The struggle is real when it comes to washing natural hair.
Between trying to get the perfect balance between curl definition and volume while retaining the right amount of frizz with minimum heat… we deserve a pat on the back! With so many different routines available, it’s difficult to find one that suits you. So, to make the process a little easier, we’ve come up with a list of Dos and Don’ts to help you get the best out of your hair washing routine.
Do: condition your hair before you get in the shower. A particular conditioner favourite of ours is coconut oil. Use it prior to washing your hair. Coconut oil has lots of benefits, from helping in the hair growth process to giving that extra bit of dazzling shine! Also, keeping your hair moisturised before you wash it will ensure it stays hydrated during the cleansing process and as a bonus, makes it a lot easier to detangle.
Don’t: use only sulphate free shampoos. As naturals we’re always told that we should stay away from silicones, sulphates and every other curly hair buzz word! But at least every other week we should make sure we are giving our hair the deep cleanse it needs from all the build up we have from the weeks prior. Whether that be gel, edge control, or leave-ins, they need to be washed out thoroughly for our hair to stay fresh and voluminous; as all that build up can weigh down your hair and take away some of your gorgeous volume. Alternatively, Apple Cider Vinegar works as a deep cleansing agent if you want to stay well away from sulphate shampoos, just dilute it with water and work it through your hair.
Do: co-wash and deep condition weekly. In order to keep your hair as healthy as possible it’s best to use a deep conditioner once a week and co-wash (aka “conditioner-only washing”) when your hair doesn’t need a deep cleanse. This will just make sure your hair stays as strong as possible, make it grow a lot faster and give it that healthy glow.
Don’t: Try to avoid lathering your actual hair when shampooing. This will create friction and a tangled mess that you just don’t need when washing your hair. It takes enough effort already!
Do: lather your scalp and let it run through your hair. Your scalp is the part of your hair that’ll get the oiliest as that’s where all the natural oils are produced, so it’s best to start there when shampooing and if your hair isn’t really in need of deep wash you can just let the shower rinse that through the rest of your hair and it’ll be as clean as it needs to be.
Don’t: brush your hair when it’s dripping wet. Your hair is at its weakest when it’s wet so trying to get a brush through it at this point will only cause breakage and extra damage to your hair that just isn’t necessary.
Do: brush/finger detangle with conditioner. We all know that trying to detangle when your hair is dry is a struggle and it’s no good when your hair’s completely wet so the best time to get those knots out is with conditioner in the shower. This means every strand of your hair will be soaked in conditioner and makes it much easier especially if you’re using a detangling conditioner, your hair will love you for it!
Don’t: start brushing from the top of your hair. Starting from your scalp when brushing is a no no as this will increase damage and make your hair thinner.
Do: start from the bottom of your hair and work your way up. This is a kinder way to brush your hair and makes it a lot easier to handle, especially if you’ve split your hair into sections to ease the burden!
Do: rinse your hair with cold water/warm water after washing. This one is difficult because no one wants cold water dripping down their neck but it’s helpful as it will mean your hair has less frizz and extra shine. Use cold to warm water depending on your hair porosity.
Don’t: use ordinary towels to dry your hair. Cotton towels + natural hair = a whole lot of frizz!
Do: use a microfiber towel. This works much better on curly hair and is very inexpensive, alternatively you can use a t shirt which I find much easier as there’s already a hole to put your hair through and it wraps it up very easily.
Don’t: diffuse straight away. After applying your hair products, it’s best to let your hair sit for at least 15 minutes and then go in with a diffuser at minimum heat and maximum power to give it that fluff and definition.
Do: make sure very strand is moisturised before drying. After the shower, it’s imperative that you make sure your hair is moisturised to avoid any frizz when diffusing. The easiest system is the LOC method (Leave-in, Oil, Cream), although this method will change depending on the season as your hair needs more moisture in winter and lighter weight products in summer but the LOC method is generally a good basis for all your products.