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[Poll] Constant Tweaking? Less is More? What Type of Natural Hair Routine Do You Follow?

Avatar • Mar 15, 2015

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There is a general debate among naturals about how often you should wash your hair in order to reap benefits such as moisturized, breakage‐proof hair. Some argue that hair needs water daily while others are happy enough with a weekly wash. The truth is there is no single right answer. There are 4 key routines that you can pick (or even pick and mix) from to find the right one your hair and your lifestyle.

1. The constant tweaker
Key features: Changes according to how hair feels or in response to changes in weather
Who does it suit: Naturals whose hair is very sensitive to moisture or lack thereof, naturals whose hair breaks easily
Pros: You become very aware of your hair’s condition, likes and dislikes.
Cons: It is easy to overdo the moisture and end up with mushy feeling, hard to style hair

The constant tweaker routine involves being able to assess how dry your hair is and whether your current style will protect it from breakage or not. There is no point in sticking to a fixed washing schedule if your hair feels dry very soon after washing and conditioning it. Instead, choosing to be flexible and following/working with the changes in your hair may work as a better method for you.

2. The go with the flow
Key features: no fixed routine of any sort, sometimes wash once a week, other times three times.
Who does it suit: Busy naturals, naturals whose hair does not break easily, naturals who are mostly in protective styles, naturals with short hair
Pros: Hair care is less of a demand within your life
Cons: Beware of the potential to neglect your hair

The fact is that for some naturals, you can be too busy to wash your hair. You may have a really busy job, more than one job or may be busy raising little ones. For these reasons, it may not be possible to schedule wash days or indeed keep to that schedule. The go with the flow routine allows you to wash and condition your hair when you have time without necessarily planning it. This routine is best for hair that is hardy and generally not susceptible to breakage. Do not use this routine if your hair breaks easily and it is your intent to grow long hair as this method could be counterproductive.

3. The less is more routine
Key features: The aim of this routine is to wash/ handle hair as little as possible — every 3–4 weeks
Who does it suit: Naturals whose hair is breakage prone, naturals without scalp problems, non‐oily hair
Pros: Less handling of hair is good for reducing damage to hair
Cons: Close monitoring of the scalp is necessary

Jaws dropped when BGLH alumni Cipriana said she washed her hair every 3 weeks or so. This prompted questions on hygiene, effects of pollution and whether scalp problems could happen. The fact is that it is absolutely possible to wash your hair much less without affecting your scalp. As individuals we all have different levels of sebum production as well as different levels of sweating. If you do have dandruff or eczema or perhaps you are a serious sweating gym bunny, then this routine is just a no go area for you. However, if you find that your scalp really does not show any signs of trouble (e.g flakes or itching), two weeks after a wash, then you could try to extend it into a third week and see if the less is more routine can work for you.

4. The consistent routine
Key features: fixed wash days, fixed conditioning days, no alterations
Who does it suit: Naturals who need/like schedules, new naturals, naturals whose hair does not tend to fluctuate with the weather
Pros: This is a great method for establishing which products and routines your hair will best respond to
Cons: If you stick too firmly to your routine, you could fail to make small adjustments that may be necessary e.g in response to longer ergo older, more worn down hair.

This is perhaps the most common routine in the natural world. Many naturals have a weekly wash and condition with perhaps 1–2 no poo washes in between. Consistency is a good thing and it can help you establish the ideal conditioner, conditioning time, moisturizer and moisturizing frequency. This is why this method is ideal for new naturals. However, if you live in an area where winter and summer temperatures/humidity greatly vary, you may need to move to the constant tweaker routine instead. Additionally, a consistent routine is good, but do bear in mind that you do not have to be consistent with your products, your hair may require/ demand different products as it gets longer and older.

So what type of routine do you have?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

 

How did implementing your routine affect your long‐term natural hair goals?

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Tasha
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Tasha

I am a bit of go with the flow and constant tweaker. I try to manipulate my hair as less as possible, but I am always playing and testing new things and seeing what works.

Chevanne
Guest

I change my routine with the seasons but generally stick with a consistent routine. A busy life sometimes prevents weekly washing which I prefer but every two weeks has been working out fine since I have longer hair. I only tweak if I have to.

