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Roll call: Wash day tips & tricks

Avatar • Aug 17, 2010

Wash day can be tricky for naturals — eliminating dirt and product buildup without leaving hair with that “squeaky” feeling that can mess up the curl pattern and lead to knotting.

Here are a couple tips I’ve developed:

      1. Pre-pooing: I didn’t really know what it was until I tried it recently. Before washing my hair I rubbed in some melted shea butter. It did seem kind of counter-productive, loading my hair with product just to clean it back out, but the shea butter helped to reduce the “squeaky” feeling and it makes detangling easier.

2. Using natural products: In my experience, natural products are often (but NOT always) more gentle than shampoos. Bentonite clay and baking soda are two of my favorites to gently reduce buildup.

What about you? What are your wash day tips and tricks? Oh, and please share your hair texture & thickness.

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BrownSugahChild
10 years ago

Before i wash my hair,i apply olive oil and melted shea butter (I really could just use one or the other, but what the hey!) to my hair and scalp and detangle with my denman brush, after which i place big plaits all over my head and go to bed to let the oil and butter settle in (is that weird?) The next morning i co-wash with Queen Helene Cholesterol Conditioner, and once every two weeks i wash my hair with black soap and then condition my hair with Queen Helene. When i’m done washing i moisturize with olive oil and/or… Read more »

BrownSugahChild
10 years ago

Oh BTW i have very thick shoulder length 4b hair.…..

ChyeahBella
ChyeahBella
10 years ago

1.Putting conditioner in my hair first to make my hair smoother to wash
2.Sectioning my hair in 5 big sections
3. Using sulfate free shampoo
4.gently scratching my hair to see where the build-up is
5. Putting conditioner then tons of oil
6. Rinse then apply a little shea butter and massage coconut oil to the scalp
Thats my wash routine thats helped me the most

Stephanie
Stephanie
10 years ago

One thing I strongly believe, as 3rd time loc-er, that people who loc must treat their hair differently than other naturals. It is not enough to just co-wash, you must shampoo because locs are more prone to buildup. I use clarifying shampoos and humectant conditioners. Even if they have those so called “bad” chemicals I use what works for my hair. And I wash my hair on the same schedule that I did when I was relaxed, and a non-loced natural. Some people believe the myth that locs should not be washed often. Giving into that myth are what gives… Read more »

vonnie
10 years ago

my hair is thick and some 4a, some 3c. I have found that pre-pooing is a godsend! hair is soft and lush, way less tangles/knots, and feels fine after shampooing (not stripped or squeaky clean). Fingercombing through hair with lots of conditioner is also key before trying to do it with a comb. I like the setup that Mop Top Maven shared for her twists/twistouts which was to use a leave in, then a moisturizer, seal with oil, then twist with styling/holding butter. I’d always just done part of those steps, but I liked the results with doing all of it!… Read more »

Joanne
Joanne
10 years ago

Where was this post last night. i washed yesterday
and my hair is so clean and for natural’s thats not
always a good thing :(, it’s so dry im trying to load
my hair up with oils and some moisture to get it back
to being the hair i knew and loved before i washed.
BLAH I’m so irritated right now

BrownSugaFro
10 years ago

I do a pre-poo as well. Sometimes I just soak olive oil in my hair overnight. Another thing I like to do is after I was, I don’t do a whole lot to it, I spray a little leave-in conditioner (maybe), then just braid it up and put some olive oil on my scalp and let it dry. When I take it down it’s usually very soft and well moisturized. I have medium thick hair.

iri9109
iri9109
10 years ago

i always pre-poo with oils and sometimes condish for atleast a couple of hours before clarifying with either castile soap, a sulfate free poo or doing an ACV rinse…if i forget to pre-poo then i just do a co-wash and then wash later in the week. on wash day i wash, follow up with a co-wash, detangle with my fingers, and then DC…i like DCing overnight w/o heat the best, and since i only do WnGs i just rinse it out in the morning, shake and apply condish as a leave-in and then do a cool rinse, or just spritz… Read more »

