Allotting time styling my hair in the morning sounds just as unappealing as running a 10k on a treadmill or working extra hours on the weekend — I'll pass, thanks! Plus, I'm a curly girl, which means my hair is supremely unpredictable, so trying to tame this mane before I've had my cup of joe is not an option. I'll be honest: I've flaunted that "I didn't try" messy hairstyle a time or two, and I will not argue the fact that it looks just as bad as a month-old manicure. But hey, I'm human. Life is layered with so many other things to worry about, and we all can't have (nor afford) our own personal glam squads like the A-listers do. So, I took matters into my own mane and mastered what my momma gave me. What's my secret? Here's a hint: it starts in the kitchen and ends in the bedroom . . . wink wink.
Keep It Healthy
It's funny all the attention we pay to the hair follicle once it leaves the scalp when half the battle for beautiful locks is already won (or lost) by what you're ingesting every day. What we eat plays a major role in the volume, shine, and strength of our hair. I eat foods rich in protein, zinc, and omega-3s to stimulate growth and promote overall hair health. Good hair begins in the gut. I also take a daily biotin supplement so I don't miss out on any crucial hair-boosting vitamins and minerals I might've lacked in nutrition that day. Added perk: your nails and skin will flourish as well.
Keep It Clean
In the words of Rashada Siojo, my hairstylist of 10 years, "You can't begin painting your masterpiece on a filthy canvas." That advice has never steered me wrong, so I always begin by shampooing and conditioning using sulfate-free products with cool to lukewarm water. An overabundance of heat can blast the volume out of your hair, leaving you with sad and limp strands. Opt for lukewarm or cool water — this temperature allows you to play up a nice lather while still staying warm enough to thoroughly rinse clean. Now, this is the most important part: when it comes to the final rinse postconditioner, the colder the better. Cool water seals the nutrients into each strand, resulting in beautiful, shiny locks. Because curly hair is naturally dry, I only shampoo twice a week to maintain the integrity of my strands.
Preparing my hairstyle the night before is just as important as meal prepping my lunch for the next couple of days. It sets me up for success and saves me time in the morning . . . what more can a girl ask for? My go-to style as of late has been a wash and go. I apply my silicone-free products using the LOC (liquid, oil, cream) method to dripping wet hair immediately after cleansing. I diffuse hair 70 percent then air-dry the remaining 30 percent. After hair is completely dry, I secure it with a loose satin band on top of my head better known as "the pineapple." This preserves the curl pattern and maintains my look while I catch some much-needed zzzs. For me, sleeping in a strategic style is a guaranteed way to wake up with the right amount of bounce to my mane.
Cotton pillowcases were the main culprit to every bad hair day I've had prior to making the switch to silk pillowcases. I mean, what the heck was I doing before this? Textured (cotton, linen) pillowcases pull moisture away from your hair, while silk pillowcases keep the moisture right where it belongs, in your strands. Less frizz upon rising? Now that's a dream come true.
Lastly, my only task in the morning is to gently take my hair out of the pineapple, apply a pea-size amount of oil (I love sweet almond) to my fingertips, then fluff, flip, and whip . . . finito.