My Quarantine Regimen for Healthy Natural Hair Growth

My Quarantine Regimen for Healthy Natural Hair

I can’t believe it’s basically August.

Us LA folks have been at home on punishment since March, and by the looks of it, we're on track to spend the rest of 2020 that way. 😭 Through it all, I can’t unerscore how incredibly blessed I’ve been in this season — to be able to work from home, connect with clients under Christina Patrice Creative, and of course, work behind the scenes with Samuel on Station 1923.

Admittedly, I haven’t had a bunch of free time to play in my hair, but perhaps it’s for the best. And even though I've had less time to play with and in my hair, I feel like my hair is in the healthiest growing phase I've had in a while.

I specify healthiest growing phase because my hair has been through some rough patches in the last few year, most of which were resolved by my 2019 cut with Brandie at Be Kekoa. My last cut with Brandie was in ye olden times, February of 2020 Pre-Corona. My cut in February was all about restoring shape and fullness, so that my hair could grow out and reach its full potential.

And while on quarantine, it most certainly has. 🙌🏽

My Quarantine Regimen for Healthy Natural Hair

In the past five months, my hair has grown considerably — although my shrinkage is at the peak of disrespect, so you can't really tell. My curls look and feel healthy, my wash and go's look full, and best of all, I don't have janky splitting ends that need to be cut every month.

So what's the secret?

A handful of regimen changes. While not wild or drastically different from my norm, the tweaks I've made to my wash day and styling regimen while in quarantine have helped me greatly to:
  • retain length
  • reduce frizz
  • enhance definition
  • reduce split and breaking ends
  • preserve the health of my hair long-term
Even though its been some months since I've sat in Brandies chair, my hair is at a place where I don't need to have it trimmed, and I don't really feel compelled to grab the scissors myself. Here's what I've been doing:

Change #1: Wash Day is No Longer an ALL-DAY Affair
Wash day is something like an olympic sport in the natural hair community. From overnight pre-poos to multi-day drying, time-consuming doesn't even begin to describe the effort some of us put into our hair. While my wash day was already whittled down to the basics (cleanse, deep condition, style), the styling portion always got me. Even though I could get my wash and go styled in under an hour, the dry time on that mamma jamma was insane.

You mean to tell me I gotta spend 1 hour styling, 2 more hours under the dryer — and still go to bed with wet hair? And y'all KNOW how annoying and hard it is to sleep on wet hair. Even with my wig net method. 


So I stopped doing it. Jesus didn't die on the cross for me to go to bed with hair that sounds like stirring mac and cheese.

After my cleansing and deep conditioning, I apply my leave-in in the shower, twist my hair in about 8-10 chunky sections and... go on about my business.

Usually that means I go outside to work out, and let the fresh air and sunshine do what it will in terms of air drying. And I don't need to tell you that hair dries a lot faster when there's not 15 layers of gel on top of it. 😭

But what does this mean for my wash and go styles? I'm glad you asked...

Change #2: Damp/Dry Styling
I know what you're thinking. You're wondering who's writing this blog post, and what they've done with Christina.

I promise, it's me.

Yes, the same Christina who's been saying since like 2014 to style on soaking, drippity, wet-wet hair. I'm now telling you that as of July in the Year of Our Lord and Corona 2020, I no longer style on wet hair.

Why? It all comes down to time and results.

Truthfully, I always shied away from damp or dry styling because I thought it would leave my hair frizzy and undefined. The lie detector test determined that was a lie:

My Quarantine Regimen for Healthy Natural Hair

So now that I've gotten the technique down and my style results are the same as, if not better than, the wet styling results, I have no reason to go back.

As far as time is concerned, can we talk about the fact that MY HAIR STARTS DRYING BEFORE I CAN EVEN FINISH STYLING? Not that dry from the mid-shaft down business, but dry-dry. Fully dry. As in after about an hour or so of air drying without even trying, my hair is done.

I don't go to bed with wet hair anymore. Praise Jesus.

I'll update you all with a video tutorial and breakdown of my damp/dry styling method soon, I promise.

Change #3: Apple Cider Vinegar
Although the products I've used in my regimen have remained somewhat consistent (save for a few that I'll explain in a bit), I have focused on adding two ingredients to my regimen — apple cider vinegar and rose water.

