Spring Cleaning: 5 Ways I've Simplified My Natural Hair Regimen

Sunday, April 15, 2012

When I first went natural over a year ago, I quickly found myself in the cycle of trying many different combinations of products and techniques as I got to know the unique characteristics and personality of my hair. Yes, I did buy a gang of products and invested lots of time in doing my hair frequently - sometimes multiple times per week. But in my defense opinion, this was a necessary phase in my quest to discover which hair care techniques and products work best for my hair. I still very much enjoy trying new products and doing my hair often (that's the product junkie talking - don't judge, LOL). But shortly after my one year natural anniversary and the start of year 2 of being natural, I decided to find ways to simplify my hair care routine - a kind of "spring cleaning" of my regimen. Here are 5 ways I've simplified my hair care regimen this spring! 
  1. I now cleanse my hair less often. After incorporating the Terressentials mud wash into my regimen, I found that I no longer need to cleanse my hair as often. I went from cleansing my hair once a week to now once every 3 weeks to a month. This has been a huge time saver!
  2. When I do a wash and go, I apply my all my products while in the shower. I even mix my leave-in and styler together in the palms of my hands before slapping it on each section (instead of in separate steps). Back in the day, I used apply my wash and go products in separate steps once out of the shower. While it didn't take me that long to do I certainly can appreciate the time saved by getting everything done in the shower. And now I truly "wash" and "go" whenever I choose to wear a wash-and-go.
  3. I keep styling simple. Not that my styles were that complicated before, but some of my favorite go-to styles lately are those that I can achieve in less than 15 minutes. When I'm not wearing my hair out in a wash and go or twist out, I usually either do some kind of bun, or pinned up-do style on stretched hair. These styles usually require little to no re-twisting when prepping my hair for bedtime. (The only exception to this is when I spend hours doing mini twists - with the intention of wearing the twists for an extended period of time. In that case, the length of wear I get from the style is totally worth the time invested in styling). 
  4. More efficient deep conditioning. I remember a time when deep conditioning (DC) was a huge time investment for me over the weekend. That's still fine if I'm otherwise home with nothing to do and nowhere to go. But over time I've found ways to save time on the DC process itself as well as ways to more efficiently fit DC-ing into my schedule when it gets busy. One of the best things I've done to save time is installing a flexible/removable shower head. Having a removable shower head means there is no longer necessary to get in and out of the shower a billion times during the deep conditioning process. I also deep condition overnight if I can't seem to find the time during the day or if I'm feeling particularly lazy.
  5. I stick to tried and true products and techniques that I know works for my hair and has predictable results.  One of the things that can make natural hair care seem more complicated than it needs to be is having to deal with epic bad hair days because a product or a technique you tried fails to give you the desired outcome you were seeking. Of course, bad hair days will happen from time to time no matter what you do. But once you figure out the products and styling techniques that work for your hair after the initial period of trial and error, bad hair days (and the annoyance that comes with it) can be kept to a minimum.  Now that I've been natural for over a year, I've finally figured out what kinds of products, ingredients and techniques work best for my hair (for the most part - I'm always learning!) to the point where most of my styling outcomes are predictable. Unless I'm in the mood to experiment with a completely new product or style, I pretty much stick to what I know works for my hair. In other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! :)

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