Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 Healthy Hair Care Challenge: Framework For Your Healthy Hair Regimen

 [Source]

To get the best results from this challenge, you have to first devise an effective plan of action. An effective hair regimen will ensure you prevent setbacks, and also see to it that you reach your goals on time. When choosing a regimen, it is best to take into consideration your schedule, and the amount of time you wish to commit on maintaining your hair on a weekly basis. Being honest with yourself about the amount of time you wish to spend on your hair can help prevent burnout, and resentment [trust, I have experienced this many times throughout the past few years]. It doesn't matter if you have a complicated regimen, or one that is very simple. The key to getting the most out of your healthy hair regimen is consistency. 

This framework is geared to those who will be wearing their hair in it's natural state in either twist outs, braid outs, or afro's. We will discuss product recommendations,  as we move through various regimens this week. For now, I want to get everyone acquainted with the fundamentals of a healthy regimen. These elements should be included in everyone's regimen no matter if you are choosing to go the Ayurvedic, Natural or Traditional route.   

Your regimen should include the following:

Detangling prior to wetting hair: This is essential in reducing the amount of hair lost, and more importantly increasing the amount of length retained. Detangling prior to wetting the hair is easier on the hair shaft [as hair is in it's most fragile state when wet], which means no more splits, knots and breakage from detangling. Always detangle with a seamless wide-tooth comb. If you're on a budget, you can pick up the Jilbere shower comb which is a favorite of mine. They retail for under $2 at Sally's

Pre-Shampoo conditioning treatment: Sulfates in shampoos, and synthetic ingredients found in many hair care products can really take a toll on highly textured hair, leaving it brittle, dry, and lifeless. Pre-conditioning involves conditioning the hair prior to shampooing it. What this does is re-hydrate thirsty hair, helping it to retain more moisture after shampooing, and throughout the styling process. 

Shampoo hair in sections: It may take an additional 5-10 minutes, but you will definitely appreciate the benefits. Shampooing hair in sections ensures you get your scalp clean, and keeps your hair neat which prevents knots, matting and excessive tangles. 

Deep Condition: Deep conditioning the hair weekly prevents breakage from dryness, corrects issues with elasticity, nourishes the hair follicles and promotes hair growth. Keeping highly textured hair moisturized is key for maintaining, thick, healthy hair. - You can choose to deep condition with heat [using one of those inexpensive soft bonnet dryers], or by using your own body heat generated from your scalp [just cover your head with a plastic cap].

Moisturize your hair: Replenishing moisture levels throughout the week makes for happy, healthy, soft, touchable, manageable hair throughout the entire week. Often, when hair is stiff, brittle, or excessively dry before weeks end, it is due to the lack of moisture. - Keeping hair moisturized also helps prevent breakage from dryness and keeps your strands lubricated which helps keep the tips of your strands from forming knots/tangles. 

Seal in the moisture: Beat moisture loss by sealing in the moisture after hydrating your hair. To lock the moisture in your hair, add a dime size amount of oil to your hands, rub hands together to distribute oil, then apply to the entire length of the hair paying special attention to the tips/ends. 

Sleep in a stain bonnet or on a satin pillowcase: Cotton is not your friend. In fact cotton can cause split ends, breakage, and chronic dryness. Avoid setbacks by sleeping in a satin bonnet, or on a satin pillowcase. Your hair will thank you!

Every month consider the following:
Scalp Treatments: Scalp treatments are effective in removing bacteria and exfoliating dead skin cells [accumulation of dead skin cells and bacteria can lead to hair loss/thinning]!
Every six to eight weeks consider the following:
Protein Treatments: Protein treatments work to keep your hair healthy and strong by preventing or correcting breakage, filling in gaps along the hair shaft [which helps your hair retain more moisture] and correcting issues with elasticity.

