Get Your Afro Popping With This Natural Hair Wash Routine
Okay, granted, weekends are the perfect time to deal with your natural hair.
Whether you’re a 4C queen, 4B babe or a low-cut princess, we can all agree on one thing; wash days are the best yet dreaded part of every natural hair journey.
So let’s ease the process for you.
Natural Hair Wash Routine
- Hydrate and prep pre-shampoo
The reason you’re spending minutes detangling on your wash day is most likely because you’re not prepped in advance. Cut your detangling time in half by keeping your hair from getting super tangled the day before.
Sleep with your hair packed properly under a silk bonnet to keep your curls fine.
Before you begin washing at all, make sure to pre-poo with a deep conditioner or coconut oil. Leave on for between 15-30 minutes before getting to business.
- Work in sections
Divide and conquer; that’s the rule here.
Cut your hair into sections or four equal parts to reduce knotting. Hold each part separate with two-strand twists. This way, it’s much easier to handle your hair while shampooing, making sure to focus on your scalp.
Choose a gentle sulfate-free shampoo to remove product buildup and excess oil, making sure to lather properly.
When you turn on the water, allow your hair to get wet before applying the shampoo to activate it.
Apply the lathered shampoo onto your scalp, massaging with your fingertips. Once you’re done, stretch each section downwards, stretching your hair before smoothing the shampoo down to define your coils. If your hair’s drying out, don’t be afraid to add some more water.
Finally, rinse out the shampoo with lukewarm water before repeating the process. Apply some conditioner with water before detangling.
Next, apply your conditioner to the section (re-wetting the section if needed). Always use ample conditioner with water and then detangle using your fingers to work the sections and leave to sit for some time.
- Deep conditioning
Not every Natural hair enthusiast will tell you about deep conditioning. But we would.
If you’re dealing with hair concerns like dryness, breakage and shedding, you need a deep conditioner. For treating dryness, use a protein-free, moisturizing treatment that will target dryness. Choose a protein-based strengthening treatment for chemical concerns.
Look for amino acids and keratin in your treatments.
- Moisturise and Chill
Once you’re done lathering your hair with all that treatment, it’s time to trap the moisture in. For wash and go’s, use a gel and lighter styles like mousse or wrap foams for braids and twist outs.
Choosing A Sulphate-free Shampoo
Sulphate-free shampoos are the in-thing because no one wants hair that gets progressively more brittle with every wash. Here are a few ways sulphate-free shampoos improve hair health.
They maintain healthy hair oils
Many sulphate-containing shampoos formulations are in need of non-sulfate based alternatives that also lather. This has led to the discovery of healthier formulations that retain moisture and shine. Examples include coconut-based surfactants that remove dirt and grime effectively but do not strip your strands of the natural oils that prevent breakage and brittleness and keep your hair soft and supple.
Improve texture and bounce
Using sulphate-containing shampoos with curly hair is a set-up. Firstly, they make your hair difficult to untangle, and you may not notice this after one wash, but over time, they cause your curls to droop and lose their elasticity. Sulphate-free shampoos will maintain the lively character of your bounce and keep your curls moisturised and polished.
They delay ageing
Yes, your sulphate-containing shampoo may make you turn grey prematurely. Sulphates strip hair of not just oils but also pigments. This is quite noticeable when you dye your hair. The dye may appear duller when you wash your hair with a sulphate-containing shampoo. The same applies to your natural hair colour. If you do not have any dye products in your hair, the sulphates in the shampoo will take some colour out of your strands themselves. Thus, jet black hair may lose its vigour, and brown hair may start to sprout a few greys.
Prevent skin irritations
Certain skin types are prone to skin irritations with sulphate use. These irritations may be triggered when shampoo contacts the skin or be found on the scalp. Sulphate-free options are safer and more protective.