They say “Life Stops On Wash Days”… lol. Well for some, it actually does.
Wash day is a day set out to wash or cleanse your natural hair and it is mostly dreaded by most naturals because it can take a very long time, maybe almost half of a whole day to wash the hair especially if your hair is on the long side or thick and coarse.
Wash days are tedious, it is the day that you have to deal with detangling, wet hair, shrinkage and of course styling (not necessarily). But cleansing your hair is one of the most important part of a natural hair regime which makes washing your hair a necessity.
As much as we all want to, we cannot avoid this day and so the logical thing to do is device a means to makes this day less tedious.
Here are my own ways of making this day less tedious, simple, painless, maybe faster and fun (we can argue the fun part later. . Lol) and of course I got help from Here
1. There are no rules.
On a general note, I really don’t follow any rules in my natural hair journey because we all know that “what works for one person may not work for another”. It is only logical to follow what’s reasonable and see where it leads.
Natural hair is diverse meaning we have different
- curl or coil sizes/patterns
- individual strand thickness
- overall hair density
- hair response to damage
- shrinkage and uptake of water
These five factors by BGLH will determine how your hair behaves on wash day when it is wet and also how it will respond to a particular product. Therefore, if you require a hair rule, then it should be follow what your hair is telling you to do. If you can wash your hair free, do it; if you need to twist or braid it to wash it, then do that instead. If you have to finger detangle exclusively, do it; if you prefer to comb or brush your hair in addition, then do that instead. If pre poos are too time consuming for you, skip them; if you find them vital to maintaining your hair, do them. Do not try to follow someone else’s guide, make your own rules for your hair.
Washing, deep conditioning, detangling, moisturizing, and styling is a bi-monthly affair me. Although I don’t do this often, you can co-wash in between to keep sweat, dirt, and tangles at a minimal.
Some of us work crazy hours and do not have so much time to spare.You can schedule your wash days on weekends or have wash nights instead.
Tip: Make an appointment with yourself to get the job done without interruptions or distractions. Dedicating time for your hair is half the battle.
2. Detangling & Pre-poo
Just recently I discovered the miracle called “Black Strap Molasses”… This stuff is bea, will have to do a proper review where I will share my recipe in another blog. I use this as my Pre-poo in conjunction with conditioner and some oils. The stuff does wonders for my hair. It detangles knots like there’s no tomorrow, makes the hair soft like it could never be hard again lol… before I get carried away let’s go back to our topic of discussion.
Before shampooing or pooing as some would like to call it, I saturate my hair with a Pre-poo recipe; you can use a cheap conditioner (a good example is Alberto VO5 conditioner sold between 600-1000 naira), any oil (coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil is a good choice) or a mixture of both, you can as well use any concoction you brew in kitchen, and gently remove any knots, mats, and tangles. You can do just finger detangling (removing tangles and knots with your fingers) or use a wide-tooth-seamless comb; I do both. After detangling, divide your hair into four sections depending on the length of your hair to prepare for washing.
This process takes me about 20 minutes or more. It could take you less than that but I like to take my time and detangle properly in between watching my favorite “Feel The Passion” channel 😉. Although it is ADVICABLE to do it in the shower but this how I do mine and of course I would have to clean afterwards.
This takes about 20 minutes
Tip: This process as well as the whole wash day process can be a little messy, so wear or dress or shirt that you’re not attached to. This is where my pink heart t-shirt dress comes into play… lol.
3. Cleansing in sections (Hot Water Rinse)
Of course you can wash freely, remember we said earlier that you should do whatever gets your boat afloat but you will find that washing in sections could save you some time and you’d experience less tangles during the whole wash process. I do not have a particular product I use for my hair as I pick up the first natural cleansing product I can find in my pantry (I’m not a product junkie, at least not anymore lol.) It could be VO5 conditioner (for cowash), Dudu Osun soap (for a deep cleanse), Bentonite clay wash for a deep cleanse as well (will talk about it in another post), African Naturalista Moisturizing shampoo (rarely use), or Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo (which I so deeply love). Choose whatever organic shampoo or cleansing product that soothes your hair and budget.
Rinse with hot water to help remove build up aand excess oils from the hair.
This step takes me about 5-10 minutes.
4. Conditioner detangling (30 minutes)
Apply conditioner or deep treatment generously down the freshly washed hair and then detangle with a wide tooth comb. Apply more conditioner if need be because it’s the best time to detangle your hair.
After the hair is completely cover with conditioner/deep conditioner and detangled, cover your head with a shower cap and watch some more TV like me or do some house chores while you let the deep conditioner penetrate for 30 minutes or so.
5. Cool Water Rinsing (5 minutes)
I like to finish of the wash process with cool or cold water, which closes the pores, blocks dirt, and smoothes cuticles. It also seals in all the fabulous moisture from the conditioning treatment. A smoother, flatter cuticle reduces frizz and potential tangles due to friction.
6. T-Shirt Drying (5 minutes)
Using an old t-shirt to squeeze (not blot) the excess water from your dramatically cuts down the total drying time. Best of all, unlike cotton towelscit keeps hair smooth and frizz free for styling.
7. Moisturizing and Styling (50 minutes)
Here the very populsr LOC method and its variations comes to play. Apply a leave in conditioner, then any penetrating oil and then a sealant (Shea butter.
Allow the hair to air dry… say no to heat damage.
If you follow this routine, it will take you about 2 to 3 hours to completely detangle, wash, condition and twist the hair. It could take you less or more but it doesn’t have to take the whole day.
What’s your secret to a fast wash day regimen? Share your secrets below.