FTC: This post is not sponsored. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Admit it when we first go natural we all gravitate towards Youtube and Google to help us with this huge change. By the end of year one you usually find your groove and have a nice selection of products clogging up your bathroom shelves. We’ve all been there, I too was once a recovering product junkie.

But by year four (I can’t believe it’s been four years) you are over the bells and whistles and just want to do what works. This is why we’ve got this simple natural hair wash day routine. You can follow it to the T or make some tweaks in it to benefit your hair needs.

I follow a variation of the following six steps depending on whether I’ve been protective styling, or the season. Different seasons require different products, but the routine is still the same.

natural hair wash day routine

Simple Natural Hair Wash Day Routine

1. Pre-Poo  (before shampooing): Pre-pooing can be annoying but the added benefits are worth it. I used to pre-poo over night when I first started my natural hair transition. I moved away from long pre-poo sessions to not even doing them at all. My hair paid for that decision dearly. Now I’m back on my pre-poo ground and honestly the amount of time I do it for depends on my mood and my plans. I have pre-poo’d over night this year, but I’ve also pre-pooed for 10-20 minutes as well. All that matters is you give your hair the right oils/ pre-poo ingredients and time to soak up the extra added moisture before moving into the cleansing process.

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2. Co Wash (weekly when you don’t use shampoo): Steps 2 and 3 are not really added steps but can be swapped out for one another. I’m a co washer but I do use shampoo from time to time whenever I need a stronger cleansing. I co wash 3 times a month and swap in a gentle sulfate free shampoo.

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Benefits of co-washing natural hair 

3. Shampoo (monthly when you don’t co wash): Like I said in the previous step, I’m not against shampoo but I do use it sparingly. Even when I do use shampoo as my cleanser during my wash day routine, I always make sure to use a pre-poo first, and that my shampoo is gentle. I look for gentle cleansing shampoos to make sure I’m not stripping my hair of its natural oils due to the presence of such harsh chemical ingredients.

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10 Moisturizing Shampoos for your Natural Hair
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4. Condition (after shampoo or protein treatments): You must add moisture to your hair after you have shampoo’d or used a protein treatment. The good thing about this step is it won’t cost you much time or much money. All you need to use is a rinse out conditioner that is moisture based and rinse it out once you’ve detangled your hair.

5. Deep Condition (weekly): Deep conditioning is a non negotiable for me. Whenever I wash my hair I make sure that I deep condition for at least 20 minutes. I use a moisture based deep conditioner 3-5 times a month and rotate in a protein treatment every four to six weeks. For an added bonus I add heat with either my Thermal heated cap for twenty minutes or use my Q-Redew hair steamer.

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6. Protein Treatment (as needed- every 4-6 weeks): I’m not a huge fan of protein treatments because I’ve had a battle with protein overload and protein sensitivity. However protein is a necessary part of a healthy hair regimen. The important part when using protein treatments is to know which treatment to use for your hair. You also need to know when your hair needs a protein treatment (5 reasons your hair needs a protein treatment). I suggest using a protein treatment whether it is a conditioner or an actual treatment every 4-6 weeks depending on your hair needs.

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20 Best Protein Treatments For Your Natural Hair 
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What are the necessary steps you take in your wash day? Your non negotiables? Share them with us in the comment box below!

Hey there! I'm Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I'm busy teaching the future of society.