washdayrelxWash day can be stressful, but it really doesn’t have to be. In order to make my wash day seamless and pleasant, I developed a routine that I can follow no matter how I choose to style my hair.

First, I only cleanse my hair on days when I have the time to follow my entire routine from start to finish. I have eliminated steps that I didn’t find to be especially beneficial to my hair, like doing pre-shampoo treatments or “pre-poos.” Instead, I focus my energy on maintaining my moisture/protein balance by deep conditioningĀ  after I cleanse my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo or a cleansing conditioner.

Second, I set out all of the materials that I will need, including shampoo, conditioner, leave-in treatments, and rollers. By setting all of my materials out ahead of time, I don’t have to scramble around my bathroom looking for a product or tool while I have dripping wet hair.

Lastly, I take my time. I try to eliminate distractions until I have at least rolled my hair. If I continue to stop and start, my lengthy routine can be extended to an even longer amount of time and wash day becomes a greater burden. So, what does my wash day look like? Below, I’ve posted the details of my routine step-by-step along with a visual created exclusively for BlackHairKitchen.com!

I start by finger detangling my hair to remove any tangles that may have formed in between washes. This is usually an issue during a relaxer stretch, but it is not an issue when my hair is freshly relaxed. I prefer to cleanse my hair in the shower by first rinsing my hair completely with warm water. This loosens any dirt or product that may have accumulated during the week.

I then apply a sulfate-free shampoo or cleansing conditioner. I focus on my scalp, rubbing vigorously with the pads of my fingertips, while being careful to avoid causing tangles. I then rinse and apply shampoo to my scalp and a bit to my hair for my second lather. Remember, I use very gentle cleansers, so this process is not drying to my hair.

Debra’s hair after a wash day in January 2013.

After I rinse the cleanser out of my hair, I step out of the shower to apply my deep conditioner. This allows me to section my hair and ensure that every part of my hair is saturated with the deep conditioner. I let the conditioner sit on my hair with heat for 30 minutes or so, and then I rinse out every trace of the product.

Next, I move on to styling. My preferred method of styling is roller setting. But, if I am doing a braidout or letting my hair dry, my process is still pretty much the same. IĀ  apply my leave-ins and then I detangle my hair with a wide-tooth comb. I apply whatever styling product I intend to use, comb or rub it through my hair, and then I proceed to styling.

That’s it! I shampoo, condition, and style. By simplifying my routine, I am able to better assess how products and techniques work on my hair and I’ve been able to eliminate stress on wash day. For more details on my wash day routine, check out my video posted below.

Published by BlackHairKitchen

BlackHairKitchen covers all things Black hair care, from the kitchen sink to the hair salon.

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