August 9, 2013

Building a Natural Hair Regimen: Keep it Simple!


Briana of The Mane Source

We live in a world that is full of information about hair care. Natural hair blogs and YouTube channels put all of this information at our finger tips. With all this information seemingly in our face, sometimes deciding on a hair care regimen can be down right overwhelming. We can feel pressured to do everything that we’ve seen and read so that we can achieve the “hair of our dreams”. While tedious regimens can work wonders for the hair, simple ones can too!

Read On>>>



A simple hair regimen that includes the following six steps can help you achieve beautiful, healthy hair:

Moisturization- Adding moisture to your hair in between washing is important, but guess what?? You don’t have to moisturize it 45 million times a day! Depending on how dry your hair is, moisturizing it only once per day or even 3-4 times a week is perfectly fine. Moisturizing can be as simple as spritzing your hair with some water and applying your favorite oil afterwards. Most store-bought moisturizers already contain a sealant so you don’t necessarily have to take the extra step of sealing in the moisture with an oil.

Detangling- Gently removing tangles from your hair helps you retain length and helps you dodge those nasty single-strand knots. You can use your fingers or a tool such as a wide tooth comb, to make certain your hair is tangle-free. Some choose to detangle on dry hair before washing. Others detangle during the conditioning process. Either is fine, as long as you make certain you are gentle. (I have to admit that I am a fan of starting the detangling process on dry hair)

Cleansing- Cleansing your hair and scalp is a must. Washing your hair once a week or once every two weeks is sufficient (given your hair isn’t excessively dirty). Whether you use shampoo or prefer to do a co-wash ( “washing” with conditioner) is up to you and the products that you choose.

Conditioning- You can condition with a commercial brand or opt to prepare your own from scratch. Either is perfectly fine. Don’t feel pressured to buy exotic herbs and other ingredients. Adding simple ingredients like olive oil or a banana can increase the effectiveness of a store-bought conditioner. Of course, conditioners should always follow shampoos, unless you are doing a co-wash.

Deep Conditioning- It can be used interchangeably with a regular conditioner. Some people choose to deep condition a few times a week, however, deep conditioning once or twice per month is acceptable as well. You don’t have to leave the conditioner on for 96 hours either. 20 minutes to an hour is just fine. :)

Leave-in Conditioner- This is a step that many leave out because they don’t think it is necessary. You don’t have to use a leave-in conditioner because you already conditioned your hair, right? WRONG. Applying a pH-balanced leave-in conditioner is important because it closes the cuticles of your hair shaft. This ensures that all the goodies (the nutrients and moisture) you added during washing and conditioning don’t escape. It also leaves your hair super soft and alleviates breakage due to dry hair. You don’t have to buy a fancy-schmancy leave-in or concoct a complex recipe. If you choose to make your own, the main ingredients should be aloe vera juice and a few oils… plain and simple.

You don’t have to stand on your head and say three hail Mary’s to have healthy hair. Simply, moisturize, detangle, wash, condition or deep condition, and apply a leave-in and you are good to go. You have to decide the frequency. DO NOT let the regimens of others pressure you. Be gentle and be consistent and you’ll see results. Needless to say, this is not a jab to people to who have more intricate regimens. This post’s purpose is to relieve the pressure that can come along with caring for your natural hair.

18 Weigh in!:

qnz234 said...

this is a great post, because it definitely eases the pressure. although i only have a twa, i'm trying to stay simple with my regimen as well.

Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I agree simple is best. I get really stressed out over all the things that say do this or do that. I am currently transitioning (Since Aug 2011) and its just stressful trying to figure out what will work with my hair. I started out having it washed every week and for the last month I started going with every two weeks. I was afaid that I wasn't washing it enough but it seems to do better with the every two weeks. It started out very dry and don't get me wrong it still is dry but I can see a big improvement. I don't think I am going to be happy until I get that permed hair off my head. I have done a semi big chop so I am getting closer. I currently have the ends trimmed once a month professionally I don't trust myself to trim it. Anyway thanks for the information it was really helpful. I agree with everything I read.

Thanks again.

naturallyappealing said...

I am alomost 4 mths into my natural hair journey and I very blessed to have found products and a simple hair regimen that works for me. Once I big chopped I was so afraid that I would have a hard time in finding out what would and would not work for me. But it didn't take long for me to get into a groove and now I have my staple products and my staple hairstyle so I am very pleased with how my hair journey is going so far. My hair is growing beautifully and I believe it is b/c I am consistent in what I use and how I care for my hair. So the key is to find what works for you stick w/ it and don't jump on everybody's bandwagon.

SamIam said...

Thanks for the break down! I've been natural for almost 4yrs now, and even though I know that simple is best, its still been hard for me to stick to that. I am always wanting to try different things...

mangomadness said...

"Most store-bought moisturizers already contain a sealant so you don’t necessarily have to take the extra step of sealing in the moisture with an oil."

