My Natural Hair Care Routine

March 31, 2019 (updated May 3, 2023) — Written by

natural hair care routine

Welcome to the #betterforyoucrew series! I’ve teamed up with my girls Suzi, Kate, Caroline, Sarah, and Kristina to highlight green and effective food, beauty and lifestyle products that are rocking our natural worlds. This series will publish the last week of every month so check back for the latest. You can also search #betterforyoucrew on our blogs and Instagram to access the entire series. Wanna join in? Tag #betterforyoucrew on social with your picks. We want to see your faves, too!

One of my most frequently asked questions is: What do you use to style your hair?

Well I’m here today to break it all down. Let’s do this.

First, a little bit about my hair. I have thick hair. Thick meaning the hair shaft itself is wide in diameter but also the proximity of each strand is close making my hair thick and dense in consistency too. My hair is also wavy meaning I can wear it curly or straight (depending on how I blow dry it) and there is no way in heck I can let it air dry. It frizzes in the humidity and my best hair days are always in the middle of winter. If this speaks to your kind of hair, girrrrrrrrl. We are about to become besties.

There is also something else you may have noticed about my hair – I am newly (and 100% might I add) gray. After growing out my hair gray for just about 2 years, I recently got the last bits of color treated hair cut off. So now, for the first time in my life (since I was 19), my hair is 100% natural! This means my hair is not dyed, highlighted, low-lighted, extended or color supplemented in any way.

Deciding to grow my hair out gray has been one of the best decisions I ever made. Initially I had my eye on an external transformation but ultimately it turned out to be more than that. The true gift of this journey has been an internal transformation that totally blew my mind. You can read more about this and my going gray experience here.

The other thing that makes this hair tutorial unique is I am styling my hair with products that are all natural. This means they are free of health compromising toxins like endocrine disrupters, neurotoxins, skin irritants, fragrance, phthalates and materials that can cause cancer. Because guess what. Walk into any convenience store, grocery store or department store and 95% of what you see on the shelves is laden with ingredients like this.

If you follow along and read my blog on the reg that is old news but if you are new to The New Knew, let me introduce myself. My name is Lisa and I am all about a toxin-free lifestyle without compromise. What does this mean? Let me put it this way. You will not hear me talk about wearing Teva’s, washing my hair with Apple Cider Vinegar or deciding to grow out my arm pit hair. (Not that there is anything wrong with that). What you will hear me talk about is the cleanest, most luxe lipstick on the planet, natural skincare that will make your face glow and hair care that actually works! Just because you don’t want to die from your shampoo doesn’t mean you have to adopt The No Poo Method. Okay, now that we are on the same page, let’s get to it.

RELATED: Read all about my current skincare routine.

Nontoxic Shampoo + Conditioner

I don’t mess around when it comes to shampoo and having clean hair. I must have gone through 8 different “clean” shampoos all to no avail before finding True Botanicals. My hair is thick and wavy and it takes a lot for it to get clean. And all of the “natural” shampoos I tried would leave a grease ball at the nape of my neck. I was legit about to throw in the towel and revert back to Pantine ProV when, thank goodness, True Botanicals came into my life.

True Botanicals shampoo and conditioner
True Botanicals Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner

True Botanicals Nourishing Shampoo leaves my hair light, clean, bouncy and smelling fresh! Plus it’s packaged in eco-friendly packaging and it’s even MADE SAFE Certified (a third party that analyzes ingredients ensuring a product is truly nontoxic).

The best way to use True Botanical’s shampoo (for me) is to wash in rounds. The first round I use about a dime size and work it into my scalp with my fingertips. Rinse and repeat. The first round rarely foams but the second (and sometimes I do a third) foams and works wonders.

Pro Tip: Be sure to apply shampoo to your scalp and wash your scalp, not just your hair. You can split your hair in half or in quarters to gain access to your scalp directly.