Clara
Clara
10 years ago

I deep condition before I wash. I started that when I was relaxed at it has been smooth sailing ever since. I spray my hair with some water (sometimes and oil mix and water) and then I apply my DC. I usually let that set over night and then I rinse it in the shower. I shampoo (which is a must for me) and then I add my quick conditioner (as of right now HE Hello Hydration). I leave that in for a few minutes then I rinse it out. As soon as I get out of the shower I apply… Read more »

BrownSugahChild
10 years ago

so sorry chick!!!! 🙁 At least you know now!!!!!!
I’ve bee natural almost 7 years, it’s taken me almost 6 years and 2 BCs to know what i know now!!! I would wash my hair literally EVERYDAY when first went natural with all kinds of shampoos and was left with a hair dry and full of confusion and knots!!!!! With the help of blogs and youtube I’m becoming a little more wiser,and i’m still learning new tricks everyday!!!!! God bless you and your beautiful hair chick!!!!

shantafabulous
shantafabulous
10 years ago

I have 4b hair a little past my shoulders. The most important thing for me is putting my hair in sections whether I pre-poo with an oil or conditioner. The sections allow me to focus on my scalp once it’s time to wash.

Maureen
Maureen
10 years ago

Letting the oil and butter settle in overnight isn’t weird at all, I do the same thing with shea butter mixed with almond, olive, neem or amla oil with essential oils like rosemary. This way my scalp is already clarified when I wake up in the morning, as I use ayurvedic herbs such as bhringaraj, amla and shikakai. When washing with shampoo, even natural ones, I always get this ‘crispy’ hair feeling and a lot of tangles, even though I wash in braids. I detangle prior to pre-pooing when my hair is dry, as it tangles super easily when wet… Read more »

Sharell
Sharell
9 years ago
Reply to  Maureen

Hi Maureen I would like to know where you get your items to do your hair?”

nzingha
nzingha
10 years ago

i use KeraCare Hydrating Detangling Shampoo. love it. and it leaves my hair super soft.

nzingha
nzingha
10 years ago

ps: their new formula is paraben free and sulfate free: http://www.avlon.com/keracaresulfatefree.html. yea!

v.c.
v.c.
10 years ago

Since I’m a freeform locer, my routine is so simple. All I ever do is wash my hair once a week, if not more, use ACV to clarify, and apply just a little bit of oil to my scalp. That’s it! The trick for me is just using prolonged rinses and, of course, using as few products as possible.

Patrice
Patrice
10 years ago

I use Kinky Curly’s “Come Clean” shampoo followed up with “Knot Today”. Works really well.

dagnatz
dagnatz
10 years ago

Hmm.….lately, washing my hair hasn’t been such a great and terrible task. Well first off getting into the natural (ish) washing my hair was an EVENT! Yo, I was doing all kinds of concoctions and my hair grew grew grew, but then I got lazy :(. And the hair grew and I couldn’t necessarily handle it that much, had to get accustomed to it, it’s not super long, just a little longer than APL approaching MBL. I’m 4a 4b hair texture. So yea I got and tend to get alot of knots, but what’s been working for me especially in… Read more »

PN
PN
8 years ago
Reply to  dagnatz

do you mind sharing those ‘concoctions’ that made your hair ‘grow, grow, grow’?

trackback

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Xan Drie Smith, Shelly Strickland, Nique Hernandez, Black Girl Long Hair, Black Girl Long Hair and others. Black Girl Long Hair said: A few tips for washing #naturalhair without leaving it feeling dry & stripped http://bit.ly/dBEsXH […]

Eleisha
Eleisha
10 years ago

I put in some conditioner before I wash. I also use the Shea Moisture Deep Clean shampoo, it rids my hair of all the extra build up but doesn’t leave that squeaky clean feeling. I luv it.

Sharell
Sharell
9 years ago
Reply to  Eleisha

Where do you get this shampoo from?”

