What is the best natural hair care routine? If you polled 100 curly girls, they would probably each have a different hair care regimen that they swear by at this time. Sure, you might find a few standard practices –best practices that these curlies share, but you would also be able to identify different methods that each one embraces. Additionally, you would probably learn that their natural hair routine has everything to do with their natural hair goals.
Creating Your Natural Hair Routine
Creating your natural hair routine begins with setting your natural hair goals. Once you are clear about what it is you hope to achieve with this regimen, it will help to steer you in the right direction of choosing the best natural hair care products for your hair.
Moisture and Protein
Your natural hair care routine should include a healthy blend of moisture-rich or protein-rich products depending on your hair porosity (low, normal, high) or your hair’s ability to absorb and hold moisture. This characteristic will often determine the best path for your natural hair care regimen, helping to ensure that your hair is healthy, vibrant, and flexible.
Cleansing Your Hair: Choosing the Best Shampoo
Once you know your hair porosity and have a good grasp for your natural hair type, you can begin to identify which products are best for cleansing your hair and scalp and further, determine the frequency in which you will wash your hair. Think about your hair goals. Generally speaking, most naturalistas will want to choose shampoos that are powerful enough to cleanse their hair and scalp to remove product buildup but gentle enough not to strip their hair from natural oils.
We now know that choosing shampoos that are sulfates-free will best meet this requirement.
If you are experiencing problems with dry, brittle hair, your shampoo choices are likely to center around products that can infuse moisture and shampoo that will aid in your quest for repairing the damage.
Additionally, if you are suffering from dandruff, scalp inflammation or irritation, you will want to select a product that is soothing for your scalp so that the hair growth cycle is not disrupted and you have the opportunity to achieve some form of relief from your scalp woes.
Conditioning Your Natural Hair
Next, you will have to determine your conditioner regimen. All good natural hair routines include a deep conditioning ritual. Your mission in setting up your natural hair routine is to determine which approach will best fit your needs. Some curlies deep condition their hair every week for upwards of 20 minutes, and others prefer to follow an every-other-week model. Your hair will determine the best path for you.
Keep in mind that you may have to test a variety of conditioners to find the one that is meant for your hair. Some conditioners will leave your hair feeling silky smooth, and others may leave you wondering if you applied anything at all. Don’t be afraid to participate in a bit of trial and error until you find your match.
Also, do not skip the leave-in conditioner step of the hair care routine. Leave-in conditioners offer naturally curly hair a wealth of benefits, including:
- Moisturizes hair
- Controls frizz
- Heat barrier
- Protects against sun damage
- Fabulous detangler
Protein Treatments Anyone?
Protein treatments are not for everyone. However, if you find that the integrity of your hair seems to be compromised –i.e., it’s dry, lacks elasticity, lifeless, or brittle, it may be time to consider applying one. However, it cannot be stressed enough to proceed with caution. Protein treatments are notorious for doing more harm than good, depending on the state of your hair. If in doubt, consult with a professional before embarking on this process independently.
Moisture may be a component of your day to day goal, but it will not just happen because you want it to be so. This goal may require you to find the essential oil or oils that best suit your hair. There are hundreds if not thousands of essential oils to choose from that have a reputation for delivering powerful results, but which one is best for your hair?
Once again, you may find yourself participating in a bit of trial and error to find the best essential oil for natural hair that delivers top results for your kinks and coils. A few favorite oils include:
- Jamaican Black Castor
- Kalahari Melon Seed
Any products that can assist you with keeping those pesky tangles to a minimum will prove useful as well.
Do not forget to adjust your daily maintenance practices to the season as your hair will require different things during summer and winter months to combat various environmental factors including but not limited to:
- Ultraviolet rays
- Humidity or dry air
Bedtime Hair Care Ritual
Lastly, your natural hair routine should consist of a bedtime ritual, whether wrapping your hair using the pineapple method or donning a satin bonnet to reduce hair friction while you sleep. Your list of goals has to include protecting your hair while you sleep.
These are just a few tips for establishing your natural hair care routine. Remember to allow your hair goals to set the pace. Don’t be afraid to try new things and of course, have some fun.