routine

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My hair and scalp had been particularly dry and prone to frizzyness for quite some time, so I stopped using regular shampoos as a result of this. I tried Conditioner Only washing from late September 2003 for about a year and at first I found it suited my hair much better than shampoo did. However during this time I still searched for the perfect homemade shampoo, and found it through lots of research into Indian herbs such as Brahmi, Amla and Shikakai, as well as Aritha and other ingredients like Rose Petal Powder, Orange Peel Powder, etc.
I finally made a permanent switch on 19th February 2005 and now after four wonderful months I am well overdue in changing my routine on this site.

My hair is naturally wavy, and has not been chemically coloured or processed since long before I stopped cutting it very short but I have hennaed it 3 times since December 2003 (I've not hennaed now since April 2004, and that was an indigo blend to allow me to blend back my natural shade again). I used to suffer with dry scalp and dry, frizzy hair but since the herbal only washing and using Aloe Vera as a leave in my hair and scalp have been much better, and I am happy to report I actually get 'liquid sebum' now instead of the horrid flakes of sebum that masqueraded as dry skin previously. I wash every third day (One day wash, miss two days, then wash wash again on third day). If I need any special treatments like oiling my ends I do so when it is needed.

Here is an outline of my current routine, laid out for ease of reading :) All that has changed is the Cleanse and Condition section.

finger combing In the mornings I let my hair down and comb through with my fingers first, I feel this is gentlest on the hair itself as I can sense any tangles and snarls before they get pulled on, thus preventing breakage (hopefully!)
combing I use a wide toothed comb to style, from the parting or the hairline I use as few comb-strokes as possible.
brushing I only brush before I wash my hair, this is to loosen any dirt and dust or dead skin particles on the scalp and to remove any lose hairs before I wash. I use a boar bristle brush and brush for the minimum strokes that I can. I no longer use a brush daily. It also distributes any natural oils through the hair to benefit the lengths.
soaking Having made sure there are no tangles (bent over, upside down and combed with wide toothed comb) I wet my hair and scalp with warm water from the shower head (I bend over the bath) and allow the scalp to soak for a minute or two before massaging it gently to lightly cleanse my scalp prior to adding the herb mixture. I usually comb it a little starting at the ends, to ensure I have not put any tangles into my lengths.
cleansing I apply my herbal slime to my scalp and lengths, as evenly as possible, and then use the fingertips of both hands to massage my scalp to cleanse it and squeeze it through the length to cleanse any oils or dirt from all the hair. If I have time, I will allow this to rest on my hair for a minute or so or rarely I will leave it for half an hour or more, covered with an old towel (it can stain!).
rinsing I rinse with warm water, again from the shower head. I begin with the ends, which I comb through as I go with my wide toothed comb. I continue up to the scalp and use my fingers to agitate the water through and loosen the herbal mix, and I rinse until there are no traces of herbal mixture.
conditioning I no longer condition my hair since my herbal blend contains cleansing as well as conditioning herbs. I usually apply a homemade 'leave-in' to help protect my hair and provide some weight.
drip dry to be added
drying to be added

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