Look, I’m the first one to push back wash day for several
weeks days because I don’t have the time or energy to tackle my hair. However, I magically pulled off a ONE HOUR wash day a few weeks ago, and as I promised on Instagram, I’m going to tell you how you can do it too!
Why Do You Need a Wash Day Regimen?
A good wash day regimen is essential to healthy natural hair because it is one of the foundations of having moisturized hair, which is less prone to breakage and knotting. Well moisturized hair is also easier to style!
This Wash Hour Will Work If…
- You have stretched hair or shrunken hair!
- You’ve detangled your hair beforehand, or not!
- You’ve washed your hair within the past 2 weeks
Without Further Ado, How to Turn Your Wash Day Into a Wash Hour
Step 1: Start with a Cleansing Conditioner (10 minutes)
To shorten your wash day, use a cleansing conditioner, cleansing cream, or cleansing rinse to wash your hair as opposed to a shampoo and conditioner. By eliminating shampoo from your wash process, you’re less likely to strip your hair of oils that will actually make it easier to detangle in the next steps. Now this is why you will have had to wash your hair within the past two weeks, because after that, you will definitely need a stronger shampoo to rid your hair and scalp of any dirt, oil, or product buildup. Here’s what an ideal month looks like for me:
Week 1: Shampoo + Deep Conditioner + Steam
Week 2: Chill
Week 3: Cleansing Conditioner + Steam (this is your 1 hour wash day!)
Week 4: Chill
Now I’ll talk about how you should wash and style your hair on Week 1 to keep it moisturized enough to get to Week 3 in the course, so make sure you’ve actually registered!
In my most recent 1 hour wash day, I used Camille Rose Naturals Caramel Cowash Cleansing Conditioner and unlike most shampoos, made my hair softer after using it! This process only took me 10 minutes.
Step 2: Condition with a Thick, Slippery Mask (5 minutes)
After rinsing out your conditioning cleanser, you might be tempted to hop out of the shower, but you have to infuse your hair with maximum moisture. We do that by using a hair mask and steam. Apply a good amount of mask onto your hair, and choose a hair mask that is thick – it can even contain silicones. Now I know you might be gasping, because silicones get a bad rap in the natural hair world, but all they do is coat your hair strand to provide a temporary smoothing effect. As long as you’re not using silicones in most of your other hair products, and you use a clarifying shampoo every so often (in your Week 1s), you’ll be fine.
Don’t bother sectioning if your hair is shorter than my own. I used to waste SO much time sectioning my hair into 8 sections before and during the wash, because I was afraid of shrinkage and tangling, but if you use products with slip, you won’t have to do all that work! Now I’ll make 3-4 sections, and I’ll use my Snappee hairties which can easily snap off.
For my mask, I used Clairol Hair Food’s Moisture Hair Mask Infused with Honey Apricot Fragrance. It’s super thick and spreads well. This took 5 minutes.
Step 3: Detangle Under Steam (35 minutes)
Before you rinse out the hair mask, you want to detangle your hair! Using a comb to detangle your hair section by section is the number 1 time killer on wash days, and detangling dry hair either before washing, or while washing (ie. detangling post a deep conditioner) is probably the #1 cause of breakage for naturals with kinky textured hair. I used to finger detangle, and while that was better than using comb, IT TOOK FOREVER. No one has time for that!
The QRedew has completely revolutionized how I wash and maintain my hair, because the handheld steamer is a steamer and wide toothed comb all in one! I take one section of my hair, hold the steamer over my ends for 30 seconds, and then use the teeth of the comb to detangle my hair from ends to roots. If you don’t have a steamer, you can mimic this by leaving your water on really hot and making sure to trap in the steam, but that over time will add way more than $70 to your water bill. The QRedew is honestly the #1 tool I recommend for all naturals.
Another timekiller is that naturals think their hair has to be fine-tooth comb detangled in order for it to be healthy – newsflash: our hair strands love each other so much they’re going to attempt to mesh together whether you use a fine-toothed comb to detangle or not! As long as there aren’t any huge knots in your hair, it’s fine. On quick wash days, this process takes me 35 minutes, and when I’m done with each section, I just tie it up again with a Snappee.
Step 4: Rinse (5 minutes)
You always want to rinse your hair with cold water to close your cuticles and lock in all that great moisture you just added with your steam. I prefer to rinse my hair in sections and squeeze out any remaining conditioner, because then I can limit tangling and shrinkage. This takes less than 5 minutes.
Step 5: Use a BOMB Leave-in Conditioner (5 minutes)
Many naturals think their wash regimen ends when they’ve rinsed their hair, but actually the leave-in conditioner you choose to use can make the difference between a great wash, and dry hair in two days. In addition, a great leave-in will prevent your hair from meshing and tangling, which will make styling faster (be honest, how many times have you detangled during wash and then had to detangle again before styling?!) My absolute favorite leave-in at the moment is TGIN Green Tea Super Moist Leave in Conditioner because it’s incredibly hydrating. After rinsing, I’ll gently squeeze out excess water with my hands (no towel!) and apply the leave-in all over. By the time I’ve gotten dressed and eaten (for some reason I’m always hungry after I wash my hair), my hair is still soft and ready to be styled.
Now that you’ve saved so much time washing your hair, you’ll have more time (and energy) for amazing styles!