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Setting up Your Hair Regimen & Other Healthy Hair Tips
Here is a sample hair care routine, or regimen, that you can adapt to meet your unique hair needs and schedule. After viewing the regimen suggestion, continue reading for more helpful ideas and information
gentle moisturizing shampoo (GS)
clarifying shampoo (CS)
skip shampoo (SS)
conditioning treatment (T)
moisturizing conditioner (MC)
super conditioning treatment (ST)
protein treatment mild (PT)
leave-in conditioner (LI)
air dry (A)
roller set (RS)
apply hair-friendly oil (O)
no-heat style (NH)
flat iron style after air drying (FI)
moisturize throughout the week as necessary (M)
4 Week Regimen
Week 1: GS, T or ST, LI, A* or RS, O, NH, M
Week 2: SS, MC, LI, A* or RS, O, NH, M
Week 3: GS, T, LI, A*, O, then NH or FI, M
Week 4: CS, GS, PT, MC or moisturizing CT, LI, A* or RS, O, NH, M
Again, this is just a sample. You^ll need to pick and choose what works for you and your lifestyle.
*If you^re short on time or the weather isn^t appropriate for walking around with wet hair, try sitting under a hooded dryer to dry your hair.
A Word on Moisturizing: During the Week I suggest moisturizing hair every other day or at least every third day. I like to apply a little oil to my hair after my moisturizing product. It adds to the smoothness and softness that I get from the moisturizer.
Air Drying: After shampooing/conditioning do not towel dry or wring out your hair. Allow it to drip dry. Do apply a leave-in conditioner to your soaking wet hair. With leave-ins, less is usually more. Detangle your hair in sections from the ends up. Go live your life while your hair dries! Do comb through your hair every 30min.-1hour while it dries. For extra smoothness, when hair is 90-100% dry, apply an oil blend, jojoba oil, or avocado oil (or light oil of your choice). Apply extra to the ends. Gently brush and bun the hair and tie on satin scarf OR tie on satin scarf and roll ends of hair with plastic or satin rollers. Allow to "set" for at least 2 hours.
Roller Setting: Roller setting is healthy hair friendly. The use of a hooded dryer is not damaging, because a) the heat is not concentrated in any one spot. It is well-distributed. b) The heat is not directly touching the hair. There is distance between the hair and the heat source. c) The hair is not being manipulated while the hooded dryer dries it (unlike with handheld heating sources).
Flat Ironing without Blow Drying:
Please note, I do not recommend doing this more than 1-2 times/month if healthy hair is your goal. Begin with a pre-shampoo treatment if using a sudsing hair cleanser. Then gently shampoo/cleanse hair. Next, I suggest using a conditioning treatment that will add protection to your hair as you prepare for heat usage. Air dry your hair (see above). Next, apply a serum, oil, or other pre-flat iron product. These products should be applied sparingly, otherwise your hair will turn out feeling heavy after it is flat-ironed. I don^t suggest using the absolute highest setting on your flat iron. Flat ironing in smaller sections will get you the smoothest results. Comb through each section before flat ironing. I suggest combing through with a wide-tooth comb and then with a fine-tooth comb. Remember, you^re doing this section by section, not running a fine-tooth comb through all of your hair!
Super Conditioning Treatments: Using a conditioner that is formulated to provide extra care to hair, such as Vanilla Silk or Shea What!, saturate wet hair with the product. Then add several drops of Nourish oil to hair, with a few extra drops on the ends of hair. Sit under a warm (not hot) dryer with a plastic cap for 10 minutes or sit under a steamer with no cap for 5 minutes. I do recommend pinning longer hair on top of head prior to going under the dryer or steamer.
Protein Treatments: Textured hair, in general, is more fragile than naturally straight hair. This all has to do with the science and make up of various types of hair. But today^s hair care market has a host of wonderful products to keep textured hair just as healthy and lovely as anyone else^s. A staple in my own healthy hair care routine is protein. There are varying degrees of protein treatments, some I refer to as mild, and some I refer to as hard core. The purpose of such treatments can be preventative or reparative. Hair can be restored and revitalized assuming it^s not gone past a certain degree of damage. There are times when damaged hair just needs to be removed, and the hair given a chance to start the journey again. Healthy hair will rarely need a hard core protein treatment, though periodically, one can be used to fortify and protect hair. But everyone^s hair can benefit from mild protein treatments. A mild protein treatment is usually cream based. A hard core treatment will be in liquid or gel form, usually with a brown-amber color. Hard core protein treatments need to be rinsed from the hair very well and a moisturizing conditioner or treatment should (must!) follow. Otherwise, hair will be hard and will actually break easier. I know that sounds counter productive if protein is supposed to help "fix" hair. But it^s the strength and structure supplied by protein that can make the hair hard. The goal with protein is to fill in gaps in the hair and strengthen the strands so they stay together (and don^t break). THEN, the goal of protein is to help the hair hold on to moisture better. It can^t do this when hair is compromised. By filling in gaps in the strand, the protein is giving the moisture a place to go and a place to stay. Don^t assume that if you see protein in the ingredient list of a product that the product is a protein treatment. not so. Protein treatments are called such using words like "protein" or "reconstructor." But I will say that products containing protein that aren^t protein treatments are wonderful for our hair. I suggest a mild protein treatment monthly and a hard core protein treatment as needed or every other month. Hair that is heat-styled, colored, relaxed, or permed most definitely needs protein. Silk Dreams currently does not make a major protein treatment (wait for it!), but I^ll be happy to suggest a few to you if you email me. We offer a mild/moderate protein conditioner called Mocha Silk Infusion and Shea What! is considered a therapeutic treatment that can provide extra reinforcement to hair. It^s comparable in quality and performance to a light weight protein treatment. ``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````` Healthy Hair Tips
1. Reduce friction - Friction against pillows, sheets, your clothing, towels, or anything else can cause mechanical breakage to your hair. For this reason, it is important to reduce friction as much as possible. You may not be able to eliminate it completely, but eliminating some is better than eliminating none. a) Sleep with something on your head like a scarf or bonnet made of smooth material. With this kind of material, if your hair does move it is likely to slide rather than rub. b) Wearing your hair up will keep it from rubbing against your clothes. Even if you only do this a few times a week, you are reducing breakage. c) I do not recommend using a towel on your hair at all. I do not towel dry my hair. I drip dry. If letting your hair drip from sopping wet does not appeal to you, try squeezing (not wringing) rather than towel drying.
