Wash day can be a drag day. Talk about a long day of pre-wash care, shampoo/co-wash, condition, deep condition, steam, style and maybe diffuse. Phew!! This is the long version of a wash day, but, it can get longer if you add in some hair colour or henna treatment. I mean you can totally understand why the perspective your wash day coming closer can have some naturals wish they could snap their fingers and jump right up to Monday and be all set and done. Unfortunately, this is not possible, however, if you plan for a smarter natural hair wash day things can be a lot easier.
A long wash day is one of the natural hair myths that can deter many ladies out there from going natural. And, if we’re being really honest here, it is also one of the reasons why some naturals go back to relaxing their hair .
Do I agree that wash day is a long day? A day that demands full attention and can even cut on your social life?
Well, let’s just say that wash day now that you’re transitioning to natural hair or natural already is not the same as the “good old relaxer days”. No! It’s definitely not. But, it is also not as bad as some people have it be, or at least, you can make it as small or as long as you want it.
Why is it that spending hours at the hairstylist once or even twice a week is more acceptable than doing it yourself at home?
Yes, I get that it feels pampering and that catching up on the latest gossip puts you up to date with what is happening in your hood. Me, personally, I never had much patience for this. The long hours in a hair salon drove me nuts. I always tried to make my experience there the shortest possible. I always booked the first hour in the morning (because you know how things can get delayed if you go 2 hours later) and I always walked in with my hair washed ready to put my rollers and then get it straightened.
But I digress. How can I help you be smart about your wash day? Keep reading…
TIPS FOR A SMARTER WASH DAY
#1| Stop Trying To Be Super-Woman
I know women are strong, smart, resourceful and can do anything they set their minds to do. Of course, we can! That’s why God gave us the gift of childbearing. Yes, we can be Superwoman (or Wonder-woman whatever you prefer). We can do it all!
However, there is no need to make things harder on ourselves. If your wash day is also the same day you clean your house, do your laundry, shopping and bake cake for the kids then you need an intervention girlfriend. I know because this was me. I was trying to do everything around the house (and more) and also do my hair.
End result… burn out! Sometimes my deep conditioning treatment could stay on for hours while trying to manage everything and you know this is not a good idea or even necessary. The best thing to do is to have a specific day for washing your hair.
This doesn’t mean it will take you the whole day, it just means you’re able to pay better attention to your hair and give it the TLC it needs. It means you’re not trying to rush through a manic day and maybe not even paying attention to breakage issues that could be creeping in, or not remembering that your protein treatment was due.
Be smart about this. We can do it all, but we need a better system in place to avoid a burnout. You can even reserve 1 or 2-hour slots throughout the week to schedule your house chores. Instead of doing it all in one day you can have a daily chore schedule. This way, even if you have some house cleaning to do on your wash day it won’t be such a long day. Check for apps like Home Routines or My Things (Sortly) to help you get everything organised.
#2| Follow A Hair Regimen
Taking care of our curly hair is not just about changing from a regular to a sulphate-free shampoo, or buying a satin pillowcase. No, it’s about more than that. To give your hair the best chance at being healthy you need a plan, you need to know what to do, when to do it, how to do it and how often.
Knowing what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and being consistent will set you on the right path. This is what a hair regimen is for, it guides you and the best way to accomplish it is to have a hair journal. In them, you can write your current hair regimen or make tweaks to it, you can take notes about what you need to do, what you did or how a technique or product you tried turn out to be. There are lots of things you can write there.
It’s counterproductive to not have a hair regimen and end up not knowing when to trim your hair, clarify your hair or deep condition for protein. All the efforts you’re having at taking care of your hair can backfire. Make sure you have a hair regimen.
If you need some initial help you can download the Building Your Hair Regimen worksheets I created. They’re free and you only need to sign in bellow. For guidance on how to fill in the worksheets, you can read the post that accompanies it right here.
#3| Make Sure You’re Good To Go
Tell me if this is you or if this has happened to you. You’ve set your wash day, you’re mentally prepared for it and you know what you need to do on that day. You proceed with your wash day and you’re halfway through it only to find out your deep conditioner or your styling product has finished. Maddening, isn’t it?
Make sure you have all the product and tools you need to have your wash day run smoothly. Having to cover your wet hair and get in the car to supply yourself with more products is not fun, it’s a nuisance. I like doing some shopping, don’t get me wrong, just not midway through my hair washing routine. I’m sure you feel the same way, right?
Make sure you’re good to go!
#4| Stop Punishing Yourself
Sometimes we do this to ourselves. We force things up. We need to have things done a certain way or no way at all. What am I talking about? I’m talking about trying to fit into your hair wash routine a million different things.
We all want to do the best for our hair. I get it, we want our natural hair to grow healthy and strong and, therefore, we engage in different practices to support these goals (follow the link to access a free recourse to set goals). If this is you, cheers to you for having the commitment to so. But, could you be overdoing it? Does your wash day include a pre-poo, shampoo/co-wash, conditioner, oil rinse, deep condition for a few hours with a steamer, styling with 5 different products and then end the day doing a million mini twists?
It sounds crazy just reading it doesn’t it? But, it can get crazier if, from time to time, you also do a bit of hair colour or henna.
Cut back on a few things. If your hair is relatively healthy, or moisture and breakage are under control you probably don’t need to do a pre-poo and oil rinse on every single wash day. Alternate between the two, or do one every other week. Doing mini twist or any other time-consuming hairstyles should be done on a day you have no commitments. Preferably, a day you are mentally prepared for it and even have your house chores and meals done in advance.
I hope these tips for a smarter natural hair wash day are useful. Remember trying to do everything in one day will quickly burn you out. Don’t do your wash day the same day you have your house chores and errands to do. Make sure you know what needs to be done on your wash day, establish a hair regimen that fits your hair needs and take notes of everything you do on your hair journal.
But, please don’t punish yourself by wanting to include a million different things in your hair routine thinking more is better. This is often not the case, just make sure you have everything you need for your wash day, it’s not fun realising your missing something you desperately need.
Don’t forget to download the worksheets to Build Your Hair Regimen and start working on the tips for a smarter wash day.