What is a good natural hair routine ? Black woman with Afro Hair

5 Things You Need For A Simple Natural Hair Washday Routine

Has washday always felt like a tiresome chore that almost always sits at the bottom of your to-do list even when your roots are super dry and in need of a wash, you still push your washday back. Me too ! - You're not alone.

Over the years I've tried to incorporate many different things into my washday and I've ended up feeling severely overwhelmed and frustrated. In my 26 years of being natural, I've finally figured out what really matters when building a natural hair washday routine.

Today we'll learn what a washday is and why its so important to maintain healthy natural hair. Then we'll consider 5 key things you need in your washday routine - so it's simple and stress free every time!

Let's get started !

What is washday and why is it so important to maintaining healthy natural hair?

Simply put, a washday is commonly known as a day that is set aside to wash your natural hair. Aimee Simean - a Writer from The Refinery 29 stated that a washday is a 'ritual' because its a time set apart for caring for your hair. She highlighted that it connects us to ourselves and our culture.

For me, the washday is a self-care moment as I carefully choose my natural hair products and get to show some TLC to my curls and coils. The washday is an  important stage in maintaining healthy natural hair because it gives you a clean slate. The washday allows you to pay gentle attention to the needs of your natural hair. 

A common misconception is that dirty hair grows natural hair faster but this is far from the truth. Often times, a dirty base stunts new growth and leads to neglect. Proper care for your natural hair requires you to cleanse, condition and to be consistent. With the five points below you'll know exactly how to create a simple washday routine which targets all these key pillars. 

The 5 Things You Need In Your Washday Routine Today

1. Prepoo

First things first, is the prepoo. This is the abbreviation of  'pre-shampoo' which helps to restore the health of your hair. According to Dr Cynthia Cobb a nurse practitioner specialising in women's health, a prepoo is a treatment an have a restorative effect on dry, tangled, and damaged natural hair. The benefits of pre-pooing include : 

  • adds extra moisture to dry locks

  • promotes softer natural hair

  • makes it easier to detangle natural hair 

  • boosts the effectiveness of conditioner, resulting in stronger natural hair and less breakage

It's still very popular to use oils to prepoo your natural hair. You can easily do this yourself by pouring a small amount into a bowl, gently warming it up and then applying it on the strands of your hair. Wear a shower cap to retain the heat and then rinse out with warm water after 30 mins. You're now ready for the next step in your natural hair washday routine! 

If you're not into DIYs you can try our pre-blended hair growth oil which is infused with Ayurvedic herbs known for boosting circulation to your follicles, strengthening your hair whilst leaving it soft and moisturised. 

It's important to note that you may not always need to do a pre-poo treatment. Listen to your hair, is it particularly dry/tangled this week? - If so you might want to try the prepoo before diving into the next step.

2. Shampoo

The most important part of your washday is thoroughly cleansing your hair with a good shampoo. You need to ensure that you are cleansing your natural hair from all the dirt, sweat, grime and product buildup that is blocking your hair from absorbing moisture. Natural hair requires moisture as it is typically dry and brittle. Sometimes we inhibit or block moisture from penetrating our strands when our hair is not properly cleansed. This results in an ugly buildup of product and we wonder why nothing seems to be working! 

I recommend opting for a gentle cleansing shampoo, one which would clean your hair without stripping it too much of its natural oils. Shampoos with African Black Soap, Apple Cider Vinegar or Charcoal are great natural ingredients for drawing out the impurities and dirt from our hair. Shea Butter is a much loved ingredient for adding moisture and softness to our strands. 

Don't be afraid to read the ingredients list of your shampoos to ensure that you're getting the perfect balance of clarifying and moisturising properties. 

3. Deep Condition

The next thing on your washday routine should be the deep conditioning phase. Now that your hair has been cleansed, you can inject some TLC and revive your strands from the inside out. Your natural hair strands should be ready to absorb all the nutrients and goodness from your deep conditioner. 

Choosing which deep conditioner to use, heavily depends on your hair needs. If your hair has been particularly brittle / weak or damaged, you may want to opt for a deep conditioner which boasts restoring the protein imbalance into your hair strands. If however your hair is about to be styled in a long term protective style, you may want to opt for a moisturising deep conditioner to ensure that your hair is thoroughly hydrated and moisturised. 

As with the prepoo, you may find that your hair does not need a deep treatment and in that case, you can simply opt for a regular rinse out conditioner. Usually rinse out conditioners are applied for 3 mins and should have great slip to help you detangle your strands.

4. Detangle and Dry

This is another part of your washday routine which can make or break - (quite literally) your natural hair. You want to detangle your natural hair as gently as possible so as to avoid loosing excess hair. It's a given that hair sheds. Approximately 50 - 100 hair strands shed every day. This is normal. However, we can exacerbate the situation through poor diet and nutrition, stress, aging or rough handling our strands.

The key to successful detangling session begins with having good slip from your conditioner, this would help your fingers or your detangling tool to easily glide through your knots and tangles. Moreover, if you have done a pre-poo treatment, you should have already removed most of the tangles from your natural hair. 

Once you've detangled a section, be sure to clip it away so that it does not intertwine with itself and tangle up again. Some naturals find it easier to detangle with the deep conditioner / conditioner in their hair strands. Once you've rinsed everything out and your hair is nicely sectioned, you're ready to dry. 

Again, you want to ensure that you are gentle when drying your natural hair as this stage is also a point where your strands can break off. 

I recommend using a microfibre hair towel to wrap your hair as this quickly absorbs all the excess water and allows you to get on with style your hair. Alternatively, some naturals also like to use an old cotton T-Shirt. This works great too, although I find it to be a little more messy as depending on the quality of your T-Shirt you can find that water will drip down the back of your neck and around your ears. 

Ensure that you pat dry and not rub as rubbing can cause you to tangle your natural hair.

5. Moisturise

Most importantly is the moisturising step. Hurray as you've pretty much come to the end of your washday. This part allows you to lock in all the moisture that you put into your strands. Now depending on the porosity or the density of your natural hair, you may opt for a different moisturising method over another. 

The LOC Method is king in the natural hair community. Essentially, the 'L' is for the application of a leave-in conditioner. The 'O' is for applying a hair oil and the 'C' is for sealing all the moisture in with a cream. 

Other variations of this method may skip the oil part and jump from a leave in conditioner to the application of a hair butter. Others may skip the leave in conditioner entirely and go straight to an oil or butter or grease. 

The Mercy's Mane all natural hair grease has the perfect balance of oils and butter to ensure that moisture is locked into your strands for days after washday. This is perfect for those who like to wear their hair in braided styles or underneath wigs as it helps you to retain moisture though the duration of your protective style. 

Whichever moisturising method you choose, ensure your hair is soft, detangled and well moisturised.

When you follow these 5 things, you will find that your washday routine becomes simpler and less scary as you know exactly what you need to do at each step and the result you need to achieve at each step. These 5 things will always keep you on track to maintaining healthy natural hair. 

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