Category Archives: how to wash your natural hair

The Pool is Calling, but Protect Your Natural Hair

the pool is callingOnce it warms up, SWIMMING moves to the top of my list of Things to Do during my downtime. But now since I’ve gone natural, I have had to put some thought into how to prevent chlorinated water from damaging my natural hair. Here are the recommendations I created and followed last summer that saved my hair and my sanity.

BEFORE Swimming in a Chlorinated Pool

Get wet and wear an “old school” swim cap
Before you take that first dive into a chlorinated swimming pool, go ahead and rinse your hair really well. Once you get in the pool, your hair should already be wet. This helps slow down the absorption of chlorine. Consider this: your hair is like a sponge, and will take on less (chlorinated) water when it’s already wet. Also, consider using a latex or silicone swim cap. I know that it won’t block the water completely – and isn’t the most fashionable looking pool accessory – but again, it slows down the process of allowing chlorinated water to dry out your beautiful natural hair.

AFTER Swimming in a Chlorinated Pool

Grab the Baking Soda or Apple Cider Vinegar. You’re gonna need one of them.
Have you ever noticed that when you step out the pool, shower, and dry off. . you STILL smell chlorine? Well, that’s because chlorine, unlike dirt, sweat, and general funk doesn’t just wash and rinse off. It’s a chemical that requires a little more work to get rid of. Once you’re done swimming for the day and do an initial shampooing of your natural hair, apply baking soda to your hair. Leave it for 5 minutes or so, to let the baking soda do what it does to your refrigerator odors. Absorb it. You can then rinse the baking soda out.

Apple cider vinegar is also a natural and cost-effective option to get chlorine out of your beautiful curly locks. Just add one part apple cider vinegar to four parts water and pour it over freshly washed hair. Then, do a final rinse.

It’s time to Deep Condition. . Again
Baking soda and apple cider vinegar act as clarifiers. So, once you rinse either option out, use your regular conditioning shampoo and conditioner, and if you follow the same natural hair treatment that I do then this is when you use the  L.C.O. Method. Either way, take your time and remember to massage your scalp because the chlorine dries our your natural hair AND your scalp.

When you’re done cleaning, rinsing, clarifying, conditioning, and “sprucing” up your beautiful natural hair, do me a favor. Let it air dry. Your hair is going to still be vulnerable from being exposed to chlorine and from the steps you had to take to remove it. Don’t reach for the hair dryer or flat iron just yet.

Now, get out there, Sis. Show them that Black Girls swim, too!

So, what is the L.O.C. Method?

Natural Hair Care is BIG business. Every day, someone comes up with a new “trick” for caring for natural hair, that usually involves you purchasing some new product that will help you retain moisture. . or that will help your hair grow. And I’ll admit, since I went natural on August 13, 2014, I have tried all kinds of methods on my coarse, high porosity hair to help me maintain moisture. And I’ve only found one that works: The L.O.C. Method.  (L.O.C. = Leave-In. Oil. Cream.)

The L.O.C. Method is the use 1. Leave-in Conditioner, 2. Oil, and 3. Cream.
The L.O.C. Method is the use 1. Leave-in Conditioner, 2. Oil, and 3. Cream.

I know you see  references to The L.O.C. Method in all of your natural hair reading. It’s POPULAR; and it should be because for Naturalistas like me that battle with really dry hair, it works; and it’s just a bonus that you don’t have to use it every day to keep your natural hair moisturized.

When and How to Use the L.O.C. Method

Any time your hair is feeling dry, or when you need to clean it, use the L.O.C. method to condition and seal-in moisture. You can massage your scalp during each step of the L.O.C, method. Just don’t forget when you wash, you’ve got to seal in the moisture with oil and reinforce your hair follicles to prevent breakage.

I use the following products for my L.O.C, method:

I personally use the L.O.C. Method most days of the week, but that’s because I run 5 days a week and don’t like to walk around with stinky hair. And when I wash my hair, I wash out the dirt, oil and cream. I return that balance using the L.O.C. Method. Well, the L.C.O Method, but keep reading to figure out what that’s all about.

My Twist on the L.O.C. Method: L.C.O.

Now, you just read an entire article on how I use the L.O.C. Method, and here I go with a disclaimer about how I don’t really use the L.O.C. Method. LOL. Yeah. Sorry about that.

So, in the last six months, I’ve tweaked the order of the products I use in the L.O.C. Method, so it turns out that I’m using the L.C.O. Method. I don’t know why, but my moisture retention and shine is just better when I put the oil on last. . and I’m a general non-conformer so to keep my hair consistent with my life, I’ve decided to mix things up.

If you’re dealing with dry, natural hair, give it a try. It’s taken me from being frustrated with the look of my natural hair and being excited each day about wearing my wash-and-go. Let me know what you think either way in the Comments below.