Hafsa
Hafsa
10 years ago

I have 3b/3c hair and I wash it once a week when I deep condition. What I do is warm up some conditioner then mix it with a spoon of honey and a spoon of evoo then I leave that in my hair with a plastic bag for about an hour. Then I’ll before I’ll shampoo my hair and then separate my hair into four sections and comb and apply the mixture. I’ve found pre-pooing makes my hair smelly and greasy so I rarely do it.

Tonya NewNaturalista
10 years ago

I’ve just had a light bulb moment!!!! I used to pre-poo when I had relaxed hair, why am I not doing this with my natural hair? Thanks for the reminder everyone.

April
April
10 years ago

I wash every 3 to 4 days to keep my hair clean and clear. I also sleep with Miss Jessie Rapid Recovery treatment. Yes I know it’s alot of money But my hair love this stuff. Then I twist my hair up. With Shea butter , cocunut oil stuff I made up and I am good.

Serena077
Serena077
10 years ago

After I wash my hair with shampoo, I add coconut oil to my conditioner. This leaves my hair feeling soft. At the moment I’m using the Honey Hemp Conditioner by Oyin and coconut oil I bought from my local whole foods store.

genise
10 years ago

How do you use the Bentonite clay and baking soda? I heard using the clay for other things.….

Dana
Dana
10 years ago

I would say i’m mostly 4a with a little 4b my hair is not very porous at all water just beads on it and my thickness i would guess is pretty thin. I don’t prepoo i just use a gentle shampoo that doesnt have sulphates. I actually wasn’t specifically looking for it but i’m a former product junkie so i was in cvs for whatever reason and it was half off so i picked it up. Its Giovanni hydrating-clarifying shampoo for normal to dry hair. Though its clarifying it doesn’t dry out my hair and leaves it feeling smooth and… Read more »

DasheenMagazine
10 years ago

This post is timely, since I am on a new regimen and enjoying seeing my 4c coarse/thick hair bloom before my eyes. I used to hate wash day with a passion. I was always walking away from the experience with too much hair loss as a result of too much detangling. Now my regimen has everything to do with a as little manipulation as possible. My tips for my bi-monthly wash-day regimen: 1. Definitely the pre-poo (as simple as olive oil and a plastic cap, or as concocted as avocado, banana or an egg mixed with some condish and some oil) 2.… Read more »

HoneyMiel
HoneyMiel
10 years ago

My routine is pretty simple and can hardly be called a regimen at all lol. I’ve been trying to bring down the amount of products I use. My products are now: shea butter, olive oil, Tresemme conditioner, and water, and I could actually do without the conditioner. I pre-poo with shea butter and olive oil. I let it sit for a few minutes, 10 maybe 15, and then I wash with conditioner. Lately I’ve actually been doing without the conditioner and my hair feels fine. I’m mostly 4a btw, with small amounts of 3c and 4b. After I wash I rub some… Read more »

PN
PN
8 years ago
Reply to  HoneyMiel

so you don’t use shampoo, and now you’re not using conditioner either? isn’t that somewhat gross? I’m just saying…

Dawn Michelle @ Minimalist Beauty

The night before I wash my hair I pre-poo with olive oil. I wash my hair in the morning with rhassoul clay or a shikakai shampoo bar. I then follow with a conditioner to detangle and also use as a leave-in. I use the Tightly Curly Method to style for the week. I have found that I can do buns, ponytails, or wear it out without extreme manipulation with this method. I make my own curly hair serum and usually add vegetable glycerin and castor oil to whatever conditioner I’m using at the time. I’m thinking my hair is a 3B.

Camille in Slovenia
10 years ago

Thanks for this. I am an olive oil girl myself. Works charms.

I’m sure you are backed up with upcoming posts, I’d love to hear from others about hump day ideas. I wash on Saturday or Sunday, and by Wednesday by hair is looking like party’s over. I’ve been trying to do the Kimmay suggest of wetting my hair and remoisturizing every few days, but my hair is NOT into it. What to do?

