My wash day routine(s) for natural hair may sound a little much when I tell you I have three that I follow depending on the look I’m going for. But honestly, they are easy to follow and don’t require a lot of time once you’ve gotten used to them. There aren’t any magic tools that I use, just super simple products everyone should have if they plan on tacking their own hair. The key to making wash day less stressful is finding out what products your hair reacts best to and sticking with them. What works for me may not work for you, however, my goal is to give some guidance on the types of products you need in order to accomplish the #hairgoals you are looking for.
With that being said, I hope you aren’t looking for me to post YouTube tutorials of myself doing these routines because this is a blog about how I hack my way to having time to do the things I LIKE, and wash day ain’t one of them. But don’t fret! I know how it can be searching for just the right tutorial so I’ve provided ones for you to take a gander at to help provide a little visual context.
Wash N Go
My wash and go routine hasn’t changed in years. Once I found what worked, I pretty much stuck to it because I really didn’t have the time (or the funds) to keep trying new products and methods. Keep it simple by finding a great sulfate-free shampoo, rich conditioner, and a conditioning curl enhancer that works best with your hair type and sticking with it. I also use ECO Styling Gel to help lock in my curl enhancer followed by a moisturizing spritz to keep my hair from getting frizzy. The only reason to find a new routine is if your hair is not responding to the one you currently use. Remember, it can take at least two weeks to see a change in your hair after trying out a new system depending on how often you wash, so give any new routine, at minimum, a month before you scrap it.
If I’m planning on doing a protective style, my routine changes just a tad by switching out my curl-enhancing shampoo and conditioner and eliminating the spray mist, but keeping the curl-enhancer and my tried and true ECO Styling Gel. I like using Carol Daughter’s Monoi line because it helps with shedding, something that drives me crazy when I am detangling my hair to put in my next protective style before I wash again. My go-to protective style is two-strand twists which can last me about a week and some change before I’m ready to turn it into a twist out. I love doing two-strand twists as a protective style because I can take it out after a week and still have a great style I can keep up for another week, avoiding the dreaded wash day altogether. And if I’m feeling super lazy, I can change the style again before washing. Below is a great tutorial on a two-strand twist, which is similar to how I do mine only I put the flat twists around the perimeter of my hair and chunky individual two-strand twists for the rest of my hair. It’s a good amount of work on the front end (about an hour and a half), but I can keep my hair like this forever as long as I keep it moisturized and wear my slap cap at night.
If I want my hair straight, I go to the salon. I have learned to live with the fact that there is no way I am going to tackle all of this hair by myself washing it AND add heat to it. Some folks are great at straightening their own hair – I am not one of those people. I do, however, have a favorite professional hairstylist/YouTuber who slays when it comes to straightening her own hair AND keeping it healthy. Hopefully, she will be able to guide you better than I could. She also has a silk roller wrap method to straighten your hair as well as a no-heat method. Hmmm, it also looks like she has a haircare line now (which goes to show how long its been since I’ve YouTubed on how to straighten my own hair). Stay tuned because I’m pretty sure I’m going to regress into my former hair product junkie lifestyle, but only for just this one time… Maybe.
And there you have it, my three wash day routines for natural hair depending on how I want my hair styled. Now that you’ve figured out what to use when washing your hair, try out these protective styles to help you save even more time after wash day.