Froetic Organics Lemongrass Co-wash

Not so long ago, a new brand of natural hair products called Froetic Organics popped up on my twitter feed (@FroeticO). I had been looking for a good conditioner to make part of my monthly regimen as I had just incorporated co-washing into my routine but the search ended quickly as it seemed this brand found me.

It’s typical of my 4b curls to go through the most shrinkage. I’ll try as I might to stretch my hair but with no re-styling, my coils will revert to their teeny tiny natural form before the week is done. Because I have such high shrinkage hair, a good conditioner is very important to me. To me, a good conditioner is one that leaves the hair soft and ready to brush even when shrunken. I browsed the Froetic Organics page and I found out that their products were 100% natural with no additives or artificial colourants, only with vitamin E oil used to preserve. I decided it was their Lemongrass co-wash that I would try. I ordered the co-wash along with their whipped shea butter and I received the products within five days of placing the order. I was so excited to use it but it wasn’t wash day, yet.

Finally, wash day did come and I got to use my new conditioner! The first thing I absolutely loved was the lemongrass fragrance, it made my whole bathroom smell lovely and the scent lingered even after I was done. Secondly, it left my hair feeling soft and my curl pattern was… popping. I left my hair to shrink so I could really judge the effectiveness and to mt relief, my shrunk coils were still soft and the elasticity in the hair was great. When pulled, my curls stretched beautifully and reverted back to their natural curl pattern without looking lifeless and dry. I really liked this product and I will definitely be re-stocking.

 

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Keeping It Clean (Low Porosity Woes)

Wash day things can be really annoying. Wash day things can take the whole day. Pre-pooing, shampooing and co-washing are what I mean by ‘wash day things’. As if that’s not enough, we still have to deal with the stress of knowing the different synthetic ingredients (if you prefer store-bought products) or natural ingredients (if you prefer making your own products) and how your hair will react. Sometimes it feels like we’re going through the most for our hair when really, we’re just keeping it clean. Getting the right wash routine can take some time and once you’ve got it; you’ll probably still update it as you expand your knowledge or as hair goes through changes.

I may have disrupted my routine when I randomly substituted Tressemme Naturals shampoo for African Black Soap, not because the African soap was a bad product (its actually really great) but because that’s the last time I remember knowing exactly what’s going on with my routine. I only had a small piece of black soap that lasted me about three washes and when it was done, I reverted to my trusty Tressemme Naturals shampoo and to my disappointment, my hair felt like straw. The crazy thing is that I had never observed a reaction like that from this shampoo. I went in with a deep conditioner to troubleshoot and luckily the hair did feel a lot softer but the need for a new shampoo was apparent. I’ve trialled a bunch of shampoos up to this point including the Earthy shampoo bar (which left my hair feeling kind of waxy, I didn’t like that). Eventually, I did find products that I was happy with but they aren’t shampoo.

So here I am giving up shampoo. Yes, I’m becoming one of those ‘no-shampoo naturals’ and my hair and I are so happy about this decision! We’ve never felt better (get it? Because my hair literally feels better). One thing that all the shampoos I tried had in common is that they really made my hair feel dry. I suppose the point of shampoo is to strip the hair of oils (dirt) but the synthetic ingredients in the products which function to do exactly that are what I have a problem with, as they leave my hair feeling dry and strained as opposed to moist and soft. So I’m giving it up.

“No wash day? How will you keep it clean?”, you ask. Well, this change isn’t all that drastic. My wash still happens once a week on a whenever-I-have-the-chance-day (usually on a Sunday) but this time, I alternate between co-washing one week and cleansing using bentonite clay the next. On days that I use bentonite clay, I follow up with a deep-conditioner and sometimes I go ahead and deep condition after co-washing too.

My new routine is awesome because it eliminates the need for a pre-shampoo detangling process (pre-poo). The bentonite clay functions so well as a detangler so by the time I am done applying it, all that is left to do is rinse. Similarly on days that I co-wash, the conditioner will do the work of detangling. Cutting out the pre-poo process is a great time-saver, which is something that is very important to me when it comes to hair care. This routine is also really great because it promotes great hair hydration, instead of shampoo which seemed to dehydrate the hair, so I would recommend it to all my coil sisters with low porosity woes.

