My Regimen

Here is a brief outline of my current regimen:


WASH & CONDITION – I ALWAYS wash & condition my hair in 6 twists/braids which are always detangled before I braid. There is no need to detangle while washing as I will not unravel the twists until I am blow drying. If I do happen to wear a braid out that week, I will definitely detangle while the conditioner is in my hair.

I wash my hair with shampoo every week. This is because I always use oils and/or silicones so to avoid build up (which is usually blamed on silicones saying that they cause breakage!). I use a sulphate free shampoo. Sometimes I use a Tresemme naturals low sulphate or Aubrey organics sulphate free.

I am currently deep conditioning with heat weekly but sometimes I do a quick condition, that is to say that I allow the conditioner to sit in my hair only for 5-30 minutes without heat depending on how long it takes me to have a shower/bath.

I use a protein conditioner most weeks (my hair loves and absolutely needs protein because I color & straighten so often!). I love Tresemme Salon Silk, Pantene, the one with ceramides and a whole host of others. I generally switch conditioners once the bottle is finished as they are so many to choose from!

Very occasionally (twice per year at most) I may use head and shoulders as my clarifying shampoo as it is extremely cleansing.

BLOW DRY – While my hair is still wet, I use the stretch blow dry method to stretch my hair out. I am then able to style my hair for the week. I use either Fantasia IC straightening serum or Tresemme heat defence. I will also usually apply some John Freida Frizz ease serum. I have always gone heavy on the silicones but it’s never affected my length retention because I shampoo!


This is my styling day, I will spend an hour flat ironing my hair or else the blow dried hair will remain in a ponytail or bun for the week until the next wash.

Because my cuticles will be laying flat after I flat iron my hair, I will not moisturize for the first two days as it does not need it.


If my hair is flat ironed, I will wear my hair down, no brushing but maybe some light combing with a wide tooth comb once per day only.


As Monday


My hair will noticeably have lost moisture so I moisturize and seal. I will usually use s curl to moisturize and coconut oil to seal. My hair is worn in a ponytail or bun on this day


As Wednesay


I will repeat the same mosturize and seal routine but I will douse my hair with a bit extra oil as a sort of pre-poo in preparation for the Saturday wash.

Other treatments 

If I am due any extra treatments, I will usually do them on Saturday before my wash. These are my extra treatments below:

Hard protein treatment – I do an aphogee two step treatment once ever 2 months like clockwork. I will usually deep condition with heat afterwards.

Steaming – I want to make this a more regular part of my regimen but I fear the mushy hair syndrome! Even so, I do it every couple of months.

Deep conditioning – Once a month usually with a protein conditioner but occasionally I may use a moisturizing one.

Henna – I henna once every 3 month or more often if I have the time. I will usually apply the mixture into my hair on Friday night and sleep with it and on Saturday after rinsing it out, I will continue with my routine as usual. I am currently trying to add more henna treatments into my repertoire as a way to smooth my cuticles and prevent friction between my strands.

I usually use 1 and a half packets of henna mixed. I don’t really measure the water, but the mixture should be the texture of greek yogurt so pretty thick. I find it easier to apply. Sometimes I will actually add a couple of tablespoons of yogurt or oil to the mixture.

Caramel Treatment – Same as henna

Clear rinse – I do these very infrequently but when I do it is usually on Saturday before my wash too. Clear rinses do a similar job to henna. They coat and smooth the cuticle and prevent excessive friction between strands.

The straightening regimen is only followed for about 4 weeks at a time after which I go into my next protective style be it weaves or braids, twists etc. I never manage to keep my protective styles in for longer than 3 weeks so I try not to make them too elaborate!

As you can see, my journey to my current length has been a mixture of wearing my hair out and in protective styles. I would estimate that I am in protective styles about 40% of the year. This will reduce probably to 20% when I reach my ultimate goal length.

