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Natural Hair 101 | Building Your Regimen

Photo Credit: Glenford Nunez via Glenford Nunez Photography


So last time, we talked about assessing your natural hair. Assessing the condition of your natural hair is important because it'll help you figure out what products are best for your particular hair type, texture, and any issues you may be facing with your hair, like dryness or breakage. When building your natural hair regimen, the most important thing is to build one that will give your hair the proper protein-moisture balance it needs for optimal health. A good natural hair regimen should include the following:

Pre-poo

Pre-pooing your hair provides your hair with so much moisture before the shampoo process, preventing your hair from drying out. Before shampooing, clarifying, or co-washing your hair, apply an oil of your choice to your hair, cover it with a shower cap, and let it sit for about 20 minutes. So the moisture can really penetrate the strands, sitting under a hooded dryer helps. Pre-pooing also helps with the detangling process. Before I shampoo/co-wash my hair, I use either coconut oil or olive oil on my hair, finger detangle, and then let it sit for a while before I move on to the next step. My hair is easier to work with because I've already detangled prior to washing, and my hair is uuuubbbeerrr soft!

Shampoo/Clarifying Shampoo

A shampoo or any clarifying shampoo helps to remove any build up that your hair might incur from styling throughout the weeks. I shampoo with a mild no sulfate shampoo only when I need my hair to be clean, but not squeaky clean (I use Shea Moisture's Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo.) I clarify with my ACV rinse when I feel my hair needs some deeeep cleaning. It's important to shampoo/clarify your hair because build up prevents moisture from getting into the hair, no matter how many times you co-wash and deep condition (it's just product sitting on top of product, basically.) However, don't shampoo or clarify too often because it can strip your hair of its moisture. 

Conditioner

Conditioning is sooo important! It puts back all the moisture you lose after shampooing. Use a moisturizing, conditioner that has lots of slip to detangle your strands, working in sections as you do so. Working in sections makes detangling a lot easier, and you lose less hair since you're not raking your comb through your whole head. For even more length retention, try finger detangling! I know finger detangling can take a while to get used to, but it really is something worth trying. Something I had to do to work my way up to it was to do as much finger detangling as possible, removing the major knots and tangles, and then I used my wide tooth comb. That way, you're not combing through major knots and tangles, which can cause your hair to snap and break if you're not careful. 

Deep Conditioner

Deep conditioning your hair is an absolute must. Now, with deep conditioner, you'll need three kinds: a moisturizing deep conditioner, a light protein, and a heavy protein deep conditioner to use once a month. 


  • Moisturizing Deep Treatment // My low-porosity hair screams for moisture! Now that I know my hair a little better after assessing it, I make sure to deep condition with heat at all times because it's so hard getting moisture into my hair. I've been using Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditoner and mixed in some oils and honey as my deep conditioner. It's been working pretty well, but I like it better as a co-wash. I'm on the hunt for a really good deep conditioner with a little more slip. I do a moisturizing deep treatment every other week. 
  • Light Protein Treatment // I do a light protein treatment with Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner on weeks I'm not doing a moisturizing deep treatment, alternating between the two. I started doing this so my hair can maintain the proper protein-moisture balance. Too much of both protein and moisture can lead to breakage, so it's important to incorporate both into your regimen. Protein treatments once a month wasn't working for me since my hair kept breaking because of a moisture overload. Once I started switching things up and adding those light protein treatments in every other week, I noticed less breakage with my hair. It adds just a splash of protein to my hair, making it a bit stronger. 
  • Heavy Protein Treatment // Since our hair is made of protein, it needs protein to stay strong. It's important to do a heavy protein treatment once a month or when needed to add some strength back into your hair. You shouldn't do these often though since too much protein can lead to breakage. I've been using the Egg and Mayo protein treatment every 6 weeks or so. I planned on trying Henna as a protein treatment, but it's just so much work! I need something more low maintenance, less messy, and less time consuming (my time is limited being a college student!) The Cherry Lola Treatment seems doable, so I think I may give that a try once I take down my Marley Twists (post coming up about those soon). 
Leave-in Conditioner

Applying a leave-in conditioner after you wash/co-wash your hair gives your hair some added moisture. I've been using my Kimmaytube Leave-in Conditioner with Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In, Aloe Vera Juice, JBCO, and Olive Oil, and my hair has been loving it. It adds moisture and balances out my hair's pH. This also doubles up as a styler for me, giving me great definition, so that's always a plus!

Moisturizer

We've been talking about moisture all throughout this post because it really is that important. Opt for a water-based moisturizer that doesn't contain any mineral oil or petroleum, as that will just sit on top of your hair, preventing moisture from getting into your strands. I do the L.O.C method every other day, spritzing with water, applying an oil, and then my Kimmaytube Leave-In. 

Sealant

After moisturizing your hair, it's important to seal with some type of oil or butter to lock all of that moisture in. I've been using either Coconut Oil or EVOO to seal my hair, and my hair loves both oils! 


**This post was inspired by the ABCs of Natural Hair, a series from Krystal K. of The Feisty House. Check out her posts here:

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