The True Botanicals Nourishing Conditioner used to be in my routine but it’s not anymore. It got reformulated in 2019 and it’s too heavy for me now. I love using Innersense Hydrating Hair Mask as a conditioner and I also like Rahua’s Voluminous Conditioner which is SUPER CREAMY but light enough that it doesn’t weigh hair down.

If you end up loving True Botanicals as much as I do, you can save 10% by subscribing. This will put you on a delivery schedule that you control. Get replenished every month, every 4 months or whatever works for you. This option is available at checkout.

ALSO! Code TNK10 will save you 10% off your order. 

The Best Hairdryer!

Okay. I have a confession to make. I bought a $400 hairdryer. It was partially because I am so sick of burning through my drugstore ones, partially because I am 41 and if I don’t deserve a good hairdryer now then for God-sake when!?!? And lastly because curiosity got the better of me and I kinda needed to know what all the hype was about.

Dyson hair dryer
The Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer

So I’ve had The Dyson Supersonic for about 6 month’s now and hear’s the deal. It’s good. It’s really good. But do you need a $400 hairdryer? NO! Girl, nobody needs a $400 hairdryer unless they are doing hair for a living….and even then, it’s questionable.

Here’s what I love about it. It cuts my drying time down by almost half. YEAH. That’s huge. And now that my hair is gray, I want to make sure it stays as strong as possible so the less heat the better and let’s be honest, overtime, all those minutes add up!

I also love that it’s really light and easy to hold. Plus it comes with two straightening attachments and one diffuser. And get this, they’re magnetic! I love this because they never fall off like my cheapo dryers did.

Lastly, I knew The Dyson Supersonic was special when I caught my husband using it too. He’s like, That new dryer is AWESOME! And I’m like, Yeah, I know!

RELATED: Read my review on the best heat protectant for gray hair and beyond.

Curly Hair Routine

Lisa with curly hair

I love wearing my hair curly. I never did for the longest time because I didn’t know how to be honest. It always looked frizzy rather than curly. But then I discovered a few things that really took my hair game to the next level. And since then, I’ve upped the ante and found clean substitutes for everything so I’m pretty much livin’ large over here. You know what they say, The higher the hair…. ha ha!

Okay. Feel free to follow along with this video for both straight and wavy routines so you can have a visual reference to accompany all the details listed below.

The KEY with getting wavy hair to look curly is you HAVE TO start with sopping wet hair. If you skip this step it’s frizz city. This means a couple of things.

  • DON’T towel dry your hair when you get out of the shower. Basically, let it drip all over you which is wicked annoying, I agree.
  • You can squeeze the excess water out with your hands but you really want it dripping wet. This will make the locks adhere and really help to define your curls.
  • If you wait too long and your hair is not wet enough and the locks are not sticking together then add a little water into your hand and scrunch some wetness into your hair until it starts to chunk or clump to itself.
  • Lastly, use your fingers, not a comb or a brush to “comb” your hair. A comb/brush will separate the strands too much and lead to frizz. If this doesn’t work for you, or your hair is longer, you could try using a wide tooth comb.
Innersense whipped creme texturizer
Innersense Inner Peace Whipped Creme Texturizer

Okay styling products are KEY for curly/wavy hair. I absolutely ADORE the Innersense Organic Inner Peace Whipped Cream Textruizer as a curly hair/wavy hair styling product. First of all, it smells amazing – like sweet oranges. And second, it gives my curls a soft but bold definition. It doesn’t dry crunchy at all and my curls stay defined all day. It’s pretty much the curly hair holy grail product. After you comb through your hair with your fingers, apply a dime size or less to your hair and work from root to ends. You may need more or less depending on the length of your hair. Play with it.

Then make sure you use the diffuser attachment for your hairdryer. This will “diffuse” the air so the dryer won’t blow your locks apart. And I like to dry my hair upside down – the whole time. I do this for two reasons. First, I have better access to all of my hair and second, (and more importantly) it dries my hair in a “standing up” position and gives me crazy volume. You can see it here in the video – it’s actually too much here but it falls and looks great within 30 mins or so.

