Beginner's Guide to a Basic Hair Care Routine; 7 steps

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Know your hair texture       

Washing with a suitable shampoo 

Using the right hair conditioner  

Leave in treatment    

Air dry or blow dry  

Smooth detangling   

Protecting the hair



Washing, nourishing conditioning, gentle brushing, protecting and maintaining healthy hair are steps for beginner's guide to basic hair care routine.
credit: Pinterest

7 steps for basic hair care

1. Know your hair texture: Why is it important?

It is important to treat your hair according to its type as it has different textures and reacts differently than others. Identifying your hair type and texture will make it easy for you to choose your hair routine. Different hair types and textures include:

Greasy and oily hair 2 days after washing.

Dry and frizzy hair immediately after washing.

Straight and fine hair without using a straightener.

Thick or thin hair naturally.

Kinky and zigzag after drying hair.

Wavy hair making an S shape.

Curly hair when it dries.

Coil-shaped hair even wet.

How to identify your hair type?

If you are stuck at identifying your hair type, stop using any product for a few days. Another way to know your hair type is by checking your hair’s porosity with a bowl test experiment. Checking the porosity of our hair means how many numbers of holes are there in your hair’s cuticle. For this, take a large bowl and pour some water into it.  Pluck 3 or 5 hairs from your head and put them into the water. After half an hour, check your hair:

If your hair is still floating on the top of the water, you have low-porosity hair, it takes more time to air dry. They are oily and greasy, often leading to dandruff.

If your hair is floating somewhere in the middle of the bowl, it means you have medium porosity hair which is normal and fine.

If your hair sunk at the bottom of the bowl, you have high porosity hair. High porosity hair feels dry and frizzy and tends to break more.

Washing, nourishing conditioning, gentle brushing, protecting and maintaining healthy hair are steps for beginner's guide to basic hair care routine.
credit: Pinterest

2. Washing with a suitable shampoo

The first step in any hair care routine is washing your hair. Some people wash their hair daily and think it will give them more healthy and shiny hair. However, it depends upon your type and needs of hair.

Wash your hair daily if you have oily hair.

For dry and frizzy hair, it is suggested to wash your hair every 3rd day.  Excessive washing can strip off your hair’s natural oil, leaving them dry.

If you have normal and fine hair, wash your hair whenever they feel dirty.

Choose a suitable shampoo:

Look for a shampoo that suits your hair's specific type or concerns such as dryness, oiliness, or dandruff. When buying shampoo, check the label and ingredient list of the bottle. If shampoo does not contain ingredients beneficial for your type and concern, don’t buy it.

Like; if you have oily hair, look for clarifying or dry shampoos that contain ingredients like sulfate. If you have dry and frizzy hair, buy sulfate-free shampoos that contain hydrating ingredients like argon oil.

How to wash your hair properly?

Wet your hair before using shampoo. Use lukewarm water to wet your hair. Using hot water causes stripping away of natural oils resulting in dryness. Pour a small amount of shampoo onto your palm and massage it gently into your scalp. Focus on massaging the scalp to cleanse away dirt and excess oil. Rinse your hair with lukewarm water until all the shampoo is washed out. Make sure no residue remains, as it can weigh down your hair.

3. Apply the right hair conditioner

Keeping your hair moisturized with a hair conditioner is the second essential step in your hair care routine. No matter which type of hair you have, conditioning your hair is necessary to moisturize your hair, thus preventing them from damage.

Choose the right conditioner:

It is best to choose a conditioner with the right ingredients suitable for your hair. For dry hair choose a hydrating conditioner. If you have very frizzy hair, use deep conditioning treatment. Choose a lightweight conditioner if you have oily hair, as it balances the moisture level on the scalp. For oily hair types, it is better to apply conditioner to the ends of your hair instead of the roots, as it can produce extra oil on your hair.

The correct way of applying conditioner:

Squeeze out extra water from your hair after rinsing the shampoo. Apply conditioner from the middle of the hair to the ends, avoiding the roots. To thoroughly distribute the conditioner, gently comb your hair with your fingers. See the product's instructions and leave the conditioner on for a few minutes. That allows it to reach every hair strand and provide the greatest benefits. Use cold water to thoroughly rinse your hair to seal the cuticles and retain moisture.

4. Leave in treatment

Leave-in treatments provide an additional layer of moisture to the hair, helping to keep it hydrated and preventing dryness. This treatment is for those people who have dry, curly, and wavy hair as they needed. People with fine or normal hair can also use this treatment once a week to keep their hair smooth. This treatment adds extra hydration to your hair and makes them lock moisture. It also reduces frizz and makes it easier to detangle hair while reducing the risk of breakage.

