Building a regimen that works best for your hair is the trickiest part of a hair journey. For newbies just starting out focusing on moisture (rather than protein) is a great place to start for two reasons. First, prior to starting a hair journey it’s unlikely your hair received the necessary levels of moisture it needs to thrive. Second, it’s much easier to correct moisture overload (when hair receives too much moisture and as a result feels very mushy by doing a protein treatment). Protein overload takes longer to correct and requires focusing on moisture for a few washes (sometimes weeks).
Alright-y, with that being said, here’s my take on a basic moisture-centered regimen:
- Shampoo once a week with a moisturizing shampoo.
- Shampoo with a clarifying or chelating shampoo once a month.
- Deep condition with moisturizing deep conditioner after shampooing.
- Apply leave-in conditioner or moisturizer, followed by serum or light oil to seal in the leave-in or moisturizer.
- Roller set or air dry. When you air drying, you can choose to do dry in braids or twists for a braid out or twist out.
- During the week: moisturize and seal.
After your hair feels like it’s on the right track with moisture, start adding in a protein treatment once a month to help prevent moisture overload and strengthen your tresses.
Reduce Direct Heat
Overusing heat styling tools like blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons dries out the hair and opens the door for breakage (and setbacks!). When first starting out on your healthy hair journey, it’s a wise decision to reduce your use of direct heat and focus on improve its health. Roller sets are a great way to straighten hair without using direct heat. When using direct heat don’t forget to use a heat protectant!
It’s in your best interest to stretch your relaxers. Look at it this way: the last thing you want to do when relaxing your hair is apply relaxer directly to the hair that has already been relaxed. This will lead to overprocessed, weakened hair that is susceptible to breakage. If your hair grows the average of half an inch a month, by stretching your relaxers to at least 8 weeks, in two months time you’ll have at least an inch of new growth. By extending the number of weeks between touch ups, the more new growth you have = the more area of have to work with, making it easier to avoid applying relaxer to your previously relaxed hair. For more on stretching your relaxer, check out this post and this post.