The Honesty of Naked Hair

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The wash day before last, I contemplated allowing my hair to dry naked and asked my IG followers if they’d be interested in seeing that. Enough responded to the affirmative that I decided to do it. In a funny coincidence and unbeknownst to me, CurlyNikki ended up doing the same thing, though she did it accidentally (see here if you missed it)!! As she replied to me when I told her about it, “We LIVE on the same page.” LOL!!

Anywho, the reason behind dong this was actually two-fold. One was to post it, of course ;). But, the second was to validate that my regimen and products are doing right by my hair when they are NOT on it. You see, daily conditioners, leave-ins, deep conditioners, moisturizing creams, butters, curl enhancers, gels, serums, glossers, sheen sprays and even water can mask a variety of “sins.” They can make your hair look Grrrrrrreeeeeeat!!! However, how does our hair look and feel when all of these products are washed away? Assessing your naked hair (damp or dry) periodically can reveal whether those conditioners, creams, serums, etc. are actually doing right by your hair and helping improve the health of it … or if those products are contributing and/or causing the problem.

You see, many years ago, I was using a line of products religiously for a few months. The line will go unnamed here, but let’s just say that it’s a budget-breaker and I’ve talked about my experience with it a couple of times.  Anywho, initially, I thought that the products were awesome!! They smelled wonderful, were creamy and smooth, and also moisturizing … or so I thought. As I continued to use the product, it seemed like I had to dampen and re-apply the product daily for my hair to look or feel good. Then, I started to realize that every time that I washed my hair, it didn’t feel good. So, I would deep condition (with a product from another line) and it would feel better. But then, one day as I washed my hair, a lightbulb went off. I realized that my hair was feeling and looking worse and worse every time I washed it!!! It felt dry and brittle and looked the same! It struck me that the products I was using were actually causing the health of my hair to deteriorate!!! Well, that’s all I needed! I chucked those ol’ expensive a$$ products like a bad habit!!

Ever since then, I pay attention to what my hair is telling me when it’s naked. Of course, it’s not going to look like it does with products. Then there wouldn’t be this billion dollar hair industry!! LOL! But, there are some things that I can expect. Does it feel moisturized and supple? Does it have a healthy natural sheen that I expect for my hair and normal or reduced frizz (it’s not going to be frizz-free, but I know which areas of my hair are naturally smooth and which are frizzy due to varying porosity)? Are my S-waves and curls “popping?” If my hair is all of the above, I know that my pre-poos and conditioners are doing their jobs and that my stylers are either helping or, at least, not hurting! If it’s not? I know it’s time to time to step back and figure out where I’m going wrong and tweak my regimen accordingly. Fortunately for me, I haven’t had to do the latter since I ditched that unnamed product line years ago!! And, I’m very happy to say that when I allowed my hair to dry naked last week, it felt and looked moisturized, supple, sheeny, soft, wavy/curly and strong!! Yea for good products!!

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Do you ever assess your (wet or dry) naked hair? What is it telling you?

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15 responses »

  1. Your hair looks great ….very voluminous!!! Maybe you do not need as many product(s) as you thought. You might be able to simplify it and use less layering. I also have the habit of layering products, just in case so that my hair is frizz free and shimy…I am obsessed with shine! LOL! Today I tried UR Curly loose curl enhancer(first time using it) and a small amout of styling butter( Madagascar vanilla from Darcy Botanicals) to seal the ends. My hair looks and feels great! Very soft, SHINY, and my curls are very defined. Sometimes less is better. Of course only you know what your hair likes and how it behaves. Great posts!

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    • Thanks Denise!! I actually don’t use a lot of products to style. That run down was just of all the different items I think people might use to style. I usually just use a leave-in conditioner, a styler cream and then a tiny amount of an oil to seal on my ends (I don’t put on my full length as it weighs my hair down). Sometimes, if I make a modified kimmaytube leave-in with just 1-2 tsp of oil, that’s all I use because I get my leave-in, styler and sealer all in one:). You got my PJ nose twitching with the name of those products though!!!!! Loose curl enhancer?!?!?! Madagascar Vanilla! Dang! DANG! DANG!! I’m trying to stop being such a PJ, but now I’m all intrigued!!! You suck.

