Hair care – my favourite minimalist routine

long hair care routineAs someone with long and fine hair, I’ve always struggled with finding a good hair care routine. Too heavy shampoos and conditioners would force me to wash my hair every other day, and too lightweight products would not nourish my hair enough, leaving my ends drier and drier.

After trying several products and  different hair care routines,  I discovered that we actually don’t need to buy super expensive products or follow 20-steps routines to have beautiful, healthy hair. The secret is to find a good shampoo specific for your scalp and hair type, and follow a simple but effective routine!

My minimalist routine consists of 4 steps and a few practical tricks. It can be applied to any hair type, provided that you use the right products for you.


1) Apply coconut oil before washing your hair

Research studies show that  coconut oil  treatments prevent combing damage of coconut oil hairvarious hair types.  In particular, a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science   clearly indicates the strong impact that coconut oil application has to hair as compared to application of both sunflower and mineral oils, which are  the most utilized base oils in the hair oil industry.  Among three oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair!

The list of benefits of coconut oil for hair is very long. Being a  fatty acid, it has a high affinity for hair proteins, and  is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft. It is also  rich in antioxidants, and has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Regular application of coconut oil therefore prevents hair from breakage, repairs damaged hair, improves scalp health, fights infections and fungus, and supports hair growth. To date, it is the only known natural product that recovers the overall health of your hair!

My suggestion is to apply this wonderful oil as a pre-shampoo, in order to protect your hair from drying out while washing it.  Just apply it half an hour or so before stepping in the shower. Run the oil through the lengths of your locks, then use a wide-tooth comb to spread it  from scalp to ends.

2) Use  a shampoo specific for your scalp and hair type

shampoo hair type

Once you’ve picked a shampoo that is good for both your scalp & hair type (see my post on how to choose the right shampoo), gently wash your hair and rinse it with cold water.  Why cold water? Rinsing your hair with cold water will help close your cuticle after your hair is washed. Open cuticle is good while shampooing  your hair, but once you’re done, you want to seal the cuticle, so that your hair doesn’t get damaged too easily.

3) Apply a leave-in, multi-tasking treatment before blowdrying your hair

I love leave-in, multitasking conditioners! They have multiple benefits for your hair, and you don’t have to worry about how long you should leave them on your hair before rinsing! They serve many purposes: they nourish and moisturize the hair, prevent breakage and split ends, soften the hair, help correct roughness, aid in detangling, prime hair for styling, and… save your time!

Do not comb your hair when it is wet, as it is more likely to break or get damage! Just apply your leave-in conditioner on towel-dried hair, and proceed with drying your hair. Once your hair is dry, comb it and style as usual.

4) Apply a few drops of keratin oil from mid-lengths to ends whenever you feel that you hair is dry

The fortifying proteins of keratin oil will reinforce each strand of your hair. This oil helps hair resist breakage, and adds softness. It also prevents your hair from frizzing by eliminating static electricity. If you’re looking for a way to reverse a bad hair day, apply a few drops of this oil starting from the middle towards the ends. You will instantly get smoother and shinier hair! And a regular application of keratin oil will undoubtedly  repair your hair over time.


keratin oil

This hair care routine has changed dramatically my hair condition. I finally managed to grow my fine hair long, and dry and split ends are no longer a problem. I can’t remember the last time my hair looked that healthy – probably when I was very little 🙂

Let me know, in the comment section below, what aspect(s) of your hair you would like to improve. Till then, take care!





18 thoughts on “Hair care – my favourite minimalist routine

  1. Zissy says:

    So cool! I I’m digging the before and after oil treatments! Will definitely give thos a try! Short, to the point and very informative! So practicle and I love that it is not 20 steps so that this is something to be implemented as well! Not just another read!

  2. Chrissie says:

    Hi Margherita, I had no idea that coconut oil was so good for hair and I must add Keratin oil to my regime as I do have fly-away hair, especially during the humid months. I do have a question, is it safe to use hair straighteners such as GHD or Cloud9 after applying Keratin oil or would you apply this after straightening?

