You Should Be Pre-Conditioning!

Pre-conditioning your hair is also known as a “pre-poo”. This is basically the process of pre-softening, conditioning and preparing the hair prior the cleansing process, which can be stressful on very coily hair.

Naturally, our bodies produce sebum to lubricate our hair and scalp, correct? When we cleanse our hair with detergents it strips the natural protective layer of sebum we have which can lead to dry or dehydrated scalp and hair. Our natural pH is also altered when we do this which can also result in dry hair and scalp. The combination of dryness and elevated pH can also lead to frizzy hair. This is why for some hair types, cleansing followed by conditioning alone is not effective in maintaining proper moisture levels.

Avocado and Coconut Milk Pre-Conditioner

You can pre-condition with one oil like coconut oil or you can make a simple cocktail of nutritious goodies for your hair. I prefer the simple and nutritious cocktail way! I like for my personal recipes to consist of a fatty base, a carrier oil and an essential oil. Why, you ask?

1. Fatty/thick base – Avocado (my favorite!), palm oil, honey, full fat yogurt.

  • These work to help soften the cuticle of the hair. They are thicker and will help coat the hair as well. Thicker oils are great lubricants for the friction involved in the anticipated cleansing.

2. Carrier oil – Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, castor oil.

  • These oils have smaller nutrient chains that can penetrate the hair even easier once the cuticle is softened. They also “carry” the benefits of the essential oils to the hair and body.

3. Essential oil – Rosemary oil, peppermint oil, lemongrass oil, tea tree oil.

  • These are oil pressed from different herbs, flowers, plants and fruits. They have many therapeutic and healing properties for the scalp and follicle and are also beneficial for the hair. They are in concentrated form and can be delivered to the body by adding drops to a carrier oil.
Pre-Conditioning Treatment

You can pre-condition before every cleansing. I prefer doing it every few cleansings. I usually leave it on for an hour or so covered with a processing cap. I found that a no or low lather cleanser is best for my hair so I opt for the low lather when I precondition. I follow with small amount of a natural commercial conditioner like Giovanni or Shea Moisture. My final step is to use my pH balancing treatment and then I rinse lightly with lukewarm water.

You can use any combination of these and a variety of many more oils. I just listed the few that I use regularly but you can try any of your  favorite oils. Take a look at a few of the pre-conditioning recipes that I have tried under the Deep Conditioners category! I would love to hear what you tried and how it worked for you!

-Aphropuphs

Sealing Your Ends

 

endsOnce your hair leaves the root, it depends on you to maintain its health and moisture. Sometimes applying the product to your hair with open palms doesn’t get the product everywhere it needs to be. Sealing my ends is part of my personal natural hair care regimen. My hair has low porosity, which means it is harder for it to absorb moisture so sometimes I have problems with my ends being dry. Sealing your ends evenly distributes the product to each strand and smoothens the cuticle.

I seal my ends while my hair is still damp after every shampoo or co-wash and once in between depending on how long I go between washes. I seal my ends with a different mixture products depending on my hair needs at the moment. I use different combinations of shea butter, aloe, olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and essential oils. I often slip and become a little heavy-handed with the product making my hair extremely oily. Be careful not to do this because it can end up clogging pores, making hair clump and unmanageable and resulting in hair getting dirty faster.

Sealing ends is very simple and can be quite relaxing. I enjoy the time I get to spend exploring my hair and massaging my scalp. I do it while watching my favorite television show or listening to music. I take my hair in tiny sections, ranging between about the size you would use if doing a micro braid or box braid, depending on the length and density of your hair. I separate the hair with my fingers and rub a small amount of product between my thumb, index, and middle finger and proceed to smooth it down the strand of my hair from the scalp to the ends. I make sure I focus on the ends in particular because this is the whole point in sealing! I continue this process until I have sealed my entire head. I go through it with my extra-soft boar bristle brush to smooth and catch any excess oils, detangle with a wide tooth comb. I usually do this before bed so I braid it down before I go to sleep.

 

I can tell the real effects of the products I’m using because they are now reaching the places they usually miss. In the morning when I take the braids loose and comb my hair the result is a super-soft, shiny afro!