One of the biggest reasons I wore wigs more often than my natural hair was laziness and not having the time (really the will) to do all the things other naturalistas were doing to maintain their hair. I’d heard about 8-hour wash days, daily moisturizing, search and destroy trimming and felt it was all too much. Really, how natural is natural hair if we’re spending an unnatural amount of time doing it?
So the part of me that only likes to spend one or two hours on my hair a month, has been looking for shortcuts—really just a regimen that doesn’t require too much time. I scoured the natural hair community to find a few simple regimens that minimize time and effort. (Check out more on natural hair care here).
Audrey Sivasothy of Black Hair Science pointed out in an article on the site that “in an effort to do 5,000 things right, we don’t realize that it’s really the handful of basic things done well every day that carry the regimen forward—not the fluff and complication we add in. Doing a few basic things simply and repeatedly IS sustainable, and that’s how we achieve success in hair care.” She goes on to list these basic components of a hair regimen:
- Cleansing: regular sectioned cleansing with a sulfate-free shampoo or a light conditioner.
- Conditioning: “Take a moisturizing conditioner product of your choice and leave it on your hair until the desired softness is achieved. The end.”
- Moisturizing: use a hydrating product consistently and keep in mind that moisturizing and sealing go hand in hand–so include an oil or butter to seal the hair.
- Low Manipulation: “Simply reducing your contact with your hair overall, done many, many times will improve the health of your hair.”
Sivasothy adds that the frequency of each step and product choices depends on your unique head of hair, so that’s where the experimenting will come in. I love, love, love this approach because it’s an approach that’s effective in other aspects of life–do a few basic things consistently to get results. I’m glad Sivasothy applied it to hair. Read the full article here.
Dawn Michelle from MinimalistBeauty.com shared her simple routine with ThinkandGrowChick.com
Describes her hair as: I have normal porosity, fine density, and am always in the need of protein or strengthening.
1) Deep condition my hair with henna and coconut milk
2) Cleanse my hair with a DIY herbal hair cleanser
3) Then set my curls in about nine braids with aloe vera juice and an oil or shea butter and oil mix. I sometimes use a lotion for my hair, yet it isn’t absolutely necessary.
Time it takes: It takes me about 2.5 hours to do my hair, not including how long I keep my henna treatments in. I’ll keep my henna treatments in from 1-3 hours depending on my schedule.
Frequency: once a week
Maintenance: To maintain my hair throughout the week I apply hair butter or oil to my hair, create four braids, and cover in satin before going to sleep at night. I do wear my hair loose often but also in updos. If my hair feels dry I will do a light spritz with aloe vera juice then seal in the moisture with a hair butter or an oil.
Alexis from Naturally Minimal shares her routine.
2) Deep Condition or Co-Wash if necessary
3) Pat dry with a towel and section detangle hair
4) Twist each section and distribute shea butter throughout each section
5) Let dry and take out the twists
Frequency: once a month
Hair vlogger Alicia James of EasyNaturalHair.com shares her routine.
1) Washes hair with Herbal Essence shampoo. Washing is important for Alicia because she uses products with silicone, which can build up.
2) Deep conditions after shampooing. Applies extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), then Herbal Essence conditioner and sits under a bonnet dryer for 15-30 minutes. Rinses out conditioner and finger detangles.
3) Moisturizes and seals with Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in.
4) Puts hair in big braids or twist to dry for a few hours or overnight.
Frequency: every two weeks, with a protein treatment once a month
Maintenance: To maintain my styles during the night, I have used the “pineapple method” or a high ponytail. My new favorite way to maintain is “the bunning method”. In the morning usually take the hair down add a small amount of oil and shake it out. During the week, I wear braid outs or twist outs. I am wearing my hair out more this year, but still a lot of protective styling. Last year my go to protective/low manipulation hairstyle was twist. This year I have done a lot of bunning!
Good reads on hair simplicity
- CurlyNikki.com: The Importance of a Simple Natural Hair Care Regimen
- CurlyNikki.com: Natural Hair Regimen – 6 Time Savers
- Glam Natural Life: How to Create a Simple Hair Regimen