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4 Signs that Your Hair Routine Works

• May 1, 2014


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Consistently gaining hair length is a fairly obvious sign that your routine works. However, it is also probably one of the worst signs to rely on unless you are very patient. This is because hair really does grow fairly slowly and visualizing an inch can take 2–3 months. So, what are your options if you do not want to be driven mad by length checks but still want to know if your routine is working from week to week? Here are 4 definite signs which indicate that in 2–3 months, you will likely have that extra inch:

1. Skipping a day or two does not result in serious damage
If your routine is so rigid that missing it out for even one day will result in serious breakage, then you need to reconsider it, it is not good enough. If you are a daily or bi-weekly co-washer, you should be able to skip one day and live with it. If you moisturize your hair twice daily and forget one night, your hair should survive without damage until the next session. If you wash your hair weekly but get sick one weekend and cannot wash until the next week, your hair should be able to survive that.

2. You can work with what you have
Being able to adapt is a key indicator that you understand your hair. If you go on a trip abroad but forget your favourite moisturizer, could you walk into a shop, read the ingredient labels and pick out a product to use? If you try a new conditioner and find that it is not that great but it is not that terrible either, could you fix it with ingredients that you have at home? Here is a big one, if you decide to wear a stretched style and then it begins to rain, would you have the tools to prevent shrinkage in your bag or alternatively let it shrink and know that you can deal with it?

3. You have a firm handle on breakage
A perfect routine will minimize breakage to such an extent that hair can continuously gain length. Mathematically, stagnant hair means that your hair is breaking as fast as it is growing. Your growth rate is almost always never to blame. How can you get to a low breakage/breakage free state? You must have firm rules for handling your hair when it is wet and dry. You must know when your hair breaks the most (e.g during detangling or during styling) and take active steps to reduce this breakage. Total elimination of breakage is not always possible but for example keeping half or three quarters of an inch for every inch that grows is a tangible goal. Your hair does not have to grow fast, it just should grow.

4. You know what matters to YOUR hair.
There are plenty of articles around on what is the single most important thing for natural hair. There will be varied answers from some saying moisturizing is most important yet others will say daily moisturizing is a no-go area. Some naturals credit exclusive finger detangling to producing long hair but others say finger detangling only leads to more tangles. Some naturals cannot pinpoint a single adjustment at all. Where does the truth lie? The truth is all viewpoints are correct because every head of hair is different. You should know the best way to wash, moisturize and style YOUR hair.



What are some things you look for to gauge whether or not a routine is working for you?

About The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

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15 Comments on "4 Signs that Your Hair Routine Works"

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Hi! I have a question. Right now, I m suffering from alopecia post-partum and it mainly affects my edges. Luckily, the loss has reduced to become almost mangeable because I took suppléments and improved my routine.

I feel like I lose hair in terms of density but I’m gaining lenght.

Is it possible to have less hair but longer hair at the same time ? what is breakage exactly : losing lenght or number or hair or both?

Thanks for your answers.


Breakage is when your hair splits from a weak point on the strand. You can tell when you have breakage because the pieces of hair the fall off are shorter than the average length of your hair strands. So, say your hair is 10 inches long and you have pieces about 3–4 inches splitting off, then you have breakage.

Otherwise you are probably just losing a lot of shed hair. 🙂


I see what you mean but you are not there yet. Shorter hair can also be shed hairs, as your hair does not grow all at the same rate. It is better to identify shed hair with white bulbs and breakage without white bulbs


The state your body is in is also very important. If you are nutrient deficient or extremely stressed, even the hair routine that was as good as gold will not work. This is what I’m experiencing right now.


Breakage is pieces of hair breaking off and it would cause you to lose length. If you are loosing whole strands of hair it is falling out and causes loss of numbers of hair.


Love this! My #5: I ignore PJ urges by reminding myself that I already have what I need and it’s working for me.


I started using DevaCurl and my hair is unbelievably soft. I feel like even after sleeping on my hair the night before my hair was still crazy soft. That’s a true feat to achieve in the desert with this harsh water!


I feel like I’m close to finding out what works. Glycerine has made a huge difference for my coarse, coily hair. I use 1 part Glycerine, 1 part Aloe Vera Juice and 3–4 parts water in spray bottle. I can apply every other day or even a couple days with coconut oil if I twist it up.

I read some people don’t like it because it can make their hair puffy but for me the moisture sticking to hair makes my coils stay defined. It does still puff a bit but the softness and moisture are so worth it.

Im not 100% sure of my hair state at the moment my hair has always been long-ish ( I currently have relaxed hair) and because I’m determined to grow my hair longer than is ever been I’ve actually developed a routine and I began the Jamaican Castor oil Challenge. I noticed that my hair would only grown to shoulder length then ‘stop’ so I think its safe to assume is breakage. Now I put my hair in updos as much as possible and completely eliminated using heat tools,simple styles and wide tooth combs. I still get breakage but weather that… Read more »

It is not so easy to find this kind of information! Thanks to the author! Ofcourse almost everybody knows what better for their hair, but sometimes, much better to see some advice!

Michelle F.

If my scalp starts to flake, then it isn’t working. When my scalp is flake-free, THEN IT’S WORKING.


I found the perfect routine and I love it. I only wash once a week, then I style and I don’t touch my hair until the next wash day. My hair stays soft even when I wear it out all week.

I’m a colored treated natural and I have read info on how “protein” is a must! For a couple months I have trying out several protein treatments because I wanted to stop the tiny wisp breakage(which I found out its normal) and I found that mayo worked good for me. HOWEVER, my hair has went FULL protein overload in a couple months and my breakage turn into a half of a inch to a inch of hair. The mistake I made was that I do a protein treatment, co-wash with Aussie or shampoo, and then I use a deep conditioner… Read more »

I thought I’d found it this summer with glycerin products. That quickly changed when the weather got cooler. I struggled since October with dry ends that I have to keep cutting off. The only routine that works is not having it out and that’s not a routine. Not to mention not any fun.

I have all of these down. My hair is exactly where I’d predicted it’d be at this time of year. I knew I was doing something right when my brother, who is growing out his fro asked how I got my hair to be so shiny. I gave him a look. Did he really want to know about all the deep conditioning, the oils, and creams I use? But bottomline, my hair is shiny and my brother actually noticed. (My routine is not so scary, and very minimal in comparison to what I see others doing, but it is way… Read more »

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