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Curly Nikki

Natural Haircare: #1 Rule for Longer, Healthier, Hair

By January 27th, 202123 Comments
by Jarmelia of Wahm Town

There is one basic rule to achieving longer, healthier hair and that is : Keep It Simple! All of the women I have seen that have longer hair (I’m talking about waist-length and beyond) have simple regimens.

Having a simple regimen doesn’t mean you can’t be a product junkie or that you have to keep your hair in protective styles. It simply means, you know what works for your hair and you stick with it.

You have to first find out what YOUR hair needs. Your hair isn’t like anyone elses, no matter what you may have in common with them. So of course at least a round or two of trial and error is in order.

Below is a list of “bandwagons” that have helped maximize and retain length for many but not all. Try them out, assess, keep a journal and decide for yourself. These are by no means the end all be all of haircare.

  • Co-washing- “Conditioner only wash” When you wash your hair with conditioner only, no shampoo. Usually, this is done throughout the week about 2-3 times. Some women do it daily. Some women don’t shampoo at all and some shampoo once a week.
  • Deep Conditioning– This is when you give your hair a “boost” of moisture. You can be as simple as you like by just using coconut oil or as fancy as you like and buy an expensive “deep conditioning treatment.” For some these are a “must” and for others these are not as necessary.
  • Scalp Oiling- Simply taking some oil and rubbing it into your scalp to stimulate growth and add moisture. This is said to help counteract dandruff and dry scalp.
  • Protective Styling– Keeping the ends of the hair tucked away to prevent splits and breakage. Some women wear wigs, do twists, wear braids or rock buns. For some women this is the only way they retain any length and for others they retain length without it.

It wouldn’t hurt to try these techniques but, don’t think you have to do these things. Plenty of long haired naturals have not incorporated the above in their routines. Do what works for you.

I personally, co-wash, deep condition and protective style (when I feel like it, still trying to find a PS that works for me). I don’t swear by either method and I have hair just short of Bra Strap Length. So again do what works for you.

One of the most amazing parts of this haircare journey is formulating your own personal regimen!

23 Comments

  • RealityUnscripted.com says:

    protective styling is so important especially if you have fine hair. My hair looks for any excuse to break so I usually keep it up in a bun or some other protective style. My ends get to see the light of day on occasion, full moons 🙂

    http://www.realityunscripted.com

  • monniej says:

    cute curls and great advice! thanks for sharing, miss jarmelia! 🙂

  • Chaklat says:

    I've just become really annoyed. It is not that serious. Blogs and forums are for the sharing of information,ideas, and experiences. It all boils down to what works for you. I have found what works for my hair. Natural and otherwise. I use a popular hair product( KOMAZA CARE) for my leave-in, moisturizer, and moisture cream. I wash with black soap, and condition with Komaza too.My hair loves SHEA. I also mix my own oils, herbs, and butters for my scalp, DC, and hot oil treatments. I use good old fashion grease, yes grease sparingly when I see fit in this tempermental, SoFla weather. And guess what, its not because Nikki told me too. I do what's best for me. Get off Nikki's case, she is sharing information, and experience. Because it was similar to someone else's so what. Get a life outside of your hair, if you had one, Nikki's use of grease wouldn't be so high on your nit pick list. Bottom Line is DO WHATS BEST FOR YOU. Nikki is not writing a scientific encyclopedia that says you must do as I do or agree with my hair methods. Just enjoy the blog posts and move on. Find your own dos and don'ts.

  • Anonymous says:

    I live in a very humid country and have now reached the 6 month natural mark. finding all these bits of info is great, but it's difficult to find things like shea butter (creme moisturizer) or even the aloe vera gel. Are there any alternatives to these seemingly essential products. Thank you all.

  • Naturally Me says:

    Nov. 2011 I will be one whole year relaxer free! My final big-chop was March 2011. Since that time my hair has been growing nonstop. I went from a teeny-weeny twa with super-short relaxer damaged areas that I could barely twist to a soft 4b/4c fro that's springy and healthy. Through lots of trials and errors, I have found a routine that works for me: I apply (to dry hair) pure coconut oil and cover with a plastic bag for as long as I feel I need it (2-3 hours). Then co-wash once then apply a second time, leaving the conditioner in overnight. In the morning I rinse apply a leave-in conditioner and a little shea butter moisturizer creme. I then do two strand twists. When I am done twisting I seal my twisted rows with pure shea butter and rub the excess into my scalp and the ends of my twists.

    Each day I untwist and separate with my fingers. At night I apply a little shea moisturizer creme and a little pure aloe vera gel, retwist and cover with a head wrap.

