Where should you start when formulating your own healthy hair regimen? This is probably the number one question I receive via email from L4L readers. The women range from relaxed to natural to transitioners and even those that don’t know what they want to do! The underlying theme after describing their personal hair story is “I want healthy hair…HELP!” While I understand your frustration, especially if Longing 4 Length is the first healthy hair site you’ve stumbled across, but those are the most difficult messages for me to respond. Most of building a healthy hair regimen is trial and error, but there is a basic skeleton that works well for everyone regardless of hair type or texture.
Suggested Weekly Healthy Hair Regimen:
- Prepoo with coconut oil. Applying warm virgin coconut oil to your hair prior to washing reduces damage, strengthens hair by reducing protein loss and aids in water retention. It has also been shown that coconut oil is most effective when used as a pre-wash treatment versus after washing. Read more on how to pre-poo and the benefits of coconut oil.
- Non-stripping shampoo. Not all sulfate free shampoos are superior, but sulfates are NOT necessary for effective cleansing from week to week. So I suggest finding a gentle shampoo (free of sodium laureth sulfate) to cleanse with each week that will not strip your hair and scalp of its natural sebum. Read more on different types of shampoos.
- Deep condition with heat. Heat opens the hair cuticle allowing the product to penetrate so your hair can fully benefit from the ingredients in the conditioner. You may use a hair steamer, hooded dryer, bonnet dryer, electric heating cap or heat wrap as your heat source. Using heat always provides superior conditioning than just slathering conditioner on your hair, no matter how long you leave it on. Read more on deep conditioning.
- Heat free styling. However you decide to style your hair, try to avoid using direct heat (blow dryers, flat irons, curling wands) as much as possible because heat damages hair and robs it of its moisture. If straight hair is your thing, try a rollerwrap. If curls are best for you – do a wash n’ go or flexirod set. Waves and coils the look you want? Try a braid or twist out.
- Keep Moisturized. Keeping your hair moisturized begins with your deep conditioning process. Between sessions, regularly apply a moisturizing product and seal with an oil to help your hair retain that moisture. The two major ways women choose to keep their hair moisturized is the regular moisturize and seal method and the LOC method. Both are effective you just have to learn what works best for your hair and how often it is necessary to prevent dryness.
- Hands Off. Do not manipulate your hair unnecessarily. Finger comb and style whenever you can. Preserve curls by doing the pineapple method at night. Use seamless wide tooth combs. Every extra adjustment you make to lessen the amount of manipulation takes away an opportunity for your hair to break.
Healthy hair should not be difficult or tedious. You should not spend hours agonizing over building a hair regimen with a thousand different steps. My suggestion is to start with these basics and introduce additional techniques as you deem necessary for your hair. I should also mention that you do NOT have to be a DIY hair girl to follow this healthy hair regimen – it works if you go to the salon as well! Whenever I’m home, I visit my stylist and she always sits me under the dryer with conditioner then gives me an amazing roller or rod set. Having healthy hair does not mean you can never visit the salon. A lot of us just choose to do our own hair because we either like it, to save money or both.