Low Manipulation Hair Regimen to Promote Growth: Fine Hair Care

Last updated on June 29th, 2020 at 06:14 pm

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 either a Friday or Saturday night.

Without further ado, here is my complete fine hair routine day by day (at least as of the writing of this post. I’m sure to update it again but even if I never do, this is a solid regimen to stick to)…

Fine Hair Care Routine – Low Manipulation

  • 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, split hair into 4-6 sections, spritzing each section lightly with water followed by applying a pre-poo (Either: a DIY oil blend OR singular oil + a rinsing conditioner) Loosely bantu twist each section before going to bed.


  • In the morning, co-wash or shampoo (scalp only), deep condition and/or protein treat. Alternate protein treatments or henna glosses every two weeks with moisturizing deep conditioning treatments. Every wash day I deep condition either solo or after my strengthening treatment. Moisturize and seal using the LOC, LCO or LCOC method (this depends on what your hair likes best as well as the climate you are in). Set hair in a wash and go or 8 twists. Allow hair to air dry.
    At night, for hair that’s in a wash and go, preserve the curls in a high ponytail or banded in two ponytails or pulled back in a loose low ponytail secured with a satin scrunchie. Tie it all down with a scarf.


  • In the morning, for a twist out release twists or bands, fluff hair and smooth edges. At night, oil scalp and massage without disturbing the style (curls that have been set with twists or via a wash and go). Tie it all down with a scarf. No need to band wash and go hair again on this day.
    No detangling & very little manipulation on this day.


  • In the morning, either rock the loose hair or put hair in a bun (including twists).
    At night,  scalp massage and following Sunday’s routine
    No detangling & very little manipulation on this day.


  • Repeat Monday’s morning routine.  At night spritz hair with water (or a spray moisturizer) and scrunch in a little light weight oil. Band wash and go hair in 2 ponytails (if shrinkage is a concern or you just want a little more length). If still wearing twists, no need to do anything but moisturize. Seal the ends with a heavier oil like Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Then, tie down with a scarf.
    No detangling & a little handling on this day but only to add moisture and stretch hair if desired.


  • In the morning, remove bands (or twists) 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. Then tie down with a scarf for bed.
    No detangling & very little handling on this day.


  • In the morning, Fluff and smooth edges with a gel. I will usually 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 mostly done in the front when smoothing my hair up.
    At night, release all hair (including twists/braids) spritz with a hair tea, seal and then put hair into a bun.


7 Tips for Success:
1- Smoothing the edges along the hair line should be done with either your fingers or a soft toothbrush.
2- Always tie hair down with a satin scarf and/or sleep on a satin pillowcase. If too hot, 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 the hair a couple of times a week helps keep the 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 a 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 helps gives my hair a nice boost of moisture. I like to steam my hair when it’s dirty and just before a pre-poo. Steaming before my pre-poo aids in opening the cuticles so that the my pre-poo agent of choice is better absorbed.

Steaming 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 natural hair enthusiast. She's been natural for 20+ years and shares natural hair care tips and easy hairstyles for those with low density or thin fine natural hair. It's her joy to inspire you to live by faith in God while caring for your "crown."

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. lotus

    Ahhh I just found your site and I LOVE everything about it. I’ve been “faking” natural hair for years using a mild texturizer, It’s always been healthy and never worried about too many products or processes but now it’s all finally caught up with me over the last year so now lots of breakage and shedding. Anyway I’m trying to recover and transition into “true” natural hair and this site is soooo helpful. Any tips on transitioning hair? I’m trying to do it without having to do a big chop…hopefully. Thanks soo much!

  2. Aisha

    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 😊

  3. Bridgette

    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

    1. Michelle Smith

      hi Bridgette

      Essentially, yes you put your hair in 2 (or 3 or 4) ponytails and then you apply the bands all the way down the hair shaft to keep it straight. Here’s a video where I share banding tips and how to do it: https://youtu.be/MumR3JjZWmM

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