Life is filled with tedious but necessary tasks. As a lazy natural, washday is high on my list. During various points in my natural life, the amount of time to cleanse, detangle, and style my hair has stretched out in front of me like a vast, empty wasteland. I’ve spent as many as eight hours in a stretch on my quest for healthy, full curls and coils. Luckily, those days are long gone. While I haven’t yet figured out how to spend, say zero time on my regimen (if anyone has this covered, please let me know), I have streamlined the process to two hours or less from start to finish. Here’s how I keep washday as simple and painless as possible.
1. SchedulingMy elaborate ritual of washing, deep conditioning, detangling, moisturizing, and styling is a monthly affair. I co-wash in between to keep sweat, dirt, and tangles at bay. I make an appointment with myself to get the job done without interruptions or distractions. Dedicating time for your hair is half the battle.
Before beginning my shampoo, I saturate my hair with a sexy cocktail of oil, cheap conditioner (Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner for the win), and gently remove any knots, mats, and tangles. I never attempt to detangle without first saturating my strands. As a tender headed American, combing my hair dry has never brought me anything but headaches and tears. After quickly running my fingers through my curls, I divide my hair into four sections to prepare for washing.
3. Cleansing in sectionsIt might seem like cleansing your hair in multiple sections would add time to a washday regimen, but I’ve found that parting my tresses into four quadrants cuts down on both the time and tangles. After dousing my head with water, I use a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo such as SheaMoisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo. I apply the shampoo to my scalp and work it in with my fingers. I then massage the shampoo down the length of each twist without unraveling, and rinse. This takes approximately 10 minutes.
4. Conditioner detangling (30 minutes)
I gently smooth my conditioner or deep treatment (try the Karen's Body Beautiful Luscious Locks Hair Mask) down the freshly washed twists, then untangle them to get into the nitty-gritty of detangling. If I need more conditioner, I slather it on. I’m definitely not stingy with my conditioner, because it’s the easiest way for me to detangle my hair. I divide each twist into two separate parts and gently work my way backwards, from ends to the roots with a comb.
After the hair is completely detangled, I cover my head with a shower cap and prep for the next steps while I let the deep conditioner penetrate. During the late fall and winter, I sit under my steamer for an extra moisture boost.
5. Cool Water Rinsing (<5 minutes)I finish off my wash process by rinsing with cool or cold water, which closes the pores, blocks dirt, and smoothes cuticles. It also seals in all the fabulous moisture from the conditioning treatment. A smoother, flatter cuticle reduces frizz and potential tangles due to friction.
6. T-Shirt Drying (<5 minutes)Using an old t-shirt to squeeze (not blot) the excess water from my curls dramatically cuts down my total drying time. Best of all, it keeps my hair smooth and frizz free for styling.
7. Moisturizing and Styling (45 minutes)
I add a leave in (currently loving Camille Rose Naturals Moisture Milk) while styling, as kind of a two-in-one step. I section my hair into five or six parts, apply the leave-in from root to tip, and then twist or braid as desired. My go-to style is two strand twists, which I braid at the root for more stability.
There it is, a wash day regimen that doesn’t actually take all day. What’s your secret to a fast hair care regimen? Share your secrets below.
Don't forget to check out Imani's home at Tribecalledcurl.com