There are simply too many hair care diys out there and it just over complicates things when it comes to natural hair, so why not get to know you hair and keep it simple with a simple hair care regimen that will help ensure your hair journey is not only a healthy one, but also a stress free one?. So, here are our tips and tricks to minimizing and in a sense streamlining your routine to hair care and in turn hair growth.
Step One – Get to KNOW Your Hair
If you are to set out on a journey, you don’t just set off without knowing where you are going and preparing for your trip by gathering all your necessities in order to ensure your trip is a productive one, so why would you set out on a healthy hair journey without the necessary steps and requirements in order to arrive at your destination – healthy hair (long or short).
Knowing whether your hair is prone to dryness, breakage, or is just plain resilient can help you in what category of products you start with in your search for your holy grail of products.
Another helpful means to knowing your hair is to know your hair porosity – whether low porosity, medium porosity, or high porosity. Knowing your hair porosity is the best approach to finding the right products for your hair.
For those who are not familiar with hair porosity…it is basically a way of expressing or categorizing how your hair cuticles are structured. It tells you whether your hair cuticles are lifted or “opened” (high porosity), lay flat side-by-side (medium porosity), or overlapping (low porosity).
To help you remember these hair categories, simply put, high porosity allows easy flow of moisture in and out of hair, whereas, medium porosity allows moisture to seep in and be locked in (i.e., it readily accepts and holds on to moisture); but on the other hand, low porosity hair doesn’t allow moisture in very easily and so tends to be dry for greater lengths of time.
Determining Your Hair Porosity
You can determine your hair porosity using room temperature water in a glass, if your hair stays floating within the first 10 minutes or so then you have low porosity hair, if your hair suspends in the middle for some time before sinking then you have medium porosity, and if your hair sinks within the first minute or two of placing it in the water, then you have high porosity hair.
Just in case you were wondering, it is best to use room temperature water, because using either extremes temperature (hot or cold) will greatly affect your results. For instance, cold water will close the hair cuticles for high porosity hair giving it the appears of being low porosity hair and hot will open the cuticles of low porosity hair, giving it the appearance of medium or high porosity hair, therefore, it is best to find a happy medium when it comes to the temperature of your water and well…room temperature water is that happy medium!
From there you can narrow down products that work for your hair based on your hair porosity! Hair typing seems to be the way most naturals approach their selection of hair products and we believe this is not the way to go, because hair typing is just a non scientific way of describing the curl pattern of hair and all 4a hair types don’t use the same products because the layout of the hair cuticle is the key to determining what products can or can’t work based on their ingredients and the function of those ingredients.
Step Two – KNOW Your Ingredients and What They Do For Your Hair
Know your ingredients and what they do for your hair is part of knowing your hair and can mean the difference between dry and broken hair versus moisturized and strengthened hair. But did you know, knowing your products ingredients list and what they do can also mean the difference between a healthy scalp and an unhealthy scalp.
We’ve all been there – you saw the latest, greatest, or just plain sweetest smelling hair product and you decided to try it out and then you wished you never had because it reeked havoc on your scalp, from soreness to flakiness, and even itching or blistering. Whatever, the symptoms…you got the message loud and clear that that product just wasn’t for you and your scalp! So, definitely do your research and make sure your products have the ingredients that are right for you, your hair, and your scalp!!!
Choosing the Right Products for Your Hair
So, knowing your hair porosity will help immensely in choosing the right products that will work for your hair and so will knowing the product ingredients. Approaching your hair product search with these two factors in mind helps to simplify the process.
Don’t just limits yourself to finding products that work on your hair, but also, consider researching products that work internally for growing your hair as well – hair vitamins are a start, but eating healthy nutrient dense foods is one of the best ways to ensure your body has enough nutrients left over to allocate to hair growth. Nutrient dense foods tremendously increase how healthy and strong the hair is that is being produced by the hair follicles.
Build a Simple Hair Care Regimen
Armed with your new found discovery of what your hair porosity is and what products work for your your hair, you are now ready to build a simple hair care regimen.
First, wash day – this is up for debate as to how frequently you need to wash your hair, but rest assure that you need to wash your hair at least twice a month to keep a happy, healthy scalp, thereby, further maximizing your hair growth! Keep your hair and scalp clean! Dirt on the scalp will clog your hair follicles and can provide a haven for bacteria, fungi, and other microbes to grow abundantly causing lots of scalp issues that will impact hair growth – a dirty scalp does NOT equal faster hair growth, so save the dirt for the plants.
Second, determine how often your hair is in need of a thorough deep conditioning. This can range from once a month to once every 3 to 6 months depending on the health of your hair and how dry your hair gets. So low and high porosity hair will need more deep conditioning than hair that readily accepts and holds on moisture (medium hair porosity), because hair in a good state moisture wise will require fewer deep conditioning to counteract the damaging effects of dryness. So, unless you have done some damage through excess or incorrect use of heat, then your medium porosity hair can go at least 3 months without needing to be deep conditioned. But again, use your own judgment and new found knowledge in caring for your hair to determine how long to go between deep conditions and be sure to make regular conditions are highly effective, by choosing the best quality hair conditioner to use on your hair.
Third, Keep you ends healthy and free of splits and knots as much as possible and this can be done with the use of sharp shears that are used just for your hair and nothing else! Keep your trims to a minimum if possible, especially if you would like to retain length, but in order to do so you need to make sure you keep those end protected and in good health. A healthy head of hair from the roots to the tips will typically need one or two trims per year if at all…. However, no need to forgo a trim – if your hair needs one, it NEEDS one! So, if that means you need a trim every 3 or 4 months, then do so, but do your absolute best in making sure you find out what could be the cause or reason for needing frequent trims and do your best to think up a solution (“where there’s a will, there IS a way!”).
Fourth, leave your hair alone and let it be! Try your best and minimize how much you handle your hair and make sure what you use in your hair is doing exactly what you need it to do – maintaining your hair and scalp in a healthy state. Check your scalp weekly to make sure it is clean and free of flakes and dry spots and remedy dryness with light spritzing of filtered water followed by a drop or two of oil massaged into the scalp.
Keep it simple when it comes to your hair care regimen and your journey to healthy hair long or short will be a fruitful and enjoyable one. So get to know your hair and hair product ingredients and build a simple hair care regimen that will allow your hair to thrive using the guidelines we have provided and don’t forget to nourish from within and not just outward.