Wash Day For African Hair

Full Wash Day Hair Routine, including an organic deep conditioner.

It’s no secret, for those who know me, that I love taking care of my hair and I value it so much. I have not found the deep meaning or reason behind that yet, but what I do know is that my hair is closely as valuable to me as an entire human, so you may as well say it’s my baby. I will spend hours on my hair and chunks of money on purchasing the right products for it, just so that it can grow well and stay beautiful.

I have a particular wash day routine that I complete every month to make sure that it is still growing and the right amount of moisture and protein is instilled to allow it to grow. I wash my hair about every week, then deep condition it every month or fortnight, so I have decided to include the deep conditioning as well into this blog-post.

The products I use and why them ?
Well, I’m quite a fan of Aunt Jackie’s products, as they are inexpensive (affordable for a broke girl like me), the ingredients used focus on having the best interests for your hair, whether it’s curls, coils or relaxed hair, there’s no sulfate and parabens, but there are more organic ingredients such as shea butter and argan oil, because chemicals & minerals may damage your hair in the long run. Plus, they smell really good and always leave your hair soft and maintainable.

How I incorporate my hair wash routine and why ?
I make sure to deep condition my hair every month so that there is enough protein in it and it’s not just moisture, making sure that they still have strength and growth, though I do also make sure to wash every week so that all the products I have utilized for the week do not build up and clog my pores with residue that should be washed, as this may prohibit my hair from growing. This is also to maintain the softness of my hair because without moisture then hair will become dry, brittle and prone to breakage.

The Process

  1. Pre-Pooing

Pre-pooing means applying oil to your hair so that you can protect it before washing in the case that use harsh chemicals in shampoos and conditioners. You may use any oil, from coconut oil to olive oil to castor oil, whichever works best for you.

I normally begin by pre-pooing my hair if I am not deep-conditioning it, as this helps to protect my strands from the harsh chemicals that come from certain ingredients in shampoos. I used to use the Aunt Jackie’s shampoo alone, though after some time I have realized that it is best to use, in the first wash, a shampoo that contains sulfates as it helps to roughly clean out all the excess dirt in your hair, whereas a product without sulfate will be soft on your hair but may not cleanse out every amount of dirt properly. So I begin by using a shampoo that contains sulfate, then right after I use the Aunt Jackie’s Oh So Clean shampoo because it’s infused with oils and butters that can still leave my hair in a good state. This is why pre-pooing is important to protect your hair from those sulfates if you do not happen to use a sulfate-free shampoo, then pre-pooing will protect your strands. I also normally wear a satin scarf or doek after doing this, to ensure the oils do not drip or fade out with the wind.

2. Applying the deep conditioner

The ingredients I use for my special organic deep conditioner are: Coconut Oil [can be purchased at your nearest supermarket, or Clicks/Dischem], Eggs, Honey, and Avocado.
I start by mashing the avocado into a bowl (glass or plastic is fine), then break two large eggs inside (making sure no pieces shells are inside), then pour two tablespoons of melted coconut oil (you may actually use any oil, such as Jojoba, Castor, Argan, though coconut oil works best for me), and lastly pour in a tablespoon of raw honey.

Reasons For Each Ingredient

Avocado: An avocado is known for containing good unsaturated fats that can be instilled in your hair, it is also high in protein which really feeds the hair so that it can have strength.
Eggs: Eggs are also high in protein, while also helping your hair to remain soft and elastic. They work the most effective way because they get in to your hair strands quicker.
Coconut Oil: This oil has the ability to lock in any moisture or product while giving your hair strength not to break or become frizzy. Its heavyweight can ensure that the proteins are locked in and that your hair may still shine.
Honey: For extra shine, this works best, as the proteins may dry your hair out after rinsing. Honey will enable your hair to still remain silky, smooth and shiny for a long while.

Applying

[side note: these pictures were actually in the form of a video, the video was too long to post so I took snaps of relevant parts instead]

I tend to start by sectioning my hair into two or four parts when applying my deep-conditioner, so that it is easier to sink in and activate. Then, with either a flat brush or my hands while wearing a glove, I apply from the start/base to the ends of my hair. An important note is that it’s essential to focus on applying the ends of the hair as this can protect them from becoming split ends, so a deep conditioner can give enough strength for being less prone to breakage.

