How long does it take you to do your hair?

YIKES: Just realised this is an essay!!

Hey ladies, just wanted your opinion on something. I was talking to some non-naturals the other day describing my routine, and they balked when I said I spend 2.5 hours a week on my dense, bsl-when-stretched hair.

I generally wash my hair every sunday night, and tend to dc every time I wash without fail. I shampoo or cowash, then deep condition for an hour (although I've recently started doing this the other way round and find it works quite well for me), detangle then put it into 4-6 braids, rinse with the braids in, then take out each section, apply leave-in and then moisturiser (my hair does not co-operate unless I do both these stages), and then twist or braid each section with styling product into smaller sections to dry (about 15-20 twists). All this, including the DC takes a total of about 2.5 hours, and I generally don't do anything else to my hair until the next wash day except moisturise and pineapple.

I tend to do all this on a sunday evening in front of the tv, and apart from detangling, I quite like playing with my hair, so don't mind this at all. But I just wondered if my routine sounded overly complicated to anyone else here and if anyone's routine was shorter (bear in mind I avoid wash n go's because my hair tangles like mad), or if the girls' arguments were just standard relaxed girls' views? I was trying to explain the benefits of natural hair. Well, the main one is that my hair is healthier and happier, and I actually prefer the way natural hair looks on me to relaxed hair, and I think its is worth the effort even if it does take longer to do than when it was relaxed (although I have been natural for 11 years, so actually don't remember what my routine was like, or how long it took to do, when I was relaxed).

One of the girls (who is natural under her weave but who has never shown her hair to anyone apart from the hairdresser) said to me 'I could just spend 3 hours getting my hair put in braids, and wouldn't have to worry about it for 6 weeks', and I thought 'yeah, I could do that too, and I do sometimes, but generally like my own hair and would rather have it out'

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, and most people on NC will share my views on why it is worth spending time on hair, but this post is partly just to vent, but also partly to ask how long everyone else spends on their hair. Maybe if there are shorter routines and I could talk about them, then people wouldn't use the 'its too time-consuming' argument- although something tells me there would just be a million more excuses for why relaxed hair/braids/weaves are preferable.
Products in current rotation:

Terressentials Pure Earth Mud Wash; Elucence MBC (now really just for cowashing, leg shaving or emergencies); Curl Junkie: Repair Me, Deep Fix, Curl Rehab; AOHSR (retiring); Oyin Handmade: Honey Hemp, Hair Dew, J&B; Qhemet Biologics: BRBC (retiring- prefer Oyin HD), AOHC, OHHB; Jojoba Oil for scalp; Castor Oil or Shea butter to seal; Henna & Ayurvedic pastes when I can be bothered.

Still searching for the perfect stylers, but loving CJ CIAB over everything so far

Last edited by NoodleNaps; 07-26-2010 at 04:21 PM.
I wash my hair every two weeks. I notice when I do this, my hair grows around the 2nd week, so I'm gonna try to go longer with out washing and see what happens...
But anyways, my rountine consists of washing, detangling, conditioning for an hour with a shower cap, rinsing that out to put in my deep conditioner for 2 hours or more (I have some small heat damaged ends) then after rinsing that out I braid 4 sections then dry overnight
The nex day I oil my scalp, put my cantu leave in, then seal my ends. After that I just wear two french braids until the next wash week. Currently I am sporting twists, courtesy of my natural sustah for doing them for me ^-^
My rountine is a little long because I really dont have anything to do, so why not give my hair a little extra pampering before going back to school?
As people, I believe we are most likely to do time consuming efforts on our beauty. Hair, skin, clothes...

P.S: I LOVE your name
Smacked with a head full of Dreamy tight Coils that refuse to have it any other way...
Finally maintaining a clean, moisturized scalp!
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Why would I relax all the fabulousness?!
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2 1/2 hours for washing/detangling/styling BSL natural hair sounds pretty darn good to me!

The length of time it takes to do my hair generally depends on what i'm doing with my hair. I usually don't count the time it takes for me to shampoo/condition my hair in the shower cuz i'm usually doing multiple things in the shower at once. (bathing/shaving/singing) lol but it takes me something like 10-15mins to detangle. Took me 35mins to add leave-in condish/shea butter then style my hair yesterday but that was because I did an easy Cinnabun style, if I was doing braids or flat twists then i'll prob take me 2+ hours.

