By Hadassah Agbaps - August 08, 2013

Whenever you come across a natural hair resource site, one of the most common words are NATURAL HAIR REGIMEN!
It may seem that to be a good naturalista, one must have a regimen. I'm also guilty of recommending the development of a regimen when trying to help out new naturals but one day, I got thinking....
"Is this natural hair regimen more for us than our hair?"

It's surprising when a natural is interviewed and she says,
 "I don't really have a regimen per se, I just fill the need of my hair. If it's dry, I moisturise. I use gel on some days, nothing at all on others. I twist some days, wear my hair out on others. I don't really have a pattern" .....and when you take a look at her thick, long, healthy mane, the first thought is...
"this chick isn't telling the truth. She's hiding her regimen!"

I mean, we take time to develop a series of steps and products that we can use any given Sunday to care for our hair. Admittedly it may work out and our hair rewards us with fabulousity and health but when it doesn't, we keep spending time trying to fine tune the series of steps - some of which may take a whole day and then some - until we get the result that in "our minds" make for fabulous hair.

We develop routines for wash day...pre poo, deep conditioning, detangling, moisturising and styling etc.
We have routines for styling...wash and gos or twists from Monday through Friday and twist outs on weekends or buns from Monday through Friday and wash and gos on the weekends etc.

My point is, are these routines because we listen to our hair and know when it needs to be washed, moisturised, twisted, bunned etc or is it because the routine fits into our lifestyle so that even if our hair is moisturised, we moisturise anyway because on our "timetable" which we call "natural hair regimen" it has to be moisturised every two days etc.

We've been brought up with the mindset that everything needs rules, a timetable, a schedule, a particular order and what not.
It doesn't matter if it's necessary or not.
Some may argue that without rules, there'll be utter chaos and that's for another day.

Some of us feel the need for total control in all aspects of our lives and when things doesn't go the way we plan, it's utter chaos.

The thing is rules are good but not to the point where they rob us of our ability to really observe stuff around us and act accordingly.... but that's another day's gist!

O.K. back to hair!

Many of us do not really listen to our hair when trying to develop a regimen.
We just browse through natural hair sites, pick up someone else's routine, add one or two products and ta da! ...we've developed our own regimen.
Some of us just get out schedule books/diaries and mark out days convenient for us to wash, deep condition and moisturise.... whether our hair needs it before those days or after doesn't really matter....and when our hair fails to thrive and look as good as that naturalista's with "no regimen ", we feel like our hair is ungrateful. We feel like we've failed.

I'm not trying to say creating a regimen is a bad thing.
If it coincides with your hair's needs at that point in time, you really don't have a problem.
What I'm trying to say is do not be rigid about your regimen if it's not working for you.

Sometimes your hair just needs you to "freestyle"!

- when does it feel dry? What are my quick go to products for combating dryness?

- when does it really need a trim?
 Some say you have to trim every 6-8 weeks and we blindly fit it into the regimen.
The truth is, some need to trim less often than that and some more.
Find what works for your hair and get a random weekend to trim.

- what styles are best for my hair?
There are periods in your hair's life when it wants to take a break from twists and be a fro..some days, it just wants to be tucked in tight.
Learning one go to "out" style and one protective style that fits your lifestyle style may help in this instance.

- what products are best for my hair yet fits into my lifestyle with regards to application time,hold, shine etc. Here, you have to experiment but try to keep things simple.
 It may be just olive oil for shine, aloe vera gel for hold,  ACV for cleaning or it may be Dax for shine, Ecostyler gel for hold, Carol's daughter blah blah for cleaning.
 Observe your hair.

-when does it need washing?
 Some may need to wash as often as thrice a week and for others, once a month is fine.
Find out how you can get in a quick wash when you are on the move!

I think a regimen should favour BOTH our hair and our lifestyle to be considered successful....if you even really need one!!!!...... and creating that balance may be by simply observing your hair.

What do you think? 
Is a regimen really necessary?
 Is your regimen really for your hair or just for you?

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  1. Can I say I LOVE this post? I think I've been guilty of hopping on people's regimens. But the truth is, we should develop our own "regimen." Meaning that we cater to our hair regularly, with our own knowledge of our hair, and according to what our hair needs.

    I'm trying to pinpoint what my hair loves and doesn't quite like. I won't use every oil, and do every treatment because it worked out for this or that naturalista.

  2. Thanks for the love, dear! You're absolutely right! What worked for one naturalista may not work for you. It doesn't mean you should ignore other naturalista's or two steps or products may work for you...but if your hair doesn't feel right, ditch or tweak that regimen!

  3. Oh i aint the Regimen follow up person probably cos of the nature of my work. i work on my hair when the need arise and when I've got the chance. That's why i mostly wear it on protective styling.....Time and patient is really a big factor. So, when i have the time...Oh girl, i make sure i pamper my hair.


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