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The Ultimate Guide To Customizing Your Hair Care Routine

woman with thick hair

If you’re anything like us, you’ve spent hours custom-curating the best possible skin care routine to fit your skin’s specific needs. What you may not know, however, is that your hair product line-up needs just as much customization. Every mane has different needs, and much like your annual trim and regular color touch up schedule you and your stylist created, your at-home hair care routine can also be customized to keep your strands healthy, hydrated, and looking flawless. 

We tapped Nick Stenson, Matrix artistic director, to break down how to customize your hair care routine and our best products for every hair type. 

How do I take care of my hair daily?

Aside from having a customized product lineup, there are things you can do daily to keep your strands in tip-top shape. Always brush your hair daily to keep your strands tangle-free. For curly girls, you may not be able to brush your hair as often, but wear a bonnet or sleep on a silk pillowcase to avoid knots and tangles. 

If you heat style your hair daily, always use a heat protectant to avoid excess damage. 

The foods you eat also play a role in achieving healthier, stronger hair. That’s why we recommend adding hair-healthy foods to your diet. 

What is a good hair care routine?

According to Stenson, the perfect hair care routine for you depends on your hair type and concerns.  

“I often categorize hair and hair care concerns starting [with] whether the hair is blonde, highlighted hair, color-treated, or virgin,” Stenson says. “Followed by whether the hair is compromised or healthy, always being mindful of the hair’s natural texture type in addition to any special needs.”

While the specific formulas you use depends on the needs of your strands, Stenson says there are certain hair products every routine should include—no matter your hair type. 

“Every hair routine should include shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner or heat protectant, along with stylers or finishing products that cater to your desired goal,” Stenson says. 

In what order do you use hair products?

Always begin your routine with shampoo and conditioner. Once you step out of the shower, apply your leave-in treatments and heat protectant. Then, apply styling products like hair creams, lotions, gels, hair mousse, and hairsprays to achieve your desired style. 

How often should you change your hair care routine?

The condition of your mane won’t stay the same forever, which is you’ll need to switch up your hair care routine from time to time. 

“You should re-evaluate your hair routine when you make any changes to your cut, color, or style or when you feel that your hair no longer gives you the result you’re after,” Stenson says.

You can also mix and match routines to cater to your hair type and concerns. If you have curly blonde hair, for example, you can use color toning shampoo and conditioner and styling products for curls. If you have frizzy, color-treated hair, change up your routine to include products that cater to both concerns. 

If you want to know how to customize the best hair care routine for your hair type and concerns, keep scrolling to find our best routine for your mane. 

Our Best Hair Care Routine For Blondes

If you’re a salon blonde, your goals should be to keep your hue vibrant and shiny while repairing the effects of bleach damage. Stenson recommends starting with the Matrix Total Results The Re-Bond three-step routine. This line consists of the Total Results The Re-Bond Shampoo, Total Results The Re-Bond Pre-Conditioner, and Total Results The Re-Bond Conditioner, which works together to fortify weakened, over-processed hair and adds strength, smoothness, and manageability. 

To keep your color brass-free, Stenson also suggests adding a purple shampoo and conditioner like Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo and Conditioner to your routine. This color-depositing system cleanses and conditions while neutralizing unwanted brassy warmth and eliminating dull, yellow tones. 

If your hair is dry or damaged, use a hair mask like Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Nourishing Strengthening Mask once a week. This formula intensely nourishes, revitalizes, and strengthens hair in just 60 seconds. 

Complete your routine with a shine-enhancing serum, like Pureology Style + Protect Shine Bright Taming Serum. This lightweight serum protects color-treated hair from fading while taming frizz and flyaways and enhancing shine. 

Our Best Hair Care Routine For Brunettes

While blondes need a lot of TLC, brunettes should also have a customized hair care routine. Begin with a shampoo and conditioner system formulated for color-treated hair like Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner. Featuring the brand’s exclusive AntiFade Complex, this system adds moisture and shine while protecting color-treated hair.

If you’re dealing with brassy brown hair, use a blue toning system like Redken Color Extend Brownlights Shampoo and Conditioner. This system gets rid of brassy undertones in highlighted, balayaged, and natural brown hair. For those with dark brown hair dealing with red undertones, try the Matrix Total Results Dark Envy Shampoo and Conditioner. This green color-depositing system removes red undertones from virgin and color-treated dark hair. 

Next, opt for a leave-in conditioner formulated for color-treated strands like Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray. This lightweight mist primes, protects, and perfects while delivering 21 essential benefits for color-treated hair.

When it comes to styling, focus on keeping your brunette hue shiny and frizz-free. We recommend trying a hair oil like Redken Oil For All Multi-Benefit Hair Oil to seal in moisture and add shine while protecting your strands from heat damage. 

