There is a common misconception that in order to have beautiful natural hair, you have to do a lot. But the natural gurus on our writing staff know better than that. Over the next several days we will share how our writers maintain incredible natural hair on very simple and basic regimens. Next up is Geniece. You can read Tori’s regimen here and Elle’s regimen here.
Longer natural hair needs a shorter regimen
Believe it or not, my hair routine took longer at the length you see on the left than it does at its current length, on the right. Why is that, you ask? Well, the longer my hair grew the more important it became for me to figure out ways to simplify my routine because there was simply NO WAY I was willing to devote 5 hours to hair care!
Protective styles to cut time and promote length/health
Currently, the only aspect of my routine that will significantly increase the length of time it takes for me to complete my hair regimen is styling. Therefore, I usually opt for simple, no fuss protective styles. Not only do these styles save me time and energy but they also help to maintain the health and length of my hair.
Currently, I wash my hair once every two weeks (unless I’m sweating more than usual or I need to refresh a style). My routine involves:
1. Detangling after coating my hair with conditioner and oil (grapeseed, coconut or an ayurvedic oil, such as amla)
2. Shampooing my sectioned hair (usually 8 large twists) with a sulfate free shampoo like Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter shampoo
3. Taking down each large twist and moisturizing with Kinky Kurly Knot Today and Bee Mine Curly Butter (I’ll use Qhemet’s Amla and Olive Cream in the winter)
4. Allow the twists to air dry or spend 15-20 minutes under a hooded dryer. Once the hair is stretched I can style it in a simple updo (see below) or braid each twist to create a braid out.
Styling once on wash day instead of multiple times during the week
Another reason my routine is simple and not time consuming is that once I style my hair on wash day, I will typically maintain that style throughout the week. If the style is a simple updo I will dampen the hair at night by lightly misting with water and secure the style with a satin scarf. For 3-4 days after wash day this is enough to keep my hair neat. I may re-do the style if needed but because my updo styles take about 10 minutes to complete, doing so takes minimal effort.
Regular quick moisturizing instead of weekly deep conditioning and hot oil treatments
One of the reasons my hair routine took longer when my hair was shorter is because I believed that I needed to spend an hour deep conditioning my hair each and every week. After all, I was trying to grow my hair from shoulder length to mid-back length after being stuck for years, so I believed I needed to baby my hair as much as possible. Now, while my hair certainly benefited from conditioning and hot oil treatments, I eventually realized that they weren’t necessary as long as I regularly moisturized my hair with quality products during the
Completing fancier styles over the course of two days
There are some weeks or occasions when I want something different. For example, this past weekend I wanted to wear a defined braid out. If possible I try to split up such styles over the course of two days because, quite frankly, after 2 hours of styling my hair I’m ready to be done. For this style I followed steps 1-5 listed above and wore the twists in a ponytail the following day, stretching the hair further. I then created two braids per twist after lightly dampening the hair and adding a leave in and gel for a total of 14 braids. I then curled the ends with flexi-rods to create a more tapered look. The result was a full, bouncy braid out that managed to withstand the heat of hot and humid southern day.
Ladies, what are your thoughts on my regimen? How is it similar to or different from yours?