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Natural Hair Basics: Build a regimen for any length

*Updated 6/26/12*

I’ve educated myself on how to take care of my natural hair for about two years now after years of growth and breakage with natural hair. I learned not only from myself but from others that just because you don’t put a relaxer in your hair doesn’t automatically make your natural hair healthier. After reading endless blogs and watching too many YouTube videos I noticed that everyone is saying just about the same thing when it comes to the essential items needed for scalp and hair health.

In order for your hair to grown there are 4 key components it needs: cleanse, condition, moisture/sealing and protecting.These 4four steps are essential for any hair type, natural or relaxed. Sounds simple, right? lets break it down.

1. Cleanse This is easy. Your options range from ‘regular shampoo’, sulfate-free, Ayurvedic etc more options explained below.

2.Condition You’ve probably already been doing this too. What I didn’t know personally is that the type of conditioner you use makes the difference. Wash out, leave-in and deep conditioners, protein and moisturizing conditioner. Each type of conditioner should be included to your routine as needed.

3.Moisture/Sealing ok this is the big one. Moisturizing is where my hair was seriously slacking. And I didn’t even know what sealing was! Water (not grease; RIP DOO GRO) is the best moisturizer for dry hair. But you don’t just want your hair to feel good after washing, you want to keep the moisture for as long as possible. So that’s where leave-in conditioners, butters, and oils come in. These natural products help your hair to lock in the moisture your hair received from the water.

4.Protect braid it, twist it tuck it. Protective styling is what actually helps you maintain length. Leaving your hair out can cause tangles which are no fun. Wearing your hair down all the time causes split ends. Additionally, it saves you time every morning from having to style your hair. Protective styling is not limited to braids & twist but weaves and wigs, locs, Bantu knots buns, the list is infinite.

How often you do this process is completely up to you. At most repeat every 3 days at least every 2 weeks. I wash my hair weekly when it’s out.

1. Normal Products – These are products that you could go into Target, Wal-Mart, and store really and pick up on the shelf for no more than $10. Family shampoos that are inexpensive such as Herbal Essence and vo5.

3. Natural /Organic Products –   This includes sulfate free shampoo, silicon-free conditioners and basically products that don’t have any harsh chemicals. Usually handmade products such as Black Onyx, Oyin handmade, and Shea Moisture. These products are a bit pricey. This regimen is quite popular in the natural hair community. I follow this regimen but not as strict. I use Jason’s Natural Biotin Shampoo, Carol’s Daughter Tui Moisturizing shampoo, Carol’s Daughter Tui Smoothie, Henna and a variety of oils (I’m becoming quite the mixtress). The only exception is Aussie Moist conditioner I use to co-wash.

3. Ayurveda – I initially stumbled on this type of regimen on MopTopMaven. She has a 2011 Go Ayurvedic challenge and had about 2 other posts on Ayurvedic regimen building. ( here and here).Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of preventive medicine and healthcare that originated in ancient India. Ayurveda means “knowledge of life span”. I thought it was interesting because a lot of the products are powders that you mix. I did further research on the powders and what they do. If you have an Indian grocer near you, these items are very inexpensive. But if you order online you maybe paying up to triple the price so it’s a good idea to shop around before starting this regimen. Last summer I followed the Ayurvedic regimen, I liked the results but it’s time-consuming the only aspect I continue to use is henna.

I would love to know whats YOUR hair regimen? Are you a mixtress? Lemme know in a comment down below!

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