I wonder what your relaxed friends do with their hair on a weekly basis cuz when I was relaxed washing my hair was still a process that took 2-4hours to complete and all I was doing wash a wash and roller set.
Last Relaxer: March 26 2009
Mini Chop: January 16 2010
BC: April 4 2010
Transitioned for 1yr 9days!
NoodleNaps, your routine sounds good to me. And the fact that it takes only 2.5 hours is a plus in my book. Right now I don't really have a routine. I think when I start school in the fall I'll have a routine because that's when time is going to be very limited and I'll need designated times for things. It'll be easier to have a routine then instead of now when I'm not really doing anything. I don't work or go to summer school so I'm either home or running random errands or chillin so I'm not inspired to get up and stick to a schedule or

It usually takes me a long time to do my hair initially, like when I install twists/ protective styles, but since I keep them in for a while it balances out. It doesn't help that I'm a slow twister/ braider/ hair doer But since I'm not locing yet (until I get my health together...and I'm not quite ready yet...blah) I want to try to do even lower manipulation and retain/obtain more growth so I've been watching kimmaytube and other youtubers and taking notes. I need to start doing my hair in the shower more.
It sounds good to me too. I spend a lot of time DC'ing, but I don't really count that b/c I'm usually just watching TV or something while I do it. It takes me about 15 min to detangle and probably 5 to do a wash n go. But, my hair is also really short. I fear and wish for length.
BC'ed: 26 Dec 09

Grand Duchess Fierce Freckles, Mistress of the Mighty Snap and Doyenne of the Potent Products Pavane in the Order of the Curly Crusaders
30-40 mins for a wash n go (depending on the combo/layering I'm using and whether or not its a poo day or not. Diffusing time is 15 mins of this). I always apply everything in the shower.

1hr 15 mins for a protective style
Type: 3c with some 4a highlighted
Low porosity thick/coarse texture. nml elasticity
Routine: No rules, just happy hair

Cleanse: CJDF, Prell, LUSH Curly Wurly, Bobeam
LI/RO:BBB, CJ, SheaM, HEHIS, Garnier, KBN Shealoe, CD Chocolat, Oyin HH
Styling: CJ, CR, UFD, Zuresh, Ecostyler,MJ


i shampoo 1x per week, apply shea butter then twist. i did mini twists and it took 2 hrs. so i would say 2.5 hours every 2weeks. i don't have to spend lots of time detangling. even when i cowash daily, detangling is a breeze as long as i don't go days w/o doing anything. i don't do deep conditioning, per se. i had extras to conditioners. that's about as deep as i get.
LOIS (OS); cottony, TYPE 4 hair, fine/med strands; no cones bcz my hair hates them; last relaxer '98; now low porosity, ignores most natural hair rules; BC #8

faves: suave, v05 shampoo, conditioner (my own), raw shea butter, castor oil, peanut oil, aloe juice
Takes me a few hours at the least.
- don't let everybody elses long straight weave bum you out. don't let other people's big/long natural hair bum you out either. embrace what you have and rock it with confidence, because that's the only way you'll be happy. and whether you realize it or not you are somebody's influence. show them what it truly means to be confident.
Originally Posted by subbrock
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It takes me 30-45 minutes just to wash and detangle my collarbone length (when stretched) hair. Yahhhhh. Lol. I normally do wash and go puffs or nothing to it, because most of the year (winter and part of fall and spring) my hair is hidden...

Co-Wash: Vo5 Herbal Escapes Moisturizing Conditioner Free Me Freesia With Aloe Extract & Aussie Moist
Leave In Conditioner: KCKT & seal with shea butter.
Gel/Styler: KCCC or EcoStyler for edges.
I think my hair likes cones...
It all depends. It can take as little as 10 minutes on days that I'm lazy and just spritz, fluff a little and go to as long as approximately 4+ hours on wash / dc and twist days.

When my hair was relaxed, it was a minimum of 3 to 4 hours at the hair dresser and a bit less time if I did it.
Last Relaxer: 09/19/08
BC: 01/30/09
Misc: 1st time going natural was '94-'98; 2nd time - '99-2003; This time I will not go back to relaxers.
Wow, you guys spend a lot of time. It takes me about 10-15 mins. I normally cowash/wash in the shower then apply product when I get out.
My routine is to detangle dry hair with conditioner and then shampoo, condition, leave some conditioner in, and then pin it up. Btw, my hair is 12-14 inches long.

Detangling can take me 2 hours sometimes. But that's because I am EXTREMELY slow and gentle while doing it. My goal every week is to not hear any strands break while I'm detangling. The rest of my routine only takes about 20 minutes (including the time I leave the conditioner on in the shower).

It all depends on the person and what works for their hair. I don't think a couple hours at one time is a big deal but I guess it wouldn't work for othes.

it depends. if i am wash and going it takes 10 mis a day
if i am twisitng or braiding 2 hours give or take. i am past apl.
4a transitioning
Straight haired natural journey
Goodness, on my wash day it is really a full day. To wash takes about 1 hour since I have to section my hair. I finger detangle as I go and apply conditioner to each section after washing. Then I rinse the regular conditioner and apply my deep conditioner. The under the dryer for 30-45 minutes.

By the time I finish twisting my hair it has been at least 5-6 hours (with some breaks in between). Not for the faint of heart. I try to stretch my washes to every 10 days or two weeks but it doesn't always work.
Over 10 years natural and still growing...
It's guaranteed to take me 4-5 hours depending on what I'm doing to my hair. I typically do my hair every 7 to 10 days unless I'm wearing twists, which I try to get three styles out of.

