I think a TWA deserves the same care as longer length. The TWA is basically setting the stage for what will be strand length in the future and therefore proper care for the TWA should be top priority. For my very dry hair, that means applying strategies that allow my hair to retain as much moisture as possible. Even though products might change, my TWA deep conditioner routine follow these steps:
1. Pre-shampoo (pre-poo)/ Hot oil
I placed a bottle of the dry hair blend oil (available here) in a cup of hot water to warm the oil. Once the oil is warm I apply liberally to the strands and then use the sprout to get to my scalp. Similar to my hair, my scalp is super dry and needs frequent lubrication otherwise I end up with flaking.
Once the oil is applied it’s time for a mini scalp massage. Massages are great because they relieve any tension from the scalp, distribute the oil evenly and encourage blood flow which might be very helpful when it comes to hair growth.
After the massage cover hair with a plastic cap and let it sit for 1hr (or however long you like). You could sit under a dryer and let the heat open up the cuticle so the strand absorbs as much as it needs – will be doing this bi-weekly.
2. Deep Conditioner
Any deep conditioner of your choice will work but I tend to go more for homemade moisturizing deep conditioners. The one featured in this video is made of coconut milk, mayonnaise with a bit of oil and aloe vera juice. This recipe will definitely change by the week but the ingredients will be mostly moisturizing. The coconut milk – mayonnaise combo is great because the mix is choke full of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins. In other words it’s a balanced deep conditioner.
Thanks to the length loss, at this point I can’t really section my hair so I have to apply deep conditioner by slathering it. Slather strategically – the last thing needed is additional tangling (which my hair is very prone to)
The comb advantage – With shorter length it’s very difficult to get products to my roots with my fingers so a wide tooth comb is really helpful. I part with my hands then combo products through and add more product where necessary. It is important that the comb is used as an aid rather than a hair-yanking weapon. The wide tooth comb will help distribute product so the strands are evenly coated from root to tip.
Once the deep conditioner is applied cover with a plastic cap an hour. You could sit under the dryer if you like.
I used warm water to rinse off the conditioner and then a very cool minute to close the cuticle. After rinsing I wrap the hair in a micro fiber turban but just for a minute to get rid of excess moisture.
Afterwards I spray cold aloe vera juice to the hair liberally to ensure the cuticles are fully closed and normalize the hair’s PH. The aloe vera juice in the case functions as a leave-in conditioner. I have used my herbal tea leave-in conditioner (see video here) the same way. Plain aloe vera juice was suggested on Youtube and I like it too.
As the extra aloe is dripping from the hair, it’s time to trap as much of it as possible within the hair strand. This is the secret to a soft and well moisturized TWA. I use the dry hair blend oil (available here) to coat the hair liberally and then a slight comb through to ensure the oil is distributed root to tip
You’ll notice the hair will stop dripping immediately you add the oil meaning the excess aloe dripped and whatever was on the strand has now been trapped there by the oil. This is the logic behind the LOC (Liquid Oil Cream) method of moisturizing.
Finally I used my hair moisturizer (available here) to moisturize the hair followed by a final gentle comb through. You could add a butter to seal further if you like.
My hair is at that awkward stage so I just pat it down and encourage shrinkage. The last step is to let the hair air dry before putting on a silk scarf at bedtime.
5. Rock the TWA
Next morning my hair is slightly squished so I just shower without covering it this way my hair absorbs some moisture from the warm steam which relaxes the strands. Afterwards I pat it slightly as needed and rock my soft, shiny TWA.
This is a perfect simplified TWA regimen. Of course the more you can tweak to suit your style, preferences and time constraints the better for your hair. I rotate different regimens based on the needs of my hair.