Building A Healthy Hair Regimen


I've probably spoken about this in different ways in different posts on the blog but I've noticed that a number of people still struggle with figuring out what to do and when to do it and what product to use at what point.

I believe the first thing that needs to be settled in anyone's mind before building a regimen is the level of commitment you're willing to make. There is no point in deciding to do so many things that will take up some 3 hours every other day in the week when you don't really have that time to hand. Some people have more time to give than others and that's fine. All that needs to be done is to tailor the regimen to suit your time and your needs.

The main steps to consider in your regimen building are:
1. Cleanse
2. Condition
3. Moisturize
4. Protect


Sulfate Free Shampoo

CLEANSE
The starting and crucial point for healthy hair that grows is a clean scalp. I always tell customers that they'd need to invest in 2 shampoos - one moisturizing sulfate free one which can be used often and a clarifying shampoo to be used once a month or every 6 weeks to get rid of build up and give you a 'fresh start'. Of course not everyone uses shampoo or not even that often - if you find your hair is really dry then you might want to 'Co Wash' i.e. using a rinse out conditioner or specific Co Washing conditioners to wash your hair.
CoWash Conditioner

This will cleanse your hair and scalp without stripping it off moisture. Co Washing should not take the place of shampoo however and at some point you will need to use a shampoo to get rid of the build up you will have in your hair.

Clarifying shampoo and conditioner


CONDITION
A. Moisturizing Deep Conditioner: Shampoo (even sulfate free ones) will invariably strip some oil and moisture from your hair therefore it is important that the moisture is infused back into your hair. The best way to do this is to use a moisturizing deep conditioner - apply to your hair and cover with a plastic cap, leaving it to penetrate for upwards of 30 mins to an hour. If you're using heat (steamer, dryer) then you can leave it for 15 - 20 mins as the heat will lift your cuticles faster, allowing the goodness of the conditioner to penetrate the cortex of your hair shaft.

This should be rinsed out completely with COOL water. The cool water will help seal the cuticles that were raised by the heat. Hair that is handled and styled while the cuticles are still raised will get damaged - the cuticles will begin to chip, snag and tear.

B. Protein Deep Conditioner: Protein strengthens the hair and prevents it from becoming a limp mess. Our strands are made up of Keratin protein and it is important that this is fortified. Now the frequency with which you will need a protein treatment will depend on a number of factors: if you use heat often, if you have color treated hair, or if your hair has been kept away in a protective style using synthetic hair for a while.



 All these weaken the hair strands and protein helps to fortify the hair. A rule of thumb is once a month but should you feel your hair needs more, then go for it! Remember to always follow up your protein treatments with a moisturizing deep conditioning one to give your strands the moisture - protein balance.


C. Leave in Conditioner: A very important step once your deep conditioner is rinsed out. The leave in most times serves as a detangler and further moisturizes the hair. Great ingredients to look out for in your leave ins are Aloe Vera (helps normalize the pH in your strands while smoothing the cuticles) glycerin ( a humectant, drawing moisture from the air into your hair, helping to keep your hair moisturized) Capric Triglycerides (provides slip, restores softness and slows down moisture loss thereby increasing hydration) and of course natural oils which contain so many great beneficial nutrients.

MOISTURIZE
Our hair tends to dryness - it is therefore important that we prevent this from happening by moisturizing the hair as often as needed. A good moisturizer has water/Aqua as its first ingredient.

Water is the best moisturizer there is, period. What is even more important is that we hydrate ourselves internally by drinking a lot of water - you'd be amazed at the difference this will bring to your hair. There are so many moisturizers with different consistencies. Some are very liquid and some are quite creamy. What you will need will depend on how you wear your hair or how much time you want to devote to your hair. A liquid in a spray bottle is very easy to apply as you literally spritz and go. A creamy moisturizer will require you sectioning your hair and applying the cream from root to tip in each section.

It is also important to use a little natural oil or butter after moisturizing to lock the moisture in. If your hair is fine, then a light oil should work perfectly (grapeseed, sweet almond, Argan) while butters should be limited to thicker textures that are really dry. If your moisturizer is in liquid form, then adding a spoonful of your favorite oil to your mix, is a great way to get the oil into your strands.

PROTECT
Comb your hair gently and protect the ends of your hair  - Concentrate on the ends when applying leave ins, moisturizers and oils: this is because the ends are the oldest part of your hair and the most vulnerable as they've been exposed to damaging practices over time. Once your hair begins to get longer, tuck the ends in more often to help them retain moisture. Sleep with a satin/silk  cap/scarf at night to prevent the cotton of your pillowcases sucking up moisture and drying out your hair.


And of course, wear protective styles which will prevent daily styling manipulation that can lead to breakage

So your regimen could look something like this:
1. Sunday - Shampoo, Deep Condition, Leave in, Moisturize, protective style
2. Monday - Moisturize
3. Tuesday - Moisturize
4. Wednesday Moisturize
5. Thursday - Moisturize
6. Friday - Moisturize
7. Saturday - take down style and prepoo in preparation for shampoo tomorrow

Monthly - Protein Treatment

This of course can be tailored to suit what your hair needs. If you're wearing a protective style that lasts longer, then you won't be taking down the style but probably you'd use a dry shampoo to cleanse your scalp. If you're Co washing more then your shampoo could be once a month. At the end of the day, build something that can be tailored to suit your hair and lifestyle needs.

For a long time this was my regimen (when I used to wear wigs all the time):

Sunday - Shampoo, Deep Condition, ACV rinse, Leave in, Moisturize, put hair in plaits
Monday - Moisturize
Tuesday - Prepoo at night
Wednesday - Ayurvedic Deep conditioner then Co wash
Thursday - Moisturize
Friday - Moisturize
Saturday - Prepoo in preparation for shampoo tomorrow

Once you build a regimen, what will make it work is your consistency! Which is why you need to first determine your level of commitment. If washing and deep conditioning every fortnight is better for you and your schedule, then by all means work with that. Of course with my regimen, as needs changed and my hair evolved, so did it - and so should yours.

Hope this helped someone!!



6 comments

  1. Good post. Especially for those who are newly natural or transitioning. Even people with relaxed hair can and should build a regimen.

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dear!! Yep, it is so important to have a consistent regimen regardless of how you wear your hair. It's how hair thrives!

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  2. Thank you!!! This is the simplest I have ever read. Lovely nd comprehensive breakdown I could kiss you right nw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome dear!!! So glad I was able to help you out! *cyber hugs*

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