There is a general debate among naturals about how often you should wash your hair in order to reap benefits such as moisturized, breakage-proof hair. Some argue that hair needs water daily while others are happy enough with a weekly wash. The truth is there is no single right answer. There are 4 key routines that you can pick (or even pick and mix) from to find the right one your hair and your lifestyle.
1. The constant tweaker
Key features: Changes according to how hair feels or in response to changes in weather
Who does it suit: Naturals whose hair is very sensitive to moisture or lack thereof, naturals whose hair breaks easily
Pros: You become very aware of your hair’s condition, likes and dislikes.
Cons: It is easy to overdo the moisture and end up with mushy feeling, hard to style hair
The constant tweaker routine involves being able to assess how dry your hair is and whether your current style will protect it from breakage or not. There is no point in sticking to a fixed washing schedule if your hair feels dry very soon after washing and conditioning it. Instead, choosing to be flexible and following/working with the changes in your hair may work as a better method for you.
2. The go with the flow
Key features: no fixed routine of any sort, sometimes wash once a week, other times three times.
Who does it suit: Busy naturals, naturals whose hair does not break easily, naturals who are mostly in protective styles, naturals with short hair
Pros: Hair care is less of a demand within your life
Cons: Beware of the potential to neglect your hair
The fact is that for some naturals, you can be too busy to wash your hair. You may have a really busy job, more than one job or may be busy raising little ones. For these reasons, it may not be possible to schedule wash days or indeed keep to that schedule. The go with the flow routine allows you to wash and condition your hair when you have time without necessarily planning it. This routine is best for hair that is hardy and generally not susceptible to breakage. Do not use this routine if your hair breaks easily and it is your intent to grow long hair as this method could be counterproductive.
3. The less is more routine
Key features: The aim of this routine is to wash/ handle hair as little as possible — every 3–4 weeks
Who does it suit: Naturals whose hair is breakage prone, naturals without scalp problems, non-oily hair
Pros: Less handling of hair is good for reducing damage to hair
Cons: Close monitoring of the scalp is necessary
Jaws dropped when BGLH alumni Cipriana said she washed her hair every 3 weeks or so. This prompted questions on hygiene, effects of pollution and whether scalp problems could happen. The fact is that it is absolutely possible to wash your hair much less without affecting your scalp. As individuals we all have different levels of sebum production as well as different levels of sweating. If you do have dandruff or eczema or perhaps you are a serious sweating gym bunny, then this routine is just a no go area for you. However, if you find that your scalp really does not show any signs of trouble (e.g flakes or itching), two weeks after a wash, then you could try to extend it into a third week and see if the less is more routine can work for you.
4. The consistent routine
Key features: fixed wash days, fixed conditioning days, no alterations
Who does it suit: Naturals who need/like schedules, new naturals, naturals whose hair does not tend to fluctuate with the weather
Pros: This is a great method for establishing which products and routines your hair will best respond to
Cons: If you stick too firmly to your routine, you could fail to make small adjustments that may be necessary e.g in response to longer ergo older, more worn down hair.
This is perhaps the most common routine in the natural world. Many naturals have a weekly wash and condition with perhaps 1–2 no poo washes in between. Consistency is a good thing and it can help you establish the ideal conditioner, conditioning time, moisturizer and moisturizing frequency. This is why this method is ideal for new naturals. However, if you live in an area where winter and summer temperatures/humidity greatly vary, you may need to move to the constant tweaker routine instead. Additionally, a consistent routine is good, but do bear in mind that you do not have to be consistent with your products, your hair may require/ demand different products as it gets longer and older.
So what type of routine do you have?Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
How did implementing your routine affect your long-term natural hair goals?