Healthy Hair Hygiene | The Importance of a Hair Care Regimen
Contributed by: @JameliaObsessed
As the founder of a natural hair business TreasureTress and a self-confessed natural hair evangelist (WARNING: If we become friends you're likely to transition to natural). The most common complaint or concern, I hear from women considering going natural or newly natural is “I just do not have enough time to take care of my natural hair”.
Whilst I completely understand why they may think this, I am also slightly perplexed as it really is not that time consuming or as much hassle as many people think.
Many of us have self-care routines to maintain our mental and physical health and hygiene; for example: gym go-ers have a very disciplined approach to exercise and have made it a part of their lifestyle. It is also likely that through time they’ve found the most efficient way to work out and get the best results in the least amount of time. Likewise, healthy eaters, have found a way to make eating healthy easy and inexpensive, no longer requiring much research or experimentation. For most, at least twice a day we find time to shower and cleanse our skin, it has simply become a part of everyday life. So why should hair-care be any different?
It is my hope that this post helps you break down the development of a haircare regimen and help explain how simple and vital it is to attaining and maintaining a healthy head of hair.
A hair care regimen can be broken down into 4 parts:
The beauty of natural hair is that is completely unique to the individual, much like our fingerprint. For some this is frustrating as in the “popcorn” society we live in, we want a one size fits all easy solution. In reality this isn't the case for natural hair care, nor most things in life in all honesty.
For me Icleanse my hair once a week. When I say cleanse I mean “co-wash” (washing my hair with a conditioner instead of shampoo). This allows me to refresh my hair without stripping it of moisture. Once a month I’ll swap my co-wash routine for a shampoo to ensure my scalp is fully cleansed, ready to promote healthy hair growth.
For some, cleansing of the scalp takes place once a month by way of shampooing or co-washing and for others cleansing takes place several times throughout the week due to their own exercise routines or simply their preference.
Finding your hair care regimen is much to do with experimenting. Finding out what works for you, through trial and error. If your hair feels good after a co-wash once a week, then stick to it. IF your hair feels cloggy after a week of co-washing swap your co-washing agent for a shampoo. Its not your hair its your regimen.
This is my absolute favourite step in my haircare regimen. My Friday nights are religiously filled with me “deep conditioning and chilling” - I am easily pleased! I choose to deep condition my hair once a week, and I leave the conditioner in over-night and wash it out in the morning. Not only is this easy for me and very time-efficient as I do not have to carve time out of my day to sit under a dryer or compromise another task for conditioning; I have found it gives my hair fabulous bounce, shine and improves manageability.
Again, for others - not so much. Some prefer shorter deep conditioning sessions which I get, but it isn’t my preference.
Conditioning doesn't end there, day to day there are things which can be built into your regimen to ensure your hair stays moisturised. For me every other day, I’ll dab the ends of my hair with a leave in conditioner and follow that up with an oil.Curly/Kinky hair is inherently dry so conditioning is by far the most essential stage of hair care regime. See more on the L.O.C Method here.
Now this is a step where I have seen the most self-harm (yes self-harm!) I’ve seen people yanking combs through dry hair, ripping apart strands of hair and altogether abusing very fragile strands. I have one rule for detangling. It only takes place in the shower for me, under running water and with my hair drenched in deep conditioner. If you do the math yes that does mean I only detangle my hair once a week (after my weekly deep conditioning session). For some a spray bottle and some conditioner does the job and allows the flexibility to deal with their hair and mould it into another style.
For me, I have very fine strands of hair, prone to knots. To avoid the trauma of yanking my hair apart I choose to only deal with it under running water.
This is by far the most fun element of natural hair. For the longest time I was slave to the straightener and never dreamed of wearing my hair loose/out heat-free.
Thank God for Youtube I soon discovered the ‘braid-out’ and have not looked back since!
Styling natural hair is simple. Style it the night before whilst it is wet, go to sleep, wake up and un-do and roll!
Yes I know it sounds too good to be true, and no your hair isn't like mine, but I do have a variety of friends with a variety of textures and the same holds true. They style their hair the night before, allow it to dry and wake up, undo and fluff!
Taking care of my natural hair for me is an essential part of my self-care routine. It's my time on a Friday night to apply a quality deep conditioner, put on an old school 90s film, or my favourite YouTube channel and relax. My hair is an extension and expression of me. I have to take care of all of me. You should too, you deserve it!
For more information on natural hair simply message me! For product recommendations keep an eye on TreasureTress, every month we’re discovering and delivering the best natural haircare products!