Hair Routines & Growth

An Easy Guide For A Natural Hair Wash Day Routine

Wash days take up like half our lives as natural girls. But they don’t have to, with my wash day, you can cut the entire process down to 2-3 hours, including styling.

Washing your hair doesn’t have to be this dreadful thing, you can make it a fun affair for yourself. Watch your favorite show as you style your hair, blast some songs as you wash and detangle, and make it a fun affair.

We all know that the biggest part of hair wash days is preparing to actually go into the shower and begin the hair routine. So making it fun can really change your mindset and help you reach your hair goals.

Whether you want longer hair, healthy hair, or just need to revive your dry hair, this is the best wash day routine for natural hair.

My Effective Wash Day Routine

Now that you have your favorite playlist on blast and you’re ready to grab your hair goals by the balls, it’s time to have a proper wash day routine. Follow these steps to achieve the best wash day you’ll ever have.

You can tweak this routine to better suit your hair, but I guarantee you this routine will do wonders for your hair, especially if you have dry hair and want to retain moisture.

1. Do A Pre-Poo Treatment (Pre-Shampoo Treatment)

A proper wash day doesn’t actually begin while you’re washing your hair.

If you go into the shower and start shampooing your hair, you will dry out your hair and set any knots and tangles you may have. Shampooing strips your hair of its natural oils. This will make the detangling process much more difficult and cause those knots to break off your hair.

To get around this, use a good pre-poo treatment to prepare your hair before you shampoo. Pre-poo treatments vary, you can use an oil (castor oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil) or a hair mask like a mud mask.

A pre-shampoo treatment helps to soften up any tangles and knots to make detangling easier and reduce breakage.

Use a wide tooth comb and work in manageable sections to get rid of any knots, this may take some time so put on your favorite show. But afterward, you will be so glad you did this because the rest of the wash day will go by in a flash.

After you’ve detangled each section, put it up in a twist to keep the hair from tangling or curling up again. This will also come in very handy when you go to shampoo your hair.

I usually do 6 twists but you can do more or less depending on how thick your hair is.

Now that your hair is twisted and detangled, put on your shower cap, and then your bonnet to really seal in that moisture. Then sit under a hooded dry or run your blow dryer along your head to allow the treatment to penetrate your hair.

2. Shampoo Your Hair

After allowing the pre-poo treatment to open up your hair cuticles, and you’ve detangled your hair, it’s time to wash.

When choosing a shampoo opt for a sulfate-free shampoo that contains natural ingredients aimed at moisturizing your hair and use warm water.

Shampoo your hair while still twisted to keep your hair from detangling.

If you have product buildup and need a good cleanse, use a clarifying shampoo.

If your hair feels dry and is not too dirty use a co-wash to just prepare your hair for styling and moisturizing (Do not use a pre-poo treatment on co-wash days).

3. Deep Condition

After a good shampoo, it’s time to condition. I like to deep condition every week, come rain or shine.

If you do not have time to deep condition or don’t want to, you can skip this step and just use a generous amount of conditioner on your hair and rinse it off.

Deep conditioning is the first step in adding back all that moisture you just removed from your hair.

Apply your deep conditioner of choice to your hair, with excess water still on your hair. Untwist each of your small sections and add a generous amount of deep conditioner, comb it through, and retwist it.

When deep conditioning, I highly recommend adding heat, use the same method you used when pre-pooing. It is proven that heat helps deep conditioner penetrate your hair strands more intensely.

Let the deep conditioning treatment sit on the hair for 20-60 minutes, I like to leave it on for as long as I have time for, not overnight though.

Rinse your hair with cold water to close the cuticle and allow your hair to retain the moisture you just added.

Dry your hair with a microfiber towel (never a regular towel) or a soft cotton t-shirt.

4. Moisturize Your Hair

Now, play that show that you were watching because it’s time to moisturize. When adding moisture to my hair I use the L.C.O method, never the L.O.C method. I recommend you do the same.

The “L” in both of these stands for liquid, this is the hydration you are adding to your hair, which should always be water. 

So after washing your hair, make sure that your hair is drenched in water, you can use a spray bottle for this.

The “C” stands for cream or leave-in conditioner, this should be added to your hair to help style and form your curls, while also helping to add more moisture to your hair.

The “O“, stands for, you guessed it, oil. This step is the step that locks all the moisture into your hair, so using one of the best oils for sealing will help you retain that moisture.

I would not recommend the LOC method, as adding the oil before your cream or leave-in conditioner forms a barrier for your cream. Making it harder for the cream to penetrate your hair.

5. Style Your Hair

wash day routine for 4c hair

Now that you have a clean scalp and you’ve added your favorite hair care products for maximum hydration, it’s time to style.

I like to do twist outs or any other protective style I may want to try for the week. I only recently started wearing my curly hair in wash-n-gos.

I like to do protective styles because they work best for hair growth and length retention and you have endless options. Plus you don’t have to worry about your hair in the mornings.

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