If you are new to the natural hair community then you may have come across a term “natural hair regimen for beginners” It really is one of the most important things that you will need to learn about as you start out on your journey.
Your natural hair regimen will take you from amateur to pro the more you learn about your hair and the more you tweak your regimen to suit.
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What is a hair regimen?
A regimen is simply a routine that you have in order to care for your natural hair in the best possible way.
If you are transiting from relaxed hair to natural the chances are that you didn’t have a regimen in place or need one. When it comes to natural hair you definitely need to have one.
Your regimen will consist of how many times you want to moisturise your hair, wash it and perhaps even restyle it.
Your regimen will develop more over time as you begin to discover what your hair does and does not like.
It’s important to know that there is no magic regimen that will absolutely take you to having waist-length hair. Your regimen will largely be set by you from pieces of advice that you will get on your journey.
You will have to decide exactly what you want to implement and what you will ignore.
Why is it important to have a natural hair regimen for beginners?
Having a good solid regimen in place from day one will help you learn how to care for your natural hair.
It’s always best to develop good habits from the very early days which will take you all the way through your journey.
A lot of the time it is having a good regimen that will help you to surpass others when it comes to hair health and length.
7 things you will want to implement in your natural hair regimen for beginners
Moisture is the basic principle of any hair care routine. Natural hair is naturally dry so you need to do whatever you can in order to keep moisture in your hair. Curly or kinky hair is dry because of the shape of each curly strand. It’s a spiral which makes it harder to moisturise.
When you have straight hair and you wet it the water travels straight down the hair shaft. With curly hair when you pour water on it parts of the hair strand are missed because of its spiral shape. Due to this, you need to moisturise it more and try to retain that moisture.
I’ve said it several times before but I will say it again for those that may have missed it.
Hair grease is not moisture.
There are no two ways about it. Hair grease may work for relaxed hair but it does not work when it comes to developing a good natural hair care routine. A lot of hair grease actually contains ingredients that are bad for your hair.
If you are just starting out my first tip to you would be to throw out your hair grease now so you don’t get tempted to use it again.
3 Natural hair tips for beginners to get moisture
Water is obviously the most basic way to get your natural hair moisturised. Its all well and good to wet your hair every now and again but you have to remember that water naturally evaporates over time. You could wet your hair now only to find that a couple of hours later it is dry again.
Depending on if you have high, low or regular porosity hair it will make a difference as to how your hair will absorb water.
The good news is that there are things you can do in order to make the water in your hair last longer.
2. Leave-in conditioner
Leave in conditioner is great because it contains molecules that help moisture to stay within your hair instead of evaporating so quickly.
You will want to spray your hair with water using a spray bottle like this one (just lightly it doesn’t have to be dripping with water) and then apply a really good leave-in conditioner.
These are a few of my personal best leave-in conditioners:
3. Aloe vera
Aloe vera juice is another great product that you can add to your spray bottle to help you keep all of that lovely moisture for as long as possible.
You can add a few drops of aloe vera juice to your spray bottle and dampen your hair with it as and when needed.
You can read more about the benefits of aloe vera juice on your natural hair here
4. LOC method
You may already have come across the LOC method. LOC literally stands for Liquid, Oil, Cream. You would basically apply these to your hair in that order.
Remember when I said that you may need to tweak things so that they work for you? Well, this is one of those times. Some people have found that LOC does not work great for them so prefer to use LCO which is the same acronym but with the letters in a different order.
If you want to learn more about the LOC method and why you should try it take a look at this.
2. Wash day
No matter what type of hair you have, relaxed, texturised or natural I’m sure that you have a time when you wash your hair. We ALL need to wash our hair from time to time.
When it comes to natural hair its best to wash your hair either every week or at least every 2 weeks. You can go for longer than that if you want but you will likely find that your hair will begin to feel very dry and brittle.
There are only so many times that you can spritz your hair with water from a spray bottle. There comes a time you need to go all-in and give your hair a proper wash.
It’s not necessary for you to wash your hair with shampoo at every wash day. In fact, I wouldn’t advise it unless you are prone to serious build-up problems. I only wash my hair with shampoo once every few months and for very good reason.
Shampoo tends to strip the hair of moisture. You can even feel it your self after you have used shampoo. It’s a similar feeling to a freshly washed window. Completely dry and squeaky.
