Easy Natural Hair Wash Day Routine

Back when I was relaxed, I could easily go to a stylist, pay some money to get my hair washed. Returning natural, that choice has become non-existent because I wouldn't want my hair to be pulled the way it did back then. So, I have to settle with creating an easy wash day routine for myself.

Wash days doesn't have to be as scary as they seem. They don't have to be so long and tiring if you plan well for them. One thing that has helped make my wash days easier is scheduling. When I say scheduling, I mean clearing other tasks for the particular length of time I'm supposed to wash my hair. My wash days are Sunday evenings because that is the time I'm mostly free. All other other tasks are put on hold until I finish my wash day routine.

Basically, my wash day routine is split into the following steps;


Pre-poo (the shorter form of pre-shampoo) helps to add moisture to the hair and prepare it for the stress that would come with the wash day process. It is done before cleansing the hair with a shampoo or co-wash as the case may be. It makes up for the moisture that would be lost during cleansing.

You can use a regular rinse-out conditioner as pre-poo, a conditioner/oil mix or even just an oil as a pre-poo. Melted butters (Shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter etc.) are great for pre-poo treatments too. Some natural hair sisters use Aloe Vera juice mixed with an oil. Others use glycerin mixed with an oil.  You just have to experiment and find out which of these items works well for you.  The bottom line is to pre-poo before shampoo.

Pre-poo treatments can be left for about 30 minutes or even overnight. It all depends on you. For me I do a hot oil treatment as my pre-poo and I leave it on for about 30 minutes. 


Detangling the hair before washing helps reduce breakage and shedding during the cleansing process. Detangling means removing knots and tangles from hair. You can use a wide tooth comb for this or a detangling brush.  A variety of brushes are in the market specially made for detangling. You just have to choose any one that suits you. When detangling, it is advised you detangle from ends to roots.

Detangle the ends gently while working your way up to the roots. Putting the hair in sections during detangling can make detangling easier too. Work with one section at a time.

Detangling Brushes 


After detangling comes cleansing. You can choose to cleanse before detangling or detangle before cleansing. Whatever your choice may be, cleansing is the process of removing dirt and build-up from the hair. I detangle my hair before washing so the knots and tangles are less when washing. It is best to wash the hair in sections. Now you may think this will take too much of your time but it is completely worth it. When you wash your hair in sections it is less prone to knots and this equals less breakage.

I use gentle cleansing shampoos to make sure the cleansing doesn't strip my hair of natural oils. Also when washing I use lukewarm water instead of cold water. Lukewarm water dissolves and removes dirt and build-up faster than cold water. It also help to open up the hair cuticles which is an added advantage for the conditioning process.

Deep Conditioning

After washing I move on to deep conditioning my hair. I deep condition my hair on every wash day. Deep conditioning helps to make the hair more manageable, healthy and strong. It moisturizes the hair, strengthens it, revitalizes it and repair the  damage that might be done to the hair due to manipulation.

I do a moisturising deep conditioning on every wash day which may be weekly or bi-weekly. I replace it with a protein treatment every 4 weeks. When I do a protein treatment, I make sure to follow with a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment because the protein treatment leaves the hair hard.

To get better results from your deep conditioning section try using heat. When I deep condition with heat, I spend less time on that step than when I don't. Heat helps open the hair cuticles and make it easier and faster for the treatment to penetrate. I use an electric heating cap for this. However, if you don't have a heating cap, cover your hair with a plastic bag and tie a scarf on top of it to give more heat then let your body heat do the work.

An Electric Heating Cap


After deep conditioning, I rinse my hair with lukewarm water and follow up with a cold water rinse. Rinsing with cold water helps close the hair cuticles and seal in moisture. Recently I've added an ACV rinse to my wash day routine. An ACV rinse is made by diluting apple cider vinegar in water. Apple cider vinegar helps to balance the scalp pH, treats itchy scalp and give shine to hair. I incorporated it into my regimen because I was having issues with itchy scalp. Rice water rinse is another holy grail in the natural hair community. It is said to strengthen hair and reduce breakage.

After rinsing I seal in the moisture using the LOC/LCO method. Read about the LOC/LCO method of moisturizing natural hair here.


After sealing in the moisture, I put my hair in twists to keep it stretched and unravel when dry.  You can choose to rock a wash and go too. I don't do wash and go's because of the level of shrinkage I deal with. 

This is just about everything I do on my wash day. I hope this helps someone. Thanks for reading. Do you have a holy grail product you use on your wash day? Share in the comment section, it could help someone. Have a nice day!

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  1. Nice one dear, it's so detailed and precise. Wish I read this article when I first when natural. I wouldn't have made the mistakes I made then