Even though I love braid outs they will not return to being a regular part of my regimen until I reach my ultimate goal of waist length. Because of the tangles caused by wearing my hair out in a braid out I get way to much breakage during the detangling process to make it worth my while.

As you can see, my regimen is as simple as can be. I attribute my success to keeping my styles very low manipulation. Even when my hair is straight I will sometimes go the whole week without combing or touching it other than to moisturize!

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  • theashter

    looking at your length. *Drops mic*

    • lol. thanks Ash! Waist length is my ultimate goal and I'm hoping to get there this year so no natural styles for me I'm afraid! 

      • Tracy La

        Hi Alma why wouldn't natural styles be good. I thought they were the best
        in terms of protecting the hair? So you relax?

        • Hi Tracy. No I don't relax but I've found that for me natural styles like braid outs and twists cause way too much tangling and I lose too much hair de tangling them. Nope, like last year, I will keep it either braided, weaved or well stretched when it's worn out.

  • Ianthemgb

    Way too confusing,

    • Which bit is confusing? It's a very simple regimen. Wash once per week is the gist of it!

  • Rose Chavis

    Alma, you mention a clear rinse in your hair regimen,  What exactly does it do?  And procedures and ingredients is required to do a clear rinse?  Also can you be more specific on what it takes to make your Hanna?  Example how much water is used in the mixture?  Thank you for all the helpful information!

    • Hi Rose, I've updated the regimen now but to answer your question, clear rinses like jazzing clear do a similar job to henna. It's just a product that coats the hair strands preventing excessive friction between strands.

      For my henna, I don't measure the water but I use 1 and a half packs of henna mixed with enough water to make it resemble thick yogurt. Sometimes I add a couple of tablespoons of yogurt or oil as well to the mixture.

  • Q Flewellen

    I just saw discovered your website from your instyler blog because I just got one & was researching how to use it. I'm currently in the still relaxing/same length stage & I want to change. Is there a place where you share how to get started growing out? If not, could you please share your tips? Thanks!

  • blackbeauty

    Hi, first of all I LOOVVVVEEE you hair!!!! Second, Im ready to start my HHJ. My hair is damanged to the max. Breakage, dry, you name it its my hair. My hair is thinning around the hairline. Where do you suggest I start. With a clarifying shampoo or the aphogee two step protein treatment, or both. Or should I relax because I have new growth and its been 3 months since my last relaxer. HELP!!!!

    • Thanks blackbeauty! Where do I start? lol Seeing as you are dealing with a lot of new growth, I would suggest that you relax first. Are you getting a professional to do it? If you are self relaxing then first off, learn the half and half method, not many of us work fast enough while self relaxing and it is imperative that you stick to the correct processing time. Take a look at this video to see how the half and half method is done:

      A week after your relaxer, you can clarify your hair and then do the aphogee to restore the cycstein that your hair lost during relaxing.

      A word of caution, some of us have very sensitive follicles that react to relaxers by stopping production of hair. I've heard of a few women who had balding edges that grew back as normal when they transitioned to natural. If you are not doing any tight braiding that could have caused your thinning edges I suggest you think very carefully about how you relax your hair as I don't often see this get better with time while continuing the old relaxing routine.

      Avoid getting relaxer on the edges if you can or else make the edges the last place that you apply relaxer to and even then only for a few minutes before rinsing. Get some essential oils like peppermint or nettle and mix with some olive/coconut and apply to the thinning area every couple of days to help with the regrowth (don't use essential oils without diluting them first!).

      I hope all this helps!

  • didi

    hi alma, what henna product do u use? and when u say moisturizing conditioner for deep conditioning, what exactly do u mean? is it the regular conditioners that come with most shampoos you use to deep condition?

    • Hi Didi, I use a brand called Top op Henna powder. It's 100% pure henna which I get from my local Indian grocery store. Any henna brand is ok though as long as it doesn't have any added ingredients.

