Creating a hair routine can help you achieve your hair goals, and can also help you to figure out what works and doesn't work for you — especially if you are newly natural. A good hair routine will incorporate healthy hair practices which will inadvertently lead to retaining length. As with anything, there is no one-size fits all. However, there are a couple of things you should understand when creating your routine: 1. Afro hair is usually dry because of its kinky nature. Dryness leads to breakage. 2. Afro hair is very fragile and so frequent manipulation can also cause breakage. Understanding these two things, you can create a routine that maximises moisture and minimises manipulation. We recommend the super simple: Cleanse, Moisturise, Style, Repeat. 1. Cleanse and Condition Until relatively recently, it was believed that water was the arch-enemy of afro hair. In actual fact, water and kinks are BFFs. We recommend washing your hair every 7-10 days but some women find that every 2 weeks works best for them. A clean scalp creates a healthy environment for hair to grow. Always follow up with a conditioner. Tips for washing: Pre poo with coconut oil to avoid hygral fatigue. Wash with a sulphate free shampoo as sulphates can have a drying effect on the hair. Apply shampoo to your scalp and work it along the hair strands Follow up with a conditioner that has a lot of slip to make detangling simpler. Detangle with a wide tooth comb or with your fingers to minimise manipulation. After rinsing out the conditioner, squeeze out excess water then wrap your hair with a microfibre turban or cotton t-shirt for swift drying. Avoid blow drying as it can dry out the hair. 2. Moisturise As mentioned earlier, dryness is one of the main causes of hair breakage. To combat breakage, moisturise by following the LOC and LCO methods. 3. Style When it comes to deciding on how to style your hair, as well as considering what you'll be doing throughout the week, you may want to factor in your hair goals (if you have any). If growing your hair is a priority, then you'll want to minimise manipulation by employing a protective style. A protective style is any style that keeps your hair ends (the most fragile part of your hair) tucked away. Such styles can be done with your own hair or using extensions. For example, you can twist/braid your hair, wear throughout the week and then unravel to rock a twsit-out our braid-out at the weekend. If you want to wear your hair out throughout the week, then twisting or plaiting your hair after washing is a great way to stretch it out. Once dry, you can unravel and style, re-moisturising throughout the week as necessary. If you want to track your progress try the #AfrocenchixHairChallenge. For more style inspiration, have a look at our Pinterest. Other articles: How to Choose the Best Afro Hair Products For You New Year, New Hair What exactly is hair porosity and how do I determine mine?