(My hair using my Cocaloe method described below: same day of hair washing)
If you've been keeping up with my natural hair journey, you already know that I loved using my iC hair fantasia hair styling gel to style my hair, especially right after my BC. Within the last month, I also tried the infamous EcoStyler Gel which also worked well for defining my curls. However, with the use of both of these products over time, I have realized that although they have helped with the "appearance" of my hair, they haven't been so kind to its HEALTH ,which is more important. I found that when I used these products, which was almost every other day (part of the problem), my hair tended to dry out, even with my attempts to use other moisturizing products (shea butter, coconut oil) before or even after the gel application. This really started to irk me so I put myself to the challenge of not using these gels for over a week and to find alternate ways of styling my hair.
So here's an overview of what I've tried:
1. Finally gave in to Herbal Essences!
I'd been hearing about the use of these products in the natural hair community ever since the beginning but I hesitated for the longest in using these products because I honestly thought it was just a fad going around, lol. Well, let me tell you...these products actually worked really well for my hair! I was so shocked! I did a co-wash with Herbal Essences Totally Twisted and used their Hello Hydration as my leave-in to help with styling. The Totally Twisted left my hair feeling quite soft and really improved my detangling. The Hello Hydration provided a lot of slip, which further helped with detangling and helped to retain the natural form of my curls after showering. As long as I didn't use a great deal of product, I was able to style my hair with the Hello Hydration, which didn't leave my hair feeling hard or dried out (it was very easy though to use too much and end up with slightly "crispy" hair). I still made sure to use some of my homemade moisturizing cream after styling.
2. Simple Solution!: Cocaloe : )
So I totally made the name Cocaloe up, but I think it's a fitting name for what I'll probably now replace my synthetic hair styling gels with! So after a cowash with a conditioner by Naked Naturals (I'll have a separate post later describing some of these products I've started trying out for my co-washes), I decided to just moisturize my scalp with coconut oil (already melted straight from the jar). I also massaged my ends with the coconut oil. After this, I raked aloe vera gel through my hair with my fingertips. I didn't really bother making circles with my fingertips as I usually do because I've noticed now that as my hair is growing out, it makes these little tiny coils all on their own! (Btw, I have soooo many different curl patterns in this head of mine,lol!). Well this combination of coconut oil and aloe vera gel (hence Cocaloe) really did the trick for my hair! My natural curls were preserved to an even greater extent than my previous method w/Herbal Essences and I could use as much of both products as I wanted and still be left with soft, moisturized hair! What I loved about using this method, was that even 3 days later, my hair still looked and felt pretty much the same way! (Made sure to sleep with a silk bonnet )
(All of the following pics are my hair three days after the initial wash and style. I did not rewet my hair and style. All I did was sleep with my trusty bonnet and sealed my ends occasionally with raw shea butter!!)
Just thought I'd share this with you gals just in case any of you have started running into problems using gel like I have!