Most hairstylist recommend that you cleanse your hair and scalp once a week, but of course this varies based on the person. Variables that affect your frequency include schedule, health, buildup, and personal preference. According to chemist JC from The Natural haven, there are multiple cleansing options: shampoo, diluted castile soap, oat water, bentonite clay, and rhassoul clay. Some curlies use sulfate-free shampoos that are gentle yet effective cleansers. You will notice that most shampoos for curly hair are not formulated with SLS and SLES, which are too harsh on textured hair. If you prefer the DIY route, then consider using oat water, bentonite clay, or rhassoul clay. There are also shampoos tailored for specific needs like clarifying and for color-treated hair. Since shampoos slightly lift the hair’s cuticle to remove dirt, oil, sebum, and product buildup, you will need something to close the cuticle to maintain moisture.
Moisturizing deep conditioners and masques contain emollients and penetrating ingredients that not only condition the cuticle layer but also seep into the cortex. Some are also formulated with ceramides and protein to strengthen the hair but not at high concentrations. These treatments are great to use either weekly or monthly, depending on your hair’s needs.
Read more: Daily Conditioner vs. Deep Conditioner
Protein treatments strengthen the hair’s cuticle from chemical, mechanical, and thermal damage. Damage is inevitable and everyone experiences it at different rates. To ensure your cuticle stays strong, consider using a protein treatment periodically or incorporate protein-rich products into your regimen like leave-in conditioners. Remember to check the ingredients list to search for hydrolyzed proteins.
Read more: Does Natural Hair Need Proteins?
Moisturizers are water-based products used to help retain the moisture already present in the hair. Moisturizers are usually applied after you have deep conditioned. People also this as a primer to styling products and to refresh their hair between wash days, depending on how thick or greasy the product is.
Read more: 10 Best Moisturizers for Dry Hair
The styler you choose will depend on what you want to achieve. Curl definers gels and creams are often used for wash and go's while butters and pomades are often used for twists. If you love roller sets, there are also foam lotion options that are free of drying alcohols.
If you have the time, you may stumble on a few dual moisturizing stylers that will keep your regimen to four products. If I had to create a bare bones regimen, these four Holy Grail products would be my go-to.
- Alikay Naturals Caribbean Coconut Milk Shampoo
- SheaMoisture Superfruit Complex Masque
- Elucence Extended Moisture Repair Treatment (protein treatment)
- Camille Rose Aloe Whipped Butter Gel (dual moisturizer and styler)