Want to shorten your wash days?
You may associate washing natural hair with long hours, tangles and mega frustration. As a mum to two girls aged seven and thirteen, each with waist length natural afro hair, I've spent a fair share of the last 7 years experimenting on how to cut down the time I spend on their hair. Cue the busy mum's method below.
Where there's a will…
Deep condition on dry hair
In my early days of being natural, I used to wash, then deep condition, then rinse, then wash with a cleanser then rinse again before applying a leave-in conditioner. Long tin! Not any more. Now, for myself and my daughters, I apply our Babbasu and Tucuma Treatment masque on dry hair. The key thing is to ensure you're using a penetrating product with penetrating ingredients like the one I've created. As soon as you apply it, it should physically moisturise your hair, turning it from dry to moisturised. Not convinced? Think of it this way, a dry sponge soaks up moisture more readily than a wet one. Secondly, if your deep conditioner is a great formulation, you'll see it easily detangles any knots you may have, doubling up as a pre-poo! Read here on how to deep condition effectively.
Keep in loose twists or loose banded sections
As you apply and detangle with the deep conditioner, section hair into six to ten parts and twist. If you can't twist you could try sectioning with hair bands along the length of the hair shaft, also known as banding. This trick alone has accounted for 80% of our time saving and more for our hair retention and allowed us avoid breakage. When twisting or holding with a band, try to make it loose at the base of the hair. If your hair is too short for twisting or banding, wash each section one at time, putting the others in several clips or clamps.
Massage scalp with cleanser while deep conditioner is still in hair
Since the twists are loose, your fingers can reach and massage the scalp. Apply the cleanser or shampoo to the base of the twists and massage thoroughly. Then wash cleanser and deep conditioner off at the same time. Scientifically speaking, the surfactants that create the cleansing suds will work to remove dirt from the hair while the conditioning agents in the deep conditioner will cause the follicles to remain smooth and conditioned. As you rinse the scalp allow the cleanser run along the hair shaft. As the water flows down, your hair should get clean without being roughened by the active surfactants.
Apply your leave-in conditioner on damp hair
Use a cotton t-shirt or cloth to squeeze away excess water. Towels will raise the cuticles your deep conditioner has worked hard to lay flat. I’ve not had much experience with heat styling for my hair or the girls. I usually apply our Marula leave-in conditioner on slightly damp hair.
Style in sections
Decide from the outset what style you are going to rock and section your hair with that in mind. Work on one section at a time, until you are finished. You could tidy up your sections, if you are twisting, braiding or going for bantu-knots. If you decide to blow-dry, also go one section at a time to avoid tangles and knots.
Hope this helps.
Let me know what questions you have on Instagram @ i_am_equi.