Monthly Shampooing: Apply a sulfate free shampoo (Elasta QP), to hair monthly to cleanse any buildup. While sulfate produces a lot of lather, this does not contribute to the effectiveness of the shampoo. Shampoos containing sulfates strip natural hair of all its oils and leaves it drier than sulfate free shampoos. Some forms of sulfates to avoid in your shampoo include, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS, Sodium Laureth Sulfate or SLES, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Myreth Sulfate, and TEA Laureth Sulfate. If a shampoo with sulfate is used, make sure to condition the hair after and properly moisturize the hair to combat dryness.
Weekly Deep Conditioning treatments (Co-washing) and Detangling: Apply, weekly, a good conditioner, that is not too thick, to the hair. Leave in for a time span of 30 minutes to an entire night with a light shower cap to encourage heat circulation (this expands the hair shaft and allows the conditioner to properly penetrate the hair shaft). A cheap but effective conditioner to use is VO5. Protein (egg or mayonnaise) can be added to the conditioner for a protein treatment along with oil (olive oil, coconut oil, etc.). If one is willing to spend more money on a conditioner, hair mayonnaise is also effective. After the conditioner has been in the hair for some time, leaving the hair sufficiently soft, use a wide toothed comb to comb through sections of the hair. To avoid unnecessary breakage while detangling, start from the ends and work your way up to the roots. When ready, wash the conditioner out with warm water.
Never Let Hair Become Dry and Brittle: After conditioning the hair, apply a generous amount of leave in conditioner while the hair is still wet. Cantu Shea Butter leave in conditioner is recommended, but any conditioner, including a more water based one, can also suffice. This may require experimentation to discover which conditioner is best for your hair and leaves it the softest. There are many different hair types and they respond differently to different leave-in conditioners. Apply hair oil to your hair to seal in the moisture and the water. Jojoba oil, Olive oil (100% extra virgin olive oil or store bought olive oil can be used), raw Shea Butter, and Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter Moisturizer can be used. This procedure is not only reserved for post-conditioning. When you notice your hair drying, if you are able to, reapply either, water, conditioner, oil, or a combination of the three according to which one you feel your hair is lacking. But remember, you hair does not have to be dripping wet to know it is sufficiently moisturized. By putting your hand into your hair (especially your ends) you can assess whether there is enough moisture on your fingers and if there is not, then I recommend applying some. Avoid products with mineral oil or petroleum (they simply coat the hair, blocking moisture out and drying it). Other good moisturizing agents are Carefree Curl Instant Moisturizer with Glycerin, Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner, and Organics Olive Oil Leave-in Conditioner.