A natural hair regimen is important because it acts as a guide so that you don’t get lost on what is needed to be done. There are so many things that need to be accomplished on wash day and organizing can help you get through your day a lot faster. A regimen doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. As time goes by you are going to realize that some things just are not necessary and some things are. However there are simple standard components which should be included in one’s wash day to have a healthy natural hair regimen.
When Building a regimen you should:
This step is important if you have natural hair. Research has shown us that water alone chips away the particles and other debris that adhere to the hair and easily washes it away. After that it would be braising against your stands and begin chipping away at the natural oils in your hair. Pre-poo supposedly acts as a protective layer to help prevent the loss of natural oils from your hair thus leaving you hair not feeling stripped. High porosity hair can benefit from this since it loses moisture quickly because the cuticles are always open.
Pre-pooing oils: Argan oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil.
Coconut oil is the best but any oil which can penetrate into the cuticles will work great.
This is a means of cleaning the hair and removing debris and dirt from the scalp and hair. How often you cleanse is up to you. You can start once a week and see you’re your hair responds and space the time apart accordingly. For cleansing you would have to choose what method you would like to use to cleanse your hair shampoos or alternatives. When using shampoo focus on your scalp mostly. The way you shampoo is also important, try out different methods to see which gives you the least amount of tangles. E.g some naturals cannot wash their hair loosely they braid or twists it up.
First of all let me say that this step can be included in any part of your regimen which you feel it best fits into. Shampoo raises the cuticle so the conditioner sticks a lot better to receive the nutrients from the conditioner. You also need to include deep conditioning (which is discussed on another post on my blog) and determine what your hair may need at the point in time. Remember to balance out protein and moisture deep conditioners. Note though that depending on your porosity of hair, some people need to use less protein and more moisture in their regimen. Also pay attention to leave in’s and styling products, if they have protein in them you may not need a heavy protein treatment. To detangle you can do wet or dry detangling and you can use tools. You will have to experiment and find a tool comb, fingers or otherwise which give you less shedding and breakage. Find a conditioner which has a lot of slip to help you detangle as this will prevent breakage. Detangling on dry hair doesn’t work for everyone and is liable to cause breakage.
This is one of the most important steps in a regimen because after deep conditioning this is going to help you boost your moisture. Find a good leave in conditioner and a good moisturizer which is going to be trial and error or course. These are going to set the moisture as you go through the week. When you don’t start with a good moisturizing leave in, you lose moisture more quickly during the week your hair will pull from the other sources of products in your hair and then from your hair strands leading to breakage and dry brittle hair. A styling product can also be added to boost moisture. Depending on your hair type you may not even need all these products, some naturals use a leave in and seal or some use moisturizer and seal. Some use the LOC or LCO method and other use other variations to these. Try out different techniques and see how your hair responds. If you can get moisture for 3 to 4 days that’s good moisture, and if you get more out of your moisturizing regimen that’s even better.
This is probably the most important step in one’s hair regimen. I say this because if you don’t seal properly all your hard work from washing up to this point won’t matter. Sealing slows down the moisture loss or evaporation of the products from you hair. Knowing your hair’s porosity can help you choose a styling product. Low porosity should go for lighter oils and high porosity thicker oils. It’s up to you to decide what type of oil or even oil at all. Some naturals use butters to seal their hair and some don’t seal at all. Try different butters and oils which are thick enough to prevent moisture from leaving too quickly but which absorbs into your hair as the days go by. Note: coconut oil is a penetrating oil and cannot be used for sealing it will absorb into your hair. Try these oils or butters depending on your porosity:
Low porosity: Avocado oil, Sweet almond oil, Shea butter, Mango butter
These oils are also available in a butter form sometimes, you can also try it in that form also.
High porosity: Cocoa butter, Castor oil, Olive oil.
Castor oil usually works great
Create a styling regimen which is low manipulation and doesn’t stress out your strands too much. You want to avoid having to touch your hair much daily until wash day. Also very important try to find styles which fit into your lifestyle. What I mean is if you are a busy person, you live in a cold climate or just don’t have the time try avoid having to comb your hair every day. Set your style the night before so that it’s easy to accommodate in the morning. Finding a good styling product is hard, there are many out there. Trial and error is where your journey will begin here. Depending on the style you are going for you can choose defining and curling products. Be sure to choose something which will not dry your hair out but add moisture for a couple of days.
Example of a hair regimen
- Moisturize (Water, Aloe Vera juice, Moisturizer, leave in, etc.)
- Wash (Co-washing, shampoo, other alternatives)
- Detangle (comb, fingers, Denman)
- Deep conditioner (Moisture mostly)
- Moisturize, seal and style
- Special cleaning using bentonite clay, ACV rinses
- Deep condition with a strong protein treatment (Once a month)
- Hot oil treatment
BENEFITS OF A HAIR REGIMEN
- Keeps you organized
- Makes sure you perform all the steps without skipping any
- Can identify where you may have had setbacks
- Regimen remains the same products change
- Becomes easier when you find one that works for you
DISADVANTAGES OF A HAIR REGIMEN
- May get boring. Some people like change
- Time consuming especially if you have long hair.
- Sometimes your regimen an cause breakage and damage to your strands if you’re doing too much
- Focusing on one particular step in your regimen can also cause breakage