Starting any journey can be daunting especially when you don’t know where to start. A healthy hair journey is no different. So you’ve tossed your relaxer, subscribed to a ton of natural hair vloggers, bought a ton of products and are either growing out your relaxer or chopped it off altogether by now. So why do you still feel lost?
You’re missing a vital part of your journey. A hair care regimen. You may have heard the word tossed around in a couple videos or happened upon it in a fews blogs. But what is it? Why do you need it? And how do you create one?
A hair regimen is a customized routine designed to achieve and maintain healthy hair. A regimen is like a road map to your destination. It provides consistency and structure and can help to make the navigation through your journey less confusing.
Without one you may find yourself spending lots of money on products, consultations, protective styles only to be left dissatisfied with your results. A regimen also allows you to get to know your hair’s needs as well as likes and dislikes. This is important in avoiding damage and retaining length.
It may be laid out on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis based on your personal needs. Repetition is important in creating a regimen but is ineffective if it’s lacking key components or utilizes unhealthy hair practices. Taking the time to learn what to include and what avoid are the first steps in creating an effective regimen.
* Don’t use someone else’s regimen, especially if they don’t have the same porosity, density or hair type as you (and even if they do!). Remember we said that this is a customized routine, by you for you. It’s okay to use someone else’s as a sort of template but you will need to make the necessary adjustments to meet your needs.
* Don’t switch regimens too quickly. Changing your regimen too quickly won’t allow you to see results or decipher what really works for you. Give your regimen time to work.
* If you’re regimen isn’t working, revamp it. This may seem contradictory to what we just said but it isn’t. If you’ve stuck with a regimen for a few months and see no improvements it simply means something needs to be fixed. Don’t be afraid to do so.
It’s important to keep your hair and scalp clean. You should be cleaning your hair every 1-2 weeks. It is imperative to avoiding frizzy, dull, limp and greasy hair. If you struggle to maintain moisture don’t skip wash day instead here are a few tips to help you combat dryness
Shampoo is for the scalp. Apply shampoo directly to your scalp and allow it to run down the strands of your hair when washing.
If you want to shampoo less, opt for a cleansing cowash. This cowash should have a mild surfactant so that it can gently clean. If it doesn’t then you’re simply conditioning your hair.
Clarify every 4-6 weeks to give your hair a reset so to speak. It your hair has build up it won’t absorb the products your putting on it.
Whether you’re using a shampoo and conditioner or a cowash, conditioning your hair is a vital part of maintaining moisture. There are three main types of conditioners; rinse out conditioners, leave in conditioner, and deep conditioner. All of these conditioners play a vital role in your journey.
Rinse out conditioners should be used whenever you wash your hair while most leave in conditioners are suitable for daily use. Deep conditioners are extremely important but often neglected. We recommend deep conditioning at least once every two weeks with heat.
Moisturizing your hair should be a daily occurence. Most people think moisture comes from products but moisture starts with water. Our suggestion is to use a leave in mist as a refresher to help maintain moisture. Focus on your ends as this is where split ends and breakage tends to start. They may also need more TLC as they are the oldest part of your hair.
Sealing your hair means locking in your moisture. Years past we used the term moisturize and seal but thanks to Alikay Naturals Founder, Rochelle Graham-Campbell, we now use the LOC method. Sometimes written as LCO, it stands for liquid, oil, cream or liquid, cream, oil and is indicative of the order we use to moisturize and seal. The liquid is the moisture and the oil/cream are the sealants. If you do not seal in your moisture you will find it hard to maintain moisture and in turn struggle with length retention, dryness and breakage.
Our hair is made up of keratin, a protein. Without this protein the strength of our hair is compromised. If you create an entire regimen in which you cleanse, condition, moisturize and seal but fail to include protein treatments, you’ll throw off your hair’s balance. You may still find yourself with limp hair that breaks easily and sheds. Doing a protein treatment at least once every 4-6 weeks may be the change your hair’s been waiting for.
There really is no hard defined rules for when to trim. You may meet someone who religiously trims on a schedule every 3 months and you may meet someone who says they trim when their hair needs it. The fact of the matter is that trimming comes down to what your hair responds best to. As a beginner’s rule of thumb, try to trim your hair 3-4 times a year to begin with. You may notice that your hair needs to be trimmed more or less often than that. You can alter your regimen based on these observations.
The way you style your hair will make or break your hair journey. Stick to low manipulation styles such as twist outs and puffs when wearing your hair out. Protective styles should be worn whenever possible. We suggest protective styling 70% of the time. In a week that means keeping your hair protected 5 out of the 7 days.
You may wear your hair in bantu knots 5 days then let your hair out for the other 2. Then in week two you may put it in a bun for the next 4-5 days then wear it in a puff for the remainder. You should undo any style that causes tension immediately. Keep your hair protected at night with a satin bonnet and/or satin pillowcase.
Now that you’re equipped with the basics on what is a regimen and why you need it, we hope you feel more confident to take the next step in your hair journey.
This GCI Blog Post is a part of the Gem Code Initiative- "Our Health First Approach To Beauty"
Learn more about The Gem Code Initiative at www.crownsandcontours.com/gem-code-initiative