how to build a simple hair care routine


is there anything better than just-walked-out-of-the-salon hair? you know, when your cut is fresh and the blow-dry has left your hair feeling bouncy, shiny and just right.

while a new doo can’t stay picture-perfect forever, it should (usually) last a few weeks. if your dreamy hair turns dull, frizzy or limp after a few washes, you might need to rethink your hair care routine.

here’s how to start a hair care routine from scratch.

understand your hair type

before we can launch into the fun part (choosing products) let’s do the prep-work. for starters, what kind of hair type are you working with? if you don’t already know, now is the time to find out.

understanding your hair type forms the backbone of a good hair care routine. why? well, this is how we choose the right products for you and not joe from the sandwich shop down the road.

some of the most common hair types include:


here’s the thing about curls: from loose waves to spirals or coils, each and every curl is unique. however, the hair community breaks curls down into types:

  • type 2 hair = wavy
  • type 3 hair = curly
  • type 4 hair = coily

from there, each type is further broken down into sub-types, such as 2a, 2b, 2c, and 3a, 3b, 3c… you get the point.

if your hair fits into more than one of these categories, that’s completely normal. it's common, actually.

image credit: @craphairclub @laundryldn


if your hair is dry, that usually means it’s dehydrated, low on moisture and might have lost its shine. dry hair can also show up in the form of split-ends, flyaways and breakage, or even a dry, flaky scalp.


use heat tools on the reg? over-brush your mane? sometimes skip out on conditioner? whatever the cause, damaged hair can lead to split ends, brittle texture and excessive knots or tangling.


this one’s for the chameleons… think: hair that has been coloured using semi, demi or permanent hair dye to change its hue.


if your hair is fine, it means the actual diameter of your hair is thin. in more practical terms, fine hair can look thin and limp, if you aren’t armed with the right products.


sometimes, hair is naturally frizzy and sometimes, it’s a symptom of being in humid weather. it can show up as fluffy and irregular hair texture or brittle ends.


thick hair is when there’s a whole lotta hair per square inch of scalp. if you have thick hair, your scalp will be barely noticeable underneath all that hair; whereas if you have thin hair, your scalp will be more visible.


an oily hair type is usually the result of overactive sebaceous glands that produce too much sebum, making your hair look (unintentionally) slick and greasy.


if your hair type is normal, it means that your scalp produces juuuust enough oil, so that your hair is healthy-looking and generally in pretty good nick.


bottle blonde? you’ll need to invest in the right products to keep your hair from turning brassy, dull or generally bleurgh.

get clear on your hair goals

now, let’s get clear on what we’re working towards. goals help light the path to hair glory.

might we suggest some hair goals? how about:

  • added smoothness and shine
  • next level volume and body
  • added strength and repair
  • soft, hydrated strands
  • bouncy, defined curls

image credit: @laurencoophair

how to build a hair care routine

the real question: what should my hair care routine be?

there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to hair; every good hair care routine is completely customised to you and your doo. however, there are a few key steps that are universal: cleanse, condition, treat, protect and style.

1. cleanse

step one: wash away the day. dirt, grime, oil and styling products can build up on your hair and scalp; this is why cleansing your hair with shampoo is so important.

how often should you wash your hair? it depends on your hair type. generally speaking, coily, dry hair only needs a wash once per week. people with fine hair or oilier scalps could benefit from shampooing three to four times a week.

pick your shampoo

image credit: @thehightidesalon

2. condition

thought you could skip conditioner? think again. this step is crucial to replenish your hair’s moisture levels, detangle, seal the cuticles, and return the hair to an optimal ph.

failing to use conditioner can leave your hair dry, knotty and prone to breakage – so just do it, promise?

pick your conditioner

3. treat

sometimes, your locks just need a little bit… more. y’know, more moisture, more hydration, more smoothing, more tlc. that's where a treatment comes in. regular hair treatments can target specific concerns and improve the overall appearance and health of your mane.

pick your treatment

3. treat.jpgimage credit: @hue_artisansofhair

4. protect

some like it hot and if you’re partial to heat styling your hair, you’re going to need a heat protectant to prevent damage, so that your hair doesn’t sizzle.

wondering what to use to protect hair from heat damage? simply spritz one of these products all-over before blow drying or picking up the heat tools.

pick your heat protectant

image credit: @izzystryhairstyling

5. style

the sky is the limit when it comes to styling. if you want to build volume, add texture, hold, smoothness or added shine, you’ll need a few key products to help get you (and your hair) there.

pick your styling products

image credit: @hightrashhair

the takeaway

once you understand your hair type and hair goals, building a haircare routine is a matter of one (cleanse), two (condition), three (treat), four (protect), five (style). while every person and every mane is different, these steps will help keep your hair in tip-top shape. go forth and prosper.

build your routine

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