Faith Amour Hair Care

Building a good Regimen

Posted on: April 9, 2012


**ACCORDING TO LONGHAIRDONTCARE.NET

Perhaps the most overwhelming aspect about deciding to take the plunge and commit to growing your hair to its longest lengths is figuring out how to build a good, solid, HEALTHY hair care regimen. If you are just starting out your healthy hair care journey, use the 3C’s as your foundation, and build upon your regimen from there. The 3C’s is a term that is used here at LHDC and incorporates the three main aspects of growing Black hair to its longest lengths – CLEANSE CONDITION CARE! And I guess, I should honorably mention a fourth & fifth C – CONSISTENCY and COMMITMENT!

The beginner’s shopping list should include (but certainly isn’t limited to):

Cleansing agents (i.e. sulfate-free shampoo), deep conditioner, water-based moisturizer, seamless wide-tooth comb, soft bristle boars-hair brush, plastic conditioning caps, satin pillow cases/scarves/bonnet, satin covered scrunchies, oil and a camera.

CLEANSE

How you are going to cleanse your hair and scalp is the first step to building a solid regimen. Forget about the advice that you may have been given that Black hair will dry out and break off if it is washed to frequently. Well, let me take that back; there is some truth to that statement depending on WHAT you are washing your hair with…but remember, that WATER is the best moisturizer for our hair and Black hair craves and thrives on it.

There are several ways that you can cleanse your hair and scalp including traditional shampoo, Ayurvedic powders, oil washes, apple cider vinegar mixes or, plain ol’ conditioner, just to rattle off a few. As a beginner, ask yourself: how am I going to cleanse my hair/scalp? Whatever method you choose it is important that you are cleansing AT LEAST once per week – more if possible.

If you choose shampoo as your cleansing method, use shampoos that are free of sulfates and harsh detergents and I recommend diluting your shampoo with 3 parts water to 1 part shampoo. When used frequently, sulfates not only dry your hair out, but they can also make your scalp itchy, cause split ends, rough hair follicles and even cause breakage. Here are some sulfate-free shampoos that you might want to try:

Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo, TiGi Bedhead Superstar Shampoo, Pureology Super Straight Shampoo, Kenra Platinum Color Care Sulfate-Free Shampoo, Matrix Biolage Normalizing Shampoo, Abba Pure Moisture Shampoo, Aubrey Organics Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo, Avalon Lemon Clarifying Shampoo, Creme of Nature*

When you cleanse, focus on your scalp rather than the length of your hair. Take note that apple cider vinegar is typically used to clarify and rid the scalp and hair of product build-up; if you choose this method, do not use it every day because you may find it to be drying. Honestly, the best method for daily cleansing is to use conditioner. Be mindful, though that you will need to clarify your hair more frequently depending on what conditioner you use and what (if anything) you mix in it. The Shikai-Co Wash recipe is an excellent option that allows you to co-wash daily while keeping the hair and scalp free of build up, so you don’t have to clarify as much. And I almost forgot to mention, be sure, too that the conditioner you use to co-wash is not a protein based conditioner…I suggest using a cheap conditioner like V05, Tresseme or Suave for your co-washes.

Condition

The conditioning step in the 3C’s specifically refers to deep conditioning. Deep conditioning with a moisture-based deep conditioner at least once per week is imperative for Black hair. If your hair is dry, brittle or chemically treated, you MUST make time to deep condition weekly. Deep conditioning revitalizes natural oils, hydrates and protects your hair. But keep in mind that not all conditioners are deep conditioners and be aware whether the conditioner you are using is MOISTURE or PROTEIN based. Protein conditioners are often called rebuilders or reconstructors and contain wheat, soy, animal or hydrolyzed protein among its top ingredients. Protein conditioners should be used in moderation. One way to identify if the conditioner you want to use is a DEEP conditioner is to read the instructions. A general rule of thumb (now this isn’t the case 100% of the time…) is if the instructions say to leave the conditioner on your hair for less than 10 minutes, chances are that product is not formulated for deep conditioning. Most deep conditioners need to be left on the hair for at least 15 minutes with heat and will say on the tub or bottle that it is an intensive or deep conditioner. If you do not have a hooded dryer or a heating cap, put on a stocking/wig cap over your plastic cap and leave the conditioner on your hair for an hour.

Some deep conditioners you may want to try are:

Motions After-Shampoo Moisture Plus Conditioner*, Doo Gro Deep Down Intense Penetrating Conditioner, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose, Elasta QP DPR-11*, Lekair Cholesterol*, Queen Helene Cholesterol, KeraCare Humecto Creme Conditioner

Care

This is the most involved step in the 3C’s because anything outside of cleansing and conditining, would fall under the umbrella of care. Care includes what kind of water-based moisturizer are you going to use? What kind of comb and/or brush are you going to use? How often are you going to comb and/or brush your hair? How often are you going to use direct heat? How are you going to style your hair on a daily basis? What about trims? Will you use a sealant? How will you cover your hair at night?

Caring for your hair is where most people get trapped and become product junkies. I am strongly against buying every product that someone raves about or tells you to buy. I am also against not finishing a product and buying another product of that same kind (i.e. buying a moisturizer and using it twice and then buying another because it is being raved about…). If you want to see the amount of money you spend on hair care get out of control, become a product junkie :0)

That is not to say that you won’t need to try a few products in order to find what works for you and your hair. My advice is to finish what you have BEFORE you buy something else; unless what you tried is ABSOLUTELY not working for you. When selecting products, pay attention to the ingredients and stay away from key ingredients (as much as possible) such as petroleum and mineral oil. Both petroleum and mineral oil are known to clog the pores on your scalp and inhibit hair growth. From my experience, these are OK to us on your HAIR but not on your SCALP.

