For optimal black hair growth and health, you should develop a week by week regimen of what you will need to do to your hair in order to keep it clean, healthy and growing.
To create a basic hair care regimen, you need to determine the following things:
1.**Figure out what times of day you need to moisturize and what products work best for your hair. You should have at least one moisturizer for adding moisture AND another moisturizer that specifically says it contains protein or that it is “Anti Breakage”. Alternate between these two moisturizers as needed. I will tell you in another post how to tell if your hair needs more moisture or more protein.
2.**Oils and Sealants
To keep moisture in your hair after using your moisturizer, you will need to apply an oil to “seal in” the moisture so your hair wont get dried out. Good oils to use are olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, rosemary oil, sweet almond oil, carrot oil, tea tree oil, castor oil, etc. I’ll have a detailed post just on essential oils later.
3.**Determine when and how you will style your hair and find products necessary to protect your hair from that styling. For example, if you style with a lot of heat, you will need to use a Heat Protectant on your hair each time you style to prevent damage.
Find a good leave in conditioner that makes your hair feel and look better. It may take a while of trying different products to find the one you like best. Infusium 23 is an example of a good leave-in conditioner.
5.**Determine how you will protect your hair while you are sleeping. Either wrap it up with a satin head wrap or use a satin or satin-like pillowcase. This prevents excess friction on your hair as you move around in bed, which will cause less hairs to be accidentally broken off. Wrapping your hair up in something also keeps the products you put on it from messing up your pillows and sheets!
6.**I have not yet discussed protective styles yet, but basically they are styles like buns, wraps, wigs, weaves, etc. that you can use to keep your hair protected from excess sun, dry air and friction from clothing. Putting a good moisturizer on the hair and using a protective style during the day is a great way to keep your hair moisturized all day. The less your hair is out and messed with, the better!
1.**Determine how often per week (or bi-weekly) you will wash your hair and what products you will use. Remember to use a moisturizing shampoo.If your hair is very damaged and feels mushy, you should use a protein conditioner that says on the label that it contains protein or keratin. If your hair feels hard, stringy, dry and broken, use a moisturizing conditioner.
2.**Find a good deep conditioner. I would suggest using a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week. Even more if your hair is very damaged. Just like conditioners and moisturizers, there are deep conditioners especially made for hair that needs more protein or hair that needs more moisture. I will discuss deep conditioners and how to use them in an upcoming post. I personally use the Motions Deep Penetrating Treatment. Your hair may like a different product. Try a few different ones to see what works best.
3.**Vitamins, Diet, Exercise, Growth Aids
A good diet and exercise contributes a lot to having healthy hair. The body focuses first on internal processes, then on things like hair and nails last. So that means, if you aren’t taking care of your insides as well, your body will give nutrients and vitamins to your insides first and your hair and nails may get neglected if you the body doesn’t have enough nutrients to use for them. Using a good multivitamin supplement is a great idea to make sure your hair and scalp get their share of internal attention as well as the attention you pay to it from the outside. There are also supplements like Biotin, which can make hair and nails stronger.
4.You can also consider using growth aids to speed hair growth if that is your goal. Popular hair growth aids are Megatek by a company called Equiss and M-T-G by a company called Shapeley’s. Do your research on products like these first and see what results others are having and how they need to be used. I am currently using Megatek and have also used MTG, so if you would like more specific information on these products, please comment or send me an email.
1.**Determine how often you will relax your hair. It’s a good idea to stretch as long as you can between relaxers to reduce the chance of you re-relaxing hair that has already been relaxed before. I will talk more about stretching later, but it gives the hair time to grow, so that it will be easier
to apply the touch up relaxer to the new growth only.
2.**When you use a lot of products in your hair every month, as most black women do, it is then necessary to use a Clarifying Shampoo once a month to remove buildup that regular shampoos do not remove. I use Suave Clarifying Shampoo once a month. If you continue to pile products onto hair that already has a lot of product buildup, products will start to not have as good of an effect on the hair as it did the first few times you used it. Clarifying gets rid of the buildup so products will once again be able to provide you with their full benefits.
If you do these things, you will have a pretty good basic regimen. It will take some time on your own to find the right products that work for you and are available in your area, and you can try to add things that you discover work for your hair that I may not have mentioned here. The important thing is that you learn what your hair needs on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and keep up with doing it.