning routine because I swap between a moisture based leave-in conditioner (Herbal Essence Beautiful Ends Split Protection Cream) and protein based one (Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream) since I seemed to have found the right balance of moisture and protein for my hair which equals more length retention for me.

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On this occasion (pic above – taken May 2012), I decided to try out a product that has the key things my hair loves, everything in one product, no need for extras (MOTIONS Critical Protection & Repair Treatment Conditioner) and my hair loved it (view product top right of pic). Major shrinkage for me = major loving from my hair (very springy, curly and happy hair lol). If your hair is chemically treated, do not fret. It should still work for you (just excluding your hair reverting/curling up). Leave for 30minutes minimum under shower cap or grocery shopping bag if your like me! 

SHAMPOO TIME: In the first two years of my hair journey so far I would wash my hair with herbal essence shampoo (now I use Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shampoo) in the twisted sections it has from my pre-poo treatment and use herbal essence conditioner afterwards for 2minutes and rinse out thoroughly. Clean hair, moisture each section with leave-in conditioner and seal scalp and hair strands with oil/butter, style as you want. Key to keeping it manageable if I am leaving my hair out is putting it into big plaits and tying a silk scarf before I sleep. I never use a comb in my hair till the next wash day, I pretty much take out my plaits (if needed add a little leave-in on each section then oil) in the morning and style as I want.


HAIRCARE WHILST STRAIGHTENED: I know you want to have an insight about how I maintained and care for my hair when straIghtened. I use my leave-in cream by herbal essence + a drop or two of jojoba oil (because the oil is light) to style my hair everyday while it was straight. Night time, I slept with 5 big bendy rollers. Aside from trimming the hair, I did a search and destroy (inspect ur hair strands and cut off any unhealthy, split or knotted parts of individual hair strands. For optimum health but to retain length as much as possible). Remember I only get to do the search & destroy once a year so it’s not a burden (P.S. Listen to your hair and give it a trim when it needs one). 

GENERAL HAIRCARE WHEN LEFT OUT LOOSE: As mentioned earlier I swap between a moisture based leave-in conditioner (Herbal Essence Beautiful Ends Split Protection Cream) and protein based one (Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream) and use either an oil (usually coconut oil or castor oil and if I run out I go to the kitchen and get Extra Virgin Olive Oil) or unrefined african shea butter to seal in the moisture.

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That is it my loves, I know it seems like work but your hair needs commitment, patience and pampering. It’s not been an easy one for me and I still have my challenges but it is worth it because I have grown to love my hair just as it is. To gain some knowledge and understanding as to the reasoning being this you could refer to my post titled ‘Lesson 1: Hair Biology for Beginners’. Wishing you all the best in your healthy hair journey.

Kisses,
Lady P.

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18 comments

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Nice work! So I recently just had my big chop(did I say recently?). Its been over 4months and my hair hasn’t gone past 3inches or less! Arrgghh! Truth be told however,I haven’t been caring for it enough..I adopted the ‘negelct method’ out of sheer laziness,and some other reason.But the detterent is this: I’ve been told its not in my gene to have long,thick and healthy hair! How unfortunate(lol). This had been a constant source of discouragement till I decide to go the natural route anyway..Like you,I came to accept my fine textured teeny weeny brown afro hair..
Keep up the work and forget not to prepare tips for people who wanna keep afro in fine texture..lol.muah

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Thank you Adenike. Firstly, hair does not grow magically because one does a big chop even if you are caring for it. It takes time and patience. I would say to focus less on that and just concentrate on giving it TLC. The more I was checking in my early stages the less progress I was noticing. Just enjoy your journey. The mindset I had was if the average human grows roughly 6inches of hair in a year then perhaps I could preserve at least 3 inches in 12 months (note how I was not raising my expectations). From my calculations I should have at least 9inches of hair in 3yrs if I preserved that much length every year. Everyone’s hair is different. A lot of Africans & Black Americans have been told that it’s not in the genes (this is not to say this is not the case for some) but the truth is a lot of people cannot really tell especially if all the women in their family do not even know how to care for their hair either in the first place. So, what could possibly be lack of knowledge could be misinterpreted as genetic. In my family the two people that care for their hair the most (my cousin and I) at this point have healthy hair. I cannot attribute it to our genes as it is most definitely hardwork and learning we have put into our haircare. What I can say is you never know until you have given it a go say 3yrs and see if changes you make and good hair handling techniques you pick overtime show a difference in ur hair’s health overall health. I will definitely remember the finer textured sisters 🙂 but the truth is all afro hair strands will have similar characteristics. It might just be slight tweaking of use of products and technique that might differ. So, I will be posting on the basic principles which will apply to everyone (what I would call Hair Biology and Hair Chemistry). Hope to see you soon again on the blog and wish you the very best with your hair journey. Stay blessed.xxx

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“…So, what could possibly be lack of knowledge could be misinterpreted as genetic…” Hnmm,will sure remember this. I must admit I’ve never truly given the hair a chance.I’ll stop neglecting however and ‘give it a chance’..Thank you.Looking forward to the tips.
P.S
You’re doing something good,keep it up! 1 head@a tym

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🙂 thanks a lot and you’re welcome.

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Thanks Babes….Basically, Oil is necessary whilst washing your hair..Should the Oil b left to simmer in d hair for a while b4 washing or u wash it out immediately?

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You’re welcome love. Basically I pre-poo with the items listed before I wash (oil + conditioner + sometimes add mayo). I leave for abt 30minutes sometimes up to an hour. Before I wash out.x

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Hey,

How often do you wash your hair?

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Hi, I haven’t got a set timeframe because it also varies based on if my hair is styled and what style. When I leave it out however tends to be every week. Hope that helps

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Hello, I just washed my hair with your method, except I used unrefined coconut oil and that was it for my pre-poo for about an hour (20 mins under a dryer first). Washed and finger detangled and added condish. Rinsed out and my hair felt soft. Good routine. This helped make my old shampoo work better. I make natural hair products for hair and skin so check out my site if/when you need something new to try on your hair thats all natural!

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Oh really, sounds great. Will check it out later. Thanks for stopping by Veronica.x

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Hello, I am a transitioner, I would like to know if after undoing my flat twists, do I detangle or go right ahead to prepoo? Thanks

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It’s what works best for you and your hair. Try both method and see which one you prefer personally and which one equates to less breakage for you. Doing my prepoo and Detangling with it is what works for me. Ta

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hi, love your blog. i just did my big chop a month ago, i co-wash my hair at night with hello hydration conditioner, then i apply my un-refined Shea butter with olive oil, JBC oil, argan oil and coconut oil. then i wear my shower cap over my hair and scarf. i am doing the green house effect method to seal in moisture overnight and in d morning i just spray my hair with water and comb or i add a lil gel and am set for the day…… AM I ON TRACK!!!!!

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You sure are! Hope your journey is going well. God bless you and yours! Wishing you a great 2016

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I recently straightened my hair and I have heat damage. I’m extremely hurt by this. Any suggestions on how to revert my coils back without cutting all my hair off.

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Hi dear! Try protein treatments! It might stick buy raw egg yolk also apple cider vinegar. Try it for some weeks and if no change then you might need to cut off the heat damaged parts unfortunately if you don’t like the look that is

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