Monday, August 22, 2011
How to Create Your Black Hair Care Regimen
Without a doubt, the most important component in growing out black hair is understanding how to care for it on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. The best thing you can do for your hair is this: develop a regimen for your hair and a routine to follow and stick with it. Consistently. If you want to lose weight and you try a different diet every week, chances are you aren't going to have tons of success. And if you're looking for a way to lose 20 pounds in a week, you are out of luck. Anything promising you unrealistic results is a scam. Hair growth works the same way. Any product promising to grow three inches in a month is a baloney. But just like a good diet will help you lose one to two pounds a week and keep it off- so a good hair care plan will help you grow half an inch of hair a month and retain it.
That's really the name of the game, ladies! Retention! If you're relaxed and you need to get your new growth touched up, that means your hair grew. If you use hair color and have to dye your roots then guess what? You have experienced some hair growth! Then why is my hair stuck at one length? you ask. Because you are not retaining your length. For some women, this means they need to add protein to their regimen. For others, more moisture. For others, more washing and for still others, less washing! The list can go on and on. So what's a girl to do? How can you develop you're own personal hair care regimen for your African American hair? Well you, my friend, are in luck! First of all, I am going to provide you
with a basic regimen, a kind of jumping off point to start you off and hold you over until you put together a detailed one of your own.
BASIC BLACK HAIR CARE REGIMEN:
1. Moisturize and seal your hair DAILY. Some people will tell you that you only need to do this after a wash, but trust me, moisture is one of the most important ingredients in healthy hair that doesn't break off. I personally moisturize and seal twice a day, and I believe that this process was critical in my ability to retain length. But please do it a minimum of once a day.
2. Cover your hair at night. If it is straight, wrap or cross wrap it and tie a scarf around it. If it is curly, put it in a couple of twists or braids and tie a scarf around it or throw on a bonnet. But please, cover it with something. All that moving around you do at night? (Trust me, you do, ask your husband.) You are breaking off hairs right and left!
3. Spend at least half of your waking time (half the day, half the week, half the month, your choice) in protective styles. These are buns, tight curls, clips, anything that keeps your hair off your shoulders. I know, I know, you love wearing your hair down and whipping it back and forth, but that friction is causing breakage, which is the number one enemy in hair growth and retention.
4. Wash your hair once a week. Any less, and your scalp is too dirty for proper hair growth. Any more is too much manipulation of wet hair, and our hair is most fragile when wet.
5. Alternate between moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and protein shampoo and conditioner. Our hair needs a fairly equal balance of both to thrive.
6. Deep condition at least once a week, either with heat (under a hooded dryer) or overnight before wash day.
7. Dust your ends every three months to keep split ends at bay. Any more frequency will hinder your progress.
There's the basics! For more detailed information on the right regimen for you, check out the books I recommend below. Also check out my Squidoo lense on the topic at http://www.squidoo.com/building-a-black-hair-care-regimen .
When you are looking for a good black hair care book, the main thing you look for is whether they are focusing on products or techniques. The ones focused primarily on all the different products you need to buy are crap. Anyone who has ever had any success growing out their hair knows that, generally speaking, what brand of products you use doesn't matter. What matters is how you care for your hair.
Below I have listed a few books that really focus on technique. There is the occasional mention of product, but more by type. If a specific product is mentioned it is rare, and generally used as an example only. One of the links is specifically for you natural, relaxer free chicks, and the second one deals with both relaxed and natural girls. I've also included two books from Amazon.com. Chicoro's book is an awesome guide to natural hair. Cathy Howse is a legend in black hair care. Her book doesn't promote relaxed hair, however I feel that the tips she gives can be applied to relaxed and natural heads. All four focus on getting you set up with a hair routine that is going to yield long, healthy hair! Follow the tips and directions, and I promise you will reach your hair goals. Happy growing!
Click Here for Natural Hair Methods!
Click Here for How to Grow African American Hair Long!