A natural hair regimen is the bread and butter of having great hair. Without this routine in place, you can’t hope to have luscious locks. The only problem is that it isn’t simple to create such a regimen. There’s an abundance of hair-related information, and it’s difficult to know what products, tools, methods, and techniques are right for you.
In this blog, we’ll walk you through several steps that can help you feel confident in devising an effective natural hair regimen and help you feel empowered as a real natural hair guru. Are you ready to get started?
What is a Hair Regimen?
Let’s go back to the basics. If you’re just beginning to learn about your hair and how to care for it, no shame! That’s great. Your curly hair needs love and care and putting together a natural hair regime will help you to do that. A natural hair regimen is simply a routine to keep your hair healthy through structure, repetition, and consistency. By developing a routine, you’ll learn which products work best for your hair and which hair care processes will keep your hair happy and healthy.
You may wonder, “Why does my hair need a regimen at all?” Think of a regimen like a meal plan for your hair. Just like your body is different from everyone else’s, so is your hair! You may feel better when you avoid certain foods or feel more confident when you stick with a certain exercise routine. Your hair is the same way. Because a regimen repeats on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis, you’ll find what’s key to keeping your hair looking and feeling its best. Bonus: You’ll also feel more confident!
As you develop your hair regimen, remember that your goal should be healthy hair. Just like there are unhealthy fitness routines and meal plans for your body, there are unhealthy hair regimens. In the next few sections, we’ll review some of the best features of effective natural hair regimens as well as the worst. That said, you’ll need to try it for YOUR hair. You are unique, and you are your own hair guru. No one knows your hair better than you, and you should feel empowered by that as you begin building an effective natural hair regimen.
The Best Features of a Natural Hair Regimen
A natural hair regimen has seven broad categories that you’ll need to cover in order for it to be effective. This is regardless of what hair type, curl pattern, porosity, or length you have on your hair! We’ll cover these basics, and then there’s still plenty left up to you, including the products, amount, frequency, and order that works best for your hair.
Cleaning your hair is the first component that is essential to an effective natural hair regimen. Periodically, you’ll need to clean your hair and your scalp to allow it to breathe and grow properly. Most people with natural hair will need to wash it somewhere between once a week to once a month. This frequency is up to you — you’ll need to figure out what works best for your hair!
Shampoo more often if…your hair feels dull, lifeless, greasy, dirty, or other products don’t seem to work anymore. Just make sure you’re diligent with moisturizers if you cleanse more often!
Shampoo less often if…your hair feels dry, brittle, or frizzy. You can also extend the time between your shampoos by going lighter with other products. This will help you avoid build-up.
For best results, stick with a sulfate-free cleanser. Textured strands are often drier than other hair types because natural oils have a harder time traveling down to the ends. A cream-based non-sudsing product can help clean the hair while keeping it nourished.
Here are some of our favorite sulfate-free cleansers that you may want to try:
- Green Apple and Aloe Nutrition Shampoo
As you build out your natural hair regimen, you’ll begin to learn all about conditioner. There are three main types of conditioner that you’ll need to be aware of…
- Daily or rinse-out conditioner
Of all three types of conditioners, this is likely the one you’re most familiar with. It’s used in the shower, and it is meant to be washed out. It’ll make it easier to detangle, hydrated overall, and less prone to frizz. Try out these two types of daily conditioners: Enhancing Herbal Conditioner and Green Apple and Aloe Nutrition After Shampoo Conditioner.
- Leave-in conditioner
Leave-in conditioner is used to replenish nutrients and maintain moisture in your hair after you wash it. Try this leave-in conditioner: Green Apple and Aloe Nutrition Leave-in Conditioner. It’s one of our favorites!
- Deep conditioner
This type of conditioner is an intense moisturizing and nourishing treatment. You’ll leave this conditioner in your hair for a certain amount of time and then rinse it out. It can help detangle, soften, and moisturize your hair to reduce frizz. Try deep conditioning once every two weeks and then adjust according to how your hair reacts. Try this deep conditioner: Green Apple & Aloe Nutrition Apple Cider Deep Conditioner.
Moisture is one of the most important aspects of caring for natural hair. It helps address so many problems, including breakage, dryness, tangling, matting, and hair loss. How much moisture your hair needs will depend on its porosity.
Regardless of hair type, we recommend moisturizing your hair at night and protecting your hair before you go to sleep. This can help keep your hair looking its best!
Moisturizing is a key step, but sometimes people forget to seal in the moisture that they just added to their hair. Hint: Every time you moisturize your hair, use a sealer or anti-humectant to make sure it stays moisturized for the rest of the day!
As always, what works best will depend on your hair. You can experiment to see what you should keep in your natural hair regimen. For thicker or coarser hair, try shea butter or Jamaican black castor oil. Finer hair may do better with jojoba or avocado oil-based products.
Detangling is a part of any hair guru’s natural hair regimen. Adding this to your routine will help reduce hair loss, matting, dryness, and breakage. Plus, the more often you do it, the easier it will be each time. Just be sure that you’re gentle because you do have the potential to damage your hair while you detangle. Using a good leave-in conditioner while hair is still damp is a great way to avoid this, and always be sure to start from the ends and then work your way up!
6. Style & Protect
Style your hair in protective styles to minimize breakage. We have other blogs on this very topic. Read more here:
- How to Prevent Breakage from Braids and Other Protective Styles
- Protective Styling: Why You Should Wear Protective Styles
Finally, consistency is perhaps the most important of all. Without consistency, you won’t have a regimen at all. Here are some tips that can help you create a natural hair regimen that you’ll stick to.
- Create a routine with a weekly or biweekly structure. If possible, build it around a life structure that you already have in place. This way, it’ll become a habit that you can easily remember.
- Keep it simple. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with a complicated routine. If you have a routine with just a few elements, you’re much more likely to stick to it.
- Put it on the calendar. If you’re still having trouble remembering, write it down on your calendar. Nothing like your phone reminding you that it’s a wash day!
The Worst Features of a Natural Hair Regimen (Leave These Behind!)
Even people who have had a natural hair regimen for years sometimes have at least one of these features. Check out this “worst” list and see which you can leave behind. If you’re just starting out, you know what to be on the lookout for!
1. Following someone else’s regimen
We know it’s tempting to ask your mom, sister, friend, or someone who has hair that looks like yours what their natural hair regimen is. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could just copy it?
Yes, it would be, but you shouldn’t do this! While their hair regimen may work for you, chances are that your hair has different needs based on porosity, thickness, density, lifestyle, and a variety of other factors. You need to create a natural hair regimen that works for your individual hair. No one else’s!
2. Sticking to a routine that doesn’t work
This is a balancing act. You don’t want to quit a natural hair regimen after a week if it isn’t working, but you also don’t want to keep it up for months if it isn’t working either. The takeaway? Know when to adjust! Most people’s hair requires a bit of adjusting to get the desired results. Understand this going into the process and be ready to make changes when they’re needed (perhaps around the 2-to-3-week mark!).
3. Getting caught up on specific products
Yes, it is absolutely crucial that you find the right products. There are a ton of bad products out there that can harm your hair. However, when you’re getting started with an effective natural hair regimen, remember that it’s more important to find the right type of products than it is to find a specific product that you love. In the process of testing out a variety of products within a certain type, you may find something you love. That’s just a bonus! That said, it’s much more important in the beginning to nail down a consistent regimen initially. Then you can worry about switching up products later on.
An effective natural hair regimen can help bring life back into your hair. Just remember that there’s a bit of trial and error that goes into it before you find exactly what works for you. Don’t get discouraged or overwhelmed — you are a hair guru, and you know what’s best for your hair!
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