Everyone Has A Haircare Regimen. What’s Yours?
January 18th, 2018
/ˈreg.i.men/ - A systematic plan, regular course of action, or manner of living. Especially when designed to improve, restore, or maintain health – or to attain a desired result.
Whether we know it or not, the truth is we all have a haircare regimen. While some are more intentional than others, all regimen will have a direct impact on the length and overall quality of our hair. So, in order to ensure we’re setting ourselves up to win, we have to first be able to identify what category our current haircare regimen falls into, and adjust accordingly – to attain our desired result(s).
RECESSIVE MAINTENANCE REGIMEN
This is the regimen that offers the least desirable results, but is unknowingly adopted by many. In this regimen, the rate of hair breakage/damage surpasses the rate of hair progress.
Such regimens tend to prioritize temporary beauty with little to no regard for the damage done in the process.
These regimens will generally include:
* Uninformed/random product selection and improper use
* Long periods of time between washdays
* Little-no moisture sources
* Daily improper heat use
* Rough handling of the hair
* Weave/Extension Abuse
* Chemical abuse: multiple bleaching, frequent colouring of hair that’s already in poor condition, excessive/ improper relaxing (less than 8 weeks between relaxers)
* Excessive trimming due to excessive damage.
People in this category usually know that such practices will wreak havoc over time, but continue to do them anyway. Usually because they lack the time, money, and or interest. However, when such practices result in thinning, length loss and/or bald spots the reaction is a frustrated woman jumping at any miracle product/service that promises to undo years of accumulated damage.
BASIC MAINTENANCE REGIMEN
In this regimen, the hair is being managed close to (or just above) its breaking point, so damage rate = progress rate. This regimen is somewhat similar to a recessive one, in that in that it lacks a systematic plan and so is characterised by simply “winging it”. Lack of proper haircare knowledge is usually the cause here, and is why many women start here and regress to recessive regimens.
Such regimens usually include:
* Hit-or-miss product selection and use
* Few moisture sources/improper moisturising practices (e.g. substituting oils for moisturisers)
* Infrequent/inconsistent cleansing and conditioning
* Excessive protein use
* Regular improper heat use
* High Manipulation styling
* Moderate relaxer use (8-10 weeks between relaxers)
* Hair colouring abuse
* Random trimming that is not in sync with hair’s growth rate.
Being the most common type of regimen (especially in black women), it’s no surprise that many women hit (and struggle to get past) the shoulder length plateau for years. Thankfully, hair is resilient and can just about survive at this level, but will certainly not be healthy or flourish.
HEALTHY HAIRCARE REGIMEN
This is the ideal. The ultimate key (if you like) to achieving healthy flourishing hair. Adopting a healthy haircare regimen actively reduces the rate of damage to a minimum, allowing the rate of progress to significantly surpass the damage rate. In such a regimen, hair that grows is realised as it is retained at the ends (instead of breaking/being trimmed off due to damage).
Healthy Haircare regimens typically include the following:
* Carefully planned and strategic product selection
* Optimal moisture levels maintained
* Moisture-Protein balance
* Protection of hair shaft and ends from mechanical and/or heat damage
* Low-manipulation styling
* No bleaching or chemical processing
* Or carefully processing/relaxing no more than 4 times per year – avoiding previously relaxed portions
* Healthy diet and lifestyle
* TIME & PATIENCE
Adopting such a planned, intentional, and systematic regimen, means progress in length and health can be seen and tracked on as frequent as a monthly basis. Care should be taken, however, because the longer black hair gets, the more caution must be taken to prevent the ends breaking. So, whether relaxed or natural, a healthy sustainable haircare regimen but be able to adapt to changes in length and strength of the hair fiber over time.
Most of us desire the benefits of a healthy haircare regimen, but because we understand very little about what separates good haircare from bad haircare, we end up trying just about anything to our own detriment (and frustration). Having a systematic, yet flexible, haircare regimen is truly the key to long-term hair success. But before even putting pen to paper on a regimen, discovering and having a clear understanding of your unique hair characteristics makes it such that you’ll be able to significantly minimise the frustrating guesswork of what your regimen should look like.
So perhaps you’ve adopted a more recessive regimen until now. Maybe you even tried the whole healthy haircare regimen thing and fell off from frustration. All hope is not lost. With the right tools, patience, and determination, you’ll be on your way to healthier, stronger, longer hair in no time!