Our Best Hair Care Routine For High-Maintenance Hair Colors

Blondes and brunettes have their own set of needs, but high-maintenance hues like reds and pastels will need extra care to stay vibrant between appointments. Kick-off your routine with a shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for high-maintenance hues like Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo and Conditioner

While you’re still in the shower, use a color lamination spray like Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Color Lamination Spray to give your colorful hue extra protection from fading. When it's time to style, apply a dime-sized amount of Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Color Velvetizer Protectant Balm throughout your strands. This leave-in formula protects color-treated hair from UV and heat damage. 

Our Best Hair Care Routine For Fine Hair

When you have fine hair, your voluminous blowout likely falls flat the minute you step foot outside—no matter how much hairspray you use. For you, we recommend stocking up on volumizing hair products that will ensure your mane doesn’t fall flat. Prep your strands for styling with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner like Matrix Total Results High Amplify Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner. This system cleanses and conditions to help boost the structure of fine, limp hair.

Whether you’re prepping for a blowout or looking to amp up your air-dried waves, use a volumizing hair mousse like Matrix Total Results High Amplify Foam Volumizer Mousse. This product provides full-bodied lift and support to give hair touchable thickness and all-over volume.

Fine hair tends to get oily by day two, so invest in a dry shampoo like Matrix Total Results High Amplify Dry Shampoo to give your strands a second-day refresher.

Our Best Hair Care Routine For Thick Hair

If you’re blessed with thick, luscious locks, you know that managing all of that hair can sometimes be a struggle. Thick hair often has a coarse texture, so begin your routine with a smoothing shampoo and conditioner system. We recommend Shu Uemura Art Of Hair’s Shusu Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner. This paraben and silicone-free system for coarse hair deeply nourishes from mid-lengths to ends and tames frizz for a lightweight, satin-smooth texture.

When you have thick hair, your daily blowout can be pretty time-consuming. Use a blowdry primer like Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer Spray to help cut blowdry time, prevent breakage, and protect against heat from up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

After washing and conditioning, you’ll want to ensure your strands maintain moisture throughout the day. Apply a nourishing hair oil like Shu Uemura Art Of Hair  Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil. Formulated with camellia oil, it provides intense nourishment and UV protection to rebalance the hair’s moisture levels from mid-lengths to ends.

Our Best Hair Care Routine For Frizzy Hair

If you’re looking to make frizzy hair more manageable, Stenson recommends trying the Matrix Total Results Mega Sleek line. Start with the Total Results Mega Sleek Frizz Control Shampoo and Conditioner. This smoothing system formulated with shea butter leaves hair shiny and frizz-free. The number one cause of frizz is dryness. That’s why we recommend using a hair mask like the Pureology Hydrate Superfood Treatment Mask

Next, use the Total Results Mega Sleek Blow Down Frizz Control Leave-In Cream to provide heat protection and frizz control as you style. Complete your routine with the Total Results Mega Sleek Anti-Frizz Serum to tame frizz and flyaways while adding shine to your style. 

Our Best Hair Care Routine For Dry Hair

Whether your strands are parched due to the changing weather, heat damage, or taking steaming hot showers, everyone has experienced dry hair for one reason or another. Combatting dry hair starts in the shower with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner system. The Biolage Hydrasource Shampoo and Conditioner helps optimize moisture balance for healthier-looking hair.

If you’re not already using a leave-in conditioner, add a formula for dry hair like Biolage Hydrasource Daily Leave-In Tonic to your routine. This moisturizing hair treatment instantly renews shine and helps protect hair from environmental aggressors.

When your strands are dry, heat styling will only dehydrate them more. Instead, try air-drying your hair and use an air-dry product like Biolage Styling Air Dry Glotion to protect against frizz, boost shine, and enhance shape.

Our Best Hair Care Routine For Damaged Hair

If you have damaged hair, your hair routine should focus on repairing and strengthening your fragile locks. Begin with a shampoo and conditioner system like Redken Extreme Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner. This system restores and repairs while protecting hair’s natural shine.

If you’re noticing signs of breakage, use a leave-in treatment like Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Split Ends Leave-In Treatment. This treatment for damaged hair and split ends fortifies hair to reduce breakage and split ends, strengthens, and protects hair shine.

Our Best Hair Care Routine For Curly Hair

Certain hair types, like curly hair, could use a little extra TLC. Since ringlets are more prone to dryness than any other hair type, use a moisturizing shampoo specifically formulated for curls like Mizani Moisture Fusion Moisture Rich Shampoo. Made with cupuacu butter, argan oil, and honey, this shampoo, this hydrating conditioner leaves curls softer, hydrated, and easier to manage. 

If you’re dealing with very dry curls, we recommend adding a weekly hair mask like Mizani Moisture Fusion Intense Moisture Mask to your routine. This mask helps restore essential hydration and vibrancy to dry, brittle, and lifeless hair.

Aside from how your curls feel, you’ll want to ensure that your styling products help to maintain their gorgeous shape and bounce. While your hair is still wet, apply a dime-size amount of Mizani True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Gel to help define and shape your curls and coils until your next wash day.

With Stenson’s tips and product recommendations in mind, you now know how to customize your hair care routine perfectly. 

Interested in more expert hair tips? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.