Are we the only ones who are obsessively intrigued by other people’s hair habits, be it wash day routines, product must-buys etc? If you also like to have a good nose, continue reading as we catch up with journalist and hair enthusiast Jeanette Nkwate, Content Chief Officer at allthingshair.com
Talk us through your haircare routine….
My mum is Filipino and my dad is Cameroonian. When I was younger there weren’t a lot of black hair/natural products widely available, let alone products for mixed raced textures. It was a lot of trial and error on mine and my parents’ part (I even remember them using Vaseline to ‘grease’ my scalp and hair). Fast-forward to today and we have so many more products available for natural hair and all the textures in between, and I feel like I know what works for my hair now. I normally wear my hair in a two-strand twists or a larger braid. If I want really defined curls, I might wear my hair in Bantu knots overnight.
Describe your wash day routine…
I start with a pre-poo, by dampening my hair with a little water and applying lots of olive oil with an applicator bottle. I work the oil in from root to tip, making sure to saturate my dry ends. Then I gently massage my head to lift and loosen any build-up/flakes on my scalp. Next, I split my hair into two large sections, and wash my hair using the TRESemme Botanique Nourish and Replenish Shampoo, it’s free of parabens, dyes and silicones, and smells like coconut (which is a winning factor). I’ve used this for a few years now (back when they called the range TRESemme Naturals). I probably use rather a lot of shampoo and conditioner (just under a palm-sized squeeze), which is another reason I’ve always gravitated towards TRES, it’s quality and quantity combined. Then I gently massage each section with a shampoo brush. To condition I apply the TRESemme Botanique Nourish and Replenish Conditioner and then finish with a hair mask such as Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Treatment Masque for 10-15 mins.
What ingredients in your products does your hair really respond to?My hair loves natural oils. And in my opinion, when it comes to natural hair/curly hair you can never have too much oil! For me, castor oil is an instant hair reviver and makes my hair feel super soft, but anything with coconut and shea butter pretty much gets a automatic ‘yes’ from me.
I can’t pick just one! I love both hair masks and conditioners. My faves are the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Treatment Masque and the TRESemme Botanique Nourish and Replenish Conditioner. They make my hair feel great and really help with my curl definition.
Sometimes, I think that the natural hair industry can get caught up with the hype. I don’t like to villianise hair ingredients, so I adopt a ‘try and see’ method, when it comes to hair products. But in terms of things I try to avoid, I’m not a huge fan of heated styled, and if I do, I always make sure to use a heat protectant beforehand.
Talk us through the different hairstyles you’ve had over the years and the different products and maintenance you had to use. Break this down by styles etc.
In my youth, I tried to relaxed my hair twice, but some reason, my hair never took to it! So, it’s been natural hair and sometimes long term protective hairstyles like box braids ever since. But to be honest, I find that having box braids can flare up scalp problems for me. I think next time I need to do give the extensions a DIY apple cider vinegar rinse before installing them. When I’m wearing my hair naturally, I just do use the LOCO method before doing a simple flat updo. If I have box braids in, I spray my braids with leave-in conditioner and then follow up with olive oil in an applicator bottle. I apply it to my roots and lightly on my braids. Finally, I lay my edges with a little bit of gel/edge control.
For more information on Jeanette visit allthingshair.com