*Disclaimer: I have been working on my regimen for almost two years. It is a result of lots of trial and error. What works for one natural will not necessarily work for another, even those with similar "hair types." Please keep this in mind when reading about and incorporating anything from my regimen.
I wasn't a big fan of this nor did I understand how it is effective until I started doing it. When I don't have a ton of products in my hair and/or my scalp doesn't feel dirty, then I'll co-wash with my favorite detangling conditioner.
Deep Conditioner/Moisture Treatment
Any moisturizing conditioner (base) - about 1/4 cup
SheaMoisture Restorative Conditioner - 1-2 Tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil ("EVOO") - 1-2 Tbsp
Honey - about 1 Tbsp
Agave nectar (optional) - about 1 Tbsp
I used to use henna (that was before I became a mama again!). But now I only have time for ApHogee Keratin 2-Minute Reconstructor. This is a light but effective protein conditioner. It isn't a natural product, but it works great!
Leave-in Conditioner - "Kimmaytube" Leave-in*
2 Tbsp Kinky-Curly Knot Today
2 Tbsp aloe vera leaf juice
1-2 tsp apricot kernel oil
1-2 tsp jojoba oil
1-2 tsp Vitamin E oil
1 tsp castor oil
*I don't always use all the oils but at the very least I'll use two
Full Wash Routine
1. Dry finger detangle. Divide into 6-8 sections. Apply coconut oil pre-poo. Twist up each section. Cover with plastic cap for 1-2 hours (or sit under the dryer for 15-30 minutes).
2. Wet hair then apply SheaMoisture Moisture Retention Shampoo (diluted with water in an applicator bottle) directly on my scalp and massage. Then squeeze the mixture down the length of each section of hair. Rinse thoroughly.
3. Apply ApHogee Keratin 2-Minute Reconstructor to each section then twist again.
4. Apply deep conditioner (see recipe above) on TOP of ApHogee conditioner (yes, on top!). Cover with a plastic cap and sit under the dryer for 15-30 minutes. If I can, then I leave the cap on while I'm getting stuff done around the house. If I can't sit under the dryer then I put my winter hat on for a couple hours.
5. Take down one twist at a time and, with deep conditioner still in my hair, detangle with a wide-toothed comb. Re-twist each section. (I do this part before I get back in the shower to save water.)
6. Rinse hair thoroughly with lukewarm water.
7. Apply coconut oil to each section then top with my favorite leave-in conditioner - a modified version of the Kimmaytube leave-in recipe.
For braid-outs: I braid up each section, twisting the ends on each other so they don't frizz upon take down. If I let my hair dry in the braids then I'll have a super defined, frizz-free braid-out. But since I've fallen in love with my hair's natural tendency to be big, I won't hesitate to take down the braids when they're still damp and let my hair grow bigger and bigger as the day goes on! :)
For twists/twist-outs: In the winter I top my leave-in with a little SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie for a moisture boost. Then I set my hair in medium or big chunky twists.
Drying: I air dry my hair for both braid-outs and twists/twist-outs as I prefer not to use heat.