Y’all. Last night was a REVOLUTIONARY moment in my natural hair career. Yes, this is a career — anything that takes more than 10 hours per week and provides some sort of income is a path to a career. I digress. But anyhow, remember my lamentation about
how my hair sucks and I wanted to cut it all off because it wasn’t growing how my hair was struggling? So I decided to try out some new things for this wash process, and I’m happy to report that I had AMAZING results!
First and foremost, I decided to wash my hair after only 2 weeks of living with it since I went to the Carol’s Daughter Salon. My lazy nyash (behind) typically waits 3-4 (to 5…) weeks between any kind of water drenching my hair, but a more frequent wash means more frequent conditioning, deep conditioning, and steaming — all great things for my hair. Now on to what I think was really the main reason my wash day was really just a couple (literally two) hours:
I Switched The Order of my Detangling & Wash Process
How I Washed My Hair Before
My previous wash cycle went a bit like this:
- * Finger detangle my dirty old hair that was most likely in a puff with water, conditioner, and oil and my Q-Redew. Put into braids.
- * Unbraid sections one by one and shampoo, braid back up. Rinse out shampoo.
- * Unbraid sections one by one and condition, braid back up. Rinse out conditioner while in braids.
The finger detangling part often took at least 1.5 hours if I was doing a good job. I know because thats 2 episodes of Law & Order: SVU. Oftentimes, it would take more time than that, but mostly because I was just trying to finish a 3rd episode so I’d drag it out. Now once you’ve spent nearly 2 hours with your arms up trying to get knots out of your hair, you don’t really have the strength to even think about deep conditioning… and hence why I seriously fell off the path in that department. I would have to fill up my Q-Redew reservoir up twice to coat my hair in steam, and continuously respray my detangling mix to keep my hair hydrated so I could minimize the dreaded snap, crackle, and pop that sometimes sneaks up on you as you’re finger detangling.
How I Washed My Hair Last Night
- * Section dirty hair into four, loosely secure sections with hair ties.
- * Shampoo each section and place in loose bun when complete. Rinse out shampoo by saturating buns with water and squeezing it out.
- * Apply deep conditioner (I used Aubrey Organics… review forthcoming) to each section to coat, very lightly finger detangle and split into two smaller sections, which are bantu knotted. I now have 8 bantu knots (no bobby pins).
- * Section by section (taking one bantu knot at a time), use Q-Redew to add steam to front and back of section for 30 seconds. Then, finger detangle until I can run my fingers through the section. Braid up the section and continue.
- * Rinse out deep conditioner while in braids.
Bantu-ing your hair helps your hair remain wet and conditioning before you’re ready to work with it with the steamer, whereas a twist or braid would cause your hair to dry up (Alana taught me!). I had a spray bottle of oil & water mix ready in case my hair got dry, but it didn’t at all! Not only was this sequence of events time-saving — cutting down a 1.5 hour detangling session to a cool 40 minutes — it also significantly reduced the amount of breakage I experience from finger detangling. I usually have a fist full of hair but last night, just a few lost pieces.
Now the academic researcher in me wants to point out some caveats, mainly a potential confounding factor. A confounding factor is a variable that can give you distorted results. Anywhew, it’s possible that the fact that my hair was recently trimmed has something to do with this reduced breakage. However, I’m not fully sold on that theory because I experienced normal amounts of breakage/shedding while retwisting my hair over the course of the past two weeks. If my mini fuzz ball was solely from the trim, I think I would’ve also noticed less shed and broken hairs between washes.