The Only 3 Routines You Need for Healthy Hair

Have you been looking for information on natural hair for beginners that you can easily understand? I’ve got you covered!

long fine natural hair

As someone who has embraced and been able to grow long hair that’s not only natural but fine, I’ve learned a lot on this journey to healthy natural hair.

Having fine hair, it can be very challenging to grow and retain length, especially if your hair is fine. I’ve been able to do both and below you’ll discover the 3 hair routines you should focus on.

If you’re just starting your natural hair journey, it can feel overwhelming. From your natural hair care routine to learning about protective styles and everything in between. This article is a guide to simplify natural hair for beginners.

An Overview of Hair Porosity

There is so much misinformation on hair porosity (even from seemingly reputable sources) that I felt the need to write a little something on the subject matter.

It’s an especially important topic about natural hair for beginners.

You may have even noticed a lot of talk about doing a float test to determine your hair’s porosity. However, this way of determining your hair porosity is not reliable. Here’s a helpful video explaining why it’s not the best way to determine hair porosity:

YouTube video

In my opinion, the easiest and free way to figure out your hair porosity is to simply observe how your hair responds to water.

Low porosity (hair strands with a tight cuticle layer): Water seems to roll off the hair and it takes warm/hot water running against the surface of the hair for a while, before it feels fully wet. Yet, once it’s wet, when it’s sealed with an oil, moisture is retained for a decent period of time.

High porosity (hair strands with a loose cuticle layer – often damaged hair): Hair feels drenched easily but just as easily experiences a lack of moisture when it begins drying. A thick hair butter like Shea butter is needed to slow down moisture loss. Also, do a cold water rinse on wash day before styling can help.

Medium or normal porosity – Well, it’s the best of both worlds. The cuticle isn’t too loose or tight.

3 Best Natural Hair Routines for Beginner’s to Focus On

natural hair for beginners

Regardless of your hair type (curly hair, wavy hair, coily hair, or tightly coily hair), these are the three routines you should focus on. These three hair routines are the foundation for a simple daily natural hair regimen. Hair products are not mentioned because the products you use should be determined by your hair’s porosity.

These products are common across all porosity types:

  • ​Shampoo
  • Deep conditioning hair mask
  • Leave-in conditioner
  • Natural oils for pre-pooing like coconut oil and sealing oils like olive oil and castor oil (great for the ends)
  • Stylers to set curls, protective styles, and low manipulation styles

1. Wash Day Routine

washed curly hair

Your wash day routine is clearly the most important hair routine you can have. This is for a number of reasons:

  • Product build-up and dirt are removed from your hair
  • Hair follicles are cleaned supporting your hair’s ability to grow unobstructed
  • Your hair is fully moisturized and hydrated during the deep conditioning process
  • Tangles are able to be fully removed with minimal effort thanks to the your conditioners
  • Styles are set for the week
  • It’s a time for you to engage in self care and relaxation

When your wash day is complete, you should have to do very little to your hair throughout the week.

My Wash day Routine

To provide an example of what a wash day can look like, here’s an overview of my personal holy grail wash day routine:

  • Pre-Shampooing dry hair for protection(optional but recommended)
  • Shampooing or Clarifying with Clay as needed
  • Scalp detoxifying as needed (usually every 3 months)
  • Finger detangling followed by detangling with a detangler brush on wet hair loaded with conditioner
  • Deep Conditioning on towel dried, damp hair under a shower cap and heating cap.
  • Strengthening with protein or other treatments (on a monthly basis)
  • Sealing moisture into wet hair with a light oil in the warmer months, shea butter or another hair butter during the colder months
  • Styling* – Simple styles like twists, twist outs, or 2 braids. 

When styling my hair in twists, I usually do protective styling by keeping the twists pinned up. It’s good practice to do protective styles 90% of the time if you have a goal to grow long hair.

Regardless of which style you choose to do, it’s best practice to style on stretched hair.

Why Stretch Your Natural Hair?

stretched naturalhair

I have entire articles written on the subjecting of stretching natural hair and will like a few below. The just of it is to prevent excess shrinkage.

While shrinkage is a sign of healthy natural hair, allowing your hair to remain in a shrunken state can cause excess tangling and breakage. That doesn’t mean you won’t have any shrinkage. The only way to achieve that is to use hot tools. You don’t want to make that a regular hair practice.

There’s quite a few ways to stretch your hair before and even after styling. These include:

  • Doing bantu knots
  • African threading
  • The banding method
  • Using a warm and gentle hair dryer like the RevAir. (use FINEHAIR10 to save 10%) This is my go-to hair dryer that helps me with retaining length.
  • Using rollers
  • Braiding your hair
  • Stretching twists and pinning them across your head until they are dry

If you have short natural hair, you’ll find that using a dryer with warm heat is the easiest and fastest option.

Related articles

Why Keep Your Natural Curls Stretched?

