For those who are new to the O'Natural scene as well as the veteran curlies who just haven't quite gotten the hang of it, there's nothing more overwhelming than trying to come up and maintain a hair regimen. Returning to our natural texture is usually a time of education and experimentation. To avoid wasting products, money and energy, here is a starting point for creating and KEEPING your O'Natural curly regimen. The object of a regimen is to maintain healthy curly, kinky and coily hair. Now, depending on the qualities of your hair (thick, thin, long, short,fine, coarse, kinky, curly) the regimen may change. Below is a good foundational beginning to having healthy beautiful tresses.
- Deep Treat/ Repair
- Cleansing: Shampoo is meant to lift the hair cuticle, break up oil and dirt and suspend it so that it's rinsed away. When we use shampoo, the focus should be on our scalp since that's where the dirt is at. Try not to tousle or scrunch the hair while shampooing, this causes the hair to tangle. Try to aim for an O'Natural shampoo; one without sulfates, which cause dryness.
- Condition/Detangle: Conditioning the hair closes the cuticle, making it easier to detangle and comb through. Conditioner is supposed to coat the hair. Conditioner can also be used to gently cleanse the hair, known as co-washing. Try to aim for conditioners that are silicone free...or at least aim for conditioners with water soluble silicones (see my post on co washing). If you happen to use conditioners with silicones, please be sure to clarify at least twice per month. If you do not, then hair can become dull and lifeless.
- Moisturize: Natural hair tends to be dry. Fitting a moisturizer into your regimen is of the utmost importance for acquiring healthy hair. First and foremost, water is one of the best moisturizers..nothing beats this. Adding water into a spritz bottle for a quick pick me up for your hair can do wonders. Now, I'm not saying to completely saturate your hair, that can take forever to dry, but just a quick squirt squirt squirt, is enough to get you going. When searching for moisturizing products, please be sure that water is pretty high up on the list..I prefer products where water is the first ingredient. I also like to make my own products and add extra moisture to my hair.
- Seal: I cannot stress how important it is to seal the moisture into the hair. Moisture is lost when cuticle is raised and water leaves the hair. By laying a sealant on top of the hair ensures that the moisture is locked in, keeping your hair soft and shiny all day. There are so many oils to choose from (Castor, Grapeseed, Jojoba, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil). If you add your favorite oil to your moisturizing spritz, you actually kill two birds with one stone by moisturizing and sealing at the same time.
- Deep Treatments/Repair: Because no ones hair is perfect and we all get breakage, lack moisture and need help. Natural hair that has not been processed (relaxers, heated treatments, hair dyes) usually do not lack protein, but the curlier the hair, the more moisture that it needs. A deep moisture treatment is a great way to start off. Adding more moisturizing elements is an added bonus (honey, carrier oils).
Now that you have the basics, it is up to you and what your hair likes as to how often. For me, I follow this regimen weekly, with co-washes in between. But remember, it is what works for you and your hair. Soooo, beautiful naturals, enjoy your journey, and I truly hope this helps make things a lot easier.
Happy Healthy Hair
credit: some info found at www.naturallycurly.com