Washing natural hair can be an overwhelming process to say the least. Personally, the thought alone makes me cringe sometimes and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that. But over the years I’ve discovered a few techniques for washing natural hair that help the process go more smoothly.
Time and location
As with anything time and location are important; and washing natural hair is no different. For me, the washing process takes about 1.5 hours not including styling. I find that setting aside time throughout the week dedicated to just that keeps me from being overwhelmed with the whole process. And my favorite place to wash my hair is my shower; I have all of my products on hand, there’s great water pressure and standing up helps with the detangling portion of the washing process.
I know there is some debate over the use of shampoo when washing natural hair because it tends to dry it out. But I find that it’s a necessity for me and my preference is usually a sulfate free formula. I like to start the process by saturating my hair with water for about 3 to 5 minutes while separating it into four sections. I then add shampoo only to the scalp area, gently massaging it in to create a nice lather. I avoid adding shampoo to strands of my hair because my focus is strictly to remove the build-up on my scalp. I then rinse thoroughly.
Conditioning and Detangling
Like most naturals, I am a conditioner junkie and I run through bottles like crazy. After shampooing or when I’m just co-washing, I like to start by adding a generous amount of conditioner, starting at the tips working my way up to the root of my hair. I then allow the conditioner to “marinate” for a while, like I mentioned in Detangling Your Natural Hair in Minutes, this helps to soften you hair before beginning the detangling process. I then quickly run my hair under the water and I begin to gently detangle each section again starting at the tips working my way up. Once my hair is completely detangled, I rinse thoroughly using cool water.
Like I mentioned several times, I’m all about keeping things simple and easy when it comes to my natural hair. And the techniques above have helped me tremendously, making washing my natural hair a breeze. What techniques do you use for washing your natural hair?