Currently, one of the buzziest textured hair trends is the switch to going natural. This can mean eliminating wigs and weaves all together, or simply finding an effective natural hair regimen to keep your natural curls and coils healthy. Though, this change is much more than just a hair trend.
There has been a shift for mainstream media to include more diverse content and stores to have more readily-available natural hair products. Similarly there’s been a major increase in influencers and celebrities alike gladly rocking their natural ‘dos.
With all these improvements it’s no wonder why so many of us with curls and coils are excited to explore new ways to style our hair that go beyond the traditional weaves and chemical relaxers. Now is the perfect time to celebrate your natural hair and establish healthy ways to care for it.
Building an effective natural hair regimen is as personal as it gets. Finding what products, formulas, techniques, and ingredients that work best for your unique hair type and texture means that finding an effective routine takes some trial and error.
However, once you nail down that magic formula you’ll notice your hair is more hydrated, less frizzy or damaged, and easier to maintain. The other benefits? Natural black hair care can sometimes be a guessing game, having an established routine that is easily incorporated into your daily life will cut down on time, energy, and save money in the long run.
While this routine will need to be personalized to you, your hair, and your natural hair journey, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. We’re here to help you find the perfect regimen and products for your best hair yet. Let’s get to it.
How to Get Started
Tackling a new hair care routine is always trial and error. While you might diligently read articles, watch YouTube tutorials, or research the best natural hair products, the reality is that too often we find ourselves drifting back into old habits because of time, confusion, or we simply get discouraged.
The way you start a new hair regimen can make sticking to it easy or near impossible. We try tons of new products, foams, gels, leave-ins, puddings, oils, we truly exhaust the spectrum of hair care products. While these styling or conditioning products might serve their purpose in initially giving us great hair, the combination of them often leaves our curls and coils stripped, dry and tired. Who wouldn’t get frustrated and fed up after putting in all of that work just to get the same results they’ve been used to?
If this process sounds familiar it’s because it follows the same pattern as a crash diet. For example, you can immediately cut out carbs and sugar and be very strict about it, but you’ll be much more likely to cheat on that diet and have it fail long term. Instead, in order to build a natural hair care routine you can stick to, begin with an easy foundation and gradually build a realistic routine. It’s about making lifestyles changes that work with your everyday life.
What is a Natural Hair Regimen?
Skin care routines get all the glory. We all know those 3-step skin care programs, Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize, or some variation of that. A hair care routine follows the same idea in practice, it’s a dedicated routine to keep your hair healthy. But fabulous hair doesn’t just happen, it takes a little bit of work to determine what makes your hair happiest. Once you do that it’s easy to follow a few simple steps weekly or biweekly.
The other benefit to having a structured hair care regimen is that it ensures consistent care. Once you nail down a routine you know exactly what, when, and how to make your hair look its best. This is especially important if you’re a natural hair newbie or transitioning to natural hair.
So what should your natural hair care routine look like? Thankfully it doesn’t need to be a complicated, time-consuming, or expensive ordeal. You’re likely already doing several of these things but remember that you’ll need to tailor the order, technique, or products depending on your unique hair type and texture.
Generally speaking, almost all natural hair regimens will follow these easy steps:
- Proper Cleaning
- Treatments/Deep Conditioning
- Protective Styling
Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps to make sure you’re building the most effective natural hair care regime for your unique hair.
Proper Cleansing: Wash the Right Way
In order to clear the way for healthy, growing curls, your hair and scalp need to be squeaky clean. While some naturalistas may opt to co-wash, washing hair with a gentle cleanser is integral to achieving and maintaining healthy, clean hair.
A good sulfate-free shampoo, like our Honey & Coconut Oil Shampoo, works to gently remove dirt and buildup without stripping hair of its natural oils; using a blend of raw Honey & Coconut Oil to deeply penetrate and hydrate natural coils and curls, leaving the hair soft, nourished and with a natural shine. Co-washing alone won’t be able to achieve all this.
Now that you know how to wash the question is when should you be doing it? The key is understanding how your hair reacts to being washed. In general most natural hair should be washed about every two weeks. However, this will most likely differ based on the time of year, your hair type and texture, and your lifestyle habits.
Aim to wash every two weeks but experiment with what works best. Keep a close eye on your strands and consider washing less if they feel dry, brittle, or frizzy. Wash more if your hair feels greasy, dirty (or has an odor), and styling products don’t seem to work as well as they once did.
Conditioning: Soften & Detangle
Since natural hair tends to be drier, especially Type 4 hair, conditioning is an absolute must for healthy and hydrated hair. On every wash day you should reach for a daily or rinse-out conditioner. This is a lightweight formula you use everytime after shampooing.