Moisturizing – OIL AND GREASE ARE NOT MOISTURE!!! Get yourself a good WATER-based moisturizer and moisturize your hair at least once per day, paying particular attention to the ends of your hair. A water-based moisturizer is one that has water listed as one of the first three ingredients. Spritzing your hair with spring water is a good way to moisturize your hair when your moisturizer is not available (when you are on vacation or if your kids get into your hair products and waste your moisturizer all over the carpet…). Co-washing is a great way to get moisture into your strands and so is sleeping with a plastic conditioning cap.

Some water-based moisturizers that you may want to try are:

S-Curl, Sta-Sof-Fro*, ORS Olive Oil Moisturizer, Hollywood Beauty Olive Cream*, Motions Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion, KeraCare Oil Moisturizer with Jojoba Oil, your favorite leave-in or rinse-out conditioner

Combing/Brushing – Combing and/or brusing is otherwise known as manipulation. The more you manipulate your hair the more prone to breakage it is. If you want your hair to grow to its longest lengths, try to limit the amount of time you spend combing you hair. When you detangle your hair, only use a seamless, wide-tooth comb and detangle in sections. Work through knots, dreds and tangles with your fingers and NEVER rip through them. Refrain from combing your hair while it is dry. About brushing, invest in a soft boar’s bristle brush; really that is all you need to smooth down your edges or you can use a soft bristle toothbrush to really get those edges.

Direct Heat – Direct heat is the type of heat that you put directly on your hair – like when blow drying, flat ironing and curling. Using direct heat on a daily basis will literally burn the ends of your hair off and you will never see progress. If you use direct heat daily, stop NOW. It is OK to treat yourself to direct heat on occasion (like once every 3 or 4 months). If you like to wear your hair straight, consider using roller and silk wraps to achieve that sleek look instead.

Styling – No-contact styles are the best way to grow as you are growing your hair out. By no-contact I mean keeping your ends protected from contact with clothing, air and elements. Now, y’all know I love my bun! But wearing a bun everyday is not an option for some people and I realize that. However, once your hair is long enough to put up, I heavily suggest bunning to get you to your growth goal(s). Sure, a bun is boring and old-fashioned, BUT I cannot think of a better and less inexpensive way to grow your hair out with little to no manipulation and will allow you to retain your growth AND force you to moisturize EVERY DAY…unless you know how to braid your own hair. Use a satin scrunchie to hold your pony tails. If you don’t have a satin scrunchie or cannot find one, use a hair tie that doesn’t have those metal clamps to hold them, pre-soaked in the oil of your choice.

Braids are a good option to use as well when you are striving to achieve growth goals. The important thing with braids, though is NOT to slack on your cleansing, conditionig and moisturizing.

If your hair is right at your shoulders, wearing no-contact styles as often as possible is imperative because your hair will be constantly rubbing against the fabric of your clothes and drying out your precious ends and ultimately breaking them off, otherwise.

Other no-contact style suggestions are phony ponies, wigs or weaves. Keep in mind that just because your hair is hidden in braids, under a wig, weave, etc. does not mean that you don’t have to cleanse, condition or moisturize.

Trims – Basically, unless your hair is damaged (breakage or excessive split ends) it is not necessary to set a trimming schedule. You will know when your hair needs to be trimmed (whether you admit it to yourself or not) so trim it. However, in my personal experience, I find that regular trimming helps keep the hair not only looking better, but stronger as well. The ends are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair. I find that keeping them “young” and vibrant helps them to be stronger and more resilient to daily wear and tear. Stronger hair almost always = LONGER hair!

Lock-In – I have found that locking in moisture has really helped the overall condition of my hair. Locking in moisture is simply putting oil, grease or natural hair butter on the length and ends of your hair AFTER you have moisturized it.

At Night – Cover your hair each night with either a satin scarf or bonnet. If you do not want to cover your hair, sleep on a satin pillow case instead – but note that covering your hair is most effective.

Just as important as incorporating the 3C’s into your regimen is being consistent with it. Realize that what works for some may not work for you, so do what is best for YOUR hair and your life style. You will not see results without being consistent with whatever you choose to do and come to grips with the fact that growing your hair to its longest lengths will not happen over night, within a week or even a month. Make a commitment to your hair. The best way to keep yourself encouraged is to find support through various sources. With the visual of a video channel and the convenience of a Facebook friend’s page, Long Hair Don’t Care is a GREAT place to start! Do not expect your family and friends to embrace your decision. Most people do not like change when it comes to Black hair care and have just grown comfortable with the misconception that Black hair doesn’t grow. I have found that those closest to us often times are the most discouraging when it comes to your hair journey…with consistency, commitment and the 3C’s, I GUARANTEE your hair WILL grow to its longest lengths!!!

The last bit of advice I am going to offer is TAKE PICTURES! It is the BEST way to see that your hair is growing! Take a picture at the beginning of your journey and take one approximately every 3 months (or more) to compare and document your progress.

All right! That one was long, but I hope that you were able to get some pointers about building your 3C’s regimen. These really are just the basics. Don’t get frustrated and overwhelmed…and always remember that LESS is MORE when it comes to your regimen. I am here to help in any way that I can! Good luck and happy hair growing!!!

*Products that I have tried

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