Find A Maintenance Routine
After discovering the porosity of your hair and purchasing the correct products, you need to find a routine. To find a routine you need to answer questions like: how many times a week do I need to moisturize my hair? How many times do I need to wash my hair? Do I need to do a Pre-Shampoo treatment on my hair before I shampoo? Do I need to do a Protein treatment or am I protein sensitive? If I need protein, how many times do I need to carry that out? Is it sufficient to Deep Condition my hair biweekly or do I need to do a weekly DCing treatment? These questions need to be answered in order to create a maintenance routine, and ensure the health of your hair.
This is obvious, but it must be heard: your maintenance routine needs to work with YOUR hair’s requirements and/or demands. I say this, because countless people (myself included) when starting out will try to emulate the maintenance routines of others. Your hair is different! If you recognize that your hair doesn’t like protein then don’t perform protein treatments just because so-and-so says so or does them. Your hair is unique, so give it what it wants. 🙂 I do believe experimentation is the best way to find what works specifically for your hair type, so experiment, experiment, experiment! 🙂
Allow me to provide you with an example of my maintenance routine to give you an idea of what a routine looks like. (Remember this is my routine. Yours may be completely different and more or less elaborate. Do not get into thinking that this is the SACRED AND SOLITARY routine in existence. Although, that would be pretty sweet to be the Bearer of the “One True” Routine. LOL! Okay, I”m a dork and have watched Lord the Rings way too much. 😛 )
- Re-moisturize, Seal- 1-2 times/ weekly
- Clarify- 1-2 times/ monthly
- Deep condition- 1-2 times a week
- Protein treatment- 1 time/monthly
Re-moisturize, Seal: Exactly how it sounds. 🙂 One to two times a week I rinse my hair with water, apply my leave-in conditioner, and seal in the moisture with oil. ( Notice: I do not co-wash. Many times, I’ve tried co-washing, but my hair doesn’t respond well to it. Thus, I just don’t do it. I know that more than half of the naturally curly community does, but once again listen to what your hair needs and wants.
Clarify: Once or twice a month I begin with a Pre-Shampoo treatment (optional for some/crucial for others, and basically means moisturize and detangle your hair with oil or conditioner BEFORE you shampoo). After the pre-poo treatment, I position my hair into smaller sections and then twists for easier management. This also prevents my hair from getting re-tangled. I use the Baking Soda and ACV Rinse method (although, lately I’ve been experimenting with a Bentonite Clay Wash and other things. 🙂 Post coming up about that later), and rinse.
Deep Condition: I deep condition my hair at least once a week, if not twice to maintain a healthy moisture level, and to prevent damage. In addition, I always follow-up with a Deep Conditioning treatment after a Clarification session. Because the hair has been gently stripped of dirt, natural oils, and product buildup, it is imperative that you replenish the hair with moisture.
Protein Treatment: Protein helps build strong hair and prevents breakage. I conduct a protein treatment once a month. My hair will tolerate a little protein, but it does NOT like tremendous amounts. Too much protein, makes my hair feel severely dry, brittle, and like straw. It took heaps of experimentation for me to uncover the mystery of why my hair was always feeling like a scouring pad. I lacked the knowledge I know now about protein and moisture balance, and I was unaware that most of my hair products (at the time) were protein laden. Now if your protein sensitive, meaning every single time you put a protein laden product on or even something with just a modicum of protein and your hair feels like crap, you need to stay clear of protein till hell freezes over! 😉 It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your hair, because it rejects protein. It just means your hair doesn’t need protein, and you can focus more on maintaining a proper moisture level.