Hair requires regular conditioning to smooth down any rough cuticles, retaining moisture and body. For the 4c sisters out there, this essential goes without saying, but also goes far beyond saturating our hair with the latest miracle product for 45 minutes before rinsing off. Different heads choose different treatments, and in my quest to achieve the perfect natural tresses via the natural route I’ve tried shea butter, avocado and honey, egg yolks, coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, yoghurt…
Delicious or what?
My head may have served as a great food canvas, but my hair never seems to respond to the treatments. Shop-bought conditioners offered little or no improvement despite my efforts and rising expenses. How frustrating – you spend a fortune on the latest miracle product a random YouTuber endorses, leaving the drippy goo on your hair for the full 3 hours, expecting to run your fingers through some drop-dead gorgeous curl, but end up still pulling out your strands from the roots when you comb through after rinsing. One of the few times I envy my Caucasian friends, but I wasn’t after their straight flowing appearance. I merely aimed for manageability. Was this too much to ask?
I had two alternatives – keep searching for the ultimate elixir, or go down the chemical route. I have texturised hair I’m currently growing out (Yes girls, I’m a traitor, but walk a mile in my shoes first!), but after nearly twenty years of getting relaxers, I’m done. And don’t get me started on salon prices, especially when you’re on a budget. Violet paid $200 for a walk-in hair appointment in Netflix’s Nappily Ever After, and I shudder to think this actually happens in real life. Cutting my hair as Violet later did in the movie was not an option. I have a long oval face with drawn features, and a cropped ‘do doesn’t suit me. I needed a solution to replace the useless potions I’d wasted money on, but how long would my search last?
I already owned the right products. I just lacked the right technique.
Why isn’t the bonnet hood dryer more popular here in the UK? Afro hair stores never stock this miracle worker, and none of my friends have even heard of them. The bonnet hood dryer – also known as the blow dryer bonnet, the bonnet hair blow dryer, the portable hair drying hood etc – does more than condition your hair. Teamed with your favourite deep conditioning products, the bonnet hood dryer deep conditions. Hair is left with more body, more moisture, more shine, and less brittleness for the fraction of the salon price. What more can a 4c chic ask for?
I purchased mine from Amazon UK two weeks ago, and used Creme of Nature’s Pure Honey Moisture Replenish & Strength Hair Mask combined with Taliah Waajid African Healing Oyl as my conditioner, applying to damp shampooed hair (Mask was applied first, and the Oyl over the mask to seal it in). After covering my hair tightly with a Sainsbury’s shopping bag (You could also use a shower cap of course!) I placed my new hood bonnet over my hair, securing with the pull strings and clip buttons before attaching the ‘hose’ to my TRESemmé blow dryer set on medium heat. The dryer provided essential for 15 minutes before I washed out the conditioner, and this was followed by a 15-minute normal conditioning process with ORS Olive Oil Conditioner.
I probably would have achieved better results if I used a proper dryer from the beginning (My old Wahl overheated during the first five minutes, forcing me to run to my local Asda for my new TRESemmé that had more blowing power), but I noticed my natural curl pattern forming which rarely happens. At the moment my hair has been flattened down in cornrows for my wigs which means I’m unable to show any before and after pictures, but I regret not hearing of the hooded bonnet sooner. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress, but if you plan to yourself a hood, some rules apply: a)use medium heat only as high could burn the ‘hose’, b)make sure the ‘hose’ isn’t twisted to ensure the air flows freely, c) your old Wahl hairdryer probably won’t serve the purpose due to its weak air supply d) unless you fancy carrying a scrambled eggs breakfast on your head all day, DO NOT use eggs as a conditioner. I’m curious as to how the dryer works with natural products as mentioned at the beginning, but that’s another post. Like I said, I’ll keep you posted!