You may use a plastic, shower cap or a heating cap (more preferable to use a heating cap, as this can ensure that your hair is warm underneath, and the secret to growing hair is moisture and warmth).

Though if you happen to not have a heating cap, then what I have recently discovered to work for me is to put boiling water into a bucket, then place my head just above the bucket, so that the heat of the steam up to my head and the hair can remain warm. You will have to be careful with this though, as it may be quite hot and if happen to spill the bucket, it may land on your head and can be quite painful (speaking from experience).

A good way to deep condition is to leave it in your hair for about 40 minutes to an hour, especially if you are using heat (1.5 hours without heat).

3. Washing

After allowing the deep conditoner to sit for enough time on your head, it is time to wash it off. Make sure that you have all utensils that you need beside you, this includes :

  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Wide-toothed Comb (to ensure good detangling)
  • Hair-band / elastic (to tie the sections of your hair)
  • Hair clip
  • Towel (microfibre towel works best, or if not then a clean cotton t-shirt)
  • Gloves (if you would like to protect your hands & nails from the harsh ingredients)
  • Cup (or whatever to scoop the water with)

When you wash your hair, it is best to section it as this makes products easier to apply and rinse. Make sure that your water is lukewarm enough for your head. If it is too warm/hot, it can dry out your hair and remove the oils you applied to protect your hair. If it is too cold, your pores may close and this will not prohibit your pores from being cleansed thoroughly.

Your first wash should be for removing the deep conditioner from your hair. After that, you will apply a moderate amount of shampoo, just a little dab for that section of your hair. Then you wash out that section and comb it out slowly so that there’s little breakage yet your hair can still be detangled, then go on to the next section until you have washed your hair fully.

Once you have shampooed your hair, you then apply your conditioner, allowing it to sit for roughly ten to twenty minutes before washing it out, unless you have applied a leave-in conditioner, in which case you do not need to rinse it out.

4. Drying

Though I may not dry my hair all the time with a dryer, when I do, I make sure to use a hair serum that will still protect my strands. [As you may now tell, protection of your hair is important. This allows for minimum breakage, leading to massive hair growth.] I personally use a heat protection serum from Clicks, called AfriTrue. It leaves my hair silky and shiny after drying.

If I happen to not dry my hair, I just scrunch it with a clean cotton t-shirt, or a microfibre towel so that there’s little breakage. Sometimes I do continue to apply the serum to ensure that the moisture is sealed in. Then comb it out, and let it air-dry for about one to two hours.

5. Styling

I tend to style my hair before I go to bed in french braids. If I’m not going to bed then I just do one ponytail Ariana-Grande-style. If I am going to bed, I will continue with the LCO-method. The LCO method stands for Liquid, Cream and Oil, meaning that before you do whatever protective styling, you can begin by applying a lightweight liquid to your hair to soften it up as a base before other heavyweight products are applied, plus detangle and restore moisture after your being dry, then a cream to repair and condition your hair from it being being dry and frizzy, this also help to strengthen the hair by letting good ingredients become absorbed into the strands, then finally the oil is to seal up all the moisture to allow it to stay on the strands instead of fading or ‘evaporating’.

Most times I begin by mixing some water and the Aunt Jackie’s Knot On My Watch Detangler as the liquid, then lather it all over my hair. I then use the Aunt Jackie’s (Flaxeed Recipe) Seal It Up Butter to moisturize my hair as a cream, making sure I apply from root to end, before I seal it with some Aunt Jackie’s Repair My Hair Argan oil blend while braiding my hair.

Braiding for me is especially important as it is a protective style that ensures there’s still moisture and nourishment in my hair. Then when I wake up the following day, my hair is in beautiful curls.

It may seem like a lot, but trust me, it is all worth it when you start to see your hair becoming healthy and growing, so I truly urge that you stay consistent because the happiness that comes from finally seeing the results of good hair care, it’s incredible.

What’s your wash day routine? Leave a comment down below.

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