If you have followed me for awhile or if we have had a conversation about hair products you probably know that I am not easily swayed by pretty labels.
Sure I love cute packaging, who doesn’t? But the magic is in the list, the fine print, the parts of the packaging that most of us who are new to the hair care journey game tend to ignore.
If you are serious about having healthy growing hair then knowing exactly ‘what’ is in your products is a critical part of your hair care regimen.
In this post, I want to give a perfect example of how to pick your products based on ingredients and develop a practical regimen that you can use for the entirety of your natural hair journey.
For ease of the post I will be using one product line – As I Am, for three reasons, one, because I have used them for years and two, if you read my tried and true product combination for the LOC method then you know that As I Am will forever be a staple for me.
What is a regimen and why is it important
Your hair regimen is a set of activities you do to take care of your hair tailored to your lifestyle and personal preferences.
It is important to have a regimen you can follow because for any successful hair journey consistency is key. Our hair strands respond well to techniques and ingredients that work best for them which means you will get to your goals much faster with a great consistent regimen. There are three basic pillars to any regimen – Cleansing, Conditioning and Styling, each of which I have discussed below so keep reading.
Our scalp naturally produces its own oils that help to moisturize the strands. However, in curly hair, a lot of that oil also known as sebum gets concentrated at the scalp because the oil cannot travel fast enough towards the end of the strand. This means two things, curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair and the scalp can build up on it.. fast!
In your regimen, you have to know when is the best time to cleanse your scalp and solidify that time as part of your monthly routine. This might be once a week like me, or once every two weeks or even once a month.
Picking your shampoo is critical and you need two types, a clarifying shampoo and a gentle cleanser that does not strip your hair as you cleanse your scalp.
How to pick the right cleanser for you
If you have curly or kinky hair you are probably big on avoiding sulfates at all costs, so the first thing you should do is check the ingredient list and ensure that you do not see any sulfates on the label. If the cleanser is truly sulfate free, that should be your number one choice.
Sulfates are used to strip the hair of oils, dirt and build up which is great for someone who needs that but for us curly girls our hair is naturally dry so to add an ingredient that will strip it of the little moisture it does have, would be detrimental.
Another thing I look for are ingredients that coat the strand as the cleanser works on the scalp, ingredients like coconut oil, castor oil and Saw Palmetto which are all in the Coconut Cowash are amazing for moisture when added to a water based product.
Conditioning and deep conditioning
If you are serious about healthy curly or kinky hair, there will be no way to avoid conditioning and deep conditioning your hair weekly.
Personally, I like to deep condition first before I even cleanse, but it is entirely up to you on the way you decide to do it.
Choose a conditioner and deep conditioner that adds moisture to your strands and strength. We often learn early on in our hair care that you need a healthy dose of protein and moisture to maintain that delicate balance of health in our hair.
Protein strengthens the hair strands by adding layers of extra protein along the length of the strand and moisture based ingredients hydrate the hair giving it that natural softness that we need to feel when we touch our heads.
If you have fine hair like me I would highly recommend that you purchase a deep conditioner or conditioner that has both protein and moisturizing ingredients in it. Sticking with the same line, the deep conditioner I use is the Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner because it strengthens and moisturizes the hair at the same time in one step.
The LOC Method
I want to discuss this as a separate line item because if you are not using this method to keep your hair moisturized then count yourself lucky when you start.
The LOC method is an acronym for liquid, Oil, Cream and it is the way you layer the products on your hair to moisturize it
For example, if during the week your hair feels particularly parched it is ok to give it a little TLC by doing this method for hydration.
Grab your liquid leave in, for me, it is the As I Am Leave In Conditioner, an oil, I love olive oil but it depends on what’s in my pantry, and your cream which hands down the Double Butter Cream is awesome.
Apply the products in the order of (L)liquid, (o)il then (C)ream on manageable sections of your hair and the twist or braid the section.
You can use this method on young children as well, especially on kids who tend to have very dry hair because they are so active during the day. If you add the LOC method to your monthly regimen you will eliminate dry hair woes forever, I promise!
If you are serious about retaining length one of the best ways to do that for curly girls is through protective styling. Twists, braids, cornrows, buns are all considered protective styles because you can potentially protect the length of your hair and tuck away your ends to keep them from splitting.
You can choose to protective style for most of the week and then let the curls play on the weekend or you can protective style for a good 14 days at a time depending on the style you choose.
You will see the most retention from your hair if you style it in a manner that protects it from over manipulation and the environment.
Protective styling is also amazing for school age children and busy mom’s because you can set their hair and forget it knowing that you are doing something great for their strands.
Other things to consider
A regimen should always include notes about when you plan to trim your ends because our ends can get pretty out of control after a long while. Make it a habit to examine your ends often and keep them in good shape by getting a great trim. If you need some guidance on when to trim I would suggest everything 3-6 months maximum.
At night cover your hair with a satin bonnet to help it to maintain the moisture you give it. I use both a bonnet and a satin pillow case because apparently, things can get pretty wild with me at night.
Finally, Do not forget to take a few selfies at the start of your journey for comparison in a few months. You will be surprised what a difference a little focus makes. Stay consistent, keep things simple and do what’s best for you!
*This post was sponsored by As I Am – all the words and opinions are my own*