For those that plan on wearing their hair "out" in it's natural state [like twist outs or braid outs], I recommend shampooing and deep conditioning once weekly. Use this sample regimen as a starting point when making your own:
  • Sunday: Detangle hair + Condition hair with a pre-shampoo treatment + Shampoo Hair + Deep Condition + Lightly detangle + Style

  • Monday:

  • Tuesday: Moisturize hair as needed + Seal in the moisture + Re-twist/Re-braid hair as needed

  • Wedensday:

  • Thursday: Moisturize hair as needed + Seal in the moisture + Re-twist/Re-braid hair as needed

  • Friday:

  • Saturday: Moisturize hair as needed + Seal in the moisture + Re-twist/Re-braid hair as needed
The regimen listed is the framework for length retention, thickness, and body. As I discuss various regimens, I will go into depth on scalp treatments, pre shampoo treatments, protein treatments, oils to seal in moisture, etc.

EDIT: Many of you are inquiring about protective styling options/regimens. A sample regimen will be posted this week with product recommendations, styling options, etc. The regimen I posted today is specifically for the people that choose to wear their hair out the duration of the challenge. - Many people ask my thoughts on "protective styling" versus wearing your hair out. I have done both, and from personal experience have retained the same amount of length doing it either way. The key to retaining length for me has been moisturizing, careful detangling, and alleviating stress placed on my follicles. 

Questions are always encouraged! You can leave a comment in the comment area [I will check comments nightly], and also ask questions during the two check-ins I will have monthly.

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48 comments:

  1. Thank you so much so this information!! Im am in the process of transitioning and I had no idea where to begin. I reallly appreciate you for taking the time out to provide other women with such great info. You are truly beautiful. Thank you again!

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  2. Hello is there a way to restore hair issues? I have had breakage in my crown area and I want to restore this.

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  3. Thanks for the information. My main goal is to retain length. Is it better to wear hair in protective styles than hair out in it's natural state?

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  4. Sometimes a hair regimen is easier said than done esp when is filled with complex routines, I'm so thankful for your simple outline.

    I'm going to do my best to stay committed to this challenge. Thanks for the motivation Moptop Maven.

    www.zaynadaze.com

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  5. How do you detangle your hair before washing?!? Do you do it completely dry??

    I've heard people say it reduces hair lost but I feel like when I tried that I lost a LOT more hair than I do when doing it in the shower but I might have been doing it wrong I guess.

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  6. Good advice, but I'm with Malyboo.Barbee: detangling hair while dry is a HUGE no no for me. Maybe it can work with looser hair types, but my hair is too coarse and tightly coiled to mess with it while it's dry. I have to always spritz first to lubricate my hair, detangle with a wide tooth comb, and then co-wash/shampoo/etc my hair like usual.

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  7. OK,I have a few questions;
    1. How do detangle before you wash? Do you detangle dry or damp hair? Do you use your fingers or a comb?
    2.Where can I find an affordable seamless comb? I did a quick google search and the seamless combs that came up started at $20. I can't exactly afford that(read: my mom's not going to lend me the money for that at the moment)
    3.How do I protective style while still keeping my edges in tact?Most PS require some sort of tension on the hairline. I don't have severe breakage at my hairline, but it's a bit further back than it should be.
    4.What are some protective style options that I can try on my heat-damaged hair? I can't wear hats (my school doesn't allow it) and twists are out of the question because they unravel after half a day.

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  8. @Anonymous; this post is specifically for people that want to wear their hair "out" while completing the challenge. A separate post for those that want to wear protective styles will follow. - I didn't include it as a requirement, as I have tried both "hiding my hair" and "wearing out" and received the same amount of growth doing either or. The key to retaining length for me comes into play with minimizing amount of hair loss when detangling, moisturizing, and preventing breakage/splits.

    @Malyboo: I will post a video on it, it doesn't require your hair to be 100% dry. You mist your hair with a water conditioner mixture to loosen up the curls/kinks. I did a youtube video on it, i will embed it in the post.