In addition to providing moisture, conditioning natural hair closes the hair cuticle making it smoother, slippery, and easier to detangle. We recommend our Honey, Chocolate & Coconut Oil Conditioner form nourished strands. This moisture restoring blend uses the natural conditioning benefits of Honey and Coconut Oil, with the restorative benefits of Chocolate (Cacao) to transform dry coils and curls leaving them hydrated.
Another benefit of conditioning is that it prepares your strands for detangling and makes them much more manageable. Gently comb the conditioner through hair with your fingers and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing. Gentle detangling is a very important step in your natural hair care routine as it helps lessen damage, frizz, and knots. That’s why you might want to detangle strands before you even shampoo your hair. Our Moisture Miracle Pre-Shampoo for example, uses the natural benefits of Aloe Vera and Coconut Water to condition, protect and remove tangles from natural coils and curls; leaving hair soft and easy to manage during cleansing and styling.
Treatments & Deep Conditioning
In addition to using a rinse-out conditioner, you should also integrate a deep conditioner into your hair care. This is an intensive moisturizing treatment that you should use every other wash (or about once a month). After shampooing (instead of using a regular conditioner) apply a nourishing formula, like our Deep Penetrating Conditioner Moisture Restore Treatment, leave on for 30 minutes then rinse out.
This provides not just moisture, but vital nutrients that ensure your hair is at its healthiest. Our Moisture Restore Treatment for example, deeply conditions and hydrates extremely dry, damaged hair. Specially created with black castor oil, coconut milk and shea butter; this treatment deeply penetrates hair strands and restores moisture.
You can also use this time (post-shampoo) to add in specialized and targeted natural hair treatments depending upon your hair’s current needs. For instance, if you have lots of product build-up, haven’t washed your hair in awhile, or have very hard/dry strands you might want to use a Moroccan Clay & Shea Butter Masque to detox and soften your hair.
This detoxing & restorative clay masque uses the clarifying benefits of Moroccan Red Clay to remove impurities and product build-up while the Shea Butter replenishes moisture and strengthens the hair; leaving you with soft, hydrated, coils and curls.
Moisturizing: Prioritize Hydration
One of the most important elements in any natural hair care regime is moisture. Hey, it’s why we created an entire line of Moisture Miracle products that focus on properly hydrating hair. Waiting until your hair feels dry to moisturize it is exactly like waiting to drink water until you’re absolutely dehydrated. Instead, take a few minutes to moisturize your curls daily.
There are several ways you can do this, spritzing hair with some water, sealing moisture with an oil, and spraying a nourishing leave-in conditioner onto strands. All work great and you’ll need to experiment with all three methods to see what works best for you.
Keeping hair moisturized is integral to preventing breakage, damage, and other hair issues like frizz, knots, and growth. (Read more Top Tips To Keep Your Natural Hair Moisturized here).
When searching for a moisturizing product be sure to read the ingredients carefully as water should be the first ingredient listed. We love our African Pride Leave-In Conditioner which is a lightweight blend of hydrating Coconut Milk & African Honey that works to replenish moisture, add shine, and soften strands; leaving hair manageable and naturally definedFor dry scalps, edges, or ends we recommend giving yourself a gentle massage with African Pride 5 Essential Oils. This unique combination of Castor oil, Grapeseed oil, Argan oil, Coconut oil, and Olive oil helps replenish natural nutrients, protect against breakage, and promote natural growth. This almost makes a great hair sealant.
Protective Styling: Keep Hair Healthy
Now that we’ve outlined what your natural hair care regime looks like, the final step is
maintaining the health and integrity of your curls and coils until the next wash day. Protective styles are simply the best ways to keep hair moisturized, growing, and shielded from daily elements. This is especially important at night when you toss and turn and can end up causing damage to your strands.
There are so many natural protective styles we love but we recommend keeping it simple! Stick to easy wash and gos, twist or braid outs, or high puffs. Use a hydrating curling cream like our Shea Butter & Flaxseed Oil Curling Cream to give coils and curls smooth, bouncy hold while providing definition, shine, and deep moisture.
Almost all our Moisture Miracle products can, of course, stand alone to solve your different hair care needs or hair issues like dry scalp or breakage, but when you combine our Leave-In Cream, 5 Essential Oils, and this Flaxseed Oil Curling Cream, true Black girl magic happens.
Staying on Track
Inevitably, finding the right hair care routine will take a little bit of finesse. There will be some trial and error and you may have to slightly alter your routine based on the time of year (ie: extra moisture in the winter).
Like a crash diet you don’t want to alter everything at once or put too much unrealistic pressure on yourself. Gradually make subtle changes and introduce new formulas and products to your hair. You also shouldn’t expect to see results overnight.
Once you determine what regimen works best, consistently stick with it for a few months, we promise it will become second nature. To help keep yourself on track it can be helpful to take notes in a journal detailing your exact routine and the state of your hair. In the end you’ll be glad you took the time and effort to ensure your hair is happy, healthy, and hydrated. You can do it!
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