Ok people, I have been doing a lot of research about hair and reading a lot of blogs and forums that girls post in. I am reading forums and blogs written by and for primarily curly, or wavy haired girls and I have learned a ton. CalTex, this will probably be useful for you. Basically I have been looking for a haircare routine that allows my hair to be more natural and controlled so I don't have to use as much product in the morning and such. Something a bit easier. This is what I learned:1. Stop shampooing with sulfate based shampoo.
The majority of shampoos are made with detergents and not actual soap. These ingredients are sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, amonium lauryl sulfate, or amonium laureth sulfate. These were invented by the Germans during World War II because there was a soap shortage. These synthetic surfactants are what makes these products "foam-up". Basically they allow water and oils to mix so they can be rinsed away. There is a lot of hippy talk about these things and how they cause cancer, but it has never been proven. There are some things that have been proven, however. Sulfate based shampoos are a mild irritant, espcially in higher concentrations and if not rinsed properly. Sulfate based shampoos cause hair to fall out. If you loose a lot of hair in the shower, this could be the cause, not male pattern baldness. Sulfate shampoos strip your hair and wash away all natural and unnatural oils. These things are great at what they do and they are cheap that is why they are in products. The problem is you are washing away tons and tons of oils that your hair needs to look great. The ironic thing is many of these shampoos also have extracts of plant oils and moisturizers, but in reality it is bullshit because as soon as you lather up you're washing it right away. Most of the cheaper brand smoothing shampoos are using silicones to coat the hair to make it smooth. Some of them work ok, but they are very difficult to remove once on your hair, that is why they are usually added to the smoothing shampoos along with sulfates, which have a more difficult time removing them.
2. Use an acidic rinse after using castile soap
Now a lot of conditioners also contain smaller amounts of sulfates so read your ingredients.
A lot of brands are now making sulfate free shampoos so look for them, there is a brand called Kinky Curly that curly haired girls "in the know" go apeshit for. Get this. The issue most people have with these are the lack of foam, since there isn't any foaming agent people feeltheir hair isn't getting clean. Ignore this and keep at it. A lot of girl's out there make their own shampoo out of a simple home mixture of baking soda and water. Some swear by this.
I personally use Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Castile Soap, which bings me to my next point about sulfates and soaps. Castile soap is what it is: Soap. It is called castile after the region it was developed in Spain and it is obtained by saponifying oils from plants using lye to create soap naturally. Here is the issue, using these kinds of soap, especially with very hard water sources with minerals and such in it can leave your hair feeling tangly and or waxy. What this is is slight buildup. This buildup can remain on your hair and furthermore in your tub and in your drains, this buildup is what people end up calling "soapscum". Sulfates don't have this because they strip everything away, however there is a solution for this. The solution lies in the conditioner, which is my next point:
You can use the non-sulfate conditoner if you are using a non-sulfate shampoo, but for castile the Dr. Bronner's Shikakai Conditioning Rinse works wonders. Since you washed with castile you need to get the buildup off of your hair and make it smooth. You do this with a solution that is slightly acidic. Acidic solutions don't only just strip buildup they also close the shafts of your hair strands making it lay better and much smoother. A lot of girls make their own apple cider vinegar and water solution and pour it slowly over their heads while massaging their scalp and combing it through their hair in the shower. The Bronner's Rinse is mainly lemon juice, shikakai powder, which has been used on hair for centuries in India and plant oils. Now vinegar has a PH of about 5 and the lemon juice about 2 or 3 so you can imagine the smoothing properties these ingredients have on your hair.
3. Stop shampooing your hair so much
Yes, a lot of people know that their hair feels nicer, or behaves better when it isn't dry from shampoo (sulfates), but these girls, and now myself included, are shampooing even more infrequently like only when really needed, around once every two or three weeks. Two are three weeks!?!?! You scream! Calm down. Girls who go the sulfate free conditioner route literally condition everyday, but what they do is scrub the hell out of their scalps while the conditioner is in their hair, not using their nails but their fingertips and very hard and long time. What others do it use their rinse daily and scrub with the vingear/water, or Bronner's rinse. What is great about this is the low PH kills bacteria that can cause dandruff and the scrubbing helps move dirt away.
I understand this all sounds strange and gross, but it isn't really. There are so many girls following this routine. Think Style Forum, but only girls talking about this kind of stuff. It was all started by this woman Lorraine Massey in NYC who popularized this sulfate-free/no shampooing thing in her salon and actually wrote a book about it.What I do:
1) Shampoo with Dr. Bronner's Tea Tre Oil Castile soap
3) Pour the solution of Dr. Bronner's Conditioning Rinse over my head and massage scalp and comb through hair
5) Repeat step #3 and leave in and finish the rest of my shower routine before rinsing
On following days I just do steps #3 through #5 and only go back to step #1 when absolutely necassary.Sourceshttp://www.livecurlylivefree.com/curly%20hair%20basics.htmhttp://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/general-discussion-about-curly-hair/http://thecurlyhairproblems.tumblr.com/cgmethodhttp://www.wikihow.com/Follow-the-Curly-Girl-Method-for-Curly-Hair