Two words that brings out a certain emotion from most naturals (besides deep condition) is Wash Day. Normally setting aside a vast amount of time, or normally a day to conquer this process. We have compiled a list of wash day do’s and don’ts to make the dreadful wash day a breeze.
1. DO: Detangle before you wash. Detangling your hair is a must and sometimes a bit of a hassle if your hair is thicker, longer, or if your curls happen to be tighter. The best way to detangle, is to first finger detangle, then use a wide tooth comb (starting from the ends and working your way to the roots).
2. DON’T: Yank hair when detangling. It’s something we have unfortunately learned from younger days sitting between the laps of our mothers while she combed through out hair. Starting from the root, yanking until the comb goes all the way through. Not only does that cause an unnecessary headache, but uproots hair that wasn’t ready to go. That could even cause damage to follicles where that hair may not grow back. It also better to use a wide tooth comb to manage through the hair.
3. DO: Section your hair (if your hair is longer or thicker). Instead of trying to shampoo 4 or 5 times and waste tons of conditioner, you should section your hair (by 2 or 4 parts) and wash each section separately. So every bit of your hair is benefiting from the product.
4. DON’T: Rush wash day. I know you might be busy and have a long to do list waiting for you. But it’s not called wash day for any reason. It’s good to take time to detangle, wash, deep condition, and style your hair with a lot of TLC. Even though natural hair is thick, we still have a lot to maintain.
5. DO: Clarify your hair. With us making sure our natural hair is shining and moisturized, there is a good amount of product build up going on. A way to make sure your hair is getting really clean is to Clarify your hair. Although it is recommended once a month, clarifying is beneficial. You can clarify your hair by adding a tablespoon of baking soda to your shampoo.
6. DON’T: neglect your ends. There are some products that want you to get the product straight to the root and work it to the ends, but in reality since the ends are the oldest part of hair; they are in need of more attention. So during wash day, be sure to detangle the ends gently and keep them moisturized.
7. DO: Protein Treatment. There might be some naturals that are unfamiliar with this term, but adding this to your wash day routine will actually be beneficial. Since the hair is made up of protein, utilizing a protein treatment during wash days strengthens the hair. There are a list of DIY protein treatments online and protein treatments at the local drug store. Most protein treatments utilize eggs (well, because eggs have protein) and oil for that extra moisture.
8. DON’T: Use too many commercial products. It’s impossible to say don’t use them at all, because of these products do help promote natural hair growth, but there are some ingredients you should avoid in your shampoos and conditioners like sulfate, Isopropyl alcohol, PEG, Glycol, DEA, MEA, TEA, and DMDM Hydantoin, just to name a few.
9. DO: Deep Condition. Most naturals know this is a no brainer, we understand that maximum moisture comes from deep conditioning on wash day. Some of the best ways are after washing to apply the deep conditioner thoroughly to the scalp, cover with a plastic bag and let it sit for 30 min or a little longer if you desire.
10. DON’T: Overdo the heat. Heat is a word that is a little controversial with naturals. Most don’t recommend it, some do it. If you are going to use heat (especially on wash day when the hair is wet) make sure you have a heat protectant product, and also don’t overheat the hair, too much heat will damage the hair in the long run.
11. DO: utilize water temperatures. What that means knowing which water temp will benefit your hair during the different steps of your wash day routine. You should detangle, cleanse, and condition, your hair with warm water, and rinse out the conditioner (if it’s not leave in) with cool water.
12. DON’T: Tug on your wet hair. When your hair is wet, you may notice it is a bit more fragile, so when working products into the hair, or styling, being extra cautious not to yank or pull the wet hair, or you’ll lose a few strands.
13. DO: Air Dry. This is normally a better substitute than drying with a blow dryer, and normally this is one of the reasons why wash-day is long (unless you’re doing a wash and go). Another helpful tip is to dry your hair with an old t-shirt as opposed to a towel, it will create less frizz.