In my previous article, we talked about how to get your regimen started; and just incase you missed that post you can read it here.
Today we shall tackle washing your hair also known as cleaning and/or cleansing. Washing, is the basic action of removing dirt, dust, and product build up from your hair and scalp. Your scalp is made up of tiny pores from which our hair grows out of known as follicles. Dirt elements can block the pores hindering hair growth. It can also cause irritability, such as an itching scalp.
KNOWING WHEN TO WASH
So how do you know that your hair is due for washing?
- Regimen is king
As we said last month, your hair hasn’t yet figured it self out at the beginning of your natural hair journey. Therefore, creating and following a simple regimen will help you train yourself to get into a routine of taking care of your hair. I shared a simple routine here that can guide you on when to clean your hair.
- Dirt isn’t always good
We have all gone through that phase when our hair just felt dirty. That icky feeling when you touch your hair. Most times, it’s not because of the duration between washdays but because there is a lot of dust in the air or you’ve been working out a little more than usual. There are also those times that you have scratched your scalp and come out with a blanket of dirt under your nails. It’s at that point you should know that your hair needs a wash desperately.
- Busy Little Bee!
It is recommended that we wash our hair between once-a-week to once a month. But minutes, hours, days and weeks roll into each other pretty fast. Suddenly your busy schedule catches up and you forget to give your hair and scalp the much-required T.L.C.
PREPARING FOR WASH DAY
Once you have figured out how often you would like your washday to be, there are a few things that you need to make it a fun and successful session.
Pre-poo, is a treatment that you give your hair prior to shampooing your hair. It comes from two words: Pre meaning before; and poo which is short for shampoo. In a nutshell this is basically the practice of adding oils to your hair to prevent loss of the hair’s natural oils. The best oils for Pre-poo are coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil. These have small enough molecules to penetrate your hair strands.
- Sulphate free shampoo
Sulphate free shampoos are best to use to cleanse natural hair or at least much better than Sulphur shampoos. They can be a bit pricey, but are a worthwhile investment. In case that cannot fit into your budget, a sulphate shampoo once in a month, with a co-wash in between should be just fine.
- Silicone Free Rinse out conditioner
A rinse out conditioner will be your first step in re-moisturising after cleansing your hair. Shampoos (especially those with sulphates) are designed strip our hair of the moisture and natural oils therein. Therefore, getting a good conditioner could be your first step in recovering lost moisture.
The best conditioners are those without silicone as ingredients. Silicones are sealants and they lock moisture out of your hair strand, which we have established your hair needs. Aim to get conditioners with really good slip to aid in detangling and reducing hair shedding/breakage.
Sometimes it might seem that being a natural is hard because of the many rules. But rest assured those rules has many rules all have long term benefits for your hair. Towel is made of a material, which when combined with the action of rubbing the water out of your hair can damage the hair. The same action can also cause excessive tangling and with Loc’d styles can create a build up of lint.
A better way to dry your hair is to use a cotton tee shirt and wrapping your hair then squeezing or blotting the hair gently to get rid of excess water. The aim is not to get your hair excessively dry but rather to leave your hair damp for the next process.
WASH DAY IN ACTION!
- Pre-poo for 30 minutes or overnight.
- Saturate your hair with water and divide your hair into sections.Note: Begin to apply shampoo focusing mainly on your roots because that is the place that needs cleansing the most.
- Rinse out the shampoo off your hair and apply your conditioner. Some people prefer to detangle hair at this point.
- Let your conditioner sit for anywhere between 15 minutes to one hour.
- Rinse it out as well.
USEFUL WASH DAY TIPS
- Dilute your shampoo: It will help you to stretch the usability of the product. Also you may realize that your hair doesn’t need all that shampoo that you slap on it.
- Massage your scalp: Massages improve blood flow to your scalp, which in turn gives you a healthy crown.
- Twist it Up: Ideally, you should wash your hair in twists to avoid excessive tangling. However, you’ll really need to rinse out the products to avoid buildup.
Have a beautiful wash day won’t you?
Do you have any questions about your washday that you are struggling with? Let us know in the comments section below:
All images are courtesy of Ruth Nyakebondo. This post first appeared in JUST HER on 1st September 2017.
Ruth is an architectural student by profession as well as a lifestyle blogger. She is excited about natural hair, skin and nutritional health. She shares her passion with readers on the Just Her Kenya website.