Tips For Achieving Healthy Hair.
Achieving healthy hair requires patience, knowledge, and consistency. If you are starting a natural or healthy hair journey, start with your regimen. There are seven basic steps to a proper hair care regimen. The products and the order of the regimen will vary from head to head according to your hair type, moisture and protein balance, porosity and maintenance needs. Incorporate the below steps to provide a solid foundation towards your healthy hair journey.
Achieving Healthy Hair Should Be Fun.
Shampoo – Make sure your shampoo does not contain harsh ingredients like sulfates (SLS), parabens, or mineral oil. If you are not aware of the ideal time you should go between shampooing, wash your hair once a week. Use the weekly shampooing as your gauge in determining if you need to shampoo more or less often. We all know “naturals” who shampoo their hair once a week, once a month, or not at all. Some opt to use cleansers to remove their hair build-up. More naturals are experimenting with the option of cleaning their locks with the aid of natural cleansers like Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar, or cleansing conditioners.
Protein Treatment – Hair is made of mainly proteins. Protein treatments aid those with damaged hair. The protein fills the damaged parts of the hair cuticle, rebuilding its strength. Give a healthy head of hair a protein boast monthly, if your hair is weak or damaged try bi-monthly treatments. Always replenish your hair with a protein treatment after you have compromised its strength with chemicals or excessive heat. Follow up a few days after a protein infusion with a great moisturizing conditioner to replace any lost moisture.
Conditioner – Conditioner replaces the natural oils that shampooing strips away when you wash your hair. Conditioners contain one or more fats, oils or synthetic compounds that behave like fats, oils, surfactants and other filler ingredients. The fats or oils leave a smooth, waxy coating on the hair leaving it more manageable. Conditioning help fight tangles. The conditioner coats the cuticle, where cuticle cells have broken away and forms a layer over the cortex. This coated layer protects your hair from tangling. Even if you use a sulfate-free shampoo your hair will crave moisture.
Tip: After conditioning, use a cotton t-shirt to dry your hair instead of a towel. Tee’s are softer and will help eliminate a lot of frizz and keep your hair coated and soft from the conditioner!
Forget the improper routines of the past and try these tips in achieving healthy hair:
Deep Conditioner – I saw a significant difference in the length and strength of my own hair with consistent deep conditioning treatments. Experiment with deep conditioners until you find the best balance of protein and moisture for your locks. I suggest deep conditioning once a week. If you’re using a store-brought product, follow the directions on the bottle as to when you should add the deep conditioner in your conditioning process and for how long. Retail products have been tested for efficiency so the directions on the bottle will give you the best results.
Leave-In Conditioner/Moisturizer – Your hair should stay moisturized for optimal appearance and cooperation. After washing and using a rinse-out conditioner add a leave-in conditioning moisturizer to your hair. The key to great leave-ins is using one that has water as the first ingredient, water hydrates and provides the best moisture. Check for harmful ingredients, you are leaving this product in your hair and you don’t want to use something that will create build-up or cause a negative reaction to your hair.
Sealer – Sealing is locking in the moisture to your hair. The only form of moisture that exists on this planet is water, and the process of sealing is adding butter or oils to your wet hair to hold the moisture in. The molecules in most butters/oils are too large to be absorbed by the cuticle of the hair shaft so it ends up trapping in the moisture. I find adding a little coconut oil and/or extra virgin olive oil to my leave in conditioner works wonders.
Styler – There are a ton of styling products on the market. For us natural girls, you can choose from hair butters, gels, mouse, and more. After your hair has moisture feel free to experiment with stylers to see which one fits the style of your hair the best. For those who straighten their hair, find a great heat protectant before you apply heat styling tools.
Optional: Finisher – This is an optional step but some people tend to add a serum or finishing styling product for added shine or to make their hair smell good.