Simple Wash Day Routine for Natural Hair

How often should I wash my hair? How often should I deep condition my natural hair?

These are some of the questions that I asked myself when I started out on the natural hair journey. As with every other subjective thing, people don’t have these answers down to a science. Some people religiously wash their hair every week while others do it every three weeks or so. Personally, I oscillate between one and two weeks depending on my schedule. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the gist of this post: how long is your wash day?

Quick Wash Day Routine

One of the most daunting things in the natural hair community is wash day. It is often painted in a negative picture: a long day to put everything aside and cater to every one of your hair’s whims. For people whose work and school schedules are hectic, this isn’t good news. In fact, I’ve heard people say they cannot go natural because they don’t have time for all that.

Fortunately, I have managed to craft an easy wash day routine for my hair. It comes in handy when I have limited time to do my hair or on my lazy days. It is a simple wash day routine for my type 4 hair and only has three steps.

Step 1 – Cleansing

To cleanse my scalp, I use a sulfate-free shampoo because it doesn’t completely strip my hair of moisture and oils. I’m currently using the Marini shampoo which I mentioned in this basic natural hair products post. In some instances, I have a lot of product buildup and use a regular shampoo which has deep cleansing or clarifying properties. I’ve always liked Head and Shoulders for this. You may also need to consider using a regular (non-sulfate-free) shampoo once in a while. You can delve into more of that here.

It is important to cleanse your scalp to remove product buildup. This buildup affects your scalp and/ or hair in the following ways:

  • Clogged pores, scalp irritation and itchiness
  • The product barrier prevents moisture from being absorbed by your hair. This leads to dryness
  • Encourages breakage and shedding because of dryness
  • Styling products don’t work as well as they should

Step 2 – Conditioning/ Deep Conditioning and Detangling

This step is a 2-in-1 process. Detangling is much easier and safer for your hair when you use a conditioner that has great slip. Personally, I always opt for deep conditioning especially when I skipped prepooing my hair. That’s more of a psychological thing because I’m convinced that the hair gods will smile on me and spare me for ignoring an important process. 😀

Once I apply the deep conditioner, I let it sit in for about thirty minutes. Usually, I seize the opportunity to get other things done. To be honest, these multitasking tendencies mean that I end up rinsing my hair out after hours.

Step 2 is important for your afro wash day routine because it provides your hair with various benefits:

  • Sufficient moisture. One of the keys to unlocking health and growth for kinky or curly hair is moisture.
  • Increased elasticity
  • Reduced breakage
  • Restoring damaged or overly dry hair as a result of mechanical or chemical processes such as excessive use of heat and permanent coloring
  • Increased softness
  • Natural shine

You can check out more benefits of deep conditioning over here.

Step 3 – Sealing Moisture

There is no point in deep conditioning during your easy wash day routine if you are not going to seal in that moisture. I use the LOC (Liquid-Oil-Cream) method because of my hair’s low to medium porosity. I like a simple virgin olive oil and Jamaican black castor oil blend. For the cream, I prefer Shea butter because it’s heavy enough and doesn’t cause flaking.

During these simple wash day routine, I don’t go into elaborate styling. I either braid my hair or twist and bantu-knot it in four or five sections. This allows my hair to stretch (slightly) while it air-dries.

You can watch the entire process from start to finish here:

My Type 4 Wash Day Routine 2019

I have been using this routine for about a year now.  last year I added two major tools to make my wash day easier. if you would like to know more you can head over to this post.  I will definitely continue using these basic steps whenever I’m pressed for time and expand on the process whenever Bella (my hair) needs some extra TLC.

Let me know what other aspects of wash day you would want me to cover. If you would like to see how I style my hair in less than 10 minutes the week after wash day, subscribe to my channel and hit the notification bell. I’ll be uploading similar content soon.


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