I removed my crochet braids a couple of weeks ago and wore my natural hair out for a few days, but I installed the crochet braids again- mostly out of pure laziness. I liked my natural hair out and I saw some growth, I just don't feel like twisting my hair every night, especially now that it's hot. It's hard to let go of something that works, especially when it's easy and cheap, but I do plan on playing in my real hair this summer! I also need a professional trim/cut. I found a few local places that specialize in Deva Cuts, so I think I'll try one of them later this summer.
What I was happiest about when I wore my hair out, was that it stayed moist! I pre-poo'd for about an hour with coconut oil. I shampoo'd with ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo, then I did a 10-minute condition with Trader Joe's Nourish and Spa + Giovanni 50:50 Balancing Conditioner + a teaspoon of baking soda. I then deep conditioned under the steamer with SheaMoisture Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque. I twisted on damp hair with Oyin Hair Dew and Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade.
I've been doing a lot more research on how to keep my low porosity hair moisturized. I think I found success in shampooing with the ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo. It removes a lot of buildup without stripping my hair. I loved it when I was relaxed, but stopped using it when I realized my hair doesn't like aloe vera juice (aloe is pretty far down on the ingredient list- #24). Co-washing doesn't always get my hair clean, especially after having my hair in a protective style for 4 weeks. Adding the baking soda lifted my tight hair cuticles and really allowed more moisture into my hair strands. Using baking soda in the hair is controversial because there is a risk of damage, but it worked for me, so I'm going to try to use it once or twice a month. This was my first time using this particular SheaMoisture conditioner, and I really liked it. I'm sure steaming with it helped make it more effective. When I rinsed the conditioner out, my hair looked really nice- curly, shiny and even stretched out more than usual. Even my man asked me to leave it exactly like that! I knew it wouldn't look the same after it dried, and I'm not brave enough to wash and go yet, so I moved on with styling. This was my first time using Oyin products. I loved the smell and the products seemed pretty light. The next day, my twist out was shiny and defined: