Fine Hair Care: Low Manipulation Hair Regimen to Promote Growth

fine natural hair texture shot

Historically, I revise my natural hair regimen annually; sometimes twice a year (fall/winter and spring/fall). I usually have a different fine hair care routine for my curly hair in the summer vs the winter but it isn’t drastically different.

After years of trial and error, I think I’ve finally “arrived” at a solid regimen that is keenly based on low manipulation and promotes hair growth. OK OK I know I’ve likely said it before but after more than 1/2 a year chronicling my wash days, there are certain tried and true hair routines that work to stop hair breakage and encourage length retention. – starting with the fact that wash day begins on Friday night. Without further ado, here is my complete fine hair routine day by day…

Fine Hair Care Routine – Low Manipulation

Friday

  • In the morning, put hair in a bun. I may use a banana clip to do it and use Ouches bobby pins to secure. At night, I split my hair into 4 sections, spritzing each section lightly with water followed by finger detangling while applying my pre-poo (Either: coconut oil | coconut oil + Aubrey Organics GPB | coconut oil + a protein-free rinse out conditioner. Loosely braid or twist each section before going to bed.

Saturday

  • In the morning, I co-wash or shampoo (scalp only), deep condition and/or protein treat. I alternate protein treatments every two weeks with moisturizing deep conditioning treatments. Every wash day I deep condition either solo or after my protein treatment. Moisturize and seal using the LOC, LCO or LCOC method. Set hair in a wash and go or twists. Allow hair to air dry At night, put hair in a high ponytail or band in two ponytails. Tie down with a scarf.

Sunday

  • In the morning, release twists or bands, fluff hair and smooth edges. At night, oil scalp and massage without disturbing my style (curls that have been set with curlers, twists or via a wash and go). Band hair into 2 ponytails and tie down with a scarf.
    No detangling & very little manipulation on this day.

Monday

  • In the morning, remove bands, and put hair in a bun (including twists). At night, spritz hair with water, seal with oil and scalp massage. Band hair in 2 ponytails and tie down with a scarf
    No detangling & very little manipulation on this day.

Tuesday

  • Repeat Monday’s morning routine.  At night spritz hair with water and seal with an oil. Band hair in 2 ponytails and tie down with a scarf.
    No detangling & very little handling on this day.

Wednesday

  • In the morning, remove bands and smooth edges with gel. Wear hair out in a curly style. At night, remove any hair accessories if used. Scalp massage and oil strands. Band hair in 2 ponytails and tie down with a scarf for bed.
    No detangling & very little handling on this day.

Thursday

  • In the morning, remove bands, smooth edges with gel. I will then wear the back down and top up for a semi-protective style using a Goody Flex Barrette, satin scrunchy or banana clip. This is the only day I do a little manipulating and it’s only done in the front. At night, I release all my hair (including twists/braids) spritz with henna tea, seal and then band again in 2 ponytails.

8 Tips for Success: 1- Smoothing my edges is done with either my fingers or a soft toothbrush. 2- Hair is tied down with a satin scarf and I sleep on a satin pillowcase. If too hot, I nix the scarf and just sleep on the satin case. 3- Oiling for 2 days straight after washing helps with itchy scalp & also promotes hair growth. 4- In the cold months, I add a layer of mango or shea butter over my edges after smoothing with gel to stop hair breakage. 5- When styling hair in medium sized twists for longer protective styling, the only thing that’s done from day to day is pinning of the twists into a bun (sometimes a different style ie: 1/2 up 1/2 down). At night, pins are always removed and the oiling/moisturizing/sealing/banding routine remains the same. 6- Banding my hair regularly helps keep my hair stretched so that it’s much less tangled on wash day. 7. When life gets in the way (as sometimes it does), wash day may shift to a Thursday or Friday. Every other days shifts but the regimen remain the same.

Monthly Treatments that Promote Hair Growth

Other than my daily natural hair regimens, I have some monthly ones to share. I henna my hair monthly to bi-monthly. This helps added strength to my fine strands while simultaneously keeping my unruly grays at bay. When I henna, I usually do a full strength henna but I’m testing out Henna Sooq’s Henna Gloss bar and will update on that in the near future. (UPDATE: Henna Gloss’s are a staple but not the Henna Gloss bar)

When mixing my henna treatment, I don’t typically use acidic mixtures. Yes, it’s recommended but I find that acidic mixtures like lemon juice and teas cause my scalp to rebel. So, I mix with water only. I still get a full dye release. This is more than likely due to using henna with a high lawsone content.

In the winter, I add in a monthly hair steaming session using my Q-Redew. This keeps my hair from drying out. I like to steam my hair when it’s dirty and just before a pre-poo. Steaming before my pre-poo aids in opening my cuticles so that the coconut oil (my pre-poo agent of choice) is better absorbed.

Steaming my fine natural hair, along with regular low manipulation AND protective styling in the winter helps with natural hair length retention.

Last off, if you notice I didn’t share much on the products I use. I saved those for “My Staple Hair Products” article. The post you are reading is more about technique and routine.

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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."

4 thoughts on “Fine Hair Care: Low Manipulation Hair Regimen to Promote Growth

  1. Hi Michelle, I use Aphogee 2 step protein treatment & balancing moisturizer for protein treatments. I used it for the first time about 3 weeks ago & I loved it, but I see you said you do a protein treatment every 2 weeks. I thought the Aphogee treatment would be too strong to be used every 2 weeks instead of monthly. What would you advise? Thanks 😊

  2. When you saying “banding” do you just mean putting in ponytails? My hair is shorter, but I can make ponytails. Just want d to understand spi could do the right steps

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