Happy Fall everyone. It’s that time again. Take a second to look at your hair care regimen. Maybe its time to swap out some products for some more moisturizing ones and hopefully learn some good and natural habits too.
I love delving into this topic because there is so much to cover but for now, we will only discuss hair care for the fall and winter months.
I find out all too often that many of my Andy Candy customers and fellow naturally curly haired ladies and fellas have no clue about the basics of a good hair care regimen. I think not having one is the most intimidating part about going natural for the first time.
What is A Hair Care Regimen?
A hair care regimen is a routine to which one commits to maintain the health and nourishment of the hair and scalp (Quote me Webster lol). Having a hair care regimen will definitely smooth away any of that anxiety you get about your hair “looking” a mess or it being too dry and hard to manage. A good regimen is not in the products we use but the techniques we apply while using those products. Let’s take a look at some.
Cleanse (frequency: 2 weeks- One Month)
Every 2 weeks to a month you’ll want to cleanse your hair and scalp with a plant based and pH balanced liquid shampoo or an all natural no-poo or a shampoo bar (your preference). You catch my drift, a cleanser. A CLEANser is like starting with a CLEAN slate as it pulls the oils and all the nutrients and buildup from the scalp.
Most store bout cleansers that contain sulfates like sodium laureth and sodium lauryl (SLS) strip the hair completely of its nutrients leaving the strands dry or brittle for some people. Plant based shampoos and no-poos that contain organic or ethically sourced ingredients are great alternatives for this problem. Not only do truly organic products render the greatest benefits to our hair and scalp, they will penetrate the hair strands as opposed to just coating them like products with silicons tend to do. Read this if you’re curious to how that works.
During the fall and winter, this technique is good to do monthly or sooner depending on if your scalp needs it. After applying products throughout the weeks, you will want to CLEANse to get your natural oils (sebum) flowing again. I put emphasis on scalp because the scalp is the only place we should directly apply shampoo as to not disturb its natural pH which can bring nasty bacteria. Keep this up and you will have healthy and strong hair from the root.
Condition/Deep Condition (frequency: weekly)
After we cleanse we MUST DEEP CONDITION EVERY SINGLE TIME, Follow this rule even if you think your hair feels moisturized. Your hair needs that moisture and those nutrients put back into it, so this step cannot be skipped even if you don’t use a shampoo. Don’t shampoo? No excuse not to deep condition. There are plenty of clarifying and cleansing conditioners that give our hair strands a reboot and removes the leave-ins, lotions and potions applied throughout the week. It’s good to just wash your hair with a conditioner each week even if it is not time for a shampoo session. If you find that you get build up easily like myself, use a cleansing conditioner each week or an all natural no-poo then deep condition.
Regardless of your hair type, all hair needs moisture and all conditioners are NOT the same. Some conditioners won’t penetrate as deeply so be sure to always follow up with a deep conditioner and let it sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes under a plastic cap prior to rinsing. I know, plastic-yikes! There are not very many eco-friendly alternatives to this method so to get great results and still be kind to mother Earth, reuse the same plastic bag each week for now. Here is a link to my favorite D.I.Y and vegan deep conditioner. It’s totally free from chemicals and harmless to the planet.
This technique is very critical especially during the fall and winter. When it’s cold out, do you feel how your lips get chapped and your hands get super dry? The same happens to our hair. This is why it’s important not to skip wash day to get rid of the heavy products we use throughout the week. Especially never forget to follow up with a deep conditioner.
Moisturize & Seal (frequency: Daily)
Do this if you don’t do anything else, PLEASE! It is critical to keep curly hair moisturized which is why we deep condition with a really good hydrating conditioner and moisturize and seal more frequently than we do anything else to our hair. Do this every day as a beginner and you can dial it back when you learn your hair a little better. For me I can now wait up to 3 days before moisturizing and sealing again. This is called reaching moisture retention.
To moisturize and seal, take a section of your hair and a quarter sized amount of moisturizer (more or less depending on the length of your hair). Smooth the moisturizer into your hair between your palms. Then take another dime sized amount of a sealing oil like our Andy Candy Supersonic Hair Tonic and apply it to the ends of your hair for long lasting moisture. This is how I go 3 days without moisturizing- I seal in my moisture with my AC oil or my Andy Candy Butter Me Up whipped Shea butter.
Now I’m going to stop here because this has gotten wordier than I expected. These techniques are suitable for all hair types and they are a sure way to help you get started if you are new to the natural hair community. These techniques will also keep you on the right track if you are more experienced. For my beginners, take a look here for the perfect starter kit to help jumpstart your healthy natural hair journey.
- Give yourself time to follow these techniques to the T. I reserve the weekend for my wash days and I divide each technique by day. So Saturdays I will wash and deep condition and Sundays I will Moisturize and seal and style my hair for the week. Then do it again next Saturday and Sunday.
- Wrap your hair in a satin or silk head wrap every night so the moisture you just sealed in won’t come off on your cotton pillow.
- Keep a hair journal and document your hair phases and how your hair responds to certain products.
- Keep your hands out of your hair during the week, follow these steps and watch it grow like a weed.
Catch me same time next week for Part 2 of this series where I will cover treatments and protective styling- the real fun stuff!
Until then check out our Etsy shop, Andy Candy for your personal care needs!