Whether you are just starting your natural hair journey or have been in the game for a long time now, there is so much information on natural hair and truth be told, it can be very overwhelming. From seemingly endless wash day routines to a wide assortment of “must have products”, wash day can be a challenge to navigate and can leave you feeling frustrated with your hair.
I am a firm believer that the basis of healthy hair starts with a good wash-day routine, especially for natural hair. Wash days are a time to replenish and treat your hair to some tender loving care. Several Naturalistas after making the decision to be more intentional about tending to and taking better care of their hair always seem to ask the same question, “where do I start with my natural hair?” Honestly speaking, it all starts with wash day. Regardless of whether you are a Pro at caring for your hair, looking to step-up your wash day routine or even a newly natural ready to explore the wonder that is your hair, I have put together a six-step guide to the perfect natural hair wash day.
Step 1. Start By Sectioning Your Hair
This should be a no-brainer, but you will find your wash days so much easier when you handle your hair in sections during and throughout the wash day process. Natural hair because of its density and texture tend to make the even distribution of products an impossible task and can lead to tangles, knots and split ends if not sectioned before commencing the wash day process. Divide your hair into four or six equal sections depending on your hair thickness and move on to step two.
Step 2. Do Not Skip The Pre-Poo
I am not proud to admit that it was only recently that I began pre-pooing as part of my wash day routine and let me tell you, it has been a game changer. For those who do not know, pre-pooing is the process of applying a treatment to your hair before you shampoo your hair. Shampoos are known to dry and strip our natural hair of moisture, so a pre-poo treatment whether home-made or store bought does wonders in helping natural hair retain moisture and hydration during the cleansing process. Do not skip the pre-poo!
Step 3. Cleanse Your Hair
The third step to ensuring the perfect wash day is all about cleansing your hair or in simpler terms, shampooing. Now I know, shampoo can make your hair very dry due to loss of moisture, but this step is important to get rid of any product build-up present in your hair from products and gels you may have used. The key to shampooing properly is in using just enough product to get the job done without sucking out your hair moisture. Shampoo in sections as mentioned in step one, stay away from shampoos with harsh ingredients like sulfates that can dry out your hair and viola, your hair is all prepped and ready for step four.
Step 4. Deep Condition And Detangle
This is one of the most important steps in your wash day routine. Conditioner locks in moisture after you cleanse your hair. It strengthens and softens the hair by smoothing the cuticle layer of your strands. To take it a step further, deep conditioning involves leaving in your conditioner for ten to thirty minutes before rinsing out. Deep conditioning should be a crucial part of your wash day routine as it helps to prevent breakage, slow down the formation of split ends and lubricate the hair for easier detangling. Once you have rinsed out your conditioner, you can move on to step five.
Step 5. Moisturize Your Hair
Moisturizing your hair after cleansing and deep conditioning is crucial to replenishing, sealing in and prolonging the hydration that took place from deep conditioning your hair. Moisturizing your hair is important to your wash day routine especially as a Naturalista, as it leads to less breakage, length retention, easier manageability, and softer hair. Moisturizing your natural hair on wash day starts with spraying a liquid leave-in conditioner to re-hydrate your hair section by section. Next, follow it up with a cream-based leave-in conditioner. Finally, add your favourite oil or hair butter and leave it to air-dry preferably. Your curls will thank you.
Step 6. Style As Desired
This is the last step. Some people call it the easiest while some disagree but hey as the popular saying goes, different strokes for different folks. This step is all about styling your hair whether it be cornrows, braids, an up-do or whatever suits your personal style. You have worked hard in taking care of your hair, now it is time to rock it!
It goes without a doubt that in order to see something bloom and grow to its full potential, it needs to be given adequate love, care and patience. Our natural hair is no exception. Like I had mentioned earlier, the journey to healthier hair starts on wash day, so we need to see our wash days as acts of self-care and self-love, rather than a chore or something to just get over with. Treat your hair right and your hair will thank you.
Let us know in the comment section, what wash day product you can not go without and if you enjoy this reading this, be sure to share and subscribe for more!