2. Eliminate build up periodically - Every month or so, use a clarifying, chelating, or corn oil soap shampoo to remove build up from your hair. Always follow a clarifying shampoo with a moisturizing shampoo and then your conditioner.
3. Stay moisturized - Hair that is well-moisturized holds together well and does not break as much. Learn how to detect whether or not your hair needs moisture. You may or may not need to moisturize daily, and if your hair is in very poor shape, it may be necessary to moisturize twice a day. a) If you find that moisturizers that previously worked on your hair do not seem as effective, that is likely an indication that it^s time for you to clarify your hair to remove build up (The build up is keeping the moisture out). b) If you find that your moisturizer does work, but your hair seems dry again shortly thereafter, that is likely an indication that your hair is in need of a protein treatment. Packing the hair with protein fills in gaps in the hair that could easily release moisture if left open.
4. Reduce heat usage - Using heat on your hair too often is an excellent and quick way to ruin your hair. As we said earlier, heat breaks bonds in the hair. Heat can dry out hair. a) On the occasions that you do use heat, always use some type of product between your hair and the flat iron or blow dryer to protect your hair. There are products such as silicone serums, oils, and ceramides that can lessen the blow of heat on your hair, but I caution you not to believe that these products will keep your hair from damage if excessive and habitual heat are used. b) I do not consider roller setting to be a damaging source of heat, so none of this applies to roller setting.
5. Manipulate gently - Be gentle with your hair, especially your wet hair. a) Use a wide tooth comb. b) Comb hair from the ends up. c) Do not yank through tangles with your comb. If you have a really stubborn tangle, try separating the hairs in the tangle with your fingers. You can also try applying a detangling product to the tangle and then working with your hands to separate the tangled hairs. d) Don^t pull hair tightly when wearing it up or braided. Firm is okay, but tight is not.
6. Protein helps - Unless you do absolutely nothing to your hair, it needs protein. Some will need more protein and more often than others. It all depends on your personal hair care routine. Processed hair or hair that has heat applied to it often needs protein more than non-processed hair and hair that is not exposed to heat often. Protein will help you to go longer between trims too. Like anything that ages, hair "erodes." Protein can lessen the normal wear that hair goes through. I read somewhere that it is normal to lose up to 100 hairs each day. I don^t consider that normal. Healthy hair doesn^t do that. Protein can help to keep your hair on your head where it should be. It^s also a good idea to use a rinse out conditioner or treatment that contains protein to protect your hair when you know that you will be applying heat to your hair. Protein buzz words to look for: protein, hydrolyzed, amino acids
7. Health before length - Sometimes in the rush to get long hair, individuals will not trim raggedy ends, because they feel like they are trimming off their length. Long hair with raggedy ends isn^t impressive, and it isn^t healthy. Live by the mantra "Health before length." Healthy hair will turn into long hair. It^s inevitable. The only thing that can keep healthy hair from turning into long hair is scissors.
8. Don^t double process - If your goal is to increase the length of your hair, avoid double processing. I can count on one hand the number of women I^ve ever known that had healthy and long hair that was both colored and relaxed.
9. Trim as needed, not on a schedule--exception: a preventative schedule or in effort to maintain a certain style or length. I am anti-scissor-happy-hairstylist, but I am not anti-trim. Pretty ends are pretty, and keeping ends full and healthy is part of a healthy hair care routine. If you want longer hair, then the idea is to grow more hair than you trim. It is a general rule of hair science that hair grows about 1/2 inch each month. So if you have a stylist that is trimming an inch of your hair every 8 weeks, guess what? The length stays the same. a) Set your trims up so that you are trimming less than your scalp is producing. b) If hair is damaged from heat use or other issues, big trims will be necessary.