Washday is upon us, to get you ready we asked Sihle, Iyaloo, Omphile and Lungi to share their washday routines. Our hair regimes and goals may be different but eventually we all get there. Here’s to healthy Afro hair!
I’ve been using normal dish washing liquid to wash my hair which has worked for me from the time I had relaxed hair, to when I had dreadlocks till now with my afro. In as much as it works for me, I’ve recently decided to try using natural shampoos and I’m looking to try Native Child’s shampoo and conditioner because I currently use some of their products, which seem to be working quite well for me. During the wash, I detangle with my hands then comb with an Afro pick. After the wash I massage in coconut oil and comb further using the Afro pick. I then comb it in small sections with a fine toothcomb to assist with stretching.
I don’t use any form of heat on my hair and prefer for my hair to air-dry.
I massage in Shea Butter then braid the sections in a 3-strand braid after combing with a fine toothcomb. This of course stops shrinkage and allows my hair to maintain its length. I prefer to wash my hair knowing I don’t have to be anywhere that particular day which will give my hair time to dry completely because I personally prefer wearing my hair out, I hardly ever wear protective styles.
I normally wash my hair once a week or fortnightly depending on my work shift. Despite the working, I keep to my weekly washes. I’ve maintained this washday routine since I combed my locks out in October 2015.
I’m no professional when it comes to this natural hair journey thing. I myself am still learning some tips and tricks from other naturalists and unlearning some bad habits too. But all I can say is clean hair is healthy hair so keep to a strict wash routine, some also like to co-wash which is also great (I don’t do this though). Also keep the hair moisturised and take it easy on the combing.
So my washday usually happens on a Saturday or Sunday. I begin with washing my hair with “Dr Miracle’s Curl Care Shampoo” but during winter when, I find my hair to be a bit dry, so I apply “Coconut oil by Natural Curlz” the night prior to the washday. I simply dampen my hair and warm up the oil in bowl of hot water before application. I then put a shower cap on and a scarf over it and leave it overnight.
After the shampoo, I then apply a generous amount of conditioner (Naturals by Tressemme, although I think they have discontinued this range and I’m on my last bottle) and begin with de-tangling my hair. I first de-tangle with my fingers, followed by a wide toothed comb. Finally, I brush with my favorite wash brush; the brush helps distribute product throughout the hair. You will see I use it throughout after every application.
When purchasing conditioner, make sure its a good brand but most importantly make sure its economical as well because you are going to use a lot of conditioner to tame that fro. Try buying a bigger sized conditioner that’s a good brand but not too costly as well a more expensive one that you can use in your daily spritz mixture.
After the hair is well de-tangled, only then I apply my homemade deep conditioner; my favorite is the Avocado conditioner, which I make by pureeing a full avocado (I have a lot of hair!), adding 1tbs of “Natural Curlz Virgin Olive Oil” and a few drops of Lavender essential oil. I mix it well and apply it to the damp hair, cover my hair with a shower cap (or grocery plastic bag, ain’t nobody got time for washing shower caps) and leave it on for 20-30mins and then Rinse out thoroughly.
To moisturise, I begin with my natural spritz as a leave in conditioner (Natural Curlz also makes them on request), then I apply my oils (Castor oil, Jojoba oil, Coconut oil and Argan Oil all by Natural Curlz) depending on which I feel my hair needs that day, but usually a few drops of 2 or 3 different oils to lock in the moisture. I then comb through for even distribution using my “wash brush”. I then apply curling crème by Marc Anthony. Then, I seal in everything with the miracle worker SHEA BUTTER! Unrefined Shea Butter by Natural Curlz is my best friend for both hair and skin.
Depending on my schedule, I either let the hair air dry or I dry it with my diffuser, if I’m in a hurry (with a toddler, you are always in a hurry lol). During the week, depending on how the hair feels like, I co-wash usually on a Wednesday by washing my hair with conditioner and moisturizing as on washday. To maintain moisture I use a spritz mixture from Natural Curlz and stick to my nighttime routine.
I have been using the same routine for as long as I can remember but began to use the right products as I educated myself more on ethnic hair. My mom has never relaxed her hair or ever had a weave in and neither have I. All the basics were handed over from her to me.
I wash my hair every 4 weeks when I have braids on. With my hair out, it’s usually every 3 weeks. I use the Head&Shoulders shampoo, been using it while I had relaxed hair, so continued to use it after the big chop. After doing a wash or two with the shampoo, I use conditioner. I’ve been using the Treseme Naturals Conditioner ever since I went natural, and it will be 3 years on the 31st of August 2016. On my last bottle now, and it looks like they facing them out. But trying the Organics Conditioner.
My 2nd wash of using the conditioner I apply oils too. I love applying olive oil or coconut oil in their purest form. Sometimes both. Mixed with the conditioner in my hair, I then start combing through the hair to de-tangle. It’s easier to section and comb through the hair while its moist with the conditioner still in.
Every 7 months I do a protein treatment using the ORS Hair Mayonnaise
After washing out the conditioner, I let the hair air-dry. Before it gets too dry I apply the Olive Oil moisturiser to not have it too dry as it air-dries. I then section out the hair and start doing twist outs while applying the moisturiser/shear butter. This is my preferred hairstyle after washday. There’s always more de-tangling as you comb the hair out before doing the actual twist out. I usually keep the twist out for 3 days before undoing them to have a stretched Afro.
I’ve been doing this routine since I did the big chop and I’ve been sticking to it ever since.
I have 2 types of washdays: with shampoo and without shampoo.
On the ones with shampoo:
I pre-poo with coconut oil for 20 minutes – With a heating cap on my hair
I shampoo with either: The Body Shop Rainforest Moisture Shampoo or ORS Creamy Aloe shampoo. I then detangle my hair using a conditioner – Herbal Essences Hello Hydration or Garnier Ultimate Blends The Nourishing Repairer Conditioner.
After rinsing that out, I deep condition for 30 minutes with heat – the deep conditioner I use is mostly based on what my hair needs at that time. My staples are: Afrobotanics Repairing & Strengthening Treatment, ORS Replenishing conditioner, Dark and Lovely Amla Legend Rejuvenating Ritual Replenishing Hair Mask.
I use a t-shirt to dry my hair, then I apply my leave-in conditioner: Elasta QP Mango and Olive. I put my hair in 3 strand twists while it dries so that it can stretch. When it is dry-ish, I apply a styler: Design Essentials Natural Curl Stretching Cream. My hair is still short so I also do threading to stretch it even further so that I can style it for the week, I either do a flat twist or a faux bun using Marley hair extensions sometimes I just wear it out and embrace the shrinkage.
The no-shampoo washday:
- I apply a deep conditioner to dry hair and put on my heating cap for 30 minutes
- Rinse out and co-wash using the III sisters cleansing co-wash
- Dry my hair using a t-shirt and then carry on the routine as above
I wash my hair once a week at least when I do not have a protective style. I pretty much stick to the same routine, sometimes I may change the depending on what my hair needs. I’ve had this routine since I big chopped – I have been doing the shampoo routine (which was adapted from my relaxer days), I added the no-shampoo routine about 4 months ago
If your hair is long enough, work in sections. Only de-tangle when there is product on your hair with good slip. Finger de-tangle as much as possible. Be gentle. Assess how your hair feels before in order to determine which types of products (e.g. deep conditioner) to use
After washing my hair I love doing flat twists (now that my hair is becoming longer), flat twist outs and also using Marley hair as an add-on.
From growing up believing that water is our mane enemy, to washday routines becoming an important part of our mane regime. Share your mane routines with us, we would love to share your story.
♥ Happy Washday! ♥