I no longer have a set schedule for wash day and this allows my hair to guide me on when it is time to clean it.
Natural hair makes for more work on wash day than when I was relaxed, and while I would never say nor believe that natural hair is harder to maintain than relaxed hair, I do realize wash day is arduous. I no longer have a set schedule for wash day and this allows my hair to guide me on when it is time to clean it. There are specific signs that are pretty universal regardless of your hair’s texture, density. Here are my tell-tale signs my hair is ready for wash day.
1. Product buildup
I hate buildup and truly try to steer clear of ingredients that can rapidly build up. Buildup can be an accumulation of sweat, dirt, and pollutants and that gunky mess needs to be removed ASAP. Product buildup can be damaging over time, as it can clog the hair follicles and weigh hair down too. It usually creates a film on my hair and sometime flakes. This mess is the best indicator I need to plan a wash day quickly. I will sometimes add products that have silicones if I am going for a particular look, so I plan for wash day to be soon thereafter in order to remove that buildup. I love Olive Oil Eco Styler Gel (I get the best high puff when I use it!) but when I use it I know I will need to wash my hair soon after because it does cause buildup.
2. My hair feels oily
I hate oily hair. That may sound strange from someone who uses a lot of oils on her hair and body, but when my hair feels oily, I know it is time to wash it. I can be heavy-handed so I never just add oil as a sealant to my hair. I use a cocktail mix of conditioner and elixir instead to seal my hair and it works great at sealing without feeling greasy.
3. It refuses to act right
This is pretty subjective. For me, refusing to act right is what is going on right now. I washed my hair a few days ago and my hair is unruly. When this happens I plan to redo my hair; this is just a quick co-wash with cleansing conditioner. Usually this occurs when my wash day routine was subpar and it needs to be refreshed. This gets me back on track quickly. I’ll usually skip the longer deep conditioning that time too but I’ll do everything else I normally do on wash day. I will just keep the deep conditioner in my hair long enough to finish my shower (usually 2 to 3 minutes with a plastic cap) and all will be right with the curl and coil gods.
I tried the washing weekly or bi-weekly but that was becoming cumbersome and sometimes my hair needed to be washed sooner or even later. Now I wash when necessary and that works better for me. With these signs above I’m having a much better wash day experience.