Washing hair should be a part of any hair routine regardless of texture. Healthy hair is clean hair. The frequency of each wash, however, will vary from person to person. It really depends on how much product you use and how dry/moisturised your hair is. We tend to wash our hair every week.
There are few aspects to washing natural hair that are different from washing straight hair. Depending on your routine, washing natural hair can be pretty involved, with some naturals spending a whole day washing their hair. Think of it as a spa day.
What is pre-pooing/pre-shampooing?
Pre-pooing is a way ensuring you retain moisture whilst washing your hair. It entails applying a product and/or penetrating oil (like coconut oil) to hair prior to washing it. This can help with detangling. Try a quick 20 minute pre-poo before your next detangle and wash. Not only will your hair feel softer after washing, you’ll also see a reduction in breakage and shedding that occurs during detangling and washing. Pre-pooing isn't an essential step but if you're having issues washing your hair you might want to adjust your routine to include this step.
What is co-washing?
Co-washing arose when people noticed that the shampoos in the market often dry out natural hair and strip the hair of its natural oils (due to the presence of sulphates in the ingredients). Co-washing is basically washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo; which helps retain moisture during the wash. There are now specific co-washes/creamy cleansers on the market that are gentle on the hair and are purposed for washing naturally C/K hair. Using conditioners/co-washes with slip aids in detangling.
so....should I use shampoo?
Yes, however since awareness about the drying effects of sulphates/S. Laurel Suplhate in common shampoos has grown, there are now shampoos without these ingredients specifically purposed for naturally curly/kinky hair on the market. Shampoos are more effective at removing product build up from the scalp and hair than co-washing but it's important to inspect the ingredients of the product.
Our recommended shampoos are TGIN, Mielle Organics and Afrocenhix.
What techniques do I use?
Techniques vary from person to person, some naturals separate their hair into sections and wash each section individually when they co-wash, others don't. It depends on your amount of hair, how thick it is and how easy you find each technique.
We definitely recommend massaging your scalp when washing your hair; it helps shift product build up and increase circulation to the scalp.
Another mandatory tip is to be gentle. You are not in a Herbal Essence's advertisement, there's no need to scrunch your hair so much; this causes tangles and knots which can be hell to get out at times.
Click below to see a throw back video of our routines: