Four black women share their very different haircare routines

And you're going to want to steal tips from each...

25 Apr 2019

Call us nosy, but there's nothing we love more than taking a peek inside another woman's makeup bag, bathroom or closet.

When it comes to hair, makeup, skincare and fashion, we all do things differently, which is what makes learning about another woman's routine so intriguing. And when it comes to hair – curly, straight, braided, wigged or weaved – the possibilities are endless.

We asked four women to share their routines, and their tips are just as good as the experts...


My wash routine
Once a week.
Before washing my hair with shampoo I usually apply a natural oil – like coconut or jojoba – to keep my hair soft and stop it getting stripped of moisture whilst shampooing. Sometimes I do this the night before, as I tend to wash my hair in the morning. If not, I’ll apply it in the morning for 10-15 minutes if I have time. Other than that the process is pretty standard; shampoo and then condition or a hydrating masque if my hair feels like it needs a bit more. If I need to wash my hair more than once that week (if I have photoshoots or castings that my hair needs to look fresh for), I’ll just use a conditioner to refresh (no shampoo) as it’s gentler and less drying.

My nightly routine
If my hair is feeling dry I’ll smooth a little product onto my ends, like a leave-in conditioner or hair cream before bed. I usually just tie it up loosely on the very top of my head (it looks like a pineapple) and this stops my curls from getting flat whilst I sleep. I use a satin scarf rather than a hair tie so there are no dents when I take my hair out the following morning (it’s a square scarf I fold into a triangle and place at the back of my head to hold my hair up and tie around the front the keep it secure).

My go-to products
Anything hydrating but not too heavy is perfect for my curls. My favourites are:

  • Aveda Dry Remedy products (Shampoo, conditioner and mask - £9-30)
  • Dizziak Deep itioner, £22
  • We Are Paradoxx Secret itioner, £20 – I use this as a leave-in.
  • Equi Botanics Babassu Deep Treatment Masque, £35
  • Big Hair Deep itioning Clay Masque, £20


My wash routine
Once every three weeks.
As my hair is afro textured, thick and quite dry I always use a pre-shampoo treatment like the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme (£19). It makes my hair super soft and more manageable when it comes to blow-drying later!

My nightly routine
I mostly wear wigs these days so my haircare routine is quite simple. I take my wig off and place it on the mannequin head so that it maintains its shape, and then I'll go over it using a pea-sized amount of the John Frieda Frizz-Ease serum (£6.99) to tame the flyaway hairs. My hair is braided in cornrows under my wig, so to keep my scalp healthy and flake-free I use the Mizani Scalp Soothing Serum (£14.99) every 2-3 days. It has a nozzle like a dispenser which makes it really easy to get in between each cornrow. I sleep on a silk pillowcase or wear a silk bonnet to bed, as this helps prevent hair breakage as well as helping my cornrows stay looking neater for longer.

My go-to products

  • Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme, £19 - As mentioned above I LOVE this product. It just makes my hair so much softer and practically knot-free. I really notice a difference when I don't use it.
  • KeraCare Humecto Creme itioner, £7.40 - Super nourishing and hydrating plus it smells great.
  • Thermal Heat Cap - This is incredible at helping my conditioner penetrate into my hair follicles. I literally heat in the microwave for 2 mins and then pop over my hair and leave on for about 30 mins.
  • KeraCare Edge Tamer, £5.70 - The best product I've personally found for laying my edges. It keeps those baby hairs in place all day and doesn't leave any white residue or flakes.


My wash routine
Once a week.
I only wash my hair once a week as afro hair is quite dry and I don't really get a greasy scalp, more like parched. My hair has been chemically treated (Keratin) so I only ever use shampoos that are paraben and sulphate free, like KeraStraight Moisture Enhance Shampoo and itioner (both £19) or 72 Intense Moisture Shampoo and itioner (both £14.99). All of these are developed to maximise the benefits and longevity of KeraStraight treatments, as well as to provide hydration and to revitalise dry, coarse and damaged hair. I always, ALWAYS use the 72 Hair Intense Replenishing Mask (£24.99) and leave it on for 10-15 mins after I wash and condition. It helps with restoring shine, undoing chemical damage and locking in that all important moisture.

My nightly routine
This really depends on what I'm rocking at the time. When I have "leave out" (part weave, part my own hair) I usually brush through and then apply the 72 Hydrating itioner (£14.99) a couple of times a week. My hair is prone to dryness and the only thing that deeply nourishes and locks in moisture is conditioner. And if I want it to be straight in the morning, I basically brush from one side of my head to another in a circular motion, wrap it in a scarf and in the morning when I take the scarf off, it drops poker straight.

My go-to products

  • KeraStraight Moisture Enhance Shampoo and itioner, both £19
  • 72 Intense Moisture Shampoo and itioner, both £14.99
  • 72 Hair Intense Replenishing Mask, £24.99
  • Charlotte Mensah's Manketti Oil, £48
  • Macadamia Natural Oil Nourishing Leave-In Cream, £19.95


My wash routine
2-3 times a month.
I wash my hair when my braids start to look messy or when I take my braids out, which is about 2-3 times per month. I'll have the braids put right back in again. I barely ever wear my hair out.

My nightly routine
Every night before bed I will either put my hair into a ponytail or bun to keep my braids neat. Then in the morning, I'll style it. My go-to is half up in a bun. I call it 'the pineapple' because it sticks out at the end, or I'll just wear my braids loose. If I need it out of my face I'll just put it in a ponytail or bun.

My braiding routine
Having my braids done takes around 3-4 hours, depending on what style, and I always get them done by a family friend for around £40. I buy my extensions from a local store and reuse them each time.

My go-to products

  • ORS Olive Oil Aloe Shampoo, £3.49
  • Creme Of Nature Intensive itioning Treatment, £5.75
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