    @Anonymous, I am emebeding a video now that demonstrates the techniques. In that video I show how much hair was lost during the process. - For a seamless comb, I recommended the Jilbere Shower Comb [under $2 at Sally's]. Granted it has a fine seam, it works as good as my Mason Pearson comb I spent almost $30 on.

    I also will have a protective styling regimen up after this week. This regimen was only listed for those wearing their hair in free flowing hair styles.

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  9. I love the regimen outline. I am in the process of transitioning w/o the BC, but don't know how to handle those days when I am working out and my hair is WET as if I just got out of the shower. I so need help. I've been wearing my hair in a braidout, but still trying to get it together. Any advice you can provide is greatly appreci

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  10. I have a TWA which essentially requires that I cowash everyday to refresh or I would look quite busted. Since it's freezing here in the North East, I have been shingling my hair with gel and leaving it alone for 4-5 days out of the week. All I have to do is spritz with water to reactivate the gel and add oil. It's my version of a protective style, I guess.

    My question is- will the gel eventually cause too much damage if I continue this way? Will it be better for my hair to co-wash daily until my hair gets long enough to twist? Or will your sample regi be best and refresh on the alternate days? I'm curious what would contribute the most to healthy hair at this stage. Thank you for your input and making this challenge!

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  11. I read in previous post about you using a caruso set? I wanted to know where you bought your or how i coukd get one?

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  12. Omg I seriously love you more and more with every post. I swear its like you can read my mind, everytime I'm interested in implenting something new into my beauty regimen, (ie doing the healthy hair challenges that i found on the hair forum) you pop up with a post that goes into detail and answers my all of my questions perfectly!

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  13. This is so great! I've been reading natural hair blogs and watching videos on regimens for a while and I've gotten over-simulated and confused very often. Thanks for breaking it down in really simple steps.

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  14. Amazing post, I can't wait to follow you up with the protective style option. Thank you so much for the detailed informations.

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  15. Thanks this info helps a LOT!!! I'm transitioning and I have to rework my regimen!

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  16. Thanks for the post but I have a question. I have a twa and I usually spritz my hair daily for moisture but it still ends up dry by midday. So what should I do if I go by your regimen of only spritzing every other day?

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  17. Would you mind clarifying what you mean by scalp treatments? Is this something seperate or part of what you said overall. I know there are some treatments specifically for scalp like the brown sugar scrub etc and I was just if you were refering to something like that and if so, could you recommend/give intructions on one b/c i personally need to incorporate that into my regime

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  18. i'm assuming if you have a twa then you can't really wash the hair in sections. am i wrong?

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  19. This is awesome! I ordered some ayurvedic products abour a week and half ago to try. I had tried cassia about a month ago and I loved what it did for my so I'm eager to try more...

    Today marks my 10 month anniversary post relaxer. I am thinking about BC'ing for the new year...my goal would be retaining strong healthy hair: SLH, and reversing the damage done by chemicals to my edges and on the front top of my head.
    Angela

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  20. I am so excited about my transition from relaxed hair to natural hair. I am 7 months in and counting. I am overwhelmed at the same time because I am unsure of what i need to be doing. So much information out there. I am entering the healthy hair challenge to achieve shoulder length hair and also to be free from relaxed hair. I am looking forward in learning all about the hair products and hair styles. I am so committed to this journey.

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  21. I have about 3.5-4inches of hair When I wash I two strand twist my hair I wear the twist at home but when I go out I dont like to wear them unless Im running errands so what would be your suggestions
    I am doing the ayurvedic regimen w/natural conditioners & shampoos I really appreciate you posting the regimen because I dont have one so this will help me get started Hope to get to meet you in Atlanta, GA in February
    Keep the information coming I will be checking the site daily for information

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  22. I usually detangle my hair when I pre-poo. I section my hair in fours. Then I put conditioner and detangle each section. I first finger detangle then use a wide tooth comb. After finishing each section I braid it for washing.

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  23. I love this blog.....i tell everyone....my hair is shoulder length and my goal is to wear it down my back.....i wear it wrapped straight no perm for two years, and when it's not wrapped, I wear weaves....i will continue to follow and look forward to the challenge!!!