    Thank you,

    • Margherita says:

      Hi Chrissie, thanks for the good question! No, do not apply oil on your hair before you flat iron it -do so later.

  3. Kathy Joyce says:

    Thank you for such an informative post on hair care. I used to be a hairdresser and know the benefits of coconut oil. I’ve used it myself and really makes the hair feel soft. I’m also someone who rinses their hair in cold water. Not always pleasant, but it really makes your hair shiny. I always use a leave in conditioner as you suggested, and a tiny bit of serum after blow drying.

    • Margherita says:

      Hi Kathy Joyce, thanks for your kind words 🙂 I’m glad to read that you have similar recommendations 🙂
      I am a big fan of keratin oil, so I always apply it after blow drying. But I know serums too have wonderful effects on hair! xxx

  4. Steph says:

    Hey Margherita, I am really glad that I found your post. My mom has very thin hair and is always struggling to find the right type of hair products for her. Her hair is almost always dry or oily. I have heard about using coconut oil on your hair when washing it but I wasn’t sure how to or the best type. I will share this post with my mom today as I think it will really help her out and answer some questions for her.
    I have a question for you, what type of coconut oil do you recommend to use? Solid cold compress that you warm or a liquid form?

    Thanks for the great post!

    • Margherita says:

      Hi Steph! Yes, thin hair can be very challenging. It’s usually difficult to find products that can moisturize thin hair, without making it look greasy after a few hours. Applying coconut oil before shampooing is especially good for those who have thin hair: it will provide nutrition to the scalp and hair, without leaving your hair oily.

      Both the solid form that you can warm up and the liquid form are good for your hair. The only difference is that liquid coconut oil, which is also called fractionated, doesn’t have lauric acid, a powerful substance that has proven antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory benefits.

  5. Anita says:

    Hey Margherita! I also apply coconut oil before shampooing. It nourishes my hair without leaving it greasy 🙂 I like the idea of a leave-in conditioner, so I won’t have to wait 10 minutes under the shower before rinsing my hair! Do you recommend any specific product?

    • Margherita says:

      Hey Anita! Yes, a leave-in conditioner is a great option for us busy people 😉
      Total Results Miracle Creator Multi-Tasking Treatment by Matrix is the best I’ve tried so far. Will write a post on it 🙂

  6. Kenise says:

    LOVE this post!

    I have been using coconut oil before I shampoo my hair for a few years now. us curly girls call it a (pre- poo!)

    I would not have thought this method would work for someone with thin hair because I always thought that it would weigh it down, but now that i’ve heard you results I will definitely start recommending it to my followers on my blog page as well.

    Keratin oil is also a favorite of mine to help with split ends!
    Great article girlie you definitely know what you’r talking about!

    I’ll be sending referrals to your page with a similar hair type , I know they will be in good hands. 🙂

    • Margherita says:

      Thanks Kenise!! yes, coconut oil can weigh down your hair (especially fine hair) when applied during or after shampooing.The great thing about applying it before washing your hair is that you can benefit from all of its properties, without having your hair being weighed down! Of course, always remember to use a shampoo specific for your hair type. So if you have fine hair and oily scalp, my suggestion is to avoid shampoos that are advertised as conditioning or smoothing. Instead, look for labels that say volumizing, sebum control, oil control, clarifying, or balancing.

      If you have curly hair, you should definitely visit Kenise’s blog!

  7. Zara Franklin says:

    Hi Margherita,
    I can’t believe how much I needed this post! We have the EXACT same hair – fine hair, but a lot of it. Mine even dries the same as yours. I’m about to go traveling through Europe and Asia for a year, and I had no idea what I was going to do about my hair. You’ve solidified my thought about going back to natural color and leaving the hair dryer at home. I will certainly dig it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this website. Thanks for sharing!

    • Margherita says:

      Hi Zara, I’m glad you found this post helpful! Yes, going back to your natural color, and not using your hair dryer will definitely improve your hair condition! Best of luck for your one year trip!!

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