Clara
Clara
10 years ago

@ Cammille I typically go through the same thing and adding water is not the answer for my 4a/b hair. I get that it ‘revitalizes’ the style for certain people but not me. Since I usually rock a twist out I just take some of my shea mixture and retwist my hair but in bigger chunks to maintain the original style that I do on a Sunday. I take out the twists the next morning and it doesn’t look like a Monday morning fresh twist out but a more full, less sculpted, with more body version. You could also add a… Read more »

Roni
10 years ago

I am a newly naturalist, just did my big chop Friday 13th. Currently I am using HE Hello Hydration and Shea Moisture Deep Conditioner. I am still reading on the benefits of pre-poo.

Camille in Slovenia
10 years ago

Thanks Clara! I’m gonna mess around with my shea some more and see what I come up with. I mostly wear protective styles (I am also 4a/4b) so it should be a little easier.

snoopychick
snoopychick
10 years ago

Dreadlocks in 4c hair. I pre-poo, shampoo and then leave-in. Pre-poo: Shea oil (Afrikan Republic) Shampoo: Whatever was on sale at the pharmacy or an organic clay shampoo bar Conditioner: I tend to skip it Leave-in: Argan oil (BE Beverly Hills) or more of the shea oil How frequently do I do this? Whenever my hair feels dry. I also have a tendency to nibble on my locs (no, I don’t eat them or bite them off) so I need my hair to be clean. Based on what I’ve read here, I’ll bring back the ACV rinse and try mixing my shea oil… Read more »

Sofull Sista
10 years ago

I have 4b hair — tight coils, my hair is dense — I have a lot of strands, and about 8″ of hair.

Sectioning has made washing 50% more efficient for me — literally I cut my wash time in half with proper sectioning (6 for me). Additionally, finding a good conditioner with great slip also made the process quicker — more slip leads to easier/faster detangling (I use Earthly Delight’s Conditioner)! Finally, braiding my hair after I wash it helps me keep my curls from tangling soon after the wash.

Rosie
Rosie
10 years ago

Thanks for posting this. I regularly stop naturals on the street and ask regimen/products they use. This was quick and easy response

Rosie
Rosie
10 years ago

Agree with Camille — about a hump day styling/techniques. I’ve had this problem for a long time. I started washing my hair more often (at least once a week but twice if time allows) but with full time job and full time school weekday washing is not possible. I actually pre-washed with coconut oil for the first time last saturday and honestly I didn’t see a difference. I co wash once at least week. currently using Aussie Conditioner but I’m not a fan so I’ll be trying something different when its done. Shampoo every other week or if I have a… Read more »

luvyall
luvyall
10 years ago

Hello ladies. I just want to say I Love yall, and I love this blog. I always feel good about myself after visiting.

Have a great day!

luvmylocs
luvmylocs
10 years ago

great topic!!! i am going to try pre-pooing consistently to see what results i get. i recently bought a huetiful steamer so that’s going to be added to the mix. i also like mop top maven’s steps for product application when twisting. like someone else mentioned i did part of the routine but not all steps. i saw great results when i did all the steps (only 3 products for twisting).

newlynatural
newlynatural
10 years ago

I’m somewhat new to being natural, I stopped getting perms over 6yrs ago and started straighten my hair. It then grew, grew, and grew more… about a few weeks ago I decided no more straightening… and started checking out different things to do. I clarify my hair maybe every 2/3 weeks, once a week I wash my hair and deep condition with my own little concoction (2 avocados, eggs, coconut, rosemary, peppermint, tee tree, and extra virgin olive oil). And usually I put it in a ponytail and hide my ends. Maybe once every two weeks I try a style out… Read more »

Uniqzoe
Uniqzoe
10 years ago

I love my Apple Cider Vinegar rinses to clarify my hair. I usually do 1 part ACV to 3 parts water. I finger detangle when time permits and just recently started pre-pooing with conditioner which I put on my hair with a baggy and leave for at least an hour, this makes detangling easy-breezy!

