What is Wash Day?

Alright lovelies, I am going to go into detail about something that many of people not part of the natural hair movement for black women are not familiar with. That is Wash Day. Wash Day is typically an all-day event which is why you will hear or see references to it on weekends. Let me give you some insight into the curly hair ritual and lay out my own routine.

Wash Day

Wash Day is an all-day hair event for naturals. On this day naturals take time to thoroughly care for the hair from scalp to tip. The steps involved depend on each individual's hair needs. Some might just add a deep conditioning treatment or protein pack and a rod set under a hooded dryer. Others may have 10 or more steps to go through on Wash Day. Typically Wash Day includes some of the following:

  • Detangling
  • Scalp Care
  • Pre-Poo
  • Shampoo, Co-Wash, or Clay Wash
  • Conditioner or Deep Conditioner
  • Second Detangling
  • Defining Curl Pattern or Setting Hair

There are other processes that happen but these are the gist for many naturals.

My Wash Day Routine

I have three types of Wash Day routines. One is the basic weekly routine. The second is a clarifying routine. The third is a deep clean and deep condition routine. The second and third have similar processes to the weekly routine but I swap and add in different products.

My Weekly Routine 

  • Detangle and section my hair
  • Massage a scalp oil into my scalp to loosen dead skin
  • Apply a pre-poo to each hair section
  • Shampoo
  • Moisturizing conditioner
  • Detangle and section hair again
  • Apply oil to moisturize
  • Apply a cream leave-in to seal
  • Air dry hair
  • Apply scalp oil
  • Apply a curl cream
  • Set my hair

Once A Month

I add an apple cider vinegar rinse between the shampoo and conditioner steps of my weekly routine.

Every Other Month

I replace the shampoo step with a clay wash. The clay washing I do is done three to five times to totally strip away all product buildup. I find that my hair is much lighter, attracts and retains moisture better and its shinier. I replace regular conditioning with a deep conditioner that is left on for 45 minutes.

Why So Much for Wash Day?

I can't speak for anyone else on this but I will tell you why I go through so much. My hair and scalp require extra care because I have seborrheic dermatitis. I need to spend extra time on them every week.

I also have low porosity hair that has a hard time taking in moisture but once it does it holds onto it well. So, I need to go in hard with conditioner to keep my hair from becoming dry and brittle. Clarifying my hair helps with moisture retention for my hair, as well.

As far as setting my hair goes, I typically keep the set in for a few days to keep the moisture locked in. This allows me to have great curls that are moisturized with a healthy sheen to them.

Wash Day routine is not for everyone. If your hair is straight, wavy, or has loose bouncy curls, all that conditioning will be too much for you. Even for some kinky textures the conditioning must be adjusted because every head is different.

Do you have a weekly ritual for your hair care? Please share in the comments below.

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