That's how I feel about sealing. I only seal my ends and edges because my moisturizers are oil/butter rich. Sealing the entire strand would be doing to much, for me.

Trice (BreatheFashion3c) said...

Oh Nikki how I thank thee for this post! I have been trying for months to develop a standard regi, and I think I am making some progress. Now, I have considered cutting out the Leave-In and just leaving in some of my Rinse Out Conditioner in....hmmm....does anyone else do this?

lindanaturalhairdiva said...

I have been transitioning since June 2009 but I never had a regimen and this all makes perfect sense...K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid. Thanks for the reminders

karemel said...

Or you could say, "Keep it Simple, Sweetie"! I've also been overwhelmed by products and regimens. I don't have all day to do my hair - be it a weekend, or not. I had made up a list of products to try, but some stuff is so expensive, so I think I have found what works best for me - I'm trying to make sure my hair stays moisturized. That's key for me.
Thank you for that post - great timing!

Anonymous said...

I first stumbled on this site late last winter, and a seed was planted. By May, after months of reading how to care for naturally curly hair, I decided to transition.

Of course, as a white woman, the physical aspect of transitioning is far less trying than for a black woman -- you simply stop blowing it out, find someone who knows how to "cut to the curl", and learn how to care for it.

The emotional inner journey of self acceptance, however, well, you all know what that is like! After decades of proudly wearing big, long, what I fondly referred to as "pageant hair", naturally curly was a huge change! It's been a bit of a humorous journey, too -- have you ever noticed how many times in a television show or movie, the 'bad girl' has naturally curly hair?

On the plus side, because it's fairly long, I do get a lot of positive reinforcement from strangers - "omg, who does your hair!", and my husband, who is very accepting and rarely expresses an opinion, loves it. On the down side, I have to be careful how I wear it. What looks beachy and sexy on a 22 year old can look downright trashy on a 50 year old.

In any event, this site has been my Bible of naturally curly hair. I've learned more here than anywhere else on keeping it healthy, curly and moisturized. I now use products marketed to black women, and they have been wonderful for my hair. Most especially, shea butter changed my life (and my hair!) forever. I deep condition with it once a week, and use a tablespoon or so mixed with my regular conditioner while co-washing. Shampoo - once a month at most.

This post was particularly helpful and timely, a reminder to Keep It Simple! Like everyone else, I'm guilty of product creep, so I'm going to sign off now and go cleanse my shower shelves of unuseful products.

btw, a couple months ago, I was reading one of the transition stories on this site, and one woman referred to herself, post-transition, as having "happy nappy hair". I immediately decided as a white woman that I have "happy whappy hair", and it's one of the best things I've ever done!

Sharon said...

I agree with keeping it simple. I use my normal conditioner as my leave as well. I then just scrunch in a very little coconut oil. Very simple but it works for me.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting because while it has been true that the curly girl is often depicted as the "wild" girl (and being different is cool in my book), most African American women in the commercials I have seen are sporting naturals, and you see more curlies in general, not so many that it doesn't stand out, though, at least to me. In fact, ads would seem to suggest that most curly/kinky girls do wear their hair natural, but we know that is not the case. Maybe the media can be an agent for positive change and wouldn't that be nice?

Anonymous said...

CMcPat said...

Enjoyed this read!! @ Trice (BreatheFashion3c) I have been transitioning since May 2011 and just recently did the normal wash, condition, and rinse; however, when it was time to twist my hair, I applied Olve Oil and Herbal Essence's Hello Hydration Conditioner to each section and absolutely loved the results.

Anonymous said...

I thought K.I.S.S. meant keep it simple,sista.

Tabby said...

I stopped cutting my hair short in may 2011 its about 2 inches now enough for me to braid and two strand twist which is how i wear it problem is it's shedding not too much but sometimes I get knots at the end of my hair

Tabby said...

I stopped cutting my hair short in may 2011 its about 2 inches now enough for me to braid and two strand twist which is how i wear it problem is it's shedding not too much but sometimes I get knots at the end of my hair

Anonymous said...

"Keep It Short and Simple" is my KISS.

Note to all you 4c transitioners and newbies out there - PuhLeeze don't tug and torture your hair during detangling. You will develop mid-strand splits which will eventually break off into split endz.

You will not retain growth if you stretch and damage your strands. Take it from a 2 year "hard headed" 4c natural.

Oil detangling, plaiting my 5inch 4c coils into small braids prior to shampooing will be one of my New Year's resolutions.

Be blessed!

Anonymous said...

Thanks sooo very much for this I am a 4a newbie and the internet was really starting to frustrate me and all I really want is HEALTHY natural hair!

Anonymous said...

This is the best post I've come across for a simple regimen with great explanations! I am glad I found it! My twa will truly benefit. The only thing I do different is pre poo overnight. I found after experimenting that my hair loves it!

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