      Deep conditioning has to be done with a conditioner that has ingredients that are capable of penetrating the hair strand like hydrolyzed protein otherwise you are wasting your time. Most generic conditioners are rinse out conditioners not deep treatments. There's an article about the concept here:

  • Miss'L.

    Hello Alma, I stumbled across your blog and so far so good. And im glad i did because i really didn't know there was a significant difference bewteen DEEP conditioning and using a normal conditioner and just leaving that in the hair for about half an hour.

    My hair has always been natural and at mid back length, i usually go to the hairdressers every 3 months to get it washed, a protein treatment and flat ironed. However my problem is is that i don't look after my hair as much as i should in between hairdressing visits snd i wasn't washing my hair due to Lazyness, which is bad, so that means im only retaining length instead of growing it out longer, my goal is waist length . Also, i'm thinking about not going to the hairdressers at all anymore and achieving waist length myself.
    It's summer time in London (not very sunny at all though) and im trying not to straighten it out again until September and just start a good hair regimen at home , so far i started yesterday ( Sunday) by shampooing and using a kera care conditioner and leaving it in for 45 minutes before washing it out and then i used my products. (Shea butter, Olive Oil, Kera Care dry and itchy scalp, Herbal essence split ender and a curly cream, maybe this is too much product) and have done a braid out (My hair type is all over the place from 3c to 4a sections so wash and gos are a no no!). So i was wondering if you had any tips on how often i should wash, co wash, deep condition, use protein etc.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Miss L! Take a look at this regimen for natural hair:… just to get an idea of what a good regimen should look like.

      You have a good starting length so it shouldn't take more than 6 months from MBL to WL. If you find it's taking longer then you are going to have to step up your protective or low manipulation styling game.

      If you wear your hair out often and you are just maintaining rather than gaining more length it's usually manipulation that's to blame. A good regimen with strengthen your hair but can only help so much when you are manipulating often.

      You don't necessarily have to wear weaves, you can go for low mani styles like braid outs (with no re-braiding until wash day), flat ironed hair (no combs until wash day), bus, faux bobs etc. HTH

  • Tracy LaBad

    Alma, its Tracy hey do you use henna to color too? I know you can use it to strengthen
    hair stands right? But what about people like me who already have super dry hair.
    I heard henna dries it out too much. I need to color I've had grey hair since i was
    17. I recently colored my hair with over the counter color and I lost my edges and
    my natural hair thinned out in the front badly. I'm sad because it looked so healthy and
    already I messed it up with coloring. Is switching to henna for color and plain henna
    for strength the way to go? DAG IT I'M GOING TO GET THIS HEALTHY HAIR JOURNEY

    • Hi Tracy! Henna can and does dry hair out so it may be prudent in your case to add a tablespoon or two of oil or conditioner to the mixed up henna before applying. I find that this helps with keeping the hair supple and strong and as long as you don't put too much it won't affect the coloring properties of the henna. Good luck in your journey girl!

      • Tracy LaBad

        Thanks so much. I did a egg and mayo mask and my hair is healthier today.
        I've gotten great info from your blog. Your awesome thanks and I will continue
        to support BHI!!! I've also gotten you some new fans. -Happy Hair yeah!!!
        Oh, I'm also using your regimen with a few tweaks. This will really help
        with my hair journey.-

        • Yaay! Thanks miss. Good luck, I fully expect to see your hair story on BHI in a year's time! lol

  • Tasha

    hi Alma! I recently discovered your blog and it inspired me to want to go natural. I'm very new to the transitioning process as it has been only a few weeks since my last relaxer. I did have a quick question.I was researching though different products to try out, I wanted to know more about leave-in conditioner. When is the best time to use it? I was interested in trying it out.

    Keep up the great work on your hair journey + amazing website!!

    • I usually use a leave in conditioner straight after washing my hair when it's still damp before styling. You can also use it to moisturize daily or to help you finger detangle before your wash. So many ways!

