One of the most vital aspects of your natural hair journey is your wash day.
Just as the name implies, it’s a day set aside to treat your natural hair to some Tender Loving Care (TLC). It’s a day to shampoo, condition and follows all the ten steps involved in natural hair maintenance.
For most of us at the beginning of our natural hair journeys, we were super anxious/excited to get into the completely foreign system and practice of caring for our natural hair by ourselves. In the process, we might have gone overboard by overdoing it.
As a new natural doing research(which you should completely do. DO NOT SKIP RESEARCH), one of the most popular graphics you would come across on the internet is a sample natural hair regimen with specifically a weekly wash day routine. These are usually very appealing which makes it so easy to jump at it and experiment with it because they are very simple and straightforward. Trust me, I have been there. My very first wash day routine was from the internet before I found what worked for me.
As a beginner who has just done the big chop, it is completely fine to wash your natural hair weekly because your hair isn’t long enough and you might not need to go through the 10 steps. Plus, you also need time to familiarize yourself with your natural hair. But as your hair grows out of the big chop past the TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) stage into the awkward length, you would need to reevaluate your wash day routine particularly if you want to retain length fast.
Before I move forward, there are two things you need to know;
- Natural hair is very fragile.
- Natural hair can easily be over manipulated.
These means that all the daily moisturizing and weekly washing can be counterproductive and lead to breakage if you’re not careful. So, you have to be super cautious and evaluate your regimen from time to time to ensure that you’re not losing hair through manipulation during maintenance.Here are some tips that should help you reduce over-manipulation during wash day and help you retain length in the process. Click To Tweet
- Start small. Reduce your wash days from weekly to bi-weekly. Observe your scalp in the process. If it is sensitive and requires some regular cleansing, try co-washing (washing your natural hair using a rinse out conditioner) in between wash days (once a week).
- Work in sections and wash/rinse your hair in twists. This also helps to reduce breakage during wash day.
- After a while, reduce your 10 steps wash day to once a month. In between, co-wash bi-weekly and moisturize three times a week.