The Beginners Guide to a Successful Hair Routine

Sometimes the 10-step expert-approved routines can be a little much. Beauty routines have always existed on a spectrum.

At one end, you have the 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner routine. Some people are perfectly content with that. Then, you’ve got the gurus who swear by complex routines, composed of rare products sourced from a handful of different vendors. To them, the multi-ingredient homemade masks with nearly impossible to pronounce blended tropical fruits are essential to their hair regimen.

Everyone who is in a flow is convinced that they’ve unlocked the perfect routine. While each end of the spectrum can allure us with success stories and fantastic results, the truth is that there is no catch-all routine.

This week, we’re here to weigh in on one of our tried and tested routines. And no, we aren’t claiming it’ll change everyone’s life. In fact, we’re not even going to try to convert any of you who have your hair routine figured out already. This guide is for our undecided audience— those who want a push in the right direction. If you’re a beginner who isn’t sure how to start, we’d like to present a high-impact low-activation energy method of getting into a flow. It’s not as reductive as a 2-in-1 shampoo routine, but not as intricate as an advanced routine.

AER is a big believer in effective simplicity. Eliminating unnecessary steps is a must. We’d take a bet that our readers are more active than they are bored, so saving your time is of high priority.

Deciphering Different Routines

Why all the different routines out there? People have got to have a reason for putting in all that time, right? There’s more to these routines than what meets the eye. Before we share our guide for our favorite beginner hair routine, we’re going to unpack why certain popular routines have gotten all the momentum in the first place.

First, let’s talk about these wildly length hair routines floating out there in the beauty world across influencer YouTube channels and magazines. Why all the details? Why overcomplicate?

Here’s the cold, hard truth. Extensive routines with blended product sources help us to feel like we’ve got all our bases covered. It’s psychology. For some reason, we feel that expensive or prestigious products will deliver better results. While this may be true some of the time, it’s mostly a game we play in our heads.

However, some people actually derive a lot of joy from their routine— no matter how obscure or expensive. While hair care may seem like a bother, for some, it’s an invigorating slice of self-care escapism. That’s worth investing in. While complex routines may offer comparable results with simple routines, the elaborate routines serve more of a purpose than solely hair care. They’re experiential and expressive.

What about the flipside? Some embrace a simplified routine as a reflection of their personal lifestyles. They choose products which fulfil more than one need so they can dial down on the seemingly endless bottles and tubes of product stockpiling in their bathroom. Routine users also value embracing a more minimalist and natural lifestyle. Additional reasons for subscribing to such haircare regimens are reported to be speed and frugality. Less products, less steps, less time, less money.

Every routine out there has a reason to exist. So why does ours? Our routine is a simple take at haircare, aimed at covering all the basics, while centering itself around overall hair health. Nothing fancy, yet nothing neglected. It’s a happy medium for beginners. Let’s get to it.

The Beginner Hair Routine Guide

Here’s our four-step roadmap for what’s ahead. These simple care blocks are going to give you a rock-solid foundation from which to build your perfect routine and learn what works for you. Another plus to this routine is that it’s engineered to help you learn about your hair as you follow it. Each week will be a little different. With a little tinkering, you’ll arrive at an easy to follow flow with noticeable hair results.

Wash - - - Condition - - - Nourish - - - Troubleshoot

Wash

You’ve probably found yourself asking the question “how often should I shampoo my hair?” at one time or another. It’s a broader question than what it seems. Let’s start by answering some of these popular hair care questions.

•  What’s the difference between washing and shampooing?

Shampooing your hair involves using shampoo to cleanse your hair. It takes aim at removing dirt, styling products, and oils from your hair and scalp. Washing your hair can be done without the assistance of shampoo. Just good ole clean water.

  Why is over-shampooing bad?

Shampooing strips away the natural oils found across your hair and scalp. While the buildup of these oils can be bad (oily appearance, itchy scalp), they are essential. Shampooing can leave the hair vulnerable to environmental damagers and prone to dryness.

  What if my hair gets grimy?

Greasy hair is directly tied to the products we use and how long we take between our hair washes. Nobody wants to walk around looking unshowered. Cleanliness is next to godliness, after all. Our routine will combat grimy hair by solutions other than constant washing. We’ll circle back here later.

  How often should I shampoo my hair?

There is no universal answer here. The fifth and final step in our beginner hair care guide is all about troubleshooting, so your personal answer to this question will be arrived upon via a series of trial and error. However, we have one universal pointer— don’t shampoo every day.

Here’s the balance which needs to be met: hair health (met when hair is less frequently shampooed) and hair appearance (met when hair is more frequently shampooed). Somewhere in between is your sweet spot.

The game plan? Start with shampooing every other day. See how your hair responds. How’s the texture? Can you stretch shampoos out another day?

If your hair needs a mid-week boost, rinse it thoroughly with cool water. The temperature will tighten your scalp and hair. This will give you a temporary boost in hair shine as well as remove some of the day’s dirt.

When you begin the hunt for a shampoo, choose a product with naturally sourced ingredients. Have platinum blonde hair? Curly hair? Frizzy hair? Select a natural shampoo that fills your hair’s personal needs.

Condition

Every time you rinse your hair, condition it as well. This little step will work to add a pleasant scent, replenish needed minerals, and smooth out the texture. A lot of the silky smoothness that you’re in love with comes from the conditioning, not the shampoo.

Moisturize

Reclaim your hair’s needed moisture. By cutting down on hair dryness by minimizing shampoo, you’re already ahead. This step of the routine aims at continuing to bolster your moisturization. Dry hair be gone.

Find a lightweight moisturizer— we recommend an aloe-based spritz. The lightweight factor is absolutely essential. Remember, you’re shampooing less, so keeping the product thickness low is necessary to not clog your scalp and overwhelm your hair.

Apply to your hair a few times a day, or whenever you need a little moisture boost. This process will become second nature a few weeks into your routine flow. Most report that this is an easy and almost addictive step in maintaining hair health.

Nourish

By this point, your hair is clean, revitalized, and moisturized. Now it’s time for nourishment and personality. The secret to perfect hair? Hair oil.

Hair oils have been secretly creeping into mainstream beauty markets. It’s the most personalized step in the process and wields the most dramatic visual results.

So what do hair oils do? The beauty of the answer is its breadth. Hair oils are multifunctional. They’re created to mimic the body’s natural hair oils— building up the hair and boosting overall nourishment. Its secondary function is to supercharge texture and shine. This is your first step to movie star hair. No, seriously. Many celebrity hair stylists swear by it, claiming that there’s a hair oil for everyone.

Remember not to slather yourself in it. A little goes a long way, and you don’t want to oversaturate your hair in product.

Troubleshoot

The point of a routine is you, not the routine itself. With this in mind, adaptability reigns supreme. We created this beginner routine to cover all the bases of hair care, while also providing points along the way to help you learn what makes your hair unique. No grooming regimen is one size fits all.

While you work through this routine, here are some questions to be asking yourself. Answer the question, modify your routine, repeat. It’s a cyclical process aimed at giving you the healthiest hair you can have.

  Is my hair too dry or oily?

If your hair is too dry, your solution is going to be found somewhere in the mix of lowering the heat of styling tools, washing your hair less frequently, and moisturizing more often. If your hair is too oily, you’re overapplying hair oils or other products, or not washing frequently enough. Tinker around with potential solutions and find a happy medium. Remember to be consistent and not to change too many factors at once.

  Am I being consistent?

An oily day doesn’t necessarily mean you need to wash more often. Was your oily day due to a hot day outside? Is it super humid? Did you apply too much product? Consistency is key. Rushing through your routine and cutting steps to save time won’t get the results you want. Your hair needs a stable environment so you can learn what it does and doesn’t react well to.

  Is my product working for me?

Perhaps you’re using a shampoo designed for straight hair, so your curls aren’t getting the treatment they need. Everything in your routine should be customized just for you. Pay attention to details and make sure your product is working for you. Other’s success stories don't mean you’re using it wrong— not every product is for everyone.

  Do I need to simplify or expand?

Too much to keep up with? Focus on getting into a flow with your shampoo and conditioner, leaving hair oils for another time. Work with whatever you feel comfortable with— aiming for solid consistency as an indicator of successful routine flow. Got the routine down to a science? Consider trying a new product or leave-in conditioning mask if you’re inclined to exploratory beauty. 

Using Your AER Dryer

AER is engineered to protect all the ground you claim during the course of your routine. Imagine investing weeks of product use, fine tuning, and time— just to blow all your progress by damaging your hair with a hairdryer. Not only is it costing you money, it’s costing you time.

We’ve created the perfect dryer to grow into. As a beginner, it takes care of controlling the settings you need to deliver the right dry. For experts, it offers unparalleled functionality and dependability via cordless design and powerful construction. It's truly the perfect tool for all skill levels— it meets you where you’re at.

Invite us into your routine and we’ll revolutionize your hair together.