We all love to wear our wigs but we should’nt neglect our god given tresses right? It’s so easy to wear a wig day in and day out because it is so convenient. Often times we get caught up in our day to day routine and our real hair misses out on it’s TLC. When it’s time to switch hairstyles we simply just switch wigs. This blog post was highly requested and it is geared towards my type 4 naturals. Not only will I be sharing how I maintain my natural hair, I will be sharing some tips on how to make your wig work for you literally.
Tip 1 Moisturize
As mentioned earlier, these are tips on what I do for growth and to retain my length while I am wearing wigs. I protective style 90% of the year. My go to protective style are lace wigs. I only wear my natural hair when it is time for a trim. Disclaimer: I am not a licensed stylist. These are routines and products that work for me.
The first tip is very important and that is to moisturize. Type 4 hair hair is naturally dry so it needs moisture period. Before I apply any wig I wash my hair with a sulfate free shampoo. Why sulfate free? Sulfates are very harsh on the hair and strips it of it’s natural moisture. Type 4 may seem to be tough but it is actually fragile so it needs TLC.
After I wash, I use a good moisturizing leave in conditioner. I use a leave-in because I typically wear my wigs from 4-6 weeks. My shampoo of choice at the moment is Organix coconut milk. I follow up with As I Am Coconut Cowash and then use As I Am leave in conditioner. These products are not mandatory. You can use whatever you feel works best for your hair.
Now pay attention because this next sentence is going to ruffle some feathers. I wash my hair every 4-6 weeks. Yes, you read that right. I only wash my hair when I am prepping my hair for a new wig. My grandmother told my mother years ago that she washed our hair too much. My mother washed our hair once a week. My mother paid her no mind because our hair was long and healthy. My sisters and I were also relaxed at the time. I still remember that conversation and needless to say they had to agree to disagree. My mother wasn’t trying to hear it.
When I went natural, I had to learn an entire new process on how to care for my hair. It took some trial and error but I quickly learned that washing my hair every week was not going to be feasible. I was transitioning and I had no clue as to what I was doing. It literally took me all day just to wash and dry my hair. That was the beginning of the wigs.
Now, in the beginning I would sew my wigs down rather than take them off at night. So there was no way for me to get to my hair unless I took it down, so I simply did not wash it. What happened? My hair started to grow like crazy! There was one simple aspect to my routine that was making my hair grow faster than normal. It was growing so fast that I had to stop using the product! I will reveal this product in the next tip.
Tip 2 Do Not Use Heat
So in tip 1 I told you the first step to my routine. I wash with a Organix Coconut Milk shampoo, follow up with As I Am Coconut Cowash, and then apply As I Am leave in conditioner. Next is very important. I do not blow dry. I use a stretching technique that I discovered from a popular youtuber The Chic Natural. Here is the link to her video https://youtu.be/J6ONEVstU4w. I divide my hair in 6 sections, apply elastic bands and then plait each section. I then allow my hair to air dry overnight.
The next day I take out the plaits and then oil my scalp with Jamaican Black Castor Oil. At least I did until about 6 months ago. I stopped using the Jamaican Black Castor Oil because my hair was growing so fast and it was the culprit. If you are looking to grow your hair then definitely use it. It works wonders. If not, you can skip the castor oil. After I oil my scalp, I braid my hair straight back (I only do about 6 braids) so that I can apply my wig.
So let’s recap my routine:
- Wash your hair with a sulfate free shampoo.
- Apply a leave-in conditioner.
- Do not blow dry. Use the stretching technique that I mentioned above.
- Let hair air dry.
- Take down plaits and oil scalp with Jamaican Black Castor Oil (optional).
- Braid hair down to apply wig.
I no longer sew down my wigs. I take them off on a daily basis. I don’t use any bond, just an elastic band and some Got 2b Glued occasionally. Once I am ready to wash, my hair is still moisturized. Yes even after 4-6 weeks. Keep in mind that this is what works for my 4B/4C natural hair type. Feel free to try it if you like!