Did you know there is a plethora of ways to wash your hair that involves very minimal usage of shampoo? Here are three ways of washing that you probably knew little to nothing about.
Water Only Washing
I stumbled across this video on YouTube about washing with water only. With me having really short hair I wash with only water all of the time. However, I had never thought about it in regards to longer hair. I was thinking: “How does that work out?” I mean, there is product build up happening. After watching the video I read a blog post that also talked about washing with water only. Obviously this is a thing and maybe I should partake in this “thing” as my hair grows out because washing my hair is serious business. So I need something that is effective and does not take all day. I have taken the liberty to bless you all with the blog post so you don’t have to search for it. http://blackgirllonghair.com/2015/08/can-water-only-washing-improve-natural-hair-growth/
What is co-washing? Co-washing is short for “conditioner-only washing.” It means skipping shampoo and relying solely on conditioner, whether you’re a daily or a weekly washer. The result is something between squeaky-clean and second-day hair—that is, smoother, softer, and easier to manage. Co-washing may not be for everyone, but I like it. It does cut down on wash time and is not this arduous process. See, the thing with co-washing is that it does not totally clean your hair. However, it is great for in between wash days for when you semi clean hair, but you also need to get up and go. It is also good for detangling your strands before shampooing.
I will admit that I was a little skeptical about dry shampooing. In my mind, it’s like putting dirt on top of dirt. Apparently that’s not what it is. Basically, it’s a powder or spray formula that works to soak up excess oil, water and residue from your scalp and hair, leaving your hair with a refreshed smell and texture. It’s pretty much a spray wash-n-go in a bottle. The bigger question would be: Can black women use dry shampoo? We can and we should. If you are a woman who works out a lot then dry shampoo would be very beneficial for you. Here is a great article that explains dry shampoo and gives recommendations on some good products out there on the market. http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2014/05/15-dry-shampoos-black-women-should-try/
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….
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Firstly, what is the difference between pre-pooing (pre-shampoo) and hot oil treatment? They are very similar and virtually serve the same purpose of adding and retaining moisture to dry hair and maintaining a healthy scalp.
Pre-pooing is great for all hair types especially 4c hair which tends to tangle more during any type of manipulation from styling or prepping for you wash day. Pre-pooing is essential when you use shampoos. Most shampoos have a tendency to dry your hair out because it strips the natural oils from your hair. This can more so be determined by how often you shampoo your hair. Do you wash everyday, every other day, once a week? I personally shampoo about once or twice a month to get rid of any product build up that has accumulated on my hair from styling and what not. If I choose to shampoo more often I use a moisturizing shampoo such as, Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo w/Shea Butter & Apple Cider Vinegar which does not require me to pre-poo when I use it. Black castor oil and shea butter help to seal in the moisture while apple cider vinegar aids in clarifying and regulating pH levels of the scalp. I only pre-poo when I am using a clarifying shampoo.
My personal pre-pooing products that works for me in this exact order are as follows:
WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can use a spray bottle with water in it to saturate your hair and then apply your pre poo ingredients. The key to moisture is always water.
I like to let it sit for about an hour, then sit under a dryer with low heat. I may also sit outside to allow the heat to penetrate through for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse it out and proceed on with shampooing my hair. There are a variety of combinations that you can use for your pre-poo regimen. I have tried many different ways and my hair responds best to these three products.
We will touch on hot oil treatments in our next post. Stay tuned………