Hello my Queens! Sorry for going MIA on you guys, but hey I’m back 🙂 and I’ll be covering a topic I know a lot of you guys have been itching for – my wash day routine! If my hair grew an inch each time someone asked what I do to my hair to get it the way it looks and feels lets just say I’d be Black Rapunzel in the flesh!
When I started off my natural hair journey I was still bursting with energy and eagerness to try out all products I could get my hands on and various techniques, but now I think I’ve gotten it out of my system and so I’ve narrowed down my routine to doing only what my hair needs. I think this also influenced majorly by the fact that I’ve gotten to a point where I know what my hair loves and needs so thats all I give it 🙂 So just bare that in mind as you go through all the steps of my wash day routine! I normally wash my hair on Sundays, so therapeutic!
Step One: Shampoo
So i’ll be entirely honest with you guys I hardly shampoo my hair. This is mainly because I feel my hair never really gets super dirty nor do I get heavy product build up, so I rarely feel the need to shampoo. The thing about most shampoo’s out there is that they are pretty harsh and rob your hair of is natural nutrients, so you have to approach with caution. You know we used to love that squeaky clean – plasticy way our hair would feel after shampooing because we thought that was a sign you got all the “dirt” out. Well guess what? Issa lie! Your hair should never feel that way after a wash because it means you’ve stripped it of all its nutrients and you’ve left it bare. I’ll explain what my alternative to shampooing is under step two below 🙂
NOTWITHSTANDING THE ABOVE, when I do shampoo I use the shampoos in the image below. My current favorite is the Renew Shampoo by Monat (shout out to Fify Loewen for the hook-up), its more on the pricy side but I get why it costs as much as it does…its amazing! My hair actually feels the same way it feels after conditioning it. It does the cleaning without stripping! Genius! The Shea Moisture Shampoo is also a long standing fave! It’s also not as harsh as most shampoo’s!
When I shampoo I basically just wet my hair and squeeze a handful of shampoo and evenly apply it to my hair and gently massage and work through my hair with the tips of my fingers to clean it out. Do not scratch your scalp with your nails thinking you’re really cleaning it out, your shampoo should naturally contain dirt dissolving or breaking agents so all you have to do is massage it intoÂ your scalp and the rest will work itself out! After you’re satisfied that you’ve covered all areas you wash off! I normally use warm water at this point to keep my cuticles open (I have low porosity hair).
Step Two: Conditioner
Conditioner is your hair’s best friend… it absolutely loves it. It does the opposite of shampoo because instead of removing stuff, it puts yumminess (necessary nutrients) into your hair 🙂 After washing off all the shampoo, up next is conditioner. I GO IN with conditioner so I’ll normally apply like two handfuls (this will depend on the length of your hair), what you basically want is a generous amount of conditioner to adequately cover your hair. Then I’ll again massage the conditioner into my scalp and work it through my hair to make sure every inch is drenched in conditioner lol!
Conditioner makes your hair more manageable and gives it more slip so this is a great opportunity to detangle your hair. I normally just use my fingers and gently go through the strands of my hair to detangle. If you feel your hair is really detangled you can use a brush or wide-toothed comb for the detangling and two work through the knots if any. After its fully detangled i’ll massage it in once more for a minute or two and maybe leave it in for 5 mins before washing it off.
Remember I said I hardly shampoo? So what I do more instead is use conditioner to wash my hair – this is called “co-washing”. Most conditioners also actually clean out your hair but the nice thing about them is because they are made to add nutrients to your hair they clean out your hair without stripping it of any nutrients. In actual fact they preserve the existing nutrients and just act more as a supplement. Great right? A lot of brands now specifically manufacture co-washes which I guess do the job even better than ordinary conditioners if you’ve skipped shampooing.I have so many conditioners that I love but I’ve currently been using these interchangeably these past months.
Step Three – Deep Conditioning/Treatment
There’s levels to this conditioning thing! LOL! Deep conditioning basically gives your hair deeper conditioning than your ordinary conditioner or leave in and so it really helps with combating breakage, dryness and frizz. With deep conditioning there’s literally a million ways of doing it. Some people deep condition over night, some for hours during the day then you have me who has cut it down to 30mins :’) I’m over spending hours doing my hair. haha!
You can either use store-bought deep conditioners or make your own! A lot of ingredients you can pull out the kitchen will make bomb deep conditioners or a treatments for your hair. Things like eggs, mayo, honey, avocado, banana, apple cider vinegar are common ingredients for a lot of DIY deep conditioner/treatment recipes.
So after washing off the conditioner I’ll apply either my deep conditioner or I’ll apply an oil mix to do a hot oil treatment. I just do whatever I feel like on that day to be honest but I deep condition more than I do hot oil treatments. Then once a month I do a protein treatment for that protein boost to my hair. Be careful not to go over board with the protein treatment because too much protein can cause your hair to harden or dry out and eventually break.
I section my hair into four parts and make sure the conditioner or treatment is evenly spread out and massage it into my scalp as well. then I plait with section. Then after that I get my shower cap on. I then normally use my electric steamer (refer to pic below)… I’ll be under there for max 30 mins then I go wash off. At this point I use cold water to wash off to get the shutting on cuticles process going.
Step Four: L.O.C.
The L.O.C. Method basically helps ensure that you lock moisture in after moisturizing and nourishing your hair so you don’t loose all the goodies you’ve worked so hard feed your hair with! I could probably do a whole blog post on this but I’ll try simplify it!
L = Liquid – for this I use a water based leave – in conditioner
O = Oil – any oil of your choice will do, my faves are between jojoba oil & the hair regrowth oil by Afro Naturel
C = cream – I use mostly light creams or sometimes butters
So I’ll section my hair into four parts again and start with the “L”. I’ll apply the leave-in conditioner to each section of my hair. Next is to do the same with the oil, going through each section and making sure you spread it out across all the hair and through each strand. And lastly I’ll finally seal my hair off with a cream or butter. The top butter I use is Shea Butter, I love the ones by Nokware! You can purchase the original Shea butter, other infused Shea butters as well as other amazing products from their website. For a 10% discount use my code – TAPONHAIR_BW! (thanks in advance!)
There’s different variations to this method e.g L.C.O or L.O.C.O.. if the L.O.C sequence doesn’t work for your hair you can try switch it up to see if your hair will react better. If that doesn’t work then it’ll probably mean your hair isn’t working well with the products you’re using.
Step 5: STYLE
This part is really depends on how I want to style my hair. I normally either do chunky two-strand twist or plaits to stretch out my hair then the next day remove them and style however. OR I just leave the twists or plaits and just pin them up and I’m ready to go! It helps to do twists or plaits mainly because it helps prevent your hair from tangling and getting all scrunched up especially overnight. And as I previously said it’ll stretch your hair out and make it easier to manage and style.
During the week I just spritz my hair daily with my mix of the week (normally a mix of water and oils) to keep my hair moisturized and shiny. Then also depending on the style I’ll either apply a gel or cream to help style. At night I’ll twist/plait my hair and put on my satin bonnet 🙂
On weeks where I find the time I’ll normally co-wash during the week just as a mid-week booster and skip deep conditioning and go straight to step 4 and 5. I used to do this religiously when I felt my hair was drying out more than usual and felt washing my hair once a week was not enough. So depending on how your hair gets during the week you might want to consider an additional wash 🙂 I really should go back to doing this my hair was flourishing! Laziness will be the death of me!