In 2017, when this site was still a personal blog, I shared my wash-day routine.
Years later, the same rules (for me) still apply: washing hair less often, using a non-stripping shampoo, a hydrating conditioner, detangling tools, an after-wash moisturizer, and night-time protection. I also suggest reducing the use of chemically-based hair gel and replacing it with homemade flaxseed gel. The routine recommended below has worked for me since 2015, with my hair staying cleaner, healthier, and more manageable for longer.
The advice I received the most when I chopped off my hair and went natural was to wash my hair often. And in the beginning, I did wash my hair as often as possible, as much as every three days. Three years and a head full of hair later, I realize that a GOOD wash day is a GREAT foundation for a long-lasting wash ‘n go, braid out or two-strand twist out. Meaning less wash days and more great hair days!
My wash ‘n go routine lasts for about 27 days. If your hair texture looks similar to mine, you can narrow in on these specific products. But this routine is good for all hair types (just use your products in place of the ones I recommend). Proper hydration, limited gel, and pre-detangling is good advice for all thick hair types. Consider sectioning, pre-detangling and washing with this dream team:
- Non-stripping shampoo
- Hydrating conditioner or this one for color-treated hair
- Detangling tools (a big tooth comb or Denman brush)
- After wash moisturizer
- Night-time protection
Epiphany moment: Eco Styler gel can replace the traditional “creamy crack”…and not in a good way. It’s sold in ginormous Costco-sized buckets because that’s how much we tend to use. Whether it’s the Eco or the Crystal Ice brand, it’s still a chemically goo-gel. Plus, applying excessive amounts of gel creates residue and flakiness. Before you know it, it’s a white winter wonderland in your scalp. I am not advocating against gel – but I recommend reducing its usage. Another great tip is to apply a moisturizer first, then follow with the gel. The moisturizer softens and makes styling easing and then the gel only adds hold and sleekness. In this way, you’ll use less gel but you’ll have just as much hold and a healthier base for styling.
If you’d like to use gel because it makes your hair more manageable, great, don’t change what you do. But I’d encourage you to make sure it doesn’t become the “new perm” in your life. And if you’re into making your own products, Naptural85 has the perfect, natural replacement – homemade Flaxseed gel.
Leaving gel alone was a struggle at first. But I quickly noticed my hairstyles actually lasted longer without gel. After this particular wash-n-go, the pattern is not as defined, but the hair is baby soft, and as the days go by, it gets bouncier and curlier. At the time of this post, my last wash day had been 27 days ago. I varied between low puffs, high puffs, big loose hair, half ups and downs.
Another perk to this method, besides softness, is that your hair won’t be crunchy, stiff or flaky. Less gel means less flaking, meaning less residue and longer-lasting hair days. Your hair stays cleaner for longer and is generally healthier. This method has been my tried and true go-to since 2015.
What routine has worked for you in the past? Drop a comment on IG or tag us at @loveherstuff so I can see what products you use and love!