    On the weeks that I do not cowash I poo-wash and deep condition and repeat the regimen above. Once a month I do a protein rich shampoo for strength.

    Sounds like a lot, but really I've got it down to 5 products.

  • Balding hair says:

    You could try using normal hair shampoo & conditioner, and use leave-in-hair conditioners? They keep your hair silky and smooth all day 🙂

  • Natural Beauty says:

    It's been 2 years for me and my natural is about ear length. I don't comb but I do pick and finger detangle daily. I co wash at least 2x's a week and wash 1x but I may start cowashing everyday just because I like the feel of it, once it air drys it's just that…DRY. That's where I'm having the problem, keeping it mositurized through out the days until the next time. I LOVE BIG HAIR AND CAN'T WAIT TO HAVE IT!!

  • Chencia C. Higgins says:

    Thanks for the tips! I've recently started cowashing and I noticed that my hair is a lot less dry than when I was shampooing. I haven't shampooed in over a month.

  • Accountable to God says:

    Great article, I"m finding that all the above points are true and although there are some basics and science to hair care, if what you are doing isnt' broke, there's no need to try and fix it? Typically if naturals are having issues and can't seem to keep hair moist or retain length others regimen suggestions such as a deep condish and cowashing is a really good place to start. You never know, some of these ladies tips may work for you. And I'm about to jump on this finger detangling only bandwagon, there are too many success stories with it.

  • Unknown says:

    I have never combed or brushed my hair in years as well. I do detangle with my Tangle tweezer in the shower, hair soaking wet and plenty of conditioner. Me and my daughter Co-wash, but now my hair is getting longer, will be 2yrs in Dec. I think an Afro-style is not for me anymore. I have to religiously re-twist my hair everynight or I will have tangles. My daughter is 3C and I am 4C, I use all these methods, maybe more oil will help. Our hair is both healthy and growing well.

  • Anonymous says:

    ditto to Mrs. Roots!
    I have not put a comb to my hair in over 15 years and I do not have locks or dreads.
    In turn, my daughter, who is 5, has never had a comb pass through her hair; she has the most beautiful hair ever!
    I just twist and braid religiously daily, no need for combing; my fingers act as a comb in that regard

  • Jarmelia says:

    Oh wow! I'm glad you all liked my article! I keep it all the way simple…I'm a lazy natural!

    Thanks Nikki!

    Jarmelia
    DIY Hair Care Blog

  • Anonymous says:

    i wld love 2 do most of those but i'm in a new country where it's difficult to find alot of things u're use to so i hv to wash with the normal soap for now

  • kesfire says:

    please how do you take care of your hair daily if you can do for 1week without brushing? am transitioning i have abt 2" of natural hair and 10" of relaxed hair. thank you.

  • Mrs. Roots says:

    Here's one biggie that was left out. I believe this is a common denominator for many long-haired women: leave your hair alone! I am specifically speaking of combing. If you have 3c – 4c hair, from my personal experience, the hair retains more length if you let at least a whole week go by without combing or brushing it.

    For my daughter who often wears two-strand twists and almost has bra-strap length hair, I only comb her hair every two at the most three weeks. Every time I comb her hair or mine, it's a little longer. Also, we moisturize with an oil every other day without fail – especially the ends. My hair went from being a TWA to arm-pit length in a little over a year using this method.

    Other than these methods, I am big fan of the tightly curly method, which means lots of conditioner.

  • BreukelensFinest says:

    great basics!

    missdeeplyrooted.blogspot.com

  • Unknown says:

    Great tips! I actually do ALL of those and my hair has never been better.

  • WineGrrl says:

    If anyone finds the perfect protective style, let me know because I have yet to find one! 🙁

  • Tracey Joy says:

    my hair happens to love castor oil and water. Ditto to the OP and other have said find what works best for you. This is not one size fits all when it comes to our hair. I will try co-washing at some point just haven't yet. Good post

  • Anonymous says:

    I follow the same practice and my hair is growing nicely as well.

    Wondered if the girl in the source pic has a youtube page or blog. love her hair.

  • ashley says:

    I don't ever put oil on my scalp unless I am wearing braids since I co-wash like everyday, my hair is growing pretty nicely.

  • Anonymous says:

    Basically, figure out what works for you and stick to it. What works for one, doesn't work for all.

  • Essense In Natural Land says:

    You made some excellent points! I agree with you. There are so many "rules" that people preach about natural hair, you have to know your own hair and what works for YOU. I used a sample pack of pink oil moisturizer on my twists last night and my hair felt so soft this morning. Just because its not on youtube or your don't hear about a product alot, doesn't mean it won't work! "DO YOU"

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