When your hair 98% dry, turn it to the cold setting and dry it for the last two minutes on cold to set the curl. Then flip upright and watch the magic happen!

Set using Josh Rosebrook’s Firm Hold Hairspray!

Pro Tip: Sleep on this do and it even looks cute the next day too!

Natural Hair Spray

Let’s just say I’ve been around the block when it comes to natural hairsprays. And I’m going to do you a solid and save you the time, effort, money and frustration of trying a bunch and hating them because there is really only ONE natural hairspray worth recommending. It works and it’s squeaky clean and it goes by the name of Josh Rosebrook Firm Hold Hairspray.

josh rosebrook natural organic hairspray

It’s a lightweight hairspray that initially provides a medium hold but you can layer to get a firm hold. It’s so effective you can even do up-dos with it. But what’s really mind blowing is it does all this with yucca starch, brown rice extract and botanicals.

Pro Tip: Run warm water over the sprayer when it clogs to loosen up any build up. This will get product pumping at 100% again in no time.

I’m 100% confident you will love it as much as I do – try it here!

Straight Hair Routine

Lisa with a sleek straight bob
Image by Creature Studio

When I decide to dry my hair straight I love getting out of the shower and immediately wrapping my hair in Hubalou Hair Wrap. I like this wrap first and foremost because IT STAYS ON! Second it’s designed to minimize drying time as well as help to prevent breakage and frizz. HELLO.

So I usually do all the things like, get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast…all with my hair wrapped. The dryer your hair is to straighten it, the better. Less heat!

When I’m ready to dry, I separate my hair into halves or thirds and use the straightening attachment drying one section at a time. I like to use a medium, round, mixed bristle brush like this one. It grabs onto and holds my hair better than one that has uniform bristles or a flat brush. I don’t add any product to my hair before I start drying.

At some point I flip my head upside down and dry like that too to add volume and to get access the back of my hair.

After my hair is dry, I run a flat iron through it just to take the edge off any frizz. When I get to the ends I kind of followthrough by coming toward my neck. This helps it to frame my face rather than the ends being dead straight. I hate my iron and I need a new one. I’ve got my eye on this one that my hair dresser recommended.

Rahua soothing hair balm
Rahua Smoothing Hair Balm

Then when I’m done I go in with the Rahua Smoothing Hair Balm to add shine and reduce any stubborn frizz or flyaways. I love this formula over a hair oil. Hair oils tend to turn my hair greasy but this balm sits light, reduces frizz and makes my hair looks super shiny.

I am also loving this über lightweight heat protectant. Code NEWKNEW15 will save you 15%.

Lastly, I give a once over sprits with the Josh Rosebrook Firm Hold Hairspray to keep it all in place and GO!

For more!

If you are left wanting more OR if you have a different type of hair, be sure to check out these posts too!

xo, lisa in cursive

P.S. More of my favorite curly hair stylers and how going gray was more of an internal transformation rather than an external one.

Images and video by B Storied Media

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply


    I’ll have to check out some of these. I love John Masters products since they are clean and perform well. But I like to mix things up. Growing out my natural hair since the summer. It’s curlier than when I had all of that blonde dye. That will take a shift in care, I suspect. Love this blog.

    1. Reply


      Hi Jen! Awesome! Join us over at The Gray Book Facebook group too! That’s where we talk all things “Going Gray”! I’m glad you are enjoying it! xo

  2. Reply


    Would you recommend these products like the Innersense whip for thin hair? I’m just worried it might be too heavy for my fine curls.

    1. Reply


      Hi April! For thin hair I would recommend this Innersense product instead! It’s lighter and really beautiful!

  3. Reply


    I’ve been looking for a good hydrating hair mask and was about to order the Innersense one, but saw that EWG gives it a so-so rating mainly because of the ingredient STEARALKONIUM CHLORIDE. Any info/thoughts on if this is okay or other ideas for a hair mask? Thanks for all your helpful info.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Interesting, I need to look into this. In the meantime, I love this hair mask! xo, Lisa

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