I remember a decade ago when I used to sit on my extra-long twin bed in college and spend hours applying layers of product to twist my hair. I had much less hair but more time and was also learning the ins and outs of natural hair care after having my hair relaxed for most of my first 20 years of life. After being natural for so long, taking care of my hair has become second nature, which is why I don’t share so much about it like I used to. I know what styles work for me and I don’t get caught up in product junkieism because I can tell by the labels which products will do my hair justice.
Now that I have a newborn, it’s even more important for me to make smart, time saving decisions about my natural hair care. Although low maintenance styling plays a significant role in the length, strength, and volume of my hair, using high quality products also contributes to having healthy natural hair. I always gravitate towards products that are paraben free, sulfate free, dye free, and safe for color treated hair, and Hair Food is one of the brands whose products I trust because they are based on kitchen inspired recipes that remind me of my early days when I used to make products on my own. Hair Food recently added new styling products to its already comprehensive range of shampoo and conditioner recipes, so now I can have a full hair care routine using paraben, sulfate, and mineral oil free products that are inspired by superfoods! Here’s what my postpartum natural hair care routine with Hair Food looks like:
Step 1: Bring products with me to the salon
I lost every desire to do my hair by myself when I got pregnant, and that hasn’t changed now that the baby is here. I’ve incorporated a monthly visit to the salon as part of my budget and self-care practices, and I take my Hair Food products along with me. If you prefer to get your hair done at a salon, bringing your own products is a great way to make sure your hair comes out the way that you want it to!
Step 2: Shampoo with a sulfate free shampoo
Because I often go weeks without washing my hair (hey, it works for me), by the time wash day comes around, it needs all the moisture and hydration it can get. The Hair Food Coconut Milk & Chai Spice Sulfate Free Nourishing Shampoo immediately begins the moisturizing process by coating my hair strands while cleansing them. Hair Food has different recipes of shampoos and conditioners based on your hair needs, but I usually rotate between the Nourishing and Moisture Collections.
Step 3: Condition with a silicone based conditioner
Again, because I don’t wash my hair that often, I need a lot of slip when I do. Hair Food’s Coconut Milk & Chai Spice Sulfate Free Nourishing Conditioner does contain silicone and it helps detangle my coarse and kinky hair better than most conditioners. Plus, since I’m not a product junkie who layers tons of products in her hair, the silicones don’t cause any buildup or prevent my hair strands from getting essential moisture.
Step 4: Deep condition with steam
Another reason I love going to the salon – steam treatments help open up my hair cuticles to help moisture better penetrate my hair follicles, keeping them softer for longer.
Step 5: Blow dry with a heat protectant
I’ve been blow drying my hair regularly since I got pregnant, and it helps me reduce knots and tangles, especially when I go a few weeks without washing. Hair Food’s Coconut & Argan Oil Heat Protection Blend is a lightweight spray that my stylist uses before applying medium heat to stretch my strands.
Step 6: Moisturize & Style
Whether we’re doing a flat twist updo or a flexirod set, Hair Food’s Mango & Aloe Curl Defining Smoothie locks in moisture and provides a soft flexible hold. This is one of the biggest routine changes I’ve made in recent years – rather than apply a leave in, a hair butter, and a styler all separately, I look for a product that can multitask and save me steps, and this product fits the bill.
Step 7: Maintain at home
At home I always sleep with a bonnet and/or a satin pillowcase. Always! When it’s time for me to remoisturize my hair, I use Hair Food’s Avocado & Shea Nourishing Hair Butter. The thick and creamy formula contains one of my hair’s favorite ingredients – shea butter. It also contains Vitamins A & E to feed and nourish my hair from the inside out. I try not to restyle or remoisturize my hair more than once a week – I find that leaving my hair alone keeps it the healthiest.