View Full Version : how do you choose to 'stick' with a hair routine?

July 31st, 2009, 07:24 AM
So a little while before I joined TLHC I switched from normal S&C (and often just shampoo if I was lazy) to baking soda/apple cider vinegar. I probably wash my hair in this way twice or three times a week. I have to say, I'm very happy with the results. This method has worked fine for me so far (I've only been doing it about 2 or 3 weeks now). I wouldn't say my hair looks much better than S&C, but it certainly doesn't look worse, and it's saving me money if nothing else. As I'm vegan, it also saves me from reading long ingredients lists on hair products and researching animal testing :p
But then I came to TLHC, and there are all these options, like CO and WCW, and other things that sound intruiging. And I don't know whether I should stick on this routine that I'm happy with, or if I should 'shop around' (metaphorically) and try out some other ways of washing my hair.
What do you do, LHC-ers? Do you find a method that is 'good enough' and stick with it? Or are you the kind to try everything to make sure you're getting the 'best' results you can? If I try everything, what methods should I use for working out which is best for my hair? And how long should I try each method for to give it the best chance? Can switching methods all the time be bad for me in any way?

Sorry for all the noob-ish questions, I hope I'm not irritating anyone.

July 31st, 2009, 08:31 AM
Shop around! If you find something that works better, great! If not, then go back to what you were doing.

Btw, thumbs up on being vegan! I'm vegetarian myself :p

July 31st, 2009, 08:36 AM
When I first came to LHC I switched from S&C to CO because I wanted to be more gentle for my hair. I stuck to that routine for a year, during which I tried to find as natural and environmental friendly conditioner as possible. Then I came to try shampoo bars and fell in love with them as they wash my hair gently without nasty chemicals, the waste from packaging is minimal and they are relatively cheap. So I had many reasons to change my routine, not all related to just caring for my hair. Now I'm very happy with my routine and won't change it unless it totally stops working for me. I'm still experiencing with herbs and home made hair treatments though, I love to try different mixes and ingredients.

I think you should try each method at least for a couple of months until you know if your hair likes it. Even after that it can stop working for one reason or another, and then you just have to find a new routine or fix the old one a little. Experiencing is fun and that's the only way to find the perfect routine for you :) You should not change your whole routine at once though, but add one product/method at a time to see if that very product or method works for you.

I don't think switching methods could be bad for you, unless you load up your hair with products and get tons of build-up. That can be easily taken care of by clarifying though.

I hope I could answer some of your questions, and welcome to the boards! :blossom:

July 31st, 2009, 08:43 AM
If you're happy with BS/ACV then by all means stick with it. For me the "perfect" routine needs to require a reasonably small amount of time and money, it has to make my hair look nice, and it has to sit comfortably with my values. Experimenting with different methods and products can be fun, but it can also get expensive, and to be honest most of the things I've tried so far have either not worked for me, have required too much time to become a part of a regular routine, or have not made enough of a difference to be deemed neccessary. When I do feel like experimenting I try to make sure whatever I'm buying fits the above criteria and is either already on hand (usually a hair-friendly food item) or something I can use for another purpose if it doesn't work for my hair (i.e. shampoo bars that can be used as body soap, coconut oil that can be used in OCM, tea I will drink, food I will eat or cook with). I have splurged a few times on things that didn't fit that description (cassia, henna, catnip, and fancy conditioner), but all of those items have remained untouched in my cabinet/freezer/shower after the first few uses. All that being said, I'm a fairly low-maintenance person who likes to find something good and settle in for life, whether it be a relationship, a dwelling place, a career, or a hair product. Someone who likes to be adventurous and get a little taste of everything might answer differently.

July 31st, 2009, 08:46 AM
I like to try new things in hopes of finding something better than what I am doing. Right now I wash 3-4 times a week and do mostly CO's with some CWC's and a few SC's. My hair seems to like the switching around. It kind of perks it up. If something isn't working you'll know. Then it's time to clarify and switch things up. I don't think switching things around would be harmful unless your methods are doing something like trying harsh shampoos and blow drying :silly: If something doesn't work at one time, you can always go back and try it again. I was less than impressed with CO the first time around, but now I love it and it's my primary washing method.

July 31st, 2009, 09:11 AM
I found one I like and stick with it. I found my routine, um . . . 6 years ago and have pretty much stick with it, with very little modification. :shrug:

My hair doesn't like oils or proteins, so most of the treatments people use don't make my hair (or me) happy, so I stick with my tried and true shampoo and conditioner (Giovanni products).

July 31st, 2009, 09:37 AM
When I got to LHC, I read a lot about different methods that sounded interesting to me, but I also paid attention to what kinds of hairtypes they seemed to work best for. Eventually I did decide to try a few things, and my routine has ended up being a compromise between new things I want to try and how much time & complication I can stand to sustain. (For me, this essentially means that I found a better conditioner for my hairtype, added a final vinegar rinse instead of just cold water, and occasionally I do a cassia treatment when I can find the time and energy.)

July 31st, 2009, 10:16 AM
The standard advice is to stick to any new routine that you try for 2 weeks before you decide whether or not it's working.

July 31st, 2009, 10:26 AM
For me, I have a scalp that likes something for awhile and then says NOOOOOOOO MOOOOORRRREEEEE!!!!!!

So I have to shop around and change somewhat frequently. I am not vegan, but have allergies so I read everything religiously on labels.

I use the BS and ACV rinses as my go to, but after awhile I have to make sure that it has cleaned my scalp well. :rolleyes:

The weird thing is that it always feels like it has done a good job, and then overnight it has a thick sebum layer that is dry.

