Last week, the back to basics post was about why you should start a hair journey.
Congratulations if you have decided to take your hair's health into your hands, welcome to an international community with thousands of women (and men) who believe healthy hair is the most beautiful hair anyone can have. But now that you have made the decision to start a hair journey, you don't know where to begin. Online, you are being bombarded with so much information, and most of it has the disclaimer that "what works for my hair might not work for yours''. Before you give up before even starting, I have condensed all the wisdom on the internet into a digestible bite for you so you can start your hair journey.
What you need in terms of products and tools, whether you are relaxed or natural are:
- satin/silk bonnet or pillowcase
- wide tooth comb
- sulfate free shampoo/shampoo bar
- clarifying/chelating shampoo
- conditioner (a cheap one)
- a moisturizing deep conditioner
- protein deep conditioner
- coconut/olive oil (extra virgin is best)
- hair clips
- good pair of hair shears (only to be used for your hair)
- leave in conditioner
I just listed the basic tools and products you will need to start a hair journey. As you research and learn, you will add in more products, tools and techniques. But back to the basics (I have done a four week plan)
Week One (when you start)
- use clarifying shampoo to wash your scalp and hair so you start your hair journey with a clean slate
- use protein deep conditioner to strengthen hair
- follow up with moisturizing deep conditioner
- wrap hair in an old t-shirt to absorb excess water
- when hair is damp, apply leave in conditioner, seal with an oil and style
- if needed trim hair to get rid of damage
during the week (optional)
- moisturize and seal hair using your moisturizer and oil
- massage scalp with oil
- (NOT OPTIONAL) cover hair with satin scarf/bonnet when sleeping
- use sulfate free shampoo to cleanse scalp
- deep condition using moisturizing deep conditioner
- follow the rest of the steps from week 1 wash day (except trim step)
- same as week 2
- same as week 1 except trim stage
The cheap conditioner is there to use when your hair is really tangled to make it easier to detangle. Just generously apply conditioner to a section of hair, comb it using a wide tooth comb starting from the ends moving up to the roots, then clip it up before moving to the next section. Cheap conditioner is also useful as a prepoo (pre shampoo treatment).
Ladies who relax are encouraged to relax after a minimum of 8 weeks (2 months) so they have enough new growth to prevent relaxer overlapping. When I was relaxed, I used to stretch for 12 - 24 weeks.
That is a sample regimen.
My regimen (developed after 2 years) is:
- apply coconut oil to hair and finger detangle
- Deep condition overnight with a moisturising conditioner. The hair will be in braided sections
- rinse out deep conditioner, and wash scalp only using African black soap or a clarifying shampoo
- wrap hair in t-shirt to absorb excess moisture
- sometimes I apply a leave in, but I always seal my hair using coconut oil, baobab oil or vaseline
Once a month
- shampoo hair using a clarifying shampoo
- do a protein treatment
- deep condition using a moisturizing deep conditioner
- wrap hair in t-shirt. Apply leave in conditioner. Seal with an oil/vaseline
Every night I braid my hair into two cornrows and cover with a satin scarf for bed. I am transitioning (growing out my relaxer) so my aim is to be very gentle with my hair to prevent breakage, and manage my multiple textures so that I retain growth.
The idea with a hair regimen is you start with a generic one, and as you learn more about your hair, you tweak it in order to make it work with your schedule and your hair's needs.
If you are in Zimbabwe and want a tailored regimen with a list of suggested products and where to find them, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.
Have a great weekend.