Who has time for Wash Day? A working mom reflections on the practice

As I stumble out of bed on the 4th day post day light savings time, I start reflecting on how much I’ve learned about hair care & regimens since starting Iyami Naturals. More specifically, I am amazed about all that can go into wash day—from pre-poo, co-wash, hot oil treatments, deep conditioners, how you can DIY all these products for your hair, etc. I’m really in awe of all the tasks that can be involved in a process that I naively thought only included 2 or 3 steps. I read about how my blog partner, UrbnRebel, can take up to 1.5 hours just on her pre-poo regimen . Another blogger, Imani Dawson, discussed how she was able to shrink her routine from eight to two hours.  All I kept thinking as I read is how the hell will I make time for this? As a working mom, I barely have time to sit down and enjoy an episode of Scandal or How to Get away with Murder let alone spend hours on a lengthy hair care regimen. It doesn’t help that my husband currently works on the weekends which is usually when I wash my hair, so you can imagine the struggle I go through to keep up with a consistent routine to maintain the healthy state of my tresses.

The largest stressing point for me during the wash day process is the time in the shower when I can’t keep my eyes on my 3 year old. This process can take a while because I usually also comb through my hair after placing on conditioner. As you all know, we can’t leave little children unattended, especially a curious child like mine that likes to assert her independence and do things like this….

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Ella at 2 years old has figured out how to reach the peanut butter on the kitchen counter

Or this….

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Ella at 3 years old wanting to participate in wash day (this is a few weeks ago)

Needless to say, I’ve had to find ways to maintain a hair care regimen while keeping my eyes on my little one. These are strategies I’ve tried so far to have mini wash days:

  1. Wake up earlier: My daughter usually wakes up on the weekend around 8a so I’ll wake up around 6am to start my wash day. This has been successful especially when I want to deep condition my hair. On the off chance that Ella wakes up earlier, I’m usually almost done with the washing and conditioning part which takes most of my attention away from her since that happens in the shower.
  2. Quick wash:  Waking up earlier would solve my time issues around wash day, but sometimes doing that just isn’t an option. Every now and again a girl would like to sleep in too. On the days I’m scheduled to wash my hair but can’t carve out the time earlier in the morning, I may have to do a quick 15-minute wash right before my husband leaves for work. This is a no fuss process—wash my hair once, rinse, place on conditioner, wash the rest of my body, rinse hair, and I’m out!   I would then comb out my hair after I get out the shower so that I’m in the same room with my daughter once my husband leaves.
  3. Joint Wash Day: My daughter’s hair has to be washed too, so there are many times when I’ll do a quick wash for both of us while showering. Now that she’s older I’ll even let her help by placing products in and/or combing her hair. We tend to make it a fun activity so that she will enjoy wash day.
  4. Washing my hair outside of the shower: I also have the option of washing my hair in the sink or the bathtub. I’ve tried this strategy at least once leaning over the bathtub. Each option has its challenges but it does allow me to keep a better eye on my daughter versus being in the shower.
  5. Skipping weekend wash day: Hey…sometimes my weekend just slips away which results in not having the time to wash my hair at all. I usually make this up by trying for a quick wash on a day my husband is home at night during the week.

Taking time for a wash day can be challenging for anyone especially given that this practice can take several hours depending on your natural hair care regimen. These time constraints are often magnified for us working mothers, especially those working full-time or working while attending school, because the amount of time you have to take care of yourself is really really limited. The strategies I’ve tried have varying degrees of success, but it’s still a very creative juggling act to handle it all.

To my working moms out there, what strategies have you used to maintain your wash day regimen?

To my expert naturalistas, do you have any tips for working moms that will help us maximize our wash days?

juggling

 

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