  • Hi Alma, when you moisturize your hair during the week (after you have flat ironed it), doesn't your hair revert to a more curly texture due to the water in the moisturizer?

    • Hi Simone, actually it doesn't. I don't use a great deal and I only ever moisturize the bottom couple of inches. I have a post about how I moisturize and seal here:

      If I use lots of moisturizer then my hair will definitely will start to get a bit poofier without reverting altogether. It may have something to do with the fact that my hair is flat ironed often so retains the straightness better but it reverts fully when wet. 🙂

  • Ritz

    Hi Alma,
    thanks for this very informative blog. I would like to know, do you use moisturiser on the scalp and seal with lets say coconut oil or is moisturiser solely for the hair? I normally use coconut oil for my scalp and never moisturise because i thought coconut oil IS moisturiser, does one use coconut oil everyday on one's scalp?my scalp gets super dry very quickly but i feel oiling my hair DAILY is a bit much, there is always a build up and how does one wash hair weekly whilst in corn rows or tree braids is it. I am ALWAYS in corn rows, tree braids or normal braids as my natural hair is unmanageable at the moment. Hopefully when I follow your natural hair advise, it will get manageable. Looking forward to your response. Cheers. Ritz

  • C W

    C W • an hour ago −
    Hi, I’m fairly new to my natural hair care regimen. I think I’m on the right track but am trying not to turn into a product junkie so I keep it pretty simple. I’m concerned about whether or not I’m using enough protein on my fine coily strands. Currently I use s curl spray, coconut oil and cantu shea butter strengthener and/ or leave in conditioner to moisturize. I use apogee hard protein every 6-8 weeks especially if I’m going to weave or wear twists/ braids. I also do molasses pre poos and deep conditioning under the dryer after wash. Should I be using an additional protein conditioner in between aphogee treatments to insure length retention?

    • Hi CW. It’s hard to say for sure because a lot of it depends on your own hair, how it reacts to protein and what your length retention is like at the moment. I have lifted color from my hair in the past so in my case a light protein conditioner ever week works best but your results may vary. I also do hennas periodically to strengthen my hair without using protein so you could try that instead of a protein treatment? It’s also worth mentioning that conditioners with a bit of protein aka a ‘light protein’ can be used weekly by most of us who are not protein sensitive.

  • C W

    Thanks for your reply Alma. I think I will incorporate henna although intimidating! Lol. Also, I’ve seen you mention redken anti snap. Would that be an example of a light protein that’s suitable for weekly use? My hair sometimes seems overly fragile to me and working on using much less manipulation. I’ve had some minor growth since going completely natural about 2 years ago but only realized reading your blog over the last few weeks that I was still using a relaxed hair regimen (that probably wasnt the best anyway)so this info is very much appreciated!!

    • No problem hun! Yes the anti snap is a light protein leave in. The description of your hair as ‘overly fragile’ does come across as ‘lacking in strength’? If that’s the case than I think some added protein may be a good idea of you. You may want to try adding a few protein DC’s in between the aphogees too. My hair retains the most length when it feels soft but strong if you know what I mean and henna works great for that.

  • Robin Miller

    Iam having problem with thinning hair particularly in the front and sides. I’ve been natural for several years but have seen very little growth . Any advice you can offer is welcome.


    • Hi Robin, if you have not been pregnant recently then it’s possible that it’s a hormonal issue in which case you will have to look at a way to both treat the current problem and maintain the results over time.

      Might I suggest Jamaican Black Castor Oil on the area applied nightly until it starts to regrow. I think 3-6 months should be long enough to start seeing results and castor oil is so thick that 1 8oz bottle should last you 2-3 months!

      There are of course other treatments, DHT blockers, essential oils, onion juice but castor oil is the easiest default treatment that many ladies have said works very well for them. All the best!

  • curlyprincesses

    This is a great regimen. I am going to follow some of the tips for myself and hopefully my hair will be closer to my goal of BSL. I know my ends will look better too!