HMMMM not sure why.

Giovanni is sometimes good for me and I do like it when I can use it. It does a pretty good job when I have build up.

Mostly it seems trial and error is the best method. :shrug:


July 31st, 2009, 11:00 AM
I would suggest that, now that you know BS/ACV works for you, you can play around with other methods, and come back to this if and when you want to. Have fun with your hair, experiment.

Personally, I have always really liked the idea of not buying into the whole chemical beauty industry, so my regime changes ( :D ) have been bringing me closer to a kind of physical self-sufficiency. I try one way of cutting something out, and if it doesn't work for me I try another. CO worked great for my hair but I found it quite time-consuming and BS/ACV never made a discernible difference to my hair. It actually feels cleaner after just water than baking soda. Now I'm relying on water, vinegar and a bristle brush.

July 31st, 2009, 12:01 PM
I try different things, but one at a time so I know what doesn't work vs. what does.

For example: Coconut oil is great for a deep treatment once a week. If I try oiling the ends or length for protection with CO, I get greasy piecey bits. Ewwww!!! But for daily ends and canopy, Nightshade's Triple Anointing Oil blend on wet hair is faboo.

So after the CO once a week, I SC. Tried CWC on a non-oiling wash day and loved the result. Then tried CWC on an oiling wash day . . . and no thank you ma'am. From the ears down I was a greaseball. Had to go wash again as it was making me crazy.

So I tinker and fiddle here and there. When I can take baths again (electrical issues--I need a second fuse box for the flash heater to fill a tub, GRRR) I plan to add a SMT once a week and see how that does. I have honey, I have conditioner, I can find AVG somewhere (or go without).

July 31st, 2009, 03:12 PM
I decided to work from the bottom up.

I'm trying WaterOnly (WO) and seeing how my hair responds to that. If it goes well, then great! After I get used to it, if I feel my hair could use something more, then I'll add bit by bit to my routine.

It's always good to know where your baseline is. I could never be happy doing NoWater/SebumOnly (NW/SO) because I love showering, bathing, jumping through sprinklers like a kid, walking in the rain, ...I think you get the idea...so WO is as basic as it gets for me.
I will probably add some oil for my ends once my hair gets longer.

Good luck, and have fun finding what works for you! It's incredible to discover just how unique your head of hair really is.

July 31st, 2009, 04:49 PM
I tried different things for a long time, primarily because my scalp tends to be kind of sensitive, so I have to be careful what I use.

For me, the key has been finding a) a shampoo that cleans my scalp without irritating it and b) a conditioner (or two) that doesn't leave my hair prone to tangles.

I did well with herbal cleansing, and with the Morocco Method, but ultimately gave them up because I find using more traditional products a lot more convenient. I tried dilute shampoos (works well in general), CO, CWC, and other permutations, but as I say, went back to a more basic S&C after a while.

I think the experiments were necessary, because as my hair got longer, it seemed to have need for more moisture, so I've gone back and tried again with products that seemed too rich for my hair when it was shorter, and things have worked out fine.

August 2nd, 2009, 11:24 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone!

I think, from your responses, that I'll chalk baking soda/acv up as 'success' inless it stops working any time soon. I like it as a washing routine, but I'm gonna try some 'less often' treatments one at a time for a little while. :) Starting with coconut milk!

Btw, thumbs up on being vegan! I'm vegetarian myself :p

I think the experiments were necessary, because as my hair got longer, it seemed to have need for more moisture, so I've gone back and tried again with products that seemed too rich for my hair when it was shorter, and things have worked out fine.
This is interesting. I've never been one to do much for my hair in the past other than wash it, often I didn't condition when I was using traditional shampoo. So I'll definitely bear in mind that I might need to change my routine as my hair grows.

August 2nd, 2009, 11:31 AM
I have stuck to CO 6 days a week with one clarifying shampoo on Saturday or Sunday with the occassional EVOO for the past almost year and my hair couldn't be happier.

I don't shop around. I am very picky about my products and throw in a severe nut allergy and I'm way to scared to change what has worked religiously for me. ;)

August 2nd, 2009, 12:06 PM
When I have money to spare, I tend to mess with my hair routine cause I can buy new products. Lately it hasn't been in my budget so I haven't tried anything new in about 6 months.

When I first joined LHC I did a bunch of new stuff and found out:

Cones were damaging my hair
I needed lots of moisture
'Natural' conditioners worked best
Olive and coconut oil did wonders, but needed to be shampooed out
Soap is death for my hair
COing makes me too greasy
My hair hates protein
And - my hair and scalp are happiest with SLS!

I feel like I know enough now to stick to S+C with oil deep treatments, and try new leave-ins and conditioners when I can.

August 3rd, 2009, 07:33 AM
I'd say you're actually kind of fortunate that the routine you found that works can also be used to clarify. This means that if you try anything that your hair doesn't like you can get it out easily with the baking soda. In my case, my hair likes shampoo bars, so I need to clarify sometimes if I try something that doesn't work.

I would highly recommend you try prewash oilings. I just started these and they make my hair so soft. Try olive oil first, as that's something you probably already have, so if it doesn't work you haven't wasted money. Even if you don't already have olive oil, if you buy it and your hair doesn't like it you can use it in the kitchen.

August 3rd, 2009, 07:51 AM
I'd suggest shopping around a little, if only because I think that most folks do better with some conditioner or oils if they want to get their hair quite long, and because many people find baking soda so drying. I might even go so far as to say that everyone should try CWC and/or CO, depending on how much cleansing your scalp needs. If you don't like the results or the effort for finding bands you can use, you can always go back to BS/ACV.