Simplifying Your Natural Hair Routine
How do I Get My Hair Routine Right?
We hear you girl!
You’ve experimented with hundreds of products, tried several styling methods and have spent a whole lot of money. Yet your routine or lack thereof isn’t working. This is a frustrating and common quandry for many naturals but one that can be solved.
Although there are similarities among curls and coils and porosities, your hair is unique to you. What works for one hair type, may not work for another. Understanding your hair, is the foundation to EVERYTHING. You essentially have to become a detective. No one can learn your hair better than you can! Observe your hair and pay attention to how it behaves and responds to different products and conditions.
This is the key to developing a routine that will produce the best results. An effective routine will address your specific porosity needs, your hair goals and should be suited to your curl type. Although every individual will have unique hair needs, there are basic steps that every natural routine should include and should be built upon.
Our Five Step Formula For An Effective Routine
CLEANSE + MOISTURIZE +STYLE+SEAL+ PROTECT = Curls That Slay!
Seems basic right? Don’t be deceived! If you’re not practicing this formula in the right sequence, AND using products sepcific to your curl type, your curls will NOT be slaying…real talk.
So lets proceed shall we?
Cleansing includes the process of shampooing, detangling, conditioning and deep conditioning.
Every routine should include a:
Sulphate Free Shampoo ✓
Moisturizing Conditioner ✓
Detangling Process ✓
Deep Conditioning product for wash day ✓
Got that? No matter the frequency of your washes, these four steps MUST be included.
For best results shampoo your hair in sections and concentrate on applying shampoo to your roots and scalp vs your hair itself. Be sure to wash strands gently when your are rinsing out the shampoo from your scalp. Follow this step with a moisturizing conditioner suited for your hair type and porosity. Conditioners and a layer of moisture to your hair after oils are removed from shampooing. Lots of us shampoo our hair and don’t use conditioner, then wonder why our hair is dry! Yes we’re looking at YOU.
Detangle with a wide tooth comb in sections to get through knots and tangles then rinse. Lastly deep condition with a deep conditioning mask targeted to your specific hair needs.
Your Deep Condidtioner should do one of the following:
This step is done after you’ve shampooed, rinsed your conditioner, and Detangled. Deep conditioners are designed to be left in your hair for a period of time. Apply your deep conditioner to hair and leave under a plastic cap and cover hair with a heat cap or under a hooded dryer for a period of 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse when completed and move on to your moisturizing process. Deep conditioning should be done on REGULARLY. Deep conditioning once a month is not going to cut it ladies!
This is the process of applying water and products that are intended to provide moisture to your hair. Water is the best moisturizer for curls and natural hair and should be the first part of your moisturizing routine. Include a spray bottle in this step to provide a consistent dose of water while moisturizing.
Divide your hair into sections and spray hair with a generous amount of water to hydrate. This also allows your products that follow to be distributed throughout your hair easily. Apply a generous amount of a water based leave-in conditioner to your sections to moisturize your hair and prepare it for styling.
The process of styling goes in sequence with your moisturizing step. For the best results you will need to apply your styling products in sequence with your moisturizing products. Your routine should look something like this. Divide your hair into sections.
Take one section at a time and spray hair with water, apply your water based leave in conditioner to the section then follow with a styling product that suits your hair needs and hairstyle. This may be a moisturizing cream/butter, a curl defining cream, curl soufflé, curl smoothie or twist cream. Include a little gel or jelly for added definition and hold.
After you’ve completed that section, repeat the same process for the rest of your sections. When your entire head is moisturized style in a desired hair style.
*Recap- Spray section1 with water - apply leave in conditioner – follow with styling product - follow with gel or jelly - Repeat in other sections.
If you are a natural with a coily or a kinky curl pattern, sealing is especially important for your hair. Sealing your hair is the process of layering oil or butter over your strands during your moisturizing and styling process to trap moisture in your hair for a longer period. Sealing can be included either after your leave in conditioner or after your styling cream and before your gel.
Basically when sealing your routine should look something like this. Leave In Conditioner + Oil/Butter + Styling Cream + Gel OR Leave In Conditioner + Styling Cream + Oil/Butter + Gel. You have the freedom to experiment with either sequence and use the product order that produces the best result. Check out our article on (LCO VS LOC method) for more details on the these two methods. Just like your moisturizing and styling steps, sealing is just another step in your routine to be applied in sequence.
This step is so important to your overall routine. What would be the point of going through a routine if your are not prepared to protect everything you’ve just done. Protecting your hair directly affects moisture, length retention, dryness, breakage and the longevity of your styles.
Protecting your hair includes covering your hair while you sleep and wearing styles that do not encourage dryness or leave ends frequently exposed . Also how often you manipulate your hair aids in the protection of your hair. Constant handling of your hair or constantly playing with your hair creates dryness, knots,, breakage and unnecessary tangles to your hair.
Do styles that can last several days without much manipulation. Your ends are the most fragile and the oldest parts of your hair. To protect them and retain length use styles that tuck them away and keep them off your clothes. The constant rubbing on your clothes creates friction on your ends which leads to breakage.
Lastly cover your hair with a satin scarf or bonnet while you sleep to prevent your pillowcase from absorbing your moisture. Cotton cases suck the moisture from your hair. Satin also reduces the friction created between your hair and your pillowcase. Bonus of the satin pillow case equals less breakage and damage to your strands. So substitute your cotton pillowcase with a satin.
There you have it ladies. These steps may seem lengthy but it’s a simple sequence to keep in mind and apply to your unique hair needs. Enjoy!