How often are your washing your hair? I’m not talking mid-week refreshes or quick co-washes to wake up your curls. How often are you taking the time to cleanse your scalp and strands thoroughly? Historically wash day has been viewed as a marathon, requiring you to block hours of your day and leaving time for very little else. These extended hour cleansing routines make balancing wash day and your schedule pretty challenging.
Viewing wash day in this light makes it easy to understand why so many dread and avoid it. No one wants to lose an entire day. Honestly, we’re all too busy for that. If you’re looking for simple ways to balance wash day and your schedule, you’re in luck. Today we’re taking a closer look at simple steps to a more efficient wash day.
First things first
We have to understand that washing our hair with shampoo is a necessity. Thoroughly cleansing your scalp with an appropriate shampoo creates an environment that increases the health of your scalp and allows it to flourish. Simply put, we should wash our hair and often. Typically washing with shampoo every 7-10 days is appropriate, but the frequency of your wash days will depend heavily on your schedule and ability to make them happen.
Keep it simple
The biggest mistake we can make on wash day is wanting to do all the things we’ve read or heard about on the internet. Adding multiple steps to wash day adds unnecessary work. It also extends the time required for an efficient and effective wash day. When it comes to getting the most out of wash day without wasting all of your time, consider the following steps:
Stop going extended periods without washing your hair
This is not good for your hair for multiple reasons. It increases the risk or matting, severe tangles, and dryness. It increases the presence of product build-up, stifles the scalp, and can lead to the overgrowth of bacteria. Going extended periods without washing your hair will make the wash day process more challenging and ultimately require more time. Consistently maintaining a wash day schedule helps to remove unnecessary challenges and will help make wash day a breeze.
Stop adding food to your hair
We all love masks and hair treatments and can agree that certain foods possess benefits for our hair. The issue arises when we DIY these masks in our kitchen using our favorite fruits, vegetables, and spreads. The reality is our hair has no digestive system, and the molecules in these DIY products are too large for the hair to absorb to add any real benefit. Creating DIY masks wastes time requires extended shampooing to remove debris thoroughly, and can lead to the growth of bacteria. Instead, stick to quality masks and treatments formulated to meet your hair’s specific needs and consume nutrient-rich foods to nourish your hair from the inside out.
Choose products easily cleaned away with shampoo
Historically, our favorite products have been those rich in ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, castor oil, and other natural oils and butters. These products may provide aesthetic benefit, but do not improve moisture levels of the hair, and can contribute to water-resistant curls and dryness. The thick waxy or creamy substances are often hard to remove from the hair without proper cleansing and multiple washes. Instead, consider water-soluble products that still contain your favorite nutrient-rich ingredients, can be easily removed from the hair, and reduce the risk of product build-up.
Detangle with a tool
The decision to detangle with or without a tool is purely preference. Your fingers may work fine enough, but delicate knots or significant tangles can cause problems and extend the detangling time. The use of detangling tools (in conjunction with a quality conditioner) allows you to be more thorough and efficient during the detangling process.
Stick to the basics
To flourish, our hair requires an environment that consistently promotes its health. This requires that we routinely cleanse, condition, and detangle our hair to help maintain its health. Outside of styling, additional steps on wash day aren’t commonly necessary. Things become more complicated and require more time and attention when we fail to use appropriate products and processes to care for our hair on wash day.
Wash day can be as elaborate or as simple as we choose to make it. Evaluate the processes and practices you’ve incorporated into your wash day routine. How are your product choices, commitment to consistency, and experiments in the kitchen affecting your level of satisfaction and the time or level of involvement your wash day requires? Remove the unnecessary steps and focus on the basics. This will drastically improve your wash day experience and free up a lot of time!
Need a more guided approach to wash day? Tackle wash day like a pro with my latest digital project Wash Day 101. Learn simple steps to a more efficient wash day that will help you reclaim your time and effectively balance wash day and your schedule.