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  24. Ur truly awesome dude...thanks!

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  25. I have a question about amla. I need to cover a few greys and to darken my dull, dark brown hair. Is there an amla recipe that can help?

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  26. How selfless of you to share this information free of charge. You have such a generous spirit. Thanks and happy growing all!

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. Thanks for the post.

    Since I started paying extra attention to my hair after a major trim in Aug.,it has grown a lot. Since that time, I h've been wearing it out more than anything, which requires that I retwist it about everyday, in addition to a wash and deep condition once a week, pretty much in step with what you posted.

    However, the shampoo method that you used, seems interesting and something that I might try.



    Cant' wait for more posts.

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  29. I have been natural for about 2 years now but have no real length to show for it. First, I chopped it of and my hair was so hard I put a texturizer in it (I knew nothing of hair care then). Then I chopped all the texturizer after it grew out a bit, got deployed where the water was too hard to care for my hair. My hair grew but it was really dead (I went to afghanistan) and so when I got back this past april I had to cut it again! I can tell its healthy but I am so uncomfortable with the length that I am rocking weaves! I don't plan on doing this forever but I would like to retain some length first. My desired goal would be mid back length.

    My question is: Is there a healthy hair regimen that would work for those who rock weaves and extensions that will also help them retain length?

    *I would like to note that I follow your blog regularly and have added things like silk amino acids (as well as the other products that you mentioned on the mixology products we can't live without) to my hair products as well as get my weave installed to where my braids are not tight and the sew in isn't tight either. I also take vitamins and try to eat as healthy as possible as well as exercise (I apologize if there are any typos it is difficult to type on a blackberry with bad eyes lol)

    Thanks for what you do.

    Constance

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  30. LOVE the posts Moptop Maven! My question is, when should hair be trimmed, while it's in the natural state? Or, should I blow my hair out, silken it, then trim it? Also, what protein treatments would you recommend?

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  31. I stumbled upon this site and immediately fell in love with it! MopTopMaven, love the recipes. When I cook like that at home everyone gives me the side eye! lol.

    However, I too am transitioning. I am texlaxed, post almost 3 months on January 5th! I'm so looking forward to this challenge and you are a doll for extending this information to all of us..Thank you.

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  32. I have a question about the protein treatments. I've learned I'm protein sensitive (thank you CurlyNikki) and am wondering if you are considering protein and henna treatments interchangeable. I never used products marketed for "black/ethnic" hair because they always made my hair hard and crispy. I put two and two together this year when I discovered CN.com and realized this is probably due to the proteins in many products designed for relaxed hair. I had actually experienced breakage this Winter and believe it was due to a protein gel, the Sally GVP version as well as the real Paul Mitchell Wet. However, I HAVE been using henna for the last 8 months or so and enjoy the strengthening ,as well as the color, benefits (I have a lot of grey hairs that I used to dye black with temporary colors but was starting to use permanent because of the resistance of the grey hair). So, just wondering if henna works in place of protein for this challenge?

    BTW, I didn't respond to the prior post, but think I will join this challenge, which will be my first. My hair is layered with the longest layer in the back about an inch short of waist length stretched. The shortest layer in the back is around BSL stretched. I'm not pleased with the layers as my hair is finer and very loose (barely a wave) at the nape and it makes my edge/ends appear thin as the top hair is curlier and shrinks more. Therefore, I would like to grow my hair evenly to waist length and maybe even longer to improve the appearance of the ends. I will maintain the layers framing my face, which are about APL. I will incorporate traditional, natural and ayurvedic methods in my routine. Awaiting the pre-shampoo/conditioning detangling video as I've only recently started using coconut oil pre-poos and slightly detangling with my fingers if my hair has been stretched through twist outs or coming out of cornrows. Prior to that, dry detangling was a no-no due to breakage. However, I'm interested as I tend to shed a lot of hair and wonder if the proper technique will help with this and improve the appearance of thickness (I have fine hair that used to seem denser, but not so much anymore. Don't know if it's the henna or age as I'll be 39 in March).

