Whether your hair is curly, coily, or wavy, you will probably have a love hate relationship with establishing and keeping up a hair regimen. But let me just tell you that if healthy long hair is something you're longing for, then you better get your regimen together ASAP.
What is a regimen?
According to Dictionary.com, the word regimen means, “a systematic way of life or course of therapy.” What this means in terms of hair is creating a system to care for your hair that you follow on a schedule.
Why should I have one?
The greatest benefit of establishing a regimen is the positive effect it can have on your hair. Your hair needs care and lots of it. A regimen gives you a plan of action to follow when caring for your hair. A good hair regimen gives your hair exactly what it needs – moisture.
How do I create a hair regimen?
Every curly will have a different regimen because our hair is different and has different needs. Another reason why our regimens will differ is because our lifestyles are all very different. However, whether you're transitioning to natural, are newly natural, or have been natural for years, there are basic steps we all need in a regimen.
- Shampoo: The detergents in shampoo break down oils that accumulate into tiny droplets on our hair. Once broken down, water can rinse the oil as well as dust, flakes of skin and dirt out of the hair and down the drain. The detergents used in shampoos are able to access and clean tiny crevices found in hair, the hair shaft and scalp by reducing the surface tension of the water.
- Condition: Hair conditioners contain different types of moisturizing and softening ingredients that make hair softer, shinier and glossier. The main ingredients include moisturizers, fatty oils, surfactants, glossers, thermal protectors, detanglers and lubricants. Most of these ingredients such as moisturizers and fatty oils coat the hair with humectants that lock in moisture and prevent the hair from becoming dry and brittle. Conditioned hair tends to be shinier, bouncier, softer and sleeker.
- Moisturize: The key to moisturizing your hair is to drink water — lots of it! In addition to drinking lots of water you should include topical moisturizers and oils to soften, seal and add shine to your hair.
How often should I follow my regimen?
Follow your regimen on a weekly schedule, but also create a daily schedule to care for your hair. Your weekly regimen would include the whole enchilada, from washing, to conditioning and moisturizing. Your daily regimen will focus on moisture and protection, whereas your weekly regimen will focus more on cleaning. Decide on how you plan to moisturize your hair in the morning or at night. Come up with a night time plan to keep your hair from drying out and to keep it from becoming tangled.
When starting a new regimen, I would suggest sticking to it for a few weeks to give your hair enough time to respond to the changes. Don’t change it, tweak it or switch it up at all. After a few weeks, evaluate the state of your hair and then decide on what new products and methods should be introduced.