No matter where you are on the textured hair spectrum, chances are your Wash Day can sometimes be a hindrance for one reason or another. And although a wash routine varies by hair type, season, budget, lifestyle, and so much more, we can all agree that there are some tedious steps we’d like to avoid or skip altogether. In a recent poll we learned that most of our online NaturallyCurly community would rather go without some of the same 4 steps.
Image Source: Getty Images/Mango Productions
If, like our online community, one of these common Wash Day steps feels unbeneficial or unnecessary at times, here are some suggestions so that your next one doesn’t feel like a burden.
A “pre-poo” is a term used to describe an oil treatment that you apply to your scalp prior to shampooing or conditioning. This can be a store-bought treatment that contains all the ingredients you need, or if you are a frequent DIY-er, some concoction you create in your kitchen from items that are probably already in your pantry.
Good news is, you can actually skip the pre-poo step if you don’t have any breakage, are happy with your hair growth rate, and have hair that isn’t prone to getting tangles.
Try this easy-to-follow pre-poo recipe during your next Wash Day:
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons castor oil
- 4 drops tea tree oil
After mixing all ingredients in a bottle, apply to dry, thirsty hair from root to tip. Leave it in for 15 minutes under a plastic cap to seal in moisture before conditioning.
If you’d rather buy one, Righteous Roots PRE-POO Pre-Wash Detangler virtually cuts Wash Day in half for you when you let it sit on your scalp for 15 minutes. It also doubles as a detangler! Your pre-pooing session makes for enough time to eat dinner, read a couple chapters from your book, or study to decompress before what could otherwise be a rigorous Wash Day. Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Pre-Shampoo Treatment is another effective way to open your cuticles and prepare them for manipulation during co-washing and detangling.
Does the thought of raking through clumps of curls to get out knots and tangles make you cringe? Us, too! That’s why it’s another popular Wash Day step that many of our NC community members would skip if they could. Unfortunately, going without detangling will bring about more damage than good in the long run. It’s important to properly detangle each time you condition and cleanse your hair so that you can prevent further hair shedding, matting, and split ends.
Thankfully, there are useful tools that will make detangling much more simpler and faster. Denman D3 Classic Brush is an Editor’s Choice winner because of its nylon pins for tackling the tiniest of knots and anti-static rubber pad for easier grip during the process. Our very own NaturallyCurly Shower Comb is a wide-tooth comb that will also make Wash Day so much easier.
A detangler with good slip will do the trick for promoting healthy, happy definition without taking too much of your time (or causing pain). A long-time Best of the Best Award winner is Kinky Curly Knot Today which is perfect for all hair types, from loose waves to tight coils. This leave-in detangler contains organic mango extract and slippery elm to help your detangling tool glide through and undo tough knots without yanking on your roots. SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Extra-Moisture Detangler will also give you great slip while retaining smoothness to dry, damaged hair.
With a good amount of conditioner saturated in your hair, start from the ends of your hair and gently work your way up for super detangled, defined curls.
For those of us who have curls and coils that easily tangle overnight, twisting and braiding is imperative. Still, it can be a drag if you are low on time and energy. That’s why it’s important to use quality curl-defining products that will help prolong the time in between Wash Days.
Combining your moisturizing and styling into one step will not only cut down Wash Day time, it might also let you avoid braiding and twisting altogether. On freshly washed hair, scrunch in aloe vera-infused Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Style Setter to hold your definition in place for days on end. As a low-maintenance routine, follow up the next day with a detangling refresher by spraying and finger-fluffing with something like Taliah Waajid Curls, Waves & Naturals Curly Curl Cream. It intensely eliminates frizz and enhances texture while boasting moisturizing properties at the same time -- so you can go 3 days or more without having to re-twist.
To avoid having to twist your hair every single night, technique for preservation matters just as much as a good defining product. Consider the time you schedule your wash routine: if you plan on being social or in public during the day, it may be best to cleanse, condition, and style the night before. Investing in a hooded dryer might be helpful for this, as you don’t want to go to sleep with soggy, damp curls that might get your pillow and sheets wet or perhaps cause an annoying head cold. If you need to refresh your curls before an event, do so with a t-shirt and a trusty leave-in conditioner like TGIN Green Tea Super Moist Leave In to retain moisture and add lightweight but soft ringlets that will last for days.
No true Wash Day can be avoided without actually washing your hair. But luckily, there are ways to go longer in between the days of intense cleansing that zaps so much time and effort from your day. Many of our NaturallyCurly folks like to keep their hair fresh and clean while skipping a full out wash routine by using a dry shampoo after a workout, traveling, or anything else that might make curls feel dirty and duller than usual.
Believe it or not, making dry shampoo from scratch doesn’t take much time or ingredients. You need:
- ¼ cup organic cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 5 drops of your favorite essential oil
In a sealable jar, mix these ingredients with a spoon. Apply it with a foundation brush to your roots, gently rubbing with the pads of your fingers to absorb excess oil and grime from your day-to-day. Store it away in your purse or gym locker for a quick refresh anytime you need it.
If you prefer to buy a product that does the trick just as well, Uncle Funky’s Daughter Defunk Hair Refresher Tonic doubles as a curl refresher while invigorating your scalp with chamomile and lavender. It’s meant to be left in and can be used daily if needed. DevaCurl No Poo Quick Cleanser is another botanically-infused curly girl favorite because it adds subtle body to 2nd-day hair and beyond.
Which Wash Day step do you wish you could skip?
How do you make it easier? Let us know in the comments below, and follow us on social media for more tips from our NaturallyCurly community!