snoopychick
snoopychick
10 years ago

Update: Ok, here’s what I tried… Pre-poo: Olive oil with shea nut oil. There was about 3 tbsp worth and for my shoulder length locs that was more than enough. Slept in it overnight (approx 9 hours) After shampooing, I did the ACV rinse (1 part ACV to 10 parts water) and let it sit for 3–5 min while doing a facial. Total amount of rinse was about half a gallon (2 litres) Post-wash, I oiled my scalp with R2E Hair Butter (forgot to mention that yesterday). For my hair, I mixed 1 tbsp. shea nut oil with Infusiam 23 leave-in before… Read more »

BlaqInfinite
10 years ago

My hair is locked, and I wash with black soap. I spend lots of time working the soap into my scalp and rinse well. Then, I use a small amount of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil to soften the hair while it finishes drying.

kadiane*francophone
kadiane*francophone
10 years ago

Hum…is baking soda a natural product ?

Betty Chambers
10 years ago

I always wash in the shower, cannot manage in the sink anymore. I try to keep it simple. After a handful of days I wash. I mix any natural oil(s) with conditioner ($1 store brand). I put the mixture on dry chunky two strand twists (maybe 6–8), avoiding the scalp. On the scalp, I put shampoo and gently rub with a bit of water. In the shower, I wash it all out. Wrap a towel around the head. Wait. Squeeze the ends. No rubbing. Sit under hooded dryer for 20–30 minutes. Open the twists, use a blow dryer with a tension method. Pull the hair.… Read more »

helga crane
helga crane
10 years ago

I have to wash my hair every week…if not my scalp begins to itch! I reserve Sundays as my wash day. I prepoo my hair with an olive and coconut oil mixture for about an hour. I shampoo my hair with Yes to Tomatoes and leave that in a couple of minutes (for some reason my hair always feels so pleasantly soft when I do this). I wash that out, slather on the Yes to Tomatoes conditioner on, and cover my hair with a plastic cap. I leave this on for a couple of hours.(Note: my hair is in twists… Read more »

Sajah Fivefour
Sajah Fivefour
10 years ago

I’ve been natural 3 years this coming November. I’ve never read the info to find out my hair type because real talk, I don’t care 😉 Hair is layered, but the length is mid-shoulder blade. It’s thin, but coarse and holds lots of water. Water and olive gives it a decent little curl. I’m very simple and methodical in my poo/condish process which is every 7–8 days, tops. I pre-condish w/mayo. Yep! Hellman’s brings out the best. Lol! I finger separate my hair, then apply the micro-warmed (20 secs) mayo to my hair and scalp for 45mins — 1hr (uncovered).… Read more »

Lady
10 years ago

I’m mixed race (Louisiana Creole), and I have a mop of curls on my head that hang down to my shoulders. Shampoo dries my hair out and makes it brittle, so I only use it about once a month. But on a weekly basis, I’ll first apply an all natural pomade called Nature’s Blessings (sometimes the night before, sometimes just before) to moisturize, then I’ll use my conditioner to wash my hair, scrub my scalp and detangle (with a plastic hair pick). I’ve gone through countless expensive hair products to manage my curls but found that the cheap stuff works… Read more »

Dee
Dee
10 years ago

1.work in sections
2.apply no sulfate shampoo directly to the scalp not the hair
3.oil rinse
4.use cold water for final rinse
5. ACV rinse

Rocky Vichidvongsa
9 years ago

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8 years ago

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8 years ago

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nikki alston
7 years ago

Does ACV rinse clarify hair? I heard baking soda is not good for your hair

Jay
Jay
7 years ago
Reply to  nikki alston

Yes ACV does,it helps remove build up and as for baking soda, it helps as well, i normally use it before doing a final rinse with ACV. Its worth trying.

nikki alston
7 years ago

Thanks so much for the information Jay good to know. I will definitely be using ACV rinses from now on

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