I waited about a week before uploading this.
So, as I mentioned before, now that my hair's longer, I have realised that I need to wash it more often. I actually need to wash it every 2-3 days. Due to this, my hair routine has changed quite a it. It is stable now and that's why I'm uploading this. So, here it goes, my hair routine:
I wash my hair with shampoo once every 2-4 weeks using Shea Moisture's Coconut & Hibiscus shampoo. I haven't reviewed this product yet as I have only used it once since I received it and I feel I have to use a product more than once before reviewing it especially if I've been protective styling for a month or more (with extensions). I focus on my scalp, but I work the lather down my hair shaft before rinsing it out of my hair. I would usually shampoo once, but depending on how much build up I feel, I might shampoo twice.
I condition my hair after every shampoo wash and I co-wash my every 2-5 days using Shea Moisture's Coconut & Hibiscus conditioner. I really like this conditioner. I had a better experience with it today than I did prior to reviewing this product. I focus on my hair shaft when using this product, but if I'm co-washing, I put a bit of the product on the pads of my finger and massage my scalp a bit before rinsing out the product.
I also use about a dime-size amount of extra virgin olive oil, working it in on the two halves of my hair before leaving the shower. Some times, I partially rinse out the oil, other times, like today, I leave it in.
As a leave-in conditioner, I tend to just use a little of Shea Moisture's Curling Gel Soufflé as I have found this product to be rather moisturising and good at reducing the amount of frizz I experience.
Other forms of cleaning
I rinse out my hair and water-wash whenever I decide not to co-wash, but I need to get my hair wet and ensure my scalp is hydrated/cleaned to an extent. I plan on using my Terressentials Mud Wash every now and then to cleanse my hair and scalp too. Also, I might invest in to Bentonite clay or Amla powder as I find these work really well in cleansing and conditioning the scalp and my hair looks awesome and my curls clump and look amazing after mud washing.
I try to keep detangling to a minimum. I thoroughly detangle my hair whenever I wash it so that's 2-3 times a week. However, I might run a comb through it a bit if I want to achieve a really big and neat puff.
To detangle, I first part my hair in two and saturate each section in extra virgin olive oil while moving my hands down my hair shaft in closed fists. This makes some of the shed hair slide out easily. Next I repeat this process, but using Shea Moisture's Restorative Conditioner, but I do not saturate my hair in it because....well....this product is rather pricey and you actually don't need to saturate your hair in it for it to do its job. Some times, I put on a heat processing cap (I have a foil-like one) while I sort out some things then I hop in the shower, rinse out my hair and then start my co-washing process. After applying the Coconut & Hibiscus conditioner, I run a comb through my hair (usually under the shower stream, but I can do it without this). As my hair is longer now, I spend less than 5mins detangling it as the tangles just slide out (whether or not there is product in my hair - as long as my hair's under the shower stream, the tangles are out). I do not comb or really finger detangle my hair before this.
If I'm not leaving my house, I wouldn't bother styling my hair. I would just leave it in whatever it's setting it - braids, twists, bantu knots, et cetera. If I am heading out, I would've had my hair stretched so all I'll do is take it down from its stretched state and either style it with bobby pins, put it in a bun, do a tuck-roll-and-pin or put my hair up in a puff. I try to keep styling/manipulating my hair to a minimum and most of all, I try to keep the need for a comb to a minimum too so I always end up doing a tuck-roll-and-pin quite often as it saves me from a bad hair day or old-looking hair. When styling my hair, I seldom put any product on it, but if I do use a product, it would be Shea Moisture's Curling Gel Soufflé and a little goes a VERY LONG WAY with this product.
I sleep on a pillow wrapped up in a satin material (or I cover my hair in a satin-scarf). If I feel lazy, I just put my hair up in a bun and go to bed. If not, I re-braid my hair or add flexi rods to the ends of my braids/twists if I never took them down. At times, I will use some of the Curling Gel Soufflé on my edges and wherever my hair was parted and that's pretty much it. My night routine is very minimal. Ain't nobody got time to be going through a long process when they're tired.
And that pretty much sums up my hair routine. It's pretty simples, I guess. I try to keep manipulating my hair to a minimum and I try to avoid using combs more than twice during a week (if not just once).
My routine might change slightly in the next few weeks to months. All that would be different would be that I'll invest in a blow dryer and be using it on the cool setting after washing my hair on weekdays especially because I'll be doing that after working out in the morning and as a student at uni (who lives about 30mins, using the tube, away from school), I need my hair to be easily sorted out and stretched before I need to start heading out to school.
This routine has been working pretty well for me as my hair has been breaking less and I've been having less shed hair. Also, my hair looks much better and as most of you know, my hair got really damaged from my last protective style.