    Looking forward to learning more and I really enjoy your site!

    Shelli

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  33. Hi, for those that dont know NjoiCreationS
    from etsy.com makes a great homemade Ayurvedic Shampoo Bar think is like $6.00 4oz bar. she also has few other ayurvedic stuff....Super Friendly and Fast Shipping..

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  34. I have a question about the use of heat. I know that it's discouraged but I find that my hair holds a style better/longer when I blow it out prior to twisting and I usually don't blow it completely dry. Is there an extra step that I should add to my regimen? I will pretty much follow the regimen posted with Sunday being wash day. I was considering grapeseed oil as a heat protectant...

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  35. Hello, Does the Henna give you a headache? I put Henna and Indigo in my haor last January and it gave me a terrible headache from the smell. I did not mix any oils or con's in it so maybe i should do that next time?

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  36. Hi Moptopmaven,
    thank you so much! This is a solid routine which I hopefully can follow. I usually do not twist b/c they did not stay in so good (don't ask, I have textures from 3c to 3b on my head ina wild mix..)and they are too short in some parts, so I rely on wash' n go's which I wanted to abandon anyways. I'll try to find an alternative to twisting every other day (I saw a pineapling tutorial on short hair @CN-hi Nikki!) and pray to the gods of haircare that I can go a week without washing :-). But if this gives me fullness and length- I'm all in. Still trying to get all my ayurvedic goodness on board- ordering the herbs in europe is a challenge of its own....
    So looking forward to get this started!!

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  37. This is fabulous regimen for 2011! I will be incorporating some of your steps for my 2011 goals also. Happy New Year!

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  38. I love the sample regimen! I'm in the process of transitioning. It took me a while to fully figure out what I wanted to do with my hair but i'm set on doing this. My new growth is coming in pretty soft so it's not that hard to manage but moisture is definitely the key. I'm going to try a braidout and see how it looks. Thanks for all of your helpful tips :)

    http://myeclecticheart.wordpress.com/

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  39. I'm in! My hair length is right at where my neck and shoulder meet. But I want it to get to bra strap length. I'm going to work with the traditional method. Thanks for this post MM!!!

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  40. loved ur hair tips...need ur help asap

    will email u

    http://say-bleurgh.blogspot.com

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  41. Ive always been confused about the difference bw "Pre Poo" and "dep conditioner." I used to use Ojon Restorative hair treatment (the one that smells like burnt almonds) every Sunday before shampooing. Now I'm curently using Coconut Oil (less expensive) as my deep conditioner. I usually deep condition before washing my hair, so technically it is a pre poo treatment. Are they supposed to be two separate and distinct products because I've always deep conditioned before washing my hair.

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  42. I just wanted to let you know that after one short week of your Healthy Hair Care challenge, I can already see the difference. I started by trimming my ends and then following your suggestions to the letter. My hair is super soft and shiny and I've been able to achieve great 2nd day hair. It's nice not having to retwist every night :-) Thanks for the tips and I look forward to new posts! Oh, and Happy New Year.

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  43. I wasnt gonna join this challenge because I was being semi-lazy but I figure "why the heck not"

    All in! Plus I MUST try this Vatika Oil!

    www.pretty-girl-rock.com

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  44. I am joining the challenge and I am very excited...because my regimen was tooooo comlicated I really got away from it and resulted back to my ponytail which is not good...

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  45. But my question is on Tuesday and Thursday how do u "moisterize "? What do u use to moisturize?
    And I agree with everyone else we appreciate the info otherwise I wouldn't know what ta do.

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  46. Is everything ok? I guess I'm a little concerned with the follow up on this. It's been a long time since we heard from you! Hope all is well.

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  47. Thanks for all of the sharing. My question what are some suggestions for a scalp treatment?

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