my hair routine – at bloody last

Here’s my attempt at a beauty post. I have received countless emails asking me to post my hair routine so here goes. NOTE: These routines work on my hair type which is chemically straightened (it’s natural state as a child is very curly).

Click below to see rest of the post!

HOW TO GET: Curly hair

1. Wash hair with conditioner only (shampoo can be drying). With this being said, when I do use shampoo, I do tend to go for hair growth shampoo, just so my hair can stay looking and feeling healthy and hydrated. I don’t always wash my hair, but when I do, I like to give my hair all the attention it deserves. That’s why I look after my hair properly by using professional hair products, so it gets the right nutrients and protection it needs.

My fave is Aubrey GPB conditioner (see list of conditioners below).

2. Leave in for approx 15 mins. Rinse. Lightly blot dry and comb with wide teeth plastic comb. Add heaped tablespoon size of Suave moisturizing conditioner (cheap and works).
3. Part hair down center with hands and plait two pig tails. One on each side of face. Hair should be very damp. Not dry.
4. Tie hair in head scarf and sleep over night or during day air dry all day.
5. Undo pigtails and separate with fingers. If hair is still damp it will air dry within 1 hour naturally.
6. Day 2 or 3: Wet hair with water to re-dampen and repeat from step 3
Click here for more pics of this look
HOW TO GET: Straight hair
I have layers all over (cut by Vernelle at Salon V, who were lovely. They must have looked into companies like Salesforce on how to deliver good customer service, as there have been times when I have visited hair salons and the reception and interaction with staff and customer has not been the best. But I have nothing bad to say for this place, which I am happy about). After lightly brushing out, they use a blow dryer + ceramic iron to finish. To maintain I have weekly/bi weekly trips to the local cheap Dominican hair salon for a wash and set. They wrap my hair around the head flat and I sleep overnight in a scarf. Next morning I comb it down and it’s straight. Click here for more pics of this look.
Chemical Relaxer
My natural hair is very curly (this big soft afro). I have it chemically straightened every 3/4 months at La Var Hair Salon. They always deep condition using Aestelance Hair Repair (see list of conditioners below).
HOW TO GET: Textured hair
See above straight hair routine. Instead of wrapping hair at night, I section it in half and plait two pig tails and sleep overnight. Next morning I un-do the plaits and the kinks from the braids do this to my hair. Sometimes I add a little dry serum before the pig tails that night (see below Dry Hair Serum products). I can repeat this look for a few days, re-plaiting each night (often one plait is enough). Note: The cleaner the hair, the harder for the waves to hold. Click here for more pics of this look.
My shampoos:

Left to right:
L’anza Hair Repair – My #1 shampoo because it’s mild/low PH but has the protein I need without drying the hair out (chemically straightened hair needs protein).
L’anza Deep Cleansing – I use this once every other month. It strips the hair to squeaky clean removing weeks of product build up but is not drying. Makes products used immediately after work twice is well which shows how counter productive product build up is over time.
Keracare Moisturizing Shampoo – (I also love the Dry/Itchy Scalp one!) PH balanced/gentle. I love these.
My conditioners:

Left to Right (1st Row):
Aestelance Repair Cream – My #1 holy grail product (hence the large size). It’s for salon use ONLY but I manage to get it via a hair dresser friend. I leave in with a plastic cap for 20 mins then rinse out. Hair is slippery smooth, mega soft. Tangles fall out. Sick sick sick. Expensive but sooooo worth it.
Aubrey GPB – like the cheap version to Aestelance. Super good at detangling and moisturizing. Another holy grail. Makes hair look softer when it’s worn curly.
Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner – Good moisturizing conditioner
L’oreal Sulphate Free – Just started using but so far so good and it’s inexpensive
2nd row:
Pantene Breakage Defense – Very hard to find. Great for strengthening hair.
Nature’s Therapy Unfrizz Smoothing Treatment – The knock off to Kerastase but works just as well and with a VERY similar ingredient listing. Your hair smells amazing for days.
Kerastase Oleo Relax – Very good detangler/softener.

My Leave Ins:
Note: I only use these just before a rollar set when wearing my hair straight. From left to right:
New Image Damage Free – Adds volume (love that) and protects my hair while under the dryer.
Salerm 21 – Excellent moisturizer and protects against the heat too. Love this.
Kiehls – same as Salerm
Keracare Silken Seal serum – I use approx 1/2 teasp from mid to ends only, smoothing strands between the palm of your hands like a flat iron. I NEVER rub my hair – that just roughens the hair shaft.
note: I pick two of the above to use at one time and rotate over time.

Dry Hair Serums
I use these on dry straight hair only:
I use a teeeeeny bit of either of these during the day on random ends that look slightly frizzed or when doing the ‘wavy textured hair’ look (see 3rd pic above).

Tips I have learned:

1. New York water is very hard and makes my hair (and skin) very dry. When over seas, my hair is 10 x softer. Therefore at home, I often pour distilled water over my head as a final rinse to help flush out the hard water from my hair. This makes a big difference. Most of my hair tangles and coarse hair feel are caused by the hard water.

