Wash Day Basics for your Natural Hair

(Last Updated On: August 15, 2014)
I wouldn’t recommend washing your hair loose unless it’s still short

A while ago, I left a comment on another hair blog where I stated that I will be sharing some of my wash day routines with you all as I figured it might be a guide for many. I personally don’t like to share everything I do with my hair because I don’t have a “strict” regimen where I use the same products in the exact same way every single time. I like to be adventrous with my hair and so no two wash days are the same for me. However, rather than assuming that no one would benefit from my “adventruous” wash days, I figured I’ll let you all pick and choose the technique that you find easy enough to replicate and hopefully stick to the ones that worked for you.

So to kick off these series, I will only be sharing the basic steps that I follow on almost every wash day. Future posts will have specific information on the products and tools that I used on each wash day, as well as the end results of my “hardwork”.

Step 1
Take down: current style and gently use your fingers to remove shed hair.

It’s best to start with sectioned hair

Step 2
Detangling: Depending on the hairstyle you wore in the previous week and how stretched or kinky your hair is, you may choose to do a dry detangling or wet detangling or a combination of both.

a) Dry Detangling: If you wore your hair in twist outs, or any stretched style all week such that there’s minimal tangles and matting, you can easily grab small sections of your hair and remove any shed hair from the tips of the hair.
b) Wet Detangling: If you wore twists, braids or any style which makes the hair clump together, you will need to detangle your hair with a mixture of oil, water and a moisturizing “slippery”
conditioner. Mix these 3 mixtures in a spray bottle, section hair in at least 6-8 sections, spray mxture into hair and gently use your fngers to separate your hair strands. Then use your fingers to comb through your hair starting from the tips and working your way down your roots. You can then use a large tooth comb to comb through your hair in a similar fashion, although this step is unneccessary, as the end goal is not for you to have 100% detangled hair.
– Rinse off conditioner with lukewarm water and twist hair back.

If you have medium to long hair, twist each sectioned hair after detangling them. Handling your hair in sections reduces shrinkage, matting and tangling. It also protects your ends from breakage.

I use kids hair clips to keep my hair from unravelling

Step 3
Shampoo: Run freshly detangled hair under warm water and shampoo each section either in twists or loose. I do mine when in twists because it saves me the trouble of untwisting and twisting. Also remember to shampoo your scalp. Hair should only be shampooed once as hair which is cleansed regularly (weekly or bi-weekly) shouldn’t feel too dirty that you’d need to shampoo more than once.
– Rinse out shampoo

You’ll end up with these tangled mess if you don’t wash in sections

Step 4
Conditioner
a) Apply a moisturizing conditioner of choice into hair either while in twists or loose. Smooth the conditioner down your hair and make sure hair is still in twists. Leave conditioner in hair for about 20-30min under a showercap to allow the conditioner to work it’s way into your hair shaft.
b) Rinse out conditioner with cool (not chilly) water. To ensure you’ve properly rinsed the conditioner off your hair, it’s best to rinse each twisted section loose and the twist back.

You can also use a heat cap to help speed up
the conditioning process

Step 5
Dry
6) Use an old white t-shirt or microfiber towel to squeeze excess water out of your hair.

L-R: Styling cream, Leave-in, Sealant

Step 6
Moisturize and Seal
7) Loosen each twist, apply a leave in conditioner on each section and seal with oil or butter of choice. Always apply products on the ends first and work your way down your roots in order to ensure that your ends are always given the VIP treatment that they need.

Step 7
Style
8) Proceed to styling 

I rarely twist my hair this small anymore as I’m too lazy and
I’ve stopped styling my hair when wet because I get too much breakage.

I wash my hair every two weeks and the whole process now takes about 2hours when you factor in prep and clean up time. Also, the type of style you choose can prolong the length of time. For example, a medium sized twists takes me about 90min-2hours extra.

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

About Adeola

Welcome to the Coils and Glory site where I believe that our coils are our crown and glory. I help women with 4c hair to feel more confident in their hair and love the hair texture they're in. I also have a hair extensions and t-shirt line you are welcome to purchase. On the site, you will find many helpful hair care articles that are geared towards healthy hair care. If you want to learn more about your hair, you're welcome to checkout my e-books, e-courses and online workshops. Also feel free to send me a message through the contact form or on social media @coilsandglory

4 comments on “Wash Day Basics for your Natural Hair

    • lol, it is a lot of work and it takes time. Some girls even have a hair spa day where they spend an entire day on their hair. It seems you spend a lot of time on your wash day too 🙂
      Long hair is great, but it’s a lot of work. I remember my wash days were so quick when my hair was shorter. No need to section, twist and untwist.

    • lol, you still have a twa, wash days are so quick and easy at this stage! Also, the purpose of the post is to show YOU how to do those steps, not for you to pass it along to your stylist. we all follow those steps anyway, it just seems long when its written down.

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