Let me ask you this, how often are you able to achieve a good second-day hair on your twists outs or wash and go’s? On any style really!? I know YouTube vloggers make it seem effortless and super easy, but at the beginning of your transitioning journey to natural hair when everything is new trying a new style is everything but effortless. You may even be successful on your first day but how about achieving a good second or third day after?
It didn’t take too long into my hair journey when my new growth started to show itself and I felt the need to start blending the two textures. Well, it was either that or looking like I had a short puffy Afro with stringy relaxed hair hanging out. I’m telling you it didn’t look nice! It’s certainly not the look you want to achieve when you envision your natural hair or when you’re still trying to go over all the doubts and uncertainty of where this hair journey will take you.
I remember once trying a wash and go when I had 5 or 6 months worth of new hair growth and thinking “Why not?”. I’ll tell you why not. While your hair is still wet it doesn’t look that bad, and you think “Umm, maybe I can get away with it”. However, once it starts to dry, oh my gosh! Who let the crazy woman out!? Yeah, it’s back to the bun for me. Let me just grab a hair tie.
Anyway, achieving a good day after at this stage feels like such a win and confidence boost that I thought maybe some of you struggling with getting a good second or third-day hair could use a few good tips. It’s been almost three years since I started my journey and I have a few tricks up my sleeves that I can share with you guys. Come wash day and we’ll all be feeling ourselves!
1| Work Hair In Sections
I’ve mentioned this a few times before in other blog posts, and here I am mentioning it again because it’s worth saying. Working your hair in sections will help you detangle, avoid knots and breakage, will help you reveal great styles like twists or braids out and yes, it help you achieve a great second-day hair if not several.
Make sure you work your product(s) on your hair in sections. It’s essential that your hair is properly moisturised so it is not thirsty. Hair that is not properly moisturised will frizz up and your second-day hair won’t look that good. Remember work in sections!
2| Styler or Gel-Like Product
These products can set your hairstyle really good when you use them well. If you wanna have some kind of guarantee or attempt at controlling your curls these are what I like to call extra insurance. You can use products like Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic (strong hold), a hair mousse, Moroccan Argan Oil EcoStyler Gel (use sporadically when you need long day hold or for special occasions), Camille Rose Natural Curl Maker… there are a lot of choices out there.
When using your product of choice, moisturise your hair first and apply your styler or gel as your last step. In the past, I used to do the LOC method but these days I like fewer steps so I can apply my gel after cleansing it or, if I feel I need extra moisture, use a moisturiser and then my gel.
3| Hands Off
This is extremely important if you want to have a good second, third or fourth-day hair. However, if you don’t mind some frizz this advice may not be for you. If you’re constantly touching your hair, arranging it or stroking it you are unsettling your curls, creating frizz and essentially shortening the number of “day afters” you give your hair. Well, this one is up to you.
4| Night Time Care
The way you keep your hair at night can have a lot to do with your next day curls. I know the word on the street is that you should use a satin pillowcase or bonnet to keep moisture on your hair, and you should totally do that, but there’s something else you should do for a successful second-day hair.
Leaving your hair out, even if on a satin pillowcase, is calling for trouble especially if you’re a restless sleeper and putting your hair in a satin bonnet will crunch all your efforts. Pineappling your hair is a great solution for keeping your hair at night and maintaining your hairstyles for longer. Doing a pineapple is simply making a very high ponytail at the front of your head and tying a satin scarf around it (this is optional but I like doing it). If your hair is too long and putting your hair in a pineapple is not possible you can always do a high loose bun.
5| Soft Hands
What does this mean exactly? Well, it means to not be hasty or rush to deal with your hair. Yeah, I know this can be difficult to do sometimes if you’re late for work, a date or to pick up the kids from school. I’m guilty of it too. Just do your best on this one.
One of the key issues in maintaining hair moisture is having well-cleansed hair. If this happens water will penetrate and moisturise the hair. Next is to use the right products (i.e. hair needs) in accordance with the climate (e.g. products that help to block humidity or products that deeply moisturise and protect from dry air). This will keep your hair moisturised for longer which will help with keeping your hairstyle for longer.
Find you still need to hydrate your curly hair on your third, fourth or fifth day but don’t want to wash your hair?… Some people will lightly spritz your hair with water or any water/aloe vera mix. Don’t go heavy on this one or you may cause frizz, and believe me it’s very easy to this. Don’t spritz directly onto your hair, do it onto the air above your head and let your hair catch those precious water drops, use a spray bottle like this one. Afterwards, you can rub a drop or two of vegetable oil on your hands and lock that moisture in.
For a wash and go you can address the specific areas in need of redoing. Spritz some water on the area, work your moisturiser/styler on the hair and let it dry. If this is not enough moisture, you may need to do a mid-week co-wash to really hydrate your hair.
I hope these tips will help you achieve a good second-day after as their such a confidence boost. Days like these are essential not only for our image, for what we see in the mirror in the midst of our doubts while transitioning to natural hair, but also because they confirm we can do this, we can master new techniques, new styles and overcome new challenges.