2. To boost faster hair growth/decrease shedding, I take 5000 mcg of Biotin daily/every other day. I know my male friends suffering from male pattern baldness look towards solutions on sites like Blink Health where they’ve managed to source products like finasteride to deal with their hair loss. I love the Solgar brand. Also a Pre Natal supplement. No I’m not preggers but the combinations in it work wonders on women’s hair. Only take capsules, they break up easier in the body than a hard tablet (got that capsule/vs. tablet advice from a pro body builder once!).

59 comments

  1. Lily says:

    Great tips…love the wavy hair look.

    xxLily
    goldandgray.com

  2. Esque. says:

    Ahh you’ve helped me out a lot today.

  3. potpie du monde says:

    Thanks for sharing! I am such a huge fan of your blog!

  4. Fashion Agony says:

    I have a major hair envy 🙂
    The only way I can get my hair curly for at least a couple of hours is by soaking it in a hairspray and burning it with a curling iron, otherwise it gets straight in about an hour 🙂
    Great tips, by the way, will have to try that pig tail thing!

    xoxo
    http://fashionagony.blogspot.com/

  5. Sarah says:

    For the hard water you should look into getting a shower filter.

    Thanks for all the great tips!

  6. dana says:

    what do you think about rosewater on the hair? curious – I bought a few bottles from a middle eastern store…

  7. Claire Dub says:

    Thank you so much for the tips! I live in TX and where I’m at we have really hard water, too. It seems like I’ve been losing more hair down here than I have ever, and I think it’s from that. I’ve been tempted to wash my hair with filtered water from the fridge, but I’m going to use your tip of just rinsing at the end of the shower with it.

    xx

  8. Anonymous says:

    Love your hair & great hair tips!!!

  9. Amanda says:

    Im so happy that u did this,,, Im going to try on some tips =) U gave out some great tip thanks btw =)

  10. Jasmine says:

    Love your hair! Could you clarify, however–5,000 MG or mcg of Biotin.

  11. idiq says:

    Chemical relaxers are so 2000!?! Why not grow out the chemical relaxer and rock your hair in its natural state–you were born that way

  12. ebone says:

    love it! curly straight and wavy 🙂
    question: what type of chemical straightener do you get? I thought once it’s straightened, you wouldn’t be able to get your curly texture back? (except for those roots, of course)if i could have both, it would be great!

  13. Latoya Simone says:

    Thank you for the tips!

    On another note, I find it very offensive that people feel the need to vocalize/criticize other’s life choices. There are so many things we weren’t born with, yet every person alters themselves in some way.

    If you don’t like chemically relaxing your hair, then don’t YOU do it, idiq.

    Thanks again!

    ciao Bella

  14. marta says:

    Thanks for the tip about Biotin, I am going to try it, and yes, your hair looks awesome!

  15. britishbabe says:

    I couldnt open this blogg fast enough, thanx for taking time out to show us how u acheive these wonderfull results.

  16. Maria says:

    Thank you! I really needed this! 🙂

  17. Monroe Steele says:

    Damn girl…this is some awesome stuff…i use a few of these things. i actually thought your hair was naturally straight..who knew..lol. I also love that you take prenatal vitamins..as i am starting to take them as well..haha

    xoxo Monroe

    Fashion Steele NYC

  18. Lia says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing, Latoya Simone, well said 🙂

    BTW, thanks for the tips Karen. I love your blog!

  19. Fara says:

    I love this post! I have chemically straightened hair too, and should take better care of my hair…which you’ve just inspired me to do.
    xx

  20. Karen says:

    britishbabe – lolol!!! I took long enough didn’t I?

  21. Stella Louise says:

    I love this! We have almost the exact same hair type, it’s a curly hassle. 🙂

  22. The Vintage Damsel says:

    Your style is awesome! … did you know that you can get clothes like this that from http://www.vintagedamsel.com

    Its a new site but there are new clothes going up everyday, check it out x

  23. Elephantom says:

    Hey Karen:

    Long time reader, first time commenter! I’m also a naturally curly-haired girl with lots of frizz, volume and wild ringlets. I get my hair chemically straightened (Japanese straightening) but I’m moving to New York in 3 months and am freaking out because I’ve had the same woman do my hair for 6+ yrs. Would you recommend the La Var salon for different hair types?

  24. bambi1982 says:

    I love Aubrey’s GPB conditioner…great post!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Hi! I noticed that as a vitamin supp you take Prenatal Vitamins as a supplement. But if you Take Nature’s Way Alive!!!Multi-Vitamin (with Whole Food Energizers — with Vitamins & Minerals — Fruits, Vegetables, Green Foods, Enzymes, Amino Acids, Bioflavonoids, Herbs, EFAs & Mushrooms), you will not have to take the Prenatal Vitamin supplements. Food for thought… 😀

  26. kesi says:

    thanks so much for this post. its funny, because i’m a new yorker living in britain right now and i find british water to be quite harsh on my relaxed hair. i’m going to try the distilled rinse as you suggested!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I love your layered STRAIGHT HAIR look best. It’s simply amazing what Vernelle at Salon V can do for you. I must definitely make an appointment with her!

  28. Michelle says:

    natural hair gals are always overbearing when it comes to pushing natural hair on people. I have natural hair, and this is like the 3rd time I went natural. It’s just hair!!

    If you don’t like chemically relaxing your hair, then don’t do it, idiq. Sometimes it’s just a persons personal reason.

    karen your hair looks amazing either way.

    xoxo

    michelle