There are a lot of things I can complain about when it comes to Coachella—the heat, the long distance between stages, the big crowds, the... heat.
That last bit was especially intense for me last week in the punishing dry heat of the California desert, particularly in how it affected my hair. The only surefire way of protecting hair is by wearing a hat, but that's something of a lost cause for me because I can barely fit a visor around my fro, let alone a bucket hat, baseball cap, or some other festival-appropriate headgear. I've come to expect the fact that I'm destined to leave festivals with hair as dry and dusty as the grounds I just vacated.
Only, wait: not this time! Instead, one week later, my hair is quietly flourishing even after enduring festival heat.
Some background on my hair: I big chopped almost exactly two years ago. Meaning, I got rid of my chemically straightened hair and chose to embrace my tightly-coiled texture. I don’t regret my decision, nor would I choose to go back to my perm days of yesteryear, but don’t we all have gripes with the hair we’re born with, regardless of texture and color? My problems start and stop with my hair's inability to detangle.
Natural is the common word choice to describe my hair type. Some might also categorize it as “kinky.” I'm hesitant. I'd much rather use the descriptor "frustrating AF." There are many a memes lamenting over the process that is washday, and, boy, is it a process. It’s not the washing, it’s not even the deep conditioning that turns me off. It’s the detangling step that leaves me wondering if I can get away with putting it off for just one or two or three more days.
I dread it weekly, but I was dreading it more than usual the day after I returned from Coachella. So I started looking around for a solution. Here's the thing: I get pitched a lot of different hair products that promise to help fix my hair woes. I believe, maybe, 2 percent of the claims they make. But then, a couple of weeks ago, I met hair guru Christophe Robin, and he gifted me with a concoction that, he promised, would make untangling easy. I was wary; this was a white man recommending products for a black woman's hair. And while Robin's products are not explicitly advertised for white women, as is the case with most products, they’re the assumed customers. I decided to try Robin's recommendations anyway because they checked off the boxes I look for when it comes to products: no silicones, includes ingredients I can mostly understand, and an oil of some kind.
Robin recommends putting the brand’s Moisturizing Hair Oil with Lavender on first, with the Cleansing Mask with Lemon layered on top. Leave it on for 20 minutes or so, then wash it out in the shower. The drier my hair gets, the more moisture it needs. The more moisture it gets, usually, the easier it is for me to get my fingers through it (I finger detangle versus using a comb because, I don’t know, the internet told me to once). The cocktail Robin recommended not only left my hair super soft, but also the most hydrated and manageable it’s felt in the past two years. What usually rounds out to be an hour process of battling knots and tangles, was shortened to an easy, breezy 15. I spent the remaining 45 minutes… probably scrolling through Instagram. But, man, the things I plan on doing with that time from here on out.
You, too, can relish those extra minutes. Festival season is here to suck a lot of the life out of you, but this product cocktail will pump some new life in that dead and gone hair of yours.