When I first started caring for my natural hair, and following those who had natural hair, I saw A LOT of people saying that their wash days were outrageously long, like 8 hour wash days. I can't say that I exactly jumped for joy at thought of this... but the good news is, depending on what style you're doing, and of course, how much hair you have, it doesn't have to be this way.
This routine will include the following steps for my wash day routine:
If you're like I was, you may not see the point of pre-pooing, but since I've began my length retention journey, I think it's become an integral part of my routine. I've been really enjoying The Heavenly Halo Pre-Poo by The Mane Choice. It has great slip, which allows for easy detangling, and that is the main reason why I pre-poo. Now you not supposed to do this, but...this how I do it lol! I pre-poo overnight. I section my hair into 4-6 sections, apply water and the pre-poo to each section, twist each section, then put my bonnet on an go to sleep.
I started pre-pooing because I noticed that when I would go to wash my hair, it was so tangled that I would end up ripping my hair out by the time I got to the deep conditioner. Pre-pooing has allowed me to go into wash day with hair that is already been detangled and has been really beneficial in reducing breakage.
Once a month I do an ApHogee treatment and clarify. If you don't think these two additional steps apply to you, you can skip to the section on how I shampoo. The ApHogee should be done after shampooing, so you would cleanse, regular shampoo, then use Aphogee, if following these steps.
I clarify (use a shampoo that removes build-up) once a month. While I don't tend to use a bunch of different products, or too much of a product, I think that getting my hair squeaky clean once a month is worth it. I've been using the Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo for a while and I love it!
ApHogee is a two-step protein treatment. Since determining that my hair is high porosity, I've incorporated a monthly protein treatment into my routine and I really think it is helping with breakage as well. I do both steps, the ApHogee and I follow up with their moisturizing conditioner.
I know this may sound like a lot already, but keep in mind that not everyone needs to do a protein treatment, and if you do, you likely don't need to do it more than once a month. So, once a month, your wash day will be a little longer.
My shampoo process is pretty standard, I do shampoo my hair in two sections to help reduce tangles, and once I'm done with one section I clip it and shampoo the other. For a while, I've been using the Innersense Hydrating Cream Hairbath and haven't had any issues with it.
I take a small amount of the shampoo and run it across my edges, I then do the same for the back of my head, as well as the middle of my head. All of this is on the scalp and then I massage it in with my fingers (not my nails).
You may noticed that I don't condition my hair. I personally don't see the point in conditioning if you are going to deep condition, and I always deep condition.
I am in the market for a new staple deep conditioner, so I don't have a great one to recommend right now, I suggest deep conditioning every time you wash. I deep condition in 4-6 sections as well. If you want to add heat to your deep condition, you can get a hot-head.
A hot head is a bonnet-style heat cap. This is a great method if you want to use heat while deep conditioning, because you can do other things while you deep condition. For example, I'm writing this blog post as I deep condition. Once the deep conditioner is rinsed out, it's time to style.
Now, because this is a wash day routine post, and not a styling post, I won't go into details on how I style, but once the wash routine is done, style as you would like and either air dry or use a blow dryer.
Wash day doesn’t have to be long or complicated, and it's also ok if your routine changes as your hair's needs change. Most importantly, always remember that YOU know your hair best. If you try something suggested by a Youtuber, blogger, or even a stylist and it just isn’t working for you, it’s OK to stop doing it. Focus on keeping your routine doable for you and your hair and time, will thank you!