This year marks twelve years since I first went natural. And I say first because it took a few tries: I gave up and took a relaxer shortly after my first attempt at going natural. But soon after, I cut my hair and started my journey again. For me, my hair is a marker on my road to self-acceptance – a road paved with many 4C hair products to keep my now natural hair healthy, of course.
I realize how much this idea of hair (and self) acceptance resonates as I get older. These days, that growing gray hair — without my permission, mind you — is what I work with to make peace with. And go back and forth often.
Like many women, my newly arrived white locks have me wondering how I want to age. Do I let my grays run free or do I color them? Well, recently I decided to color them. However, this color choice was more about letting me experiment with a new hue.
I’ve been conditioned to believe that black women can’t wear specific hair colors, especially if they’re vibrant. But Janet Jackson’s gorgeous red curls (think: The Velvet Rope album cover) have long been in my beauty inspiration book.
So guess what I did? I lightened my hair with the help of my curly stylist, Natarsha, at Capella Salon in Los Angeles. After two long sessions (it took about 12 hours combined), my 4C curls felt lighter, with their spring and integrity still intact.
However, my type 4C hair is prone to dryness, so I knew that lightening my hair could make this problem even more problematic.
After my appointments, I realized that I would need additional products beyond my favorites from Pattern and Bread Beauty Supply (which are always in rotation) to maintain my color from shampoo to style. So after some research I settled on a few new additions based on what I know about my hair.
So, without further ado, here are the 4C hair products that replenish my colored locks.
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Sisley Paris Hair Ritual Nourishing Restructuring Balm
My hair loves aloe vera, honey, shea butter and soybean oil (particularly good for colored hair), which led me to Sisley Paris Hair Rituel Nourishing Restructuring Balm infused with soybean oil. shea, macadamia, babassu and moringa. It’s designed for damaged, dry and brittle hair, with the instructions saying you can apply up to 30 minutes before shampooing. However, I like to leave my pre-poo products on overnight (focusing on my extremities), and it does make a huge difference in the health of my extremities.
Also note: With my hair’s low porosity (meaning my hair cuticle has a hard time absorbing moisture), my stylist’s words are, “water is life.” So I apply my products on wet hair. Always.
Naturally Drenched Rebalance Pre-Conditioning Treatment
After washing my hair with a color-safe shampoo, I pretreat my freshly washed hair with Naturally Drenched Rebalance Pre-Conditioning Treatment.
Developed by Jamila Powell, owner of texture-focused Maggie Rose Salon, this treatment infused with almond oil, bamboo extract, calendula and papaya not only makes my curls easy to detangle, but it helps to restore the natural pH of the hair while strengthening the hair. (And detangling my curls is the key to a short, hassle-free wash day.)
Oribe mask for beautiful color
Finally, I added Oribe’s Masque for Beautiful Color to my arsenal, which is designed for colored hair. I love that a little of this processing goes a long way.
Not to mention, it’s formulated with antioxidant-rich bioflavonoids that help keep color from fading (very important for redheads) and phytoceramides that help hydrate hair from within (vital for redheads). curly loops).
Nano-Ionic Facial Steamer
Remember when I mentioned my hair had low porosity? Well, since my hair is colored, I always use steam or heat with conditioning treatments to help open up the hair follicle to let all that moisture in. I love using my facial steamer to steam my hair, and I also enjoy sitting under a hooded dryer with a plastic cap to make sure my treatments go into the hair.
I’m sure I’ll experiment with different treatments, but less is more in my book. And right now, these are my favorite investment hair products that live up to their hype.
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