Ever wondered how to tweak your hair-care routine to suit covered hair? While every head is different, Tamar Adina is here to share her own hair-care journey with you! Caring for curly, long, or thick hair can be a challenge for covered ladies and she’s got the lowdown!
I often see questions regarding hair care on the various Facebook groups that I belong to. Everybody has a different solution of what works (and what doesn’t work!) and so I figured that I’d throw my daily routine into the mix. I’m going to preface this by saying that I am not a cosmetologist, a dermatologist, or a specialist. But, I have a method that works for my hair. Will it work for you? I don’t know. But this is what works for me!
My hair is thick, curly, and it almost reaches the middle of my back.
To make matters even more fun, I have horrid eczema on my scalp.
I’ve tried a LOT of different things. I tried “no poo” (shampoo-free method: failed). I tried Head and Shoulders (dried out my scalp). I tried medicated shampoos (some that the insurance refused to cover). I tried the full spectrum of cheap through salon shampoos. I tried Argan oil, amla, zizyphus (sedr), henna, and synthetic leave in conditioners. I tried blow drying and straightening my hair, I tried air-drying it, and I tried wrapping wet.
I found that with my trials came a lot of errors. But…now I’ve got a comfortable working solution where I’m minimally flaky and still comfortable under my wraps.
So how do I care for my hair? Well,
1) I ditched the SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) from my shampoos and conditioners, and I’ve also ditched the silicone. Both of those ingredients aggravated my scalp and gave me flakes.
2) I wash my hair every day. Yes. Every. Single. Day. Why? Well, I tried the washing my hair every other day (and even every three days). But I work out almost everyday (and not just a brisk walk at lunch either). My hair becomes a smelly, sweaty, disgusting mess when I workout. So I wash it after every workout. In honor of all of the posts on the Internet regaling the wonders of “no poo” I tried going shampoo-free. I tried two months of various options (apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and just using conditioner). In the end, using an SLS and silicone free shampoo daily was the best option. I just never adjusted to the “no poo” method.
3) I wrap my hair when it’s wet or when it’s dry. Why? Well, blow-drying my hair bothers my eczema, and since I exercise in the morning, I don’t have the luxury of waiting the three hours before my hair is dry before heading out too work. Yes, when I wrap my hair I’ll find that at the end of the day, my hair is still wet. At that point I’ll lay out my scarf to dry and I’ll put my hair down to finish drying. I’ve heard people report that having wrapped hair all day leads to a fungal infection or ruined scarves. I’ve never had that. I actually find that having the extra moisture on my scalp keeps me from getting a super dry scalp.
4) I’ve changed what goes on under my wraps according to my hair type. For many Wrapunzel fans, the focus is on creating the illusion of volume.But for me, and maybe for some other very curly/long/thick haired girls out there, I found in the end that I don’t need to create volume – I already have it! Although many women swear by them, I don’t actually wear a volumizer. I’ve discovered that I have enough volume for five women without any extra assistance, and it’s hard to fit all my hair under a volumizer without any slipping out!
At the same time, without a smooth base, some ties are simply impossible. A Double Braid wrap really needs a solid base to wrap around, and tying my hair into a regular bun just won’t cut it. So what do I use to create a smooth base for tichels to lie on? I often wear a simple, lightweight base scarf over a messy bun. This method keeps errant curls from lying in strange and unusual ways and takes some of the pressure off of the back of my neck.
5) I avoid synthetic dyes like the plague. Paraphenylenediamine is not my friend. Neither is developer.
6) Once a month, I treat my scalp with an amla, henna and essential oil hair mask. I leave it on for four hours and then wash it out. The amla helps retain my curls (and cools down the henna), the henna moisturizes my hair and scalp, and the essential oils ‘terp’ the henna (boost its natural staining properties) and also help calm my scalp. I personally find that the henna doesn’t really effect my hair color because my hair has always been very dark with red highlights. But, if you have gray hair or light hair, henna will make your hair red.
That’s all for now – hope my tips will save you trouble and help you give your hair some love!