Why I’m Now Blow Stretching My Natural Hair

Banding Method to Safely Stretch Natural Hair

2. PM Hair Care Routine

evening natural hair routine

Having a good evening hair routine is important because it cares for your hair in a number of ways:

  • adding moisture or lubrication if needed
  • completing techniques that stimulate hair growth, if that’s a goal
  • preparation and protection for sleeping

Each of these steps in a PM routine may consist of many smaller actions. For example: 

  • doing scalp massages with lightweight oils that stimulate hair growth
  • sealing the ends of your hair

However, this is the overview. Depending on your hair’s needs, you may do slightly more or less. It shouldn’t take you longer than 5 or 10 minutes though because what you did on wash day should carry you through to the next wash day (except for a little refreshing of course).

My Night Time Hair Routine

It takes me all of 5 minutes to do my night time routine. I’m sharing it to give you an idea of simple this can be:

  • Scalp massage for 1-2 minutes with this scalp massager and a blend of natural oils
  • Lightly lubricate my strands with a single natural oil (not all the time… about 1-2x weekly)
  • Put hair up (either pinned with bobby pins or secured with a satin scrunchie)

That’s it. Then, I just go to bed. It’s rare that I need to add moisture before wash day. (I have low porosity hair)

3. AM Hair Care Routine

natural hair morning routine

Having a morning hair care routine is also important to ensuring you start your day off feeling confident and looking your best. If you’ve completed your night time hair care routine with efficiency then your AM hair routine should be a breeze. That’s why I listed it before the morning routine. 

A simple but effective AM routine should consist of:

  • Styling or refreshing
  • Accessorizing
  • Applying sun protection via a light spritzing product. Using a hair product with UV protection will shield your hair from damage caused by the sun’s rays. This can be skipped in the winter months when you’re wearing a head covering.

FAQs About Natural Hair

There are so many questions that arise for beginners seeking to embrace their natural hair. These are just a few of the top questions:

  1. What are the do’s and don’ts of natural hair?
  2. How do you start natural hair for beginners?
  3. What should do to my natural hair daily?

What are the Do’s and Don’ts of Natural Hair?

One issue in the natural hair community is the policing of other people’s hair. You’ll often hear don’t do this and don’t do that.

While it’s a good idea to follow certain guidelines, remember that it’s your hair and what works for one may not work for another and vice versa.

However, to provide an answer to the question without telling you what to do and not do, here are some guidelines to follow (more in the articles linked below):

  • Have a consistent wash day to maintain clean hair
  • Use a deep conditioner after every shampoo wash
  • When going through the detangling process, do so with slip added to your hair
  • Reduce manipulation by detangling no more than once in a week
  • Avoid hair loss by not pulling your hair tightly or keeping it in hairstyles too long
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals. Products with natural ingredients are safer.
  • Trim your ends as needed
  • Don’t neglect protein treatments if you want to maintain strong hair
  • When you want straight hair, opt for warm blow drying before using a flat iron or other hot tools. And, always use a heat protectant.
  • Conversely, while straight hair. may be easier to maintain, you don’t want to damage your naturally curly or coily hair. So, limit heat styling to no more than a few times a year.

How Do You Start Natural Hair for Beginners?

​If you’re transitioning from relaxed hair, there’s a couple of ways to start your natural hair journey:

  • Cut off all relaxed hair and start fresh
  • Transition out to a hair length you are comfortable with and then cut off the remaining relaxed hair.

Whichever route you choose, just know that it’s your hair care routines that will help support your ability to grow healthy natural hair.

If you choose to cut off all relaxed hair, it may be easier because you are no longer doing with two textures.

If you choose to transition, you’ll have to keep what’s called the line of demarcation smooth. That’s the area where the natural hair meets the relaxed hair and it’s a big opportunity for hair breakage.

For a more guidance on transitioning to natural hair, read this beginner’s natural hair guide which includes a large section for those who are transitioning:

Beginner’s Guide for Natural Hair: Complete Action Plan for Transitioners

What Should I Do to My Natural Hair Daily?

The AM and PM natural hair routine shared above is more than adequate for your hair’s needs. The goal for solid daily natural hair care is two fold:

  • Groom
  • Protect

In the morning, you want to groom your hair while also protecting it but in the evening, it’s mostly about protection. This can include moisturizing your hair, lubricating it, doing scalp massages and protecting it for sleep.

For a comprehensive guide, read this: Beginner’s Guide to Caring for Natural Hair Daily

Final Thoughts: Natural Hair Tips for Beginners

If you’re just starting out with your natural hair, don’t get discouraged. You’ll find many natural hair tips for beginners right here on Fine Natural Hair and Faith. While you may not have fine hair, you’ll still find a wealth of information to help you on your natural hair care journey.

In fact, a great way for you to discover the ins and outs of your natural hair is to test out different hair practices. You don’t want to do too much though. Stick with easy hairstyles and hair routines that promote healthy hair.

The hair routines shared above are really the bedrock routines needed for healthy hair. Once you’ve. nailed those, you can branch out into adding more routines. Just remember that doing more isn’t necessarily beneficial for your natural hair.

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