Tips to Wash Natural Hair
There are several ways to wash natural hair. I personally think that wash day is the most important part of a persons natural hair care regimen. Many women damage their hair each time they wash because of drying hair shampoos, rough manipulation, and overall poor technique. Since curly and coily natural hair can be particularly fragile it is important to fine tune your wash day technique and products. When I corrected my wash day routine I noticed that I retained much more length.
1) Do not pile your hair up on top of your head!!!! This is the biggest mistake people make when they wash natural hair. Do not wash your hair like the ladies on the commercials, piling your hair up on your head will lead to tangles and knots. Wash you hair in a downward motion, for short hair use and outward motion. Use your fingers to help separate and keep hair detangled.
2) Stay away from harsh shampoos. Use gentle shampoos or alternative cleansers; I recommend using a sulfate free shampoo. You can also try diluting your shampoo with water to make it less harsh. Cleansers do not have to strip your hair to be effective. If you completely strip your hair of it will feel dry, matted, and tangled.This will make it difficult to comb and more likely to break.
3) Consider detangling your hair before washing your natural hair. I remove all major tangles from my hair with conditioner before I get in the shower. The conditioner also helps prevent your hair from being dried out by the shampoo.
4) Pre-condition or pre-oil- apply oil to your natural hair before washing to prevent it from being stripped. Some people find that this helps with tangles.
5) Do not pull or tug on wet hair. Hair is the most fragile when it is wet. Allow the force of the water running from the shower or faucet to help clean your natural hair. I also do not recommend detangling soaking wet natural hair, especially if it is medium length to long. Your ends are likely to break. If you insist on combing wet hair make sure it is loaded with conditioner or detangler. I comb my hair while it is damp but not soaking wet.
6) Do not over shampoo- for most people there is no need to shampoo your hair daily. Determine how frequently you need to wash or shampoo your hair based on your level of activity and the length of your hair. If you are doing a no poo or conditioner only routine you will need to wash more frequently than if you are using shampoo.
7) Wash natural hair in sections if your hair is long and/or very dense. If your hair is past APL you should really consider this option to help prevent breakage. You can use clips, pony tail holders, or braids and twists to keep your hair sectioned during washing. Since my hair is long and dense I always wash in sections.
8) Always condition after washing. Shampoo cleanses the hair so you need conditioner to help deposit ingredients onto the hair that will help protect it and prevent breakage.