Join the conversation in the comments and tell me, what’s your wash routine?

t.

What’s Going On In Hair City?

My two year mark is soon approaching and I cannot believe how much my fro has changed. Methods that I used to swear by are now becoming obsolete along with products that used to be on my ‘go-to’ list. I welcome this kind of change because it might mean that I am making progress in my natural hair journey, like I am becoming more and more familiar with my fro and her needs.  My previous regimen was not efficient in terms of time consumption but it didn’t matter since my lifestyle accommodated it quite comfortably. The time has come for me to re-evaluate my regimen but this time I have to factor in manic university and college timetables, a modest social life and a few side hustling activities. From what I have learned in my past year of being natural, I know that the trick to low maintenance is all in the styling, but that will come later. What faces me now is the need to do an evaluation and set some hair goals to help me design the perfect regimen for my unique coils.

By evaluation, I mean a check to see what’s going on in hair city. It may be a good idea to name your fro at this point (if you’re in to that kind of thing) and I have named mine Sunflower. The story behind the name is a beautiful one about my spiritual connection to sunflowers and I hope to tell it one day, in a field full of them, basking in the glow of an orange sunset. For now, I will tell you only the physical things about my dear Sunflower and hopefully this will help you do your own evaluation and bond with your coils.

  • Type/Texture: 4b

So if you’ve been on the natural scene for a while now, this one probably isn’t new to you. Early in my journey I was on the mission to figure out what my texture is, I stayed up into the wee hours of the night lusting over the curl patterns of popular Youtubers until I fell onto the curl-discriminating side of the natural hair community. Knowledge of your texture can help you make informed decisions on what products to try and what methods to practice. Different curl/coil groups react differently to processes and it is important to know what your texture can and can’t handle. Articles on finding your curl pattern and more info about it are here, here and here.

 

  • Porosity: low

So porosity is the measure of the hair’s ability to absorb water. Porosity specifically refers to the state of the outer layer of the hair called the cuticle. If the cuticle is tight it may be resistant to receiving moisture and if it has openings or tears, it may allow moisture to flow in and out. Porosity is a good place to start when determining what kind of moisturizers to use and when determining what kind of moisturizing methods to use. People with low porosity hair, like me, may use methods like steaming to make sure that moisture penetrates the cuticle whereas people with high porosity hair will take care when sealing moisture as their hair tends to let moisture out. This knowledge may upgrade the kind of care you’re giving your hair.

To test for porosity put a couple hair strands in a bowl full of water and see how long it takes to sink. If it sinks quickly, the hair is porous and if it floats about for a long while then the porosity is low. You can see more info and methods of testing for porosity here.

  • Elasticity: good

Elasticity is a measure of health in terms of keratin, the protein that hair needs to be strong and bouncy. Specifically in terms of coily hair, elasticity is so important for styling. Hair that breaks when stretched will not thrive in long-term protective styles or when manipulated. Elasticity is a good measure of health and a sign to show you when your hair needs protein.

Literally use your fingers to stretch some of your strands to evaluate your elasticity. You can learn more about protein and coily hair here.

 

  • Density: circumference of pony is 15cm

This is kinda like a hair count but it can also be related to the thickness of the strands. The main point of worrying about the density of your hair is so you can make informed styling decisions as well as informed product purchases. Products that can help you in your quest to make your hair appear more or less actually exist and may be really useful to you in this hair journey.

To determine your density you can measure the circumference of your pony puff/tail.

  • Length: collar bone

Measuring the length is important to me because I like to measure how much length I am retaining. If you’re trying to grow your hair this may be an important one. Here’s a somewhat sad fact; everyone has a natural growth cycle and nothing can be done to enhance this growth cycle. With that said, people generally don’t stay at their full health potential all the time so it is possible that eating better, drinking water, taking supplements and using good products will speed up the growth of the hair but all these actions are simply helping you achieve your natural growth cycle.

 

And my goals? Well, I just want to have healthy strands from root to tip, my ends are suffering a bit right now (blame it on the South African winter). I would also be glad to see myself retain some length, so the goal is to achieve shoulder blade length too. The products and methods I decide to make a part of my regimen will be chosen with these goals in mind. I’m going to have fun looking for new products and methods.

Tell me in the comments, what products are you in love with right now?

t.