      LOL!!! JK!!! Thanks Denise:)!!

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    • Hi Anon. Sorry for the delay. Couldn’t remember where I saw this question, so had to search my email! Yes, I wore protective styles for the majority of 2011. But, by protective styles, I mean low-manipulation, protective styles using my own hair. I did have afro puffy twists for about 6 weeks too.

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  2. I still haven’t been able to nail down what my hair likes from what it doesn’t. When I let my hair dry on its own, it is a frizzy, cottony, poof ball with almost no definition in the top 1/3 of my head (from crown to temples).

    I know it just might be me, but my hair seems to be extremely fragile. I can hear it popping all the time. I don’t think that I retain much length because I am forever seeing the ends of my coils on the sink, on the floor, on my clothes, etc. To try and combat this, I have been spritzing my ends every day with a 50/50 mix of water and AVJ or Oyin’s Greg juice. I then seal with EVCO and moisturize with some kind of cream or butter, be it Wondercurl, Oyin’s, or whatever I have next to me at the time. Can you recommend something to strengthen my strands? I use AO’s GPB weekly and it has helped some, but my hair still feels weak.

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    • Hmmm, it sounds like you are doing everything right Tracy. Maybe you should try a more heavy duty protein, but deep condition with something moisturizing after it. The ApHogee 2 step is an option, but I worry about that b/c you have to use it so carefully. So, maybe the Joico K-pak or something like that? Also, what type of moisturizing deep conditioner are you using? I didn’t see you indicate that. Finally, how are you detangling? Are you finger detangling or using a wide tooth comb in the shower only with tons of slippery conditioner? I generally only dry finger detangle my hair when I am applying a pre-poo. Other than that, I’m finger detangling wet hair with conditioner in it.

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      • I must admit that I follow some of your regimen. Every Friday, I finger detangle with Vatika Oil sometimes I add a little EVOO. Then I alternate weekly between AO GPB and HSR, don a plastic cap and winter hat to deep condition. I usually do this overnight, but for no less than three hours.

        Thanks for the recommendation. Maybe I’ll try the Joico K-pak. I’ll let you know if I do and the results.

        Oh, btw, I still have two packs of henna that I am too afraid to try. Will I get much of a color deposit if I use it in a gloss instead of full strength? Do you think it will help with my dryness and breakage?

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  3. Shelli your hair naked looks almost the same with product in it. I dont know if its the camera or not but the only difference I see is a little less frizz. I love your hair, beautiful.

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    • Thank you so much Karla!! Yes, it does look close to the same, which I’m very happy about!!! But, I do think that after a day, it would become very tangled and dry. So, it’s a nice experiment, but I would always at least apply a leave-in:).

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  4. Your hair looks the same as if it had product in it. Wow its so gorgeous. I am still trying a lot of leave-ins for my hair to see which my hair will like. I figured out I have low porosity hair. After almost 3 years of being natural.

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    • Thank you so much Rachel!! Hey, I’ve been natural for 12+ years and only learned about porosity in the last 2!! I just knew that my hair absorbed water from the air like crazy!! Have you tried using a steamer or at least heat when deep conditioning to get the cuticle to open? Then, apply a diluted daily conditioner directly over your deep conditioner and rinse with warm water (use warm nstead of cool/cold b/c you don’t want the cuticle to close before you apply your leave-in)? Have you tried the kimmaytube leave-in receipe (2 tbsp AVJ, 2 tbsp Kinky Curly Knot Today; 2 tsp jojoba oil; 2 tsp castor oil — oils can be swapped out for oils that your hair likes)?

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      • Hi Sheila, thanks for the advice no I have not tried a steamer yet but will give it a try. Yes i have tries kimmay tube leave in but for some reason my hair doesnt like that kinky Curly Knot today, so I wasnt sure what other conditioner to try so i gave up on her leave-in. But i have been trying your cool-n-seal after i deep condition seem to work okay. Just trying to find a good leave-in so my hair will remain soft after i rinse out the conditioner.

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