30 minute wash.
45 mins to 1 hour to detangle
30 minute deep condition with heat
styling can take 2 to 3 hours+ depending on my style of choice and how small/large my braids/twists are.

But, I spent 5 hours in the salon every 2 weeks getting my hair over processed!!!

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For the past couple of months I've been protective styling my hair, so that adds on quite a bit of time.

From co-washing or shampooing, detangling, conditioning or deep conditioning and finally moisturizing and sealing it takes me about 1.5 hours.

If I am just double twisting my hair that is an additional 1.5 hrs.

If I am doing a fancy style like with cornrows and twists, that's 3-5 hours, depending on how complex the style is. I'm getting better when it comes to parting my hair for cornrows. I did a protective style last Friday and it only took me 4 hours.
LOL@ only 4 hours. But hey, those styles last me for 2 weeks. I co-wash in between that time and then moisturize and seal.


well if i just do reg. old two strand twists it takes about 45- 1 hr ...keep in mind my hair is about 3. 1/2 in. i have only been natural almost 7 months (jan.13.2010) so who knows how long it will take when im natural for a year .lol I have been doing two strand twists since my hair has been long enough to do so i have been doing them for 2 months but anyways it take me about 10-15 min to wash and detangle in the shower I do the co-wash "curly girl" method once or twice now . The two strand twists last for a style itself for a bout a day and a half for me since im always eager to see the and then i wear it down with the side pend up or into a curly puff with some cut headbands with a lil gel to slick the edges and twirling the curls a lil and that takes about 30 - 45 min ... I love playing around with my hair trying styles since my hair is a lil longer and a lil more versatile to style with since the B'C
3c/4a curls

> Loving my naturally curly hair , haven't regretted the choice yet<

Thanks for your responses, ladies. Yeah the length of time varies for me as well. If I'm doing mini twists (and I almost exclusively wear these in winter) it does stretch to the 4-5 hour mark too. But then I keep these in for 2 weeks normally. Also don't forget the additional time when doing an ayurvedic paste or generally experimenting.

I guess the girls I was talking to are usually usually weaved up, so they spend the one day getting it put in and do nothing else to their hair for weeks/months. I don't see the point in having my hair hidden constantly and not caring about what condition its in, so now I know my response for next time.

I have to say I am very jealous of all of you who manage to do your hair: wash, detangle, condition, style in less than an hour though!
Products in current rotation:

Terressentials Pure Earth Mud Wash; Elucence MBC (now really just for cowashing, leg shaving or emergencies); Curl Junkie: Repair Me, Deep Fix, Curl Rehab; AOHSR (retiring); Oyin Handmade: Honey Hemp, Hair Dew, J&B; Qhemet Biologics: BRBC (retiring- prefer Oyin HD), AOHC, OHHB; Jojoba Oil for scalp; Castor Oil or Shea butter to seal; Henna & Ayurvedic pastes when I can be bothered.

Still searching for the perfect stylers, but loving CJ CIAB over everything so far
I have to say I am very jealous of all of you who manage to do your hair: wash, detangle, condition, style in less than an hour though!
Originally Posted by NoodleNaps
LOL. I know that's right NoodleNaps. I often have flashbacks of the bc. Those were the days!

Get up to $10 off your first order at Use discount code: CAR231.

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My routine spans over 2 days, once a week. Friday night I detangle, apply pre-poo to sections and let that sit for an hour while I cook, clean, setup movie night, mix my Ayurvedic paste du jour,or avocado PT mix, etc. After that I wash my hair in sections, jump out, and apply whatever PT I have in sections; let that sit for about an hour and then rinse and apply my DC. By that time...I'm EXHAUSTED so I leave that on overnight.

Then here comes morning *birds chirping, coffee brewing* and after I've let the caffeine work it's mojo on me....I rinse my DC and do what ever experimental protective style that's on my mind. This past week it was 3 strand twists..I was doing those bad boys for about 5 hours (I'm slow, I had breakfast, I goofed off with my kids all during that time as well).

I love all of it though. I know everything about my hair because I'm caring for it so lovingly myself. It's my hands that wash and style it, my concoctions that condition it, and my time that I spend. I'm hoping to turn this all into a total Momma spa day thing...add my nails, facial, maybe a body wrap, and chick flick all to the mix.
*MopTop Maven Healthy Hair Challenge 2011*

PrePoo- EVOO
LowPoo- Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap bar
Shampoo- ORS Creamy Aloe
Clarifying poo- Suave Daily Clarifying shampoo
DC- GVP Conditioning Balm
PT- GVP K-Pak reconstructor
Leave in- Giovanni Direct leave-in *with kimmaytube recipe*
Moisturizer- water+aloe vera juice+castor oil+jojoba oil spritz
Sealant- jojoba oil

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