The idea is that you want to retain moisture and not lose it which is why it is advisable to only wash your hair with shampoo every few months to clarify your scalp.
Here are my recommendations for shampoos for natural hair.
You may have gotten a little lost when I said that you should only shampoo your hair every few months but that you should wash it every 1-2 weeks.
What I mean by this is that you should co-wash your hair every 1-2weeks (conditioner wash it)
Washing with conditioner is much better as it allows you to wash your hair so it feels fresh and clean again without stripping away the moisture from your hair strands.
Here are my conditioner recommendations:
3. Deep conditioner
Deep conditioners are made to get right into the core of your hair strands. I like to use a deep conditioner at each wash but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. You might find that that would be too much for your hair. You might think once a month works better for you.
It’s a good idea to experiment and see what’s best for you.
Deep conditioners are made to wash out so usually, you would leave them on for about 15 mins or so then wash them off.
You can deep condition with a conditioning cap which will help you get more moisture into your hair strands. You can pick one up here.
3. Low maintenance hairstyles
It’s important for you to keep your hairstyles low maintenance. Why you might ask?
Doing low maintenance hairstyles leaves you less prone to breakage and split ends.
You have to get used to being very gentle with natural hair. Although natural hair may seem strong it is not. You need to treat it with care and attention if you want it to remain healthy and grow.
Examples of low maintenance hairstyles can be twist outs, small twists or something of that nature.
The idea is that whichever hairstyle you choose you shouldn’t have to put a lot of effort into having to redo it every day and you should not have to do a lot of pulling to get it perfect.
I know a lot of people would rather ignore this part but you really should factor in a trimming routine.
I like to trim my hair every 6-8 months just to keep the ends fresh. The ends of your hair are the oldest and therefore need the most care and attention.
The ends of your hair can suffer from split ends so it’s important to trim them from time to time.
Doing so may seem like you are losing length but in actual fact, you are encouraging your hair to grow much better.
Make sure that when you do trim your hair you use professional scissors to do so or you will be causing yourself unnecessary spilt ends.
Get into the habit of detangling your hair. I would recommend finger detangling to be best but it does take a little getting used to.
If you can’t handle finger detangling then go for a wide-tooth comb instead making sure that you comb from the ends up towards the root. Try to stay away from combs where the teeth are close together as these will likely cause hair breakage.
I would suggest working your way to learning how to finger detangle as this is much more gentle for your hair.
Curly hair strands are much more likely to twist around each other so don’t be surprised if you start to feel a lot of tangles. Make it a habit to detangle often.
Doing hairstyles that stretch your hair like twist outs and braid outs can help you to combat this.
Depending on the type of hair that you have you may need to add protein treatments to your routine.
You can judge how often you should do these by feeling your hair and recognising the symptoms.
I know that it might sound complicated right now but over time all these things will become clearer. You can read more about protein treatments here.
7. Nighttime natural hair regimen for beginners
It’s not only during the day time that you need to have a routine you should also have a nighttime routine also. There are a few things that you need to consider before you lay your head down to sleep.
1. Hair scarf
Try to wrap your hair with a satin scarf before you lay down on your pillow. If you lie down directly on a cotton pillow you will wake up to find that the cotton has soaked away most of the moisture from your hair.
Go for a satin scarf instead as these are less likely to soak up the moisture.
2. Pineapple method
If twist outs are your go-to hairstyle then instead of having to retwist your hair at night time consider using the pineapple method which can help to keep your curls intact whilst you sleep.
3. Satin pillowcase
If neither of the 2 options above suit you then a satin pillowcase could be more your style. You can pick one up from here.
In summary, your natural hair routine for beginners should look a little something like this:
Spritz your hair and moisturise it with a leave-in conditioner. It doesn’t have to be every day, once every 3 days may work better for you.
Wash and deep condition as needed. It’s a good idea to incorporate detangling into this. You might find detangling in the shower to be easier with conditioner on your hair as it will provide you with good slip.
Monthly or every few months
You can add an extra treatment to your hair care routine.
Take some time out to look at your strands and see if they are due for a trim.
Final thoughts on a natural hair regimen for beginners
There is a lot of information to take in when you are learning how to care for natural hair daily. The more you do it the easier it will get and you will learn about what your hair does and does not like.
No two peoples hair care routine will be the same so just know that what works for one person might not necessarily work for you.
Continue to learn and your hair will surely grow.