So you’ve decided to take the plunge and go back to being natural. You’ve put down the box of relaxer, you’ve become well versed in all things natural hair from your extensive research… and then you realize you are confused as HELL! No fear it happens to all of us and the beauty of the natural hair community is even with its quirks and diversity at the core of it, it really is a community willing to help. So if you can’t figure out where to start or what to do this post is just for you!! Here’s a HOW TO guide in building a simple yet effective regimen for your natural hair during your transition.
5 Step Simple Regimen For your Natural Hair
Step 1. Pre-Poo- During your transition you are going to want to take care of the new growth that you will be keeping natural instead of relaxing. The line of demarcation can be a bit of a gentle breaking point during transitioning time so you want to make sure you are adding in as much moisture as possible even if you are not going to use shampoo as frequently.
How Often: Once A week preferably on wash day.
What will you need: Some time of essential oil that you like (olive oil, coconut oil…etc) Depending on the needs of your hair you can add some ingredients or switch it up when your hair is giving you a different feeling. Here are a few recipes you can use for added moisture,shine,protein…etc.
Step 2. Shampoo- This is the cleansing phase of your regimen. You should have selected a sulfate free shampoo hopefully to prevent the drying and stripping of your hair. Your pre-poo will help fight this off but it is better to be safe than sorry. As you move further and further into your natural hair journey you may start to cut the shampoo out of your routine or use it less frequently.
How Often: Once a week on a wash day. As you get further into your journey you may find that you only need to shampoo once a month depending on how much build up your hair has. Co washing and cleansing with an alternative other than shampoo may be your new choice. I personally only shampoo 4-6 times a year and clarify with a diluted apple cider vinegar blend once every month depending on if it is needed or not. Other than that I co wash once a week on wash days and skip the shampoo step all together.
What will you need: A decent sulfate free shampoo that wont dry out your hair. IF you dont have a sulfate free shampoo or want to finish off the shampoo bottles you have in your home you may want to consider diluting the shampoo so it is not in its strongest rawest form.
Step 3. Conditioning- If you used a shampoo in the previous step you will need to use a rinse out conditioner to add the moisture back into your hair. Any cheap moisturizer should do the trick ( my fave cheap effective moisturizing rinse out conditioner is Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle. It costs about 4.00 bucks and has great slip)
Deep conditioning is also a part of the conditioner step. If you did not use a shampoo (used a co-washing method instead) you can hop right into the deep conditioning part of your regime. If you are just starting out the store bought deep conditioners are great. AS you move further in you may find your self becoming a DIY queen as I have deemed myself. I still buy some deep conditioners in store but I always add a bit of something extra to the mix before I put it on my head and walk around with it for 30 minutes with a plastic baggy over my head. Lately I’ve had the pleasure of using the Thermal Hair Care Hot Head Deep Conditioning Cap during my deep conditioning process.
How Often: Once A week or Once every other week.
What will you need: A deep conditioner either store bought or home made, a shower cap, and some time (20-30 minutes).
Step 4. Moisturize- Your first step in moisturizing on your wash day should be your leave in conditioner. An important reminder: the best moisturizing products whether it be a leave in or not always has water as its first ingredient listed! So make sure you’re reading those product labels. The best/easieset method to moisturizing your hair is the LOC method (liquid, oil, cream) This method can also be flipped around to LCO (which is the one I prefer). The liquid is often the leave in of choice, followed by a oil to seal in the moisture and a cream used for styling.
How Often: That is a tricky question. After you have initially moisturized your hair wash day you must pay attention to your hair and see what it needs. I tend to re-moisturize my hair 3-4 times in between wash days and I wash my hair once a week. You may need to moisturize once a day depending on the needs of your hair.
What you will need: A water based moisturizer. Here is a list of some budget friendly moisturizers you may want to try or add into your regimen.
Step 4. Style- Styling your hair during the transitioning period can be rather difficult and annoying. It can also be thrilling and a time to learn new things about your hair. Its an experimental period to say the least. During your transition the best methods of blending the two different textures will most certainly be: bantu knots, roller sets, twist outs, and flexi rod sets. These styles will help blend the relaxed hair with the newly natural textured hair. You are definitely going to want to find a staple style that you can run to when things don’t go as planned or when you are pressed for time. I went with the faux hawk, and puff most of the time with twist outs and bantu knot outs serving as my base. Try avoiding styles that require heat during your transition as you will be damaging your new natural hair and promoting breakage at the line of demarcation (where the two textures meet).
How Often: Depending on your daily routine and night time routine you may be able to get away with styling once a week if you go a protective style route and keep your hair in mini twists. You can also choose to pineapple at night. Whatever style you choose to do make sure you always sleep with a satin head tie, bonnet, or satin pillow case to help preserve the style and moisture of your hair. This will also help lower breakage (make sure the bonnet/scarf aren’t tied too tight or rubbing constantly on fragile parts of your head).
What you will need: Styling tools such as flexi rods, curl formers, magnetic rollers (most frequently you’ll just need your hands depending on the style), and some sort of styling product (butter, cream…etc)
Final Over View:
1. Pre Poo
2. Shampoo & Condition (or Cowash & Alternative Clarification)
3. Deep Condition
4. Moisturize (LOC)
5. Gentle Styles