I'm starting to really enjoy my hair. Keeping it moist (finally!) has made a big difference. I've been washing (mostly with shampoo) every Sunday, twisting, letting the twists out Monday morning, and rocking a twistout for the week. I'm going to do it again this weekend, but I'm going to try to keep the twistout for over a week. I actually think the older my twistout gets, the better I like it. Every day, I separate the twists a little more, so by day 6, I really like how my hair looks. Here's what I've been doing on non-henna/non-egg protein treatment weeks:
* Saturday night, I apply oil or conditioner and keep it in over night. I realized that I don't like deep conditioning- I don't have the time or the patience for it, so doing it on dry hair over night before I wash makes me feel like I'm doing something just as good!
*In the morning, I shampoo or co-wash my hair (Creme of Nature Argan Oil Shampoo, black soap, or Tresemme Naturals Conditioner). While in the shower, I de-tangle with a lot of conditioner and a shower comb.
*I apply leave-in conditioner while my hair is damp (I've been switching between Hawaiian Silky 14-in-1 and Cantu Shea Butter).
*I add castor or grapessed oil, then moisturizer (ORS), then a little gel (Ecostyler). Then I twist it. I pin the roots of the twists down with bobby pins.
*For the rest of the day, I wear a scarf under a hat and go about my business. The next day, when I take out the twists, my hair looks like this:
I'm still shocked about how moist my hair has been! The gel has really helped to define my twists, but still keeps my hair soft. This photo is from separating each twist once. I usually separate one more time for the first day, but this week, I wanted a tighter curl for the first couple of days. I start twisting in the front, so I'm usually tired by the time I reach the back. This last week, I did individual twists in the front and flat twists in the back. Because I did this, and because my hair is longer in the back, my hair looked much longer in the back than in the front. It evened out by the second day or so, but I'm going to try to do the individual twists all over.
At night, I put my hair into about 8 ponytail puffs to keep it from getting flat. In the morning I add a little oil, fluff and go. Each day, I separate some of the twists more. By Thursday or Friday, my hair looks like this:
I've been using mostly castor oil. It's been great now that the weather is so cold and dry. I apply the oil with a color applicator bottle, and when I massage it and untwist more, the oil reaches the length of my hair strands. I could still separate the twists more, which I'll probably do over the next day or two. I want to experiment with all of the curling creams I've bought over the past 5 months, but what I'm doing now has been working so well that I'm afraid to try! I also want to try bigger twists, but it's been hard to keep them twisted when I use larger chunks of hair. Maybe in a couple of months....