You can’t create a one size fits all approach to a natural hair regimen, even amongst natural hair gurus, their specific journeys and methods responsible for their successes are very divergent, sometimes even downright contradictory.
Rather than going down the route of an example natural hair regimen as I did before, I thought a visual of what constitutes a good regimen in this handy pyramid below would be better. Like with food pyramids, you should be able to see at a glance what your regimen should look like!
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I have not included any co-washes in the pyramid as you see. Although co washes help with moisture in dry natural hair, the tendency to tangle certainly does not encourage good length retention in the long run. If you are a natural like Curly Nikki who enjoys keeping shoulder length curls then co-washes are a wonderful way to infuse some mid-week moisture. If however length is your long term goal, stick with a spray bottle and some shea butter for your moisture needs in between washes!
• Moisturize and seal daily or at least every other day depending on your hair’s needs. Fine strands may want to go with light oils like coconut oil but coarse strands should go with shea butter or other heavy oil.
• Drink water daily, this helps with optimal skin and hair health.
• If you have opted to include vitamins in your regimen take them daily for maximum effect.
• Style your hair with your fingers only but try and make your styles last all week without restyling!
• Green house effect (GHE) some people add this to their regimen daily to increase hair growth, remember though that as a natural GHE will encourage shrinkage and shrinkage is not a good friend of a hair grower.
• Accessorize daily to avoid getting bored with protective styling!
• Cover your hair nightly with a satin bonnet or sleep on a satin pillowcase.
• Naturals are not as prone to hygral fatigue as relaxed hair but pre-pooing is a good practice anyway because it prevents excessively dry strands after your shampoo.
• Choose sulfate free shampoos to wash your hair wherever possible or skip the shampoo step all together.
• Deep condition with heat while alternating your protein and moisturizing deep treatments. Naturals who don’t color their hair will not need a great deal of protein.
• Steam treatments – These will soften very coarse strands better than any conditioner so invest in a good steamer if you can afford to.
• Optimally you should include scalp massages into your regimen daily but if you are too busy at the very least give your scalp a good massage while you wash your hair every week.
• Naturally your wash day should be the only time that you use combs and brushes and even then very minimally. Detangle GENTLY from ends working your way up to the roots.
• Do your twist/braid outs on wet hair so that you can get maximum staying power from the style. This allows you to go all week without having to restyle your hair.
• Diffusers on a COOL setting can also be used weekly without any negative effects. These are especially useful in colder months when you don’t really want to be walking around with wet hair!