Natural Hair Care Basics for Beginners

Posted on 18 January 2016
Author:Emilia Obiekea

Beginning your natural hair journey can feel both liberating and daunting. Keep your regimen simple and amount of products minimal. This helps to figure out what works for you and makes getting the hang of caring for your hair much easier. Simplicity is the best foundation for beginners. 


An example of a simple haircare regimen 
Cleanse and condition your hair (once a week or biweekly).

You will need

  • Pre-shampoo treatment aka Prepoo. This is a method of preconditioning the hair prior to cleansing. It helps to remove tangles, shed hairs and lubricate the strands. This can be done 30 mins before washing your hair. Many prefer to do this step for a few hrs or overnight. I like to use penetrating oils. A common one is unrefined coconut oil.
  • A shampoo, cleansing conditioner or both. Alternate to figure out which works best for you and when it is most useful to use them. Generally cleansing conditioners are great if you do not have very dirty hair. If there is build up it is always a good idea to use a sulfate-free shampoo.
  • Rinse out conditioner, deep conditioner or both.
  • Protein treatment (optional): Begin with a light protein treatment when needed. Always follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner.
  • Detangling tools such as a shower comb.

Moisturize and Style (nightly or every few days).

You will need

  • A leave in conditioner aka moisturizer. Can be a cream or liquid. Depends on your preference and density of your hair. Finer strands tend to work well with liquid leave ins. More textured hair usually maintains moisture best with a creamy leave in.
  • Hair oil, butter or both. Use the LOC or LCO method.
  • Heat protectant (optional): If you plan to blow dry, flat iron or use any type of direct heat styling tool.
  • Detangling tools like seamless combs, detangling brushes etc...

If you haven't found products that work well for you check out my favs here.


(image source: getty images)

Simple Do's & Don'ts

Do write down your results from each product you use. No need to go broke trying new items. This will help you to see what actually works for your hair and what doesn't. It is always the best way to see trends in the products you tend to like best and which to avoid. This was super helpful to me during my 3+ years transitioning my hair from relaxed to natural.

Don't become a product junkie. It is easy to rush to buy the latest greatest things. Get a trail sizes, travel sets or a regular 8 oz bottle to try. Don't rush out for the liter sizes of any product you have never used before. Trial and error can be both time consuming and costly but this will help you not to break the bank. Be sure to set a monthly budget.

Do use a heat protectant when applying direct heat to your hair.  Direct heat is applied by hand held blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, etc...

Don't comb dry hair. This usually can cause unnecessary breakage. It is much easier to comb hair when it is dampened or full of conditioner.

Do wear more protective or low manipulation styles. Some of my favs are buns, flexi-rod sets, twist outs and braid outs.

Don't avoid trimming your hair regularly. This makes it harder to retain length because it give split ends more time to travel up the length of your hair. Even just dusting the ends of your hair regularly makes a big difference in your overall hair health.

Do embrace your natural hair texture. Don't become upset because your hair doesn't look how you originally thought it should. Your hair will flourish with time. Enjoy the journey at each stage. Rock that hair! 


Hopefully these tips are most helpful to you.
If you have questions about anything along the way be sure to ask others in the natural hair community (blogs, YouTube, etc...) we are here to help and encourage each other.
Vets share your tips for other beginners below in the comment section.

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