After washing hair, apply 1 or 2 pumps of leave-in conditioner on dry or damp hair.  Rub the conditioner between palms and apply it on the hair, focusing mid-lengths to end. You can keep these conditioners for longer times without rinsing them out. These treatments often contain ingredients that enhance the hair’s natural shine. Regular use of leave-in treatment can help to prevent and repair split ends, keeping the hair looking healthy and smooth.

5. Air dry or blow dry

Some people prefer to dry their hair through a blow dryer as it is the fastest way to dry hair. But it is not a cool way to dry your hair as heat can damage your hair's health. On the other hand, some people like air drying their hair and it also has one drawback. Air drying takes too much time to dry your hair as wet hair is more prone to damage and breakage. 

But I get you covered. The best way to dry hair without damage is to dry 75% of the hair with blow drying and the remaining with air drying. Sit under the fan and dry your hair with a gentle patting of the T-shirt.

Air drying can result in frizzy hair so, it is necessary to protect your hair from frizz by following these practices

Gently squeeze out excess water with a microfiber towel or a soft T-shirt.

While your hair is still damp, spray a leave-in conditioner or an anti-frizz serum.

Once you’ve applied your styling products, avoid touching or brushing your hair while it dries.

Try air drying in sections, twist, or braid sections of your hair while damp to help reduce frizz.

6. Smooth detangling

Brushing your hair not only minimizes breakage but also stimulates blood flow to the scalp. If you have curly hair, use a wide-toothed comb or a brush with soft bristles when brushing wet hair. This prevents unnecessary breakage and damage. For dry hair, don’t comb your hair while it is wet because it can make your hair more frizzy and prone to more breakage.

Avoid rough, aggressive brushing as it can lead to hair breakage and damage. Instead, use gentle strokes and take your time to detangle knots.

Washing, nourishing conditioning, gentle brushing, protecting and maintaining healthy hair are steps for beginner's guide to basic hair care routine.
credit: Pinterest

If you have such type of hair that is rough and frizzy, try to use hair serum or spray on your hair. Hair serum or spray smoothens your hair, making knots easy to manage. Hair serums also add a shiny texture to your hair making it look gorgeous.

It is also necessary to clean your brush before detangling your hair.  Remove broken hair from the brush and spray alcohol on all your hair accessories including the brush. Take a water tub and add clarifying shampoo to it. Dip all your hair accessories in it and take them out after 1 hour. Rinse them with water and let them dry before using it.

7. Protecting and maintaining hair

1.  Excessive use of heat-styling tools like straighteners and curling irons can cause damage. Whenever you use heat styling tools, do not forget to apply heat protectant spray.  

2.  Constant pulling of your hair is a red flag for your hair as it causes breakage and traction alopecia. Keep your hair in loose hairstyles, instead of tight hairstyles like ponytails and buns.

3.  Good nutrition plays a vital role in hair health. Include foods rich in vitamins and proteins, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts, in your diet.

4.  Stop touching your hair excessively. If you constantly run your fingers through your hair, it can lead to weakened strands that are more prone to breakage.

5. Get regular trims. Trimming your hair every 6-8 weeks helps to remove split ends before they have a chance to travel up the hair shaft, preventing further damage. When you are free from split ends, your hair gets protected and becomes less frizzy.


Q: What is the order for the hair care routine?

First, clean your hair and scalp with shampoo. Then apply conditioner to make your hair soft and easy to manage. Then you can use any product to protect and style your hair if needed.

Q: What are the basic needs of hair?

Cleaning scalp and hair.

Moisturizing to keep hair hydrated

Protecting hair from damage.

Q: Should I oil my hair daily?

No, oiling your hair daily can make it greasy and attract dirt. I prefer to oil my hair 1-2 times a week. It helps nourish my hair without making it too oily.

Q: What to apply daily on your hair?

You can use a light leave-in conditioner or serum daily to keep your hair manageable and protected. But make sure you are not using any heavy products.

Q: Is it good to give your hair a break from products?

Yes, giving your hair a break from products now and then is good. It allows your hair to breathe and reduces buildup. I have a product-free day once a week and it makes my hair naturally grow.


  1. HealthLine. How to Establish the Right Hair Care Routine for You. Updated on 20, November 2019.
  2. WikiHow. How to Build the Perfect Hair Care Routine. Updated on 24, April 2024.
  3. HealthLine. How to Identify and Style Your Hair Type. Updated on 30, August 2019.
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