Conditioner-Only Washing: Dec 2011 Hair Update

one year of conditioner-only washing
cucumber-seed oil treatment, modified co-wash, beer as last rinse

   It's been almost a year since I have started conditioner-only washing. Remember my April update? I am happy the changes in my hair: the curls are climbing higher up, the hair looks shinier and more moisturised and most important of all frizz is minimal. The photo is starting to look similar to those on naturallycurly I have been drooling at! It's hard to believe, because a couple of years back my hair was one of the features I disliked most about my body.

As a reminder, here is my "old" hair:

   Here is how my hair care routine has evolved since last spring:

Modified co-washing:

    After months of experimenting with pure conditioner-only washing, I switched to modified co-washing. Like most wavies I need a bit of gentle shampoo in my roots, once or twice a week. This keeps my roots fresh and creates more volume.
    Most of my hair doesn't get shampooed, ever. I even use shampoo on my roots while the rest of my hair is already covered with conditioner, so that the conditioner will keep the shampoo away from my ends when I rinse.


     I still make my own conditioner but I completely skip the oil phase -- I leave out the part where you melt Cetyl Alcohol etc. Since I am not shampooing, an oil-free conditioner is much lighter. I still need to tweak the formula --- something in there is too sticky.
     Meanwhile I have been trying out the Granatapfel and Aloe Vera Haarkur from Alterra (Rossman). It's a masque treatment so it's richer than a regular conditioner, and my hair loves it.

Scrunching and Plopping:

     I scrunch the conditioner into my hair with my palms, and I also plop almost every time after washing. This makes the hair clump together and form curls. You can read about these techniques and more here.

Hair treatments:

     I love my newest discovery which is grape-seed oil --- I use it an hour before washing, and it conditions the hair really well. I try to remember to do a protein treatments once a month. I still use flax-seed gel as a leave-in, but I don't depend on it so heavily anymore: my hair is moisturised enough to look good without it.

     My hair plan for 2012? To try out other conditioners and masques. To be more consistent with oil and protein. Oh, and to actually do these updos. Umm.... I'm stuck for more ideas. Anything I should try? I'd love suggestions!

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