By Wunmi Akinlagun of Woman in the Jungle
A regimen is defined as a “planned course, such as a diet, exercise, or treatment that is designed to achieve certain ends.” This means that regimens are intended to yield certain results. Therefore before deciding on your hair regimen, you must first decide on your hair goals.
Take a few minutes to decide on what you want for your natural hair. Is it to create and maintain overall health? Is it to retain length? Is it to prevent breakage or increase moisture? Do you want your hair to be as vibrant and colorful as your personality? Once your goal or goals are firmly in sight, you can develop a regimen that will give you a chance at achieving these goals.
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Regimens are built around two equally important contributors, products and practices. A regimen generally includes the following steps:
- Cleansing – Co-Washes, Cream Cleansers, Sulphate Free Shampoo, Regular shampoos
- Conditioning – Everyday Conditioners, Deep Conditioners, Leave-in Conditioners
- Moisturizing and Sealing – Water, Butters, Oils
- Styling – Gels, Custards, Puddings, Pomades
While the above are the basic components of a regimen, there are additional practices such as pre-shampooing and hot oil treatments that can be included on an as needed basis depending on your hair type, lifestyle and environment. Try to keep your regimen as simple as possible. This becomes more and more important as you retain length and your hair gets longer because longer hair requires more time to wash and style etc.
Styling is very important. Harsh manipulation will lead to breakage so gentle low manipulation styles such as twist-outs, braid-outs are your go to styles if you like being able to change up your hair often. Protective styles can feel restrictive if you like variety and enjoy changing your look frequently but these have also come a long with the invention of styles such as crochet braids. The overall effect is that there are numerous styling options available but having a few go to looks is also a good idea. Just remember to be gentle on your hair and especially your edges when creating any style.