Wash Day Tips for Smooth, Shiny, Manageable Hair
In this post, we share tips on how to level up your wash day routine for 2020 and what tools you need to do so!
Adopt a simple wash day routine
At Afrocenchix, we believe that simple haircare is better. You don't need to spend hours under a hair mask, or shingling each strand of hair on our head to get manageable hair. Pairing good quality products with a solid routine will result in hair that shines and styles that lasts long after wash day.
Follow our recommended Cleanse, Condition, Moisturise and Style formula for a wash day that needn't take all day!
Cleanse and Condition
We recommend washing your scalp every 7-10 days with a gentle sulphate free shampoo, some people find that their hair thrives when they wash it every two weeks. Find what works best for you but remember that a clean scalp creates a healthy environment for hair to grow.
Step 1: Focus on massaging the shampoo into your scalp with a gentle circular movement to dislodge dirt and encourage blood flow to the scalp.
Step 2: Always follow up with a conditioner that has a lot of slip to make detangling simpler. When conditioning or using a deep conditioning treatment, don't leave the product on for longer than specified in the instructions as leaving hair wet for too long will weaken it.
Step 3: Detangle with your fingers or a wide tooth comb to minimise manipulation. Once you've rinsed off the conditioner, squeeze out excess water.
Step 4: Next, wrap your hair with a microfibre turban or towel for swift drying. Microfibre towels are much softer on your hair strands compared to regular towels. They also cut down on blow drying time (reducing the likelihood of heat damage) as they absorb more water and help reduce frizz. We don't recommend blow drying as it can damage afro hair, drying without heat is easier and leaves hair softer and stronger in the long run. However, everyone's hair goals are different.
After rinsing out the conditioner, regardless of whether you're air drying or blow drying, wrap your hair in a microfibre towel for 20-30 minutes to soak up all the excess water from your hair.
Once your hair is clean and nearly dry, it's time for the most important part of your afro hair routine: moisturising. Just as you wouldn't shower and dress without moisturising your skin adequately, it's essential to make sure your hair is well moisturised.
To combat breakage, we recommend layering on products in what is known as the the LOC method:
L - Apply a Liquid.
A water-based moisturising product in the form of a spray is best. We recommend Sheen, a water based blend of aloe vera juice, grape seed oil and essential oils. The hair is made of protein bundles kept together with hydrogen bonds and disulphide bonds. To keep hair strong, it's important to keep it full of the moisture it needs for the hydrogen bonds and the most effective moisturiser is water!
O - Seal in the moisture with an Oil.
Water evaporates easily from the hair so a relatively thick oil blend is needed to seal in moisture. The best blends contain olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil and jojoba oil.
Seal contains all of these and more so it's our top recommendation, it was recently voted the top Indy Best oil for afro hair because it: "penetrates the hair shaft and leaves your strands feeling hydrated and super soft, and it remains that way for hours afterwards."
C - Layer on a Cream.
This should be a water based moisturiser but not as fluid as the product used in the liquid step. A moisturising cream or leave-in conditioner will do the trick. We recommend Smooth, with its blend of coconut oil, olive extract and organic & fairtrade shea butter.
Style your hair to look good and for protection
When it comes to deciding on how to style your hair, as well as considering what you'll be doing throughout the week, you may want to factor in your hair goals (if you have any).
If growing your hair is a priority, then you'll want to minimise manipulation by employing a protective style. A protective style is any style that keeps your hair ends (the most fragile part of your hair) tucked away. Such styles can be done with your own hair or using extensions.
For example, you can twist/braid your hair, wear throughout the week and then unravel to rock a twist out or braid out at the weekend.
Below is a styling video of how to rock a twist out after wash day!