With the tons of products available, the unique textures of tresses out there, and people’s different schedules, it’s probably a safe bet to say no two naturals—people who keep their hair free of chemicals treatments—follow exactly the same healthy hair regimen. That said, what’s the best way to create a customized hair care routine for yourself? Answer? You need go no further than Curlynikki.com for a few effective mane styling guidelines. Here they are:

Start a healthy hair journal. Think back to all those products that have appeared on your bathroom shelves over the years. Can you recall precisely when you used each one and how well it worked? For example, does your hair prefer oil- or water-based products? Are natural oils or home-made treatments better for your strands? If you’re a naturalista newbie who hasn’t yet settled on a set of hair-care products and practices, documenting what you apply to your tresses may allow you to better determine which stuff works and which ones should keep their appointment with the garbage bin.

Assess your schedule. Many people’s days and weeks are cluttered with various work and personal commitments. That means less time to attend to tresses. While some naturals may have to start their commute to work early, others may be hampered by toddler-chasing days and laundry chores. What this means for hair care is simple. Certain kinds of schedules require you carefully consider certain types of hair styles. For example, wash and go’s take less time than twist outs, but twist outs can be kept in for several days at a time. What’s more, your hair benefits when you set aside specific weekdays for shampooing, moisturizing and deep conditioning. For hair care, consistency is key!

Do your research. This may not sound fun, but all it means is you take time to chat with friends, surf the web, consult with stylists and so on. Think of finding new products and novel ways to care for your strands as a form of socializing and self-expression. Break your hair-care research into categories: health and style (and in most cases these two are connected). Check the web for helpful hints to steer you in the right direction when you wake up to a bad hair day, need to create a moisturizing regimen, or if you’re looking to color your hair. Because there are so many new styles, treatments and accessories to experiment with, expect a certain amount of trial and error. Just keep changing up your routine until you find a regimen that works for you.

How will you know when you’ve hit on it? Why, your locks will look consistently luscious and lovely.

Click here to learn how to build a naturalista support network to snuff out hair-related criticism.