Who here has loads of time to sit around doing their hair all day? (*Looks around…) Yeah… exactly no one. When I initially went natural my wash day would take DAYS! I would start the pre-poo process the night before, and would take all day washing, deep conditioning, and styling.
By year two… I was over that process and knew that there was no way I could keep this up much longer. It was either cut this wash day time down, or shave my head. I didn’t want to go the Sanna Lathan route just yet, so I started cutting out some unnecessary steps.
How did I do this? Well… unless you have hair conditions/ issues you don’t need all of the extra steps and added product supply. My hair routine product wise used to encompass over 10 products. That is absolutely ridiculous and absurd.
How To Cut Your Wash Day In Half
1. Pre-Poo/Detangle: I used to pre-poo and detangle in two separate steps. I don’t have super thick or long hair so it wasn’t a long process, but it was tedious and annoying. Which means I would procrastinate during the process, and elongate my already long wash day. So instead, I stopped pre-pooing over night, and mixed both my pre-poo and detangling steps at the same time. Choose a moisturizing oil that will help with the detangling process and keep your strands properly moisturized before the cleansing process. Leave the pre-poo on for 10-15 minutes and then move on to phase 2 of your must shorter wash day.
2. Co Wash Your Hair In Twists: Throw your hair into 4-6 twists with the pre-poo still on your strands. This will help keep your hair detangled, and will make the co washing experience high easier. Washing your hair in sections is always the best route whether you are trying to cut down your wash day time or not. I myself un twist the particular section I’m co washing, then twist it back up after I’ve applied the product. Then I rinse the hair thoroughly while it is in the twists. This also makes the styling segment of my wash day that much easier.
You can also deep condition in the same manner. I usually put my deep conditioner on my hair and twist it into two giant twists. Then I put my shower cap on and proceed with life for the next 15-25 minutes. If I have chosen to add heat (using my thermal hair care Hot Head Deep conditioning heat cap or my Q-Redew) I leave the deep conditioner on for longer. Never more than half an hour… because I’ve got life to live!
3. Style Hair: After you have cleansed, detangled, and deep conditioned its styling time. I usually do 1-2 styles a week. And when I say 1-2 styles a week, the second style is usually a transition style from the first. I go from faux hawk, to puff or from mini buns to one giant bun. Your style isn’t a part of the “wash day” per say but you want to do a style that lends itself well to air drying so you can live your life. The days of sitting under the hair dryer are far and few (sometimes in the winter it may be helpful). I try to get as many things done as possible during my “down time” in my wash days, so sitting under the dryer isn’t always ideal for me.
To cut down on my style time, I usually do 4-6 chunky twists. I have fine hair and don’t usually go for definition. Twists, braids, usually are the best bet to getting your styling done with. Adding perm rods, or flexi rods to the ends will help give you some extra curls if you find that the larger braids and twists don’t give you enough definition.
BONUS TIP: Use products that count as more than one thing. I’m not a huge fan of products that are shampoo/conditioners so instead I choose to co-wash. That is my cleansing/ conditioning step rolled into one. But that is not the only step I combine. My leave in conditioner is also my styler. Because of its moisturizing properties the “L” in my “L.O.C method” routine works well as my leave in conditioner and styler. This saves me time and helps alleivate dry hair, or my hair being weighed down by too many products.
That’s it. Wash day in 3 easy steps. Following this procedure, you could have a wash day go form 24-36 hours to 1-2 hours tops. What other tricks do you use to cut down on your wash day routine?
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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.