natural hair regimen
Hair Regimen

Fine 4A Hair Care Regimen and Products – 2013 Routine

fine african american type 4a hair

It’s been a heck of a year. 2013 is on it’s way out and as the year comes to a close so does another season. Summer flew by and then fall. Then, winter. With all of these seasonal changes, our hair’s needs change as well. If you have fine type 4a hair, then the hair routine I’m about to share with you will be of interest for your afro textured hair!

When I first began getting in touch with my fine natural hair about 4 years ago (I was natural for about 5 or 6 years prior and had no clue what to do other than flat iron), I purchased almost every product another natural said was good. I figured if it worked for them, it would work for me. WRONG.

Fast forward to today and I get it. I really get it. What is it you wonder? My hair of course! I get what my hair likes, doesn’t like and most importantly what it needs. Specifically, moisture and protein. Both are important.

New Hair Regimen

While I get that hair can change over time, I’m pretty confident that my new and simplified regimen will remain pretty much the same. At least, for a while. You never know until your hair stops responding to certain products. That’s why I’ve simplified and am keeping it 99.9% natural with the products I use.  My fine predominantly type 4a (some 3C and even a little 3B in the back) hair loves just about all natural hair products.

Now, before I share the products let’s take a look at the new simplified fine hair routine:

Monthly Hair Routine

– Pre-poo and finger detangle with personalized mixture.
– Co-wash hair (I’ve never felt the need to clarify so for now I won’t)
– Apply protein treatment followed by moisturizing deep conditioning treatment
– Apple cream rinse or diluted apple cider vinegar
– Seal and style (twists, braids or a wash ‘n go)

Biweekly Hair Routine

Only if necessary, I rinse my hair with water in the shower and then chase it with a small amount of Grapeseed oil to seal in the moisture. This includes a light finger detangling session.

Daily Hair Routine

– At night, employ the Greenhouse Effect method 3-5x a week. On the other nights, put hair in a bun and cover with a bonnet
-In the morning, seal in the moisture accumulated from doing the Greenhouse Effect throughout the night
– Apply a little moisture to ends of hair in the mornings I don’t use the GHE

In addition to these simple hair routines, I will continue to henna my hair as needed (aka when the grays pop up!). I will also dust my ends as needed (usually, it’s about twice a year). I don’t plan to get a professional trim for a couple of years. I want to reach my goal length (however, uneven) first. It doesn’t bother me much that my hair isn’t completely even since I wear it in it’s curly state most of the time.

Hair Care Products That Remain in My Regimen

As I mentioned, I was a PJ (product junky), purchasing everything under the sun looking for the magic product that would make my hair cook, clean and make money. Dang, that’s a husband. Wrong wish list.

Anyhow, now that I’m no longer a PJ (limited products makes my bank account happier), I’ve settled on a pretty short list of hair care products:

  • As I Am Coconut CoWash
  • Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner (in pre-poo)
  • Shea Moisture Anti-breakage Masque (protein treatment)
  • Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner (for rinsing) or
    • Shikai Natural Everyday Conditioner (for rinsing, clumping  and after a henna treatment)
  • Aubrey Organics Green Tea Cream Rinse (for final rinse)
  • Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie (for twists, moisture and soft set wash ‘n go’s)
  • Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter (for twists)
  • Wonder Curl Get Set Hair Jelly (for firm set wash ‘n go’s)
  • Aloe Vera Gel (for twists & moisture)
  • Natural oils (for sealing & lubricating): Jojoba, Grape Seed, Pumpkin seed, Sweet Almond, Coconut, Avocado, Argan
  • Mango Butter (for sealing)
  • Henna

This list is extremely short compared to what I used to use. You’ll also notice that some of the products are for rotation and many from my previous hair care regimen are no longer with me. I just don’t need them. In fact, this will list will likely change as well.

This is it for me. Everything on this list is 100% natural except for the Bee Hold Butter, Shikai condish and Trader Joe’s condish. Each have a small amount of preservative (toward end of the ingredient list). I checked out these  ingredients over at the EWG Cosmetics Database and they are reported as being safe in small amounts.

Stay tuned for a future post where I’ll be sharing my new and improved pre-poo mixture. I’ve had to reformulate it a few times to determine the most effective mixture for my fine African American hair. I need my pre-poo to detangle easily as well as contain ingredients that fortify my hair and scalp. When your hair is fine, the product you use needs to have great slip.

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Michelle Smith
Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She's a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their "crown."

8 Comment

  1. Michelle, do you not wash at all? I mean with regular shampoo? Also, do you plan to grow your shaved part back?

    I’ve been implementing some changes also. I’ve started using a protein treatment and I want to start using black soap. I’ve yet to find a liquid formula that does it for me.

    Now I’m off to read your post about GHE…

    1. I am only using the As I Am cowash. No more shampoo. I’m not against shampoo though. I like Shea Moisture’s Moisture Retention shampoo. I just find my hair doesn’t really need it (the deep clean) now that I’m no longer using products that cause build up or are unnatural.
      Girl, this shaved part is growing already. It was something to try. I should have done it at the beginning of the summer so I could have rocked the style while the temps were warm. It’s getting cold here in NY now and I do not really wear hats so I need my hair for warmth LOL.

  2. “Purchasing everything under the sun looking for the magic product that would make my hair cook, clean and make money. Dang, that’s a husband. Wrong wish list.” You have me here cracking up. But I get the PJ thing and have been weaning myself away from product lust. Thanks for all of the info; you have been a great source for me.

  3. Hi Michelle , You have shared a good and best information related to hair care . I also use many products so that my hair looks cool and healthy . Thanks for sharing such information .

  4. I have natural locks and used Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie product to twist and hold my locks. Let me just say, it works amazingly! My hair feels soft and moisturized and when it dried, the locks were held in this amazingly soft, coiled pattern.

  5. Absolutely amazing Deep Conditioning Treatment!! My hair looked flawless after using Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner. Super shiny, bouncy, defined, moisturized, voluminous curls!

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