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Hair care: Getting the most out of your wash day

By using the right products and being gentle with your hair, your hair will improve over time (Image: Clement Eastwood on Unsplash)

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Your wash day doesn’t need to feel like a chore if you complete each step correctly, making the steps that follow easier. This routine applies to both relaxed and natural hair. Below are simple changes you can make in your wash day to reduce tangles and brakeages:

  1. Pre-poo

“Pre-poo” is an acronym for “pre-shampoo”. This is the process of putting a treatment on your hair prior to shampooing it. This can be an oil treatment or a homemade concoction with ingredients that you can find in your kitchen. Examples of these are honey with olive oil, blended avocado with almond oil or blended banana with coconut oil. Some oils that you can use on their own are olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, etc. You can mix these oils and even add essential oils for additional healing benefits.

The purpose of this step is to create a protective layer between your hair strands and the shampoo so that your hair does not feel dry and stripped of all moisture. A pre-poo is supposed to nourish your hair and prepare it for the shampooing process. Apply your oil or treatment of choice onto your dirty hair, then cover it with a plastic cap. Sit with it on your hair for about 30-minutes and then proceed to shampooing your hair.

 With natural hair, part your hair into sections and wash each section separately (Image: Leighann Renee on Unsplash)

  1. Shampoo

Cