How to Cleanse and Condition Natural Hair
Cleansing and conditioning of natural hair is not as straight forward as one might think. Nope, it’s not just lather and rinse…. It involves a few steps to ensure that the hair maintains its health and length.
Wash day has never been a favourite of mine but it has definitely become easier over the years. The trick lies in knowing what to do at what point and why.
Even though washing natural hair involves a lot of manipulation, it refreshes the strands along with a host of other benefits.
Benefits of cleansing / washing natural hair
- Infection Prevention
- Promoting hair growth
- Removal of Product Build Up
- Moisturising natural hair
4 Products to Cleanse Natural Hair
- Rinse out Conditioner (co-wash) – aim for silicone and paraben free varieties. These are gentler on the strands and may not remove all product buildup in the long term. But they are a winner for moisture retention.
- Poo Bars – aim for natural varieties like African black soap and gentle poo bars. If done right, these usually double as cleansers and conditioners.
- Shampoos – aim for sulphate free or lower sulphate varieties. Even with the adjustments, they are notorious for stripping the hair of its natural oils. Use a clarifier shampoo once a month to remove product buildup.
- Baking Soda, Clays and Mudwashes – these guys deserve their own post. Doesn’t it sound good to be able to use natural products of the earth to cleanse your hair & scalp?
How to wash / cleanse & condition natural hair
- Start with a prepoo or hot oil treatment. Detangle the hair with products and section it with clips or by twisting.
- After the prepoo, immediately apply a cleanser of choice to your hair. Work one section at a time.
- Hold the hair upwards with one hand and use the pads of your fingers to lather the cleanser on your scalp.
- Squeeze the suds out of the hair from root to tip and rinse with warm water. If your hair is very dirty, lather twice…. otherwise lather once per section.
- Work through all the other sections; making sure to rinse thoroughly.
- Apply your rinse-out conditioner to each section. Leave for 3-5 minutes and rinse out with warm water. If you didn’t detangle during the prepoo, it can be done with the rinse-out conditioner.
- Proceed to deep condition.
Why use a conditioner after shampoo?
- Re-moisturise strands that have been stripped by the shampoo
- Fill in the gaps of damaged hair
- Coat the strands and lay the follicles flat for a smooth finish
- Maintain detangled strands
So tell me: how often do you wash / cleanse your natural hair? Which camp of products do you fall in and why? Let’s chat in the comments below.