HOW TO SET UP A GOOD HAIR REGIMEN

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A regimen is a routine created by you and repeatedly practiced on fixed intervals. You could have a routine you repeat weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly. Your regimen should fit well into your normal lifestyle so won't have to feel strained while practicing it. A good hair regimen should involve practices that help you retain moisture and length while reducing damage and breakage.

Have it in mind that you don't have to follow someone else's regimen because you feel their hair is doing well. What works for others may not necessarily work for you as hair structure is different for different persons. Your hair may look the same but have different porosity, density, texture etc. So try to set up a regimen that complements your hair type.

The essential elements of a simple regimen includes; cleansing, deep conditioning, moisturising, detangling and protective styling.

Cleansing


Cleansing is very important to growing healthy hair. Other than removing dirt and product build-up, it helps stimulate hair growth as more blood will flow to the scalp during massage. It is important to keep your scalp and hair clean so your hair won't be weighed down by dirt and product build-up.

Hair should be cleansed using a sulphate-free shampoo to avoid drying out. The amount of time allowed between wash-days should depend on how your hair feels. Try creating a weekly cleansing routine and if you feel your hair doesn't do well with that then extend the time interval. 

Wash your hair in sections to minimize breakage. The products you decide to use depends entirely on you. Experiment with co-washs, sulphate-free shampoos and all that.

Creating a good regimen for your hair is all about experimenting then when you find out the one that works you stick to practicing it "consistently".



Conditioning


There are three types of conditioning treatments. We have the rinse-out or regular conditioner, the leave-in conditioner and the deep conditioner.

Rinse-out conditioner is applied to the hair to help make detangling easier, add moisture to hair and tame frizz. It is meant to be rinsed out. You can use this as a quick conditioning treatment on some wash days when you don't want to deep condition.

Leave-in conditioner is applied to the hair every other day to help maintain the health and moisture of the hair.

Deep conditioner is just like a special treatment to hair. It should nourish the hair, replenish it's moisture and provide what is lacking in the hair. If your hair is brittle and dry, a moisturising deep conditioner should be done. If it's weak then a protein deep conditioner is needed. Listen to your hair and go with what it needs.

Conditioning is a very important element is a hair regimen. It should not be skipped.

Moisturising


As it is always emphasized, kinky hair needs "MOISTURE". Without moisture the hair is dry, lifeless, frizzy and is prone to breakage or damage. Every regimen should contain this element. The way you moisturize and retain moisture in your hair should depend entirely on your hair. Experiment with either the LOC or LCO methods and stick with the one that goes well with your hair. You can also add other things you feel will make your moisturizing game better and more productive. Natural hair is all about experimenting. Learn  more about the LOC/LCO methods here.

Detangling


Detangling is a way of removing knots and tangles from hair. When detangling, make sure your hair isn't too dry or wet, your hair is prone to damage on either conditions. Detangle when your hair is damp with a good slip product to help reduce breakage. Try using your fingers first to remove knots and tangles then use either a brush or wide-tooth comb to complete process. Start by working with the ends then work your way up to the roots. Detangling requires patience. Rushing will make you tear at your hair and damage it. When setting up your regimen, make sure you place detangling in a time when you know you'll have enough time to detangle peacefully.

Protective styling


As the name suggests these are Up-dos, braids or twists you install in order to protect your hair from damage that too much manipulation can cause. Put your hair in low maintenance styles and let it breath for some time. Combing, washing, brushing and styling too often can cause damage and break hair. Try to install a style that needs minimal maintenance. You could twist at least once a week, every two weeks or even a month as long as you wash and condition in between.

An example of a simple regimen is shown below;

DAILY (IN PROTECTIVE STYLES)
- Spritz hair with a mixture of water, oil and leave-in conditioner
- Do the inversion method (massage the scalp)
- Style

DAILY (NATURAL HAIR) 
- Spritz hair with water
- Apply leave-in, oil and seal with a butter
- Finger detangle gently
- Put in a low manipulation style (bun, puff, roll and tuck etc.)

WEEKLY
- Pre-poo treatment
- Cleanse hair with a sulphate-free shampoo
- Deep condition (in natural hair styles like twists or braids. if you installed an extension then wait till you take down the style before deep conditioning)
- Massage the scalp with an oil
- Detangle with your fingers, widetooth comb or a brush (when not in styles)
- Style

MONTHLY
- Cleanse with a clarifying shampoo
- Protein/strengthening treatment
- Moisturizing treatment
- Install a protective style

NIGHT ROUTINE
- Moisturize (if you want)
- Sleep in a satin bonnet or scarf

This is just an example. You could add or remove some items to suit your hair. Please comment let me know your thoughts about this article.





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