Healthy hair does not happen overnight. You have to pay extra attention and remain committed to a healthy mane of hair for this to happen. Due to the plethora of information out there, it might seem daunting when you’re about to start your hair journey. Having lived a major part of your life not understanding your hair can be daunting for someone interested in growing healthy, long hair. A friend of mine buzzed me yesterday to inform me that she’s interested in cultivating a better hair regimen but she’s clueless on how to start. Needless to say, I spent the better part of yesterday night educating her on what’s important as she takes the baby steps.
When you commence, your hair care routine should consist of the following:
Look for a shampoo that is free from sulfate and sodium ammonia. These shampoos do not leave your hair feeling stripped, dry or squeaky clean. They are gentle cleansers that leave your hair feeling soft and detangled. When using a shampoo, focus on cleaning your scalp first, rubbing in circular motions with the pads of your fingers and not nails. Allow the motion of the water to work the suds down the length of your hair.
Good shampoos to try: Ion Sulfate Free Shampoo, Aubrey Organics, Kinky Curly Come Clean.
2. Clarifying Shampoo
This product should be used once a month to remove product build up if you use oils and other heavy products quite often. What this product does is to strip the hair of all product build up and its’ quite great for starting off each month.
Good clarifying shampoos to try: Suave Daily Clarifying, Kenra Clarifying, Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Daily Shampoo.
3. One Moisturizing and One Protein – based deep conditioners
At every weekly wash, you should use these products once you’re done with shampoo. Deciding on what to use depends on whether your hair needs protein or moisture at the time. I recommend deep conditioning twice a week. If you’re using heat in terms of a heat conditioning cap (such as Gold N’ Hot), keep it on for 30-45minutes. If you’re not using heat, that will be an hour or much longer (I do 2hours on a long stretch). If you deep condition twice weekly, the second one should be a co-wash.
Good Moisturizing deep conditioners to try: Nexxus Humectress, Kenra Moisturizing, Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Mask, Keracare Humecto, Aussie Moist 3 minute miracle, Mizani Moisturefuse.
Protein Deep Conditioners: ORS Replenishing Conditioner, Motions Moisture Silk Protein Conditioner, Aubrey Organics GPB, Mane N’ Tail.
3. Protein Treatment
These treatments are used to rebuild your hair. Frequency of use depends on the type of damage you’re trying to correct and the strength of the treatment. When using, kindly adhere to manufacturers instruction as these products usually have a time schedule printed on the back. Select one protein treatment for light touch up treatments and select another for heavy intense protein conditioning. You should follow up with a moisturizing conditioning treatment to restore moisture to your hair.
Products to try: Joico K-Pac (mild), Aphogee 2min Reconstructor (mild), Elasta QP Anti brakage serum, Nexus Emergencee (moderate), Motions CPR (moderate), ORS Mayonnaise (moderate), Dudley’s DRC (heavy), Aphogee treatment for damaged hair (heavy).
4. Leave in Conditioner (1 Moisturizing & 1 Protein)
This is used for daily supplementation. The best products are the ones that don’t contain mineral oil, petrolatum or lanolin. I recommend moisturizing the hair once you’re back from work or about to sleep.
Moisturizing leave-in products to use: ORS Carrot Oil, Hollywood Beauty Carrot and Oilve Oil, Luster’s S-Curl.
Protein leave-in products: Giovanni weightless leave-in conditioner (this is what I use currently and it’s such a fantastic product), Elasta QP Olive and Mango Butter, Cantu Shea Butter Grow Strong, Profectiv Mega Growth.
5. Natural Oils
These oils are used to seal water based moisturizing leave-in conditioners. It helps improve the shine and pliability of the hair. Apply a light coating to the ends of your hair first and work your way up. A little goes a a long way!
Examples: Coconut Oil, Castor oil, Olive oil, Almond oil, Jojoba oil, Grapeseed oil, Vatika oil.
6. Essential oils are scalp stimulants and must be diluted in heavier carrier oils such as Castor oil because of its’ high potency. Only a few drops need be used per application. They can be added to shampoos, moisturizers, conditioners, leave ins.
Examples: Rosemary oil, Peppermint oil, Thyme, Ylang Ylang, Lavender.
Other hair tools you will need:
Satin bonnets, Silk Scarves
Plastic shower caps for deep conditioning
A pair of shears for trimming or dusting your hair
6. Protective Styling
This should be a part of your hair journey. Any style that reduces manipulation, excessive combing, reduced heat use, and keeps your hair ends off your shoulders should be part of your regimen. Examples are updos, buns, braidouts, twistouts, e.t.c. I wear my hair out twice weekly but often time, my hair is usually in an updo like the one I sported to work today (see picture below). Keeping your ends protected is essential for longer healthier hair.
Finally, stick to your regimen and be committed till you know what works for you. Determine the schedule that works best for you. Your weekly regimen may look like this:
- Sunday: Shampoo, condition, deep condition
- Monday: Daily moisturizer
- Tuesday: Daily moisturizer
- Wednesday: Daily moisturizer
- Thursday: Co-wash, moisturize
- Friday: Moisturize
- Saturday: Moisturize
- Twice this month: Two-minute protein treatment
- No regimen is complete without nightly protection in the form of a silk or satin hair cover or pillowcase!
Happy Growing Ladies!!!
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