When you have natural hair, your wash day routine can seem more like a military drill. And it can take not one, but several hours. You almost have to pencil it into your schedule. I try to do my natural wash day routine towards the end of the week, usually Friday. This allows me to have my hair nice and fresh for church.
Because this process can take a lot of time, I do not always look forward to doing it. I try to think of shortcuts, but sometimes shortcuts just aren’t possible. So I put on my big girl panties and get to work.
Last week I mentioned the products that I use for my natural hair. In this post, I wish explain my routine and even provide the recipe for one of my leave-in conditioners. This routine does vary at times, but is fairly consistent.
The items that I need to complete my wash routine are my products, hair clips, hair wraps and anold t-shirt. I use my brothers’ old t-shirts to dry my hair. I believe I got that tip from a YouTube video. The t-shirt puts less stress on the hair than a towel.
First, I wet my hair and use my fingers to part my hair into four sections: two in the front and two in the back. I do a two-strand twist with each section and secure it with a hair clip. I continuously twist the sections throughout the process to combat against shrinkage. I use my coconut oil to cleanse and detangle each section. I use the oil pretty generously during this phase. After cleansing and detangling each section, I do not rinse immediately. I allow the oil to sit in each section before I rinse.
After using the oil on a section and rinsing, I use my Suave conditioner to cleanse each section. I work it in thoroughly, massaging the scalp in each section. Then I rinse, twist, and move to the next section.
Once every section has been cleansed with the oil and conditioner, I may use the Treatment Masque. This is not used every wash day, just when deep conditioning is needed. I apply it to each section, twist and secure. I leave it in for 15-20 minutes. Sometimes I sit under my hooded dryer for super deep conditioning.
If I’m not using the Treatment Masque, I move on to my homemade leave-in conditioner. This is a recipe my cousin had me search online when I first went natural. I can’t remember what site I found it on. If I could remember I would definitely give the credit where the credit is due. The recipe consist of:
- 2 tablespoons Kinky Kurly Knot Today leave-in conditioner
- 2 tablespoons Aloe Vera Juice
- 2 teaspoons Jojoba oil
- 2 teaspoons Castor oil
I purchased this items from Whole Foods, and they have lasted a very long time. I’ve only have to replace the Kinky Kurly conditioner so far. I add the ingredients into a small Rubbermaid drink dispenser and shake it up to blend it together. This will last for about 5-7 washes, until I have to make another batch of it. I only use this conditioner on wash day. I add the leave-in, the Shea Moisture leave-in conditioner, and a little more coconut oil to each section in that particularorder. Then I twist and secure.
If I’m going to do my version of a wash-n-go, I add the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie to each section, untwist all and usually wear in a puff. If I do a wash-n-go, and wear my hair loose, it usually transforms into a wash-n-NO by the end of the day. It will become puffy and sometimes look matted. So, if I’m not going to do a twist-out, I usually do a puff.
If I am going to do a twist-out, I take each section and divide in into smaller sections. I apply the Smoothie, the Curling Gel Soufflé, and the Locking Creme Wax (in that order) to each section and do a two-strand twist. When I’m feeling patient, I will do many smaller twists. The more twists, the more defined my twist-out will be. If patience is not on my side, I’ll do larger twists.
I add the Edge Treatment to my edges and use a head wrap to lay down the edges. Then a use a silk wrap to cover my entire head. The next morning, I rub a little more coconut oil on my fingertips and untwist my hair. I style it to my liking (which is a task, because I’m never really happy with it) and I’m done.
Right now, I am in need of getting my ends trimmed, so I’m having to detangle during each stage of the process. But I usually detangle a lot because my hair is very thick. I’m trying to gain the patience to twist my hair often. A twist-out will only last one day on my thick hair. So I usually have to re-twist it the following evening to keep the look for a few days.
I am obsessed with having my hair soft. I know that if I use a stronger gel, my twist-outs will last longer. But most gels flake and leave my hair feeling crunchy (even if the label says otherwise). I’m hoping that the use of the Locking Creme Wax will help to solve this problem. As I use it more, I want to have a more defined and longer lasting twist-out without all the crunch.
So that is my natural hair wash day routine. It is a tedious job, but it has to be done to ensure the health of my hair. I’m trying to find new styles to wear, styles that I can actually do on my own. The puff is getting a little old already. So, I’ll continue to look at natural hair blogs and YouTube videos for inspiration.
How do you maintain your natural hair?