Back in 2013 I sang the praises of ACV in the form of a spritz, and about two months ago, something prompted me to revisit that post. If you choose to read it, please don't judge the VERY 2013 photos and graphics. Thank God for growth.

Anywho, I began incorporating apple cider vinegar into my regimen as a rinse using a 1:3 ratio. After rinsing my deep conditioner, I use an applicator bottle to apply the diluted ACV from scalp to ends before adding my leave-in.

My hair has felt phenomenal ever since.

In case you were wondering, I use the Kirkland raw, unfiltered, and organic apple cider vinegar from Costco because it comes in a 3-pack of 32oz bottle for about $7 or so.


Change #4: Rose Water-Based Mousses
Up until about April or so, I never really "got" mousses. I just chalked them up to being lightweight stylers that could never work for my hair. And well, that's only partially true.

While my hair could NEVER hold a lasting wash and go with mousse alone, I found the perfect way to incorporate it into my regimen with one caveat — it must contain rose water.

Why?

Rose water hydrates and soothes the skin in hair, and contains a wealth of antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, pH balancing, soothing, and blood-circulating properties. It's full of antioxidants and essential fatty acids, and aids in repairing hair porosity issues.

My Quarantine Regimen for Healthy Natural Hair

Anecdotally, I find it to help with hydrating my hair, keeping my hair shaft smooth (especially my ends that tend to get rough and gnarly), reducing frizz, and enhancing shine.

After my wash day twists are dried, I typically style my hair the next day or so. I'm in no rush, because well, where am I gonna go? We're in quarantine. Per section, I use 1-2 pumps of mousse to reactivate my curls and start the styling process.

Since April, I've only rotated between two mousse products to do this: Be Kekoa's Be Free Rose Water Mousse, and tgin's Rose Water Curl Defining Mousse. They both contain rose as the second ingredient, have great slip, and play well with my leave-ins and curl definers of choice. I'll do a review on the Be Kekoa Be Free Rose Water Mousse soon. You can check out my tgin Rose Water Curl Defining Mousse review here.

What Hasn't Changed

My Overall Regimen
Everything I covered in this post in my Natural Hair 101 series still rings true. I still alternate between co-washing and clarifying, and I deep condition with heat. And yes, I still proudly use silicones. 🙃

My Quarantine Regimen for Healthy Natural Hair

How I Preserve My Hair
Everything I outlined in this post in terms of preserving my wash and go's still rings true. To avoid too much stress on my strands, I don't band every night. In fact, most nights after I go through my gel cast break and stretch, I just use this gigantic banana clip I got at Ulta forever ago, cover my hair with a scarf, and call it a night.

I don't refresh between wash days, because my hair never really calls for it anymore.

During workouts, I've recently gravitated toward using the Puff Cuff, which I picked up at Sally Beauty some months ago. I have the largest one, but I know they come in multiple sizes.

My Products and Brands of Choice
Ever since my Natural Hair 101 series using the same products for three months, my outlook on being a product junkie has changed considerably. I switch things up sparingly when a product catches my eye — but by and large, I use the same things.

I'm sorry if it bores y'all. Here's what I use about 90-95% of the time:

My Quarantine Regimen for Healthy Natural Hair

Be Kekoa

My Quarantine Regimen for Healthy Natural Hair

Soultanicals
'Fro Despair Vitamin Hair Repair Deep Conditioner
Whatever else I can get my hands on, honestly. It's rough in these streets and y'all snatch up ALL the Soultanicals whenever Ayo sends that email. 😭

My Quarantine Regimen for Healthy Natural Hair

tgin


Alikay Naturals
Lemongrass Hold It Styling Gel
Lemongrass Slay & Lay Edge Gel
Botanicals Hair and Scalp Balm (review here)


Zotos Professional All About Curls
All About Curls Collection Review

WetLine Xtreme Gel
Because I still got some with the green lid on it.

That other 5-10% of the time, I may be using products from another brand that I enjoy, trying something new, or using an occasional treatment.

That's it y'all, that's the tea! Got any other regimen specific questions? Feel free to drop 'em here or on Instagram! Stay safe, sane, and masked up!

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