LBell
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LBell

Is it possible to be a bit of all four? 🙂 Because my time is limited, I’ve gotten good at blocking off Sunday mornings for washing/styling my hair (consistency). However, I recently noticed that my hair was feeling drier than usual, and so last week I co‐washed on Wednesday morning (go with the flow). I used to wash 2x/week in the summer but stopped; now I’m thinking about going back to that routine (consistency). The number of products I use in a session *from start to finish* can range from 2–6. Usually it’s either 3 or 4, and most times… Read more »

Bigantic
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Bigantic

I go with the flow and the flow happens to be my wallet.
😉
I like to try new products, especially if
A. I just got an extra large paycheck -splurge on high end conditioners, leave ins; wash regularly every other day
B. I just got finished paying all of the bills — buy the cheapest products i can find at Dollar Tree; wash every week or two because i cant afford stuff

In a few days, my flow will be option B… -cough‐ tax refund -cough‐

stace
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stace

I don’ t feel like I fit in any of these categories, or at least not the way they are described. I co‐wash daily, shampoo at least once a week, and I may use a hair treatment (cassia, clay, prepoo, etc) whenever, maybe once or twice a month. I find the less I apply to my hair the better, so its usually just a curl cream or just ecostyler olive oil gel. I allow my hair to air dry year round. I find this way I don’t struggle with dryness, I don’t struggle with tangles, I don’t struggle with fairy… Read more »

mag
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mag

I am pretty consistent with my regimen because of having issues with dry, flaky scalp. When I was relaxed, I had horrible dandruff and itching. My scalp has healed tremendously but I try not to wait too long to shampoo because I want my scalp to continue to improve. Other than that, I do not care about having a strict regimen.

Happy
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Happy

I don’t have a consistent routine but I’m definitely a “less is more” person. I have 4 C hair and my hair flourishes most when I do barely anything to it. Protective styles are my best friend…and I typically only wash my hair once a month (lol don’t judge). Now…if I go swimming, sweat consistently more than usual etc then I wash more often…other than that, once a week is good for me

Tonia682
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Tonia682

I’m a go with the flow who is turning into a less is more natural.

FroBunni
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I’m a mix of constantly tweaking and consistency. My wash day and daily maintenance are like clockwork, and most of my products have been there for years (specifically, Giovanni products). I am testing products for my wash day (right now, I am diluting shampoo with water), as well as liquid amino acids. But outside of that, my regimen has been the same for the last 2.5 years.

teppuM
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teppuM

I’m a 4c person, too, and my hair is currently at its best after basically ignoring it. =p Super low manipulation, finger detangling, moisturizing when needed. Only scant trims now and again. I do a lot of DIY stuff with natural materials instead of buying products. Low key “regimen,” which is great for me because it saves time, and great for my hair.

JenniD
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JenniD

I have a tapered cut so these days I am a go with the flow kinda gal. I have a ton of products to use up so i just grab what ever. I wash once or twice a week depending with whats going on .The majority of my stash are things that work really well together and are pretty basic stuff so I just mix and match as needed. When I let my hair grow out I generally follow a consistent routine because in order to maintain length you pretty much have to buckle down and go with stuff that… Read more »

Jacky
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Jacky

I’m constantly tweaking my hair regimen because I realized that my natural hair has different needs according to the seasons eg. I use heavier products in winter but I can get away with using lightweight hair‐refreshers in spring and summer. I also do more protective styles at times when I’m too busy to maintain my hair regularly like when I’m having exams.

Dee G-p
Guest

I wash my hair with a sulfate‐free shampoo every 3–4 days because that’s when my scalp has product build‐up. I deep condition every week or two and maybe protein once a month (?) as my hair is fairly strong and I eat a lot of protein based foods (eggs, black beans, chicken, fish). I actually haven’t done a protein mask in about 5 months and my stylist gave me the thumbs up with very little breakage 🙂

SibongileA
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SibongileA

1st off, thumbs up BGLH for incorporating a poll. Great way to get us involved without long comments 🙂

I’m mainly consistent with my hair maintenance. I am low manipulation, usually weekly wash and moisturize as needed or every 2–3 days. My hair is doing v. well. Now going to try tweaking wash days from 1 week to 2 due to busy life and longer hair.

Cygnet
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Cygnet

In terms of the kinds of products I currently (since fall 2013) use on my hair—the same conditioner for co‐wash and leave‐in, vegetable glycerin, almond oil, gel—I’m pretty consistent. My tweaking happens in terms of how often I restyle, which conditioner I use, how much glycerin, and whether I use one gel or near‐equal parts of two emulsified together between my hands. I just recently changed my conditioner from Giovanni 2Chic Ultra‐Moist conditioner, which I love, to Tresemmé Naturals moisturizing conditioner. I remember not being very impressed with it when I last used it, but after giving it another chance… Read more »

EllieLo
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EllieLo

I feel like I’m consistent with my regimen, but I’m also always on alert for changes in my hair (mainly caused by seasonal change).

I feel like I’m a “constant tweaker” in the winter months because even though I try and stick to my routine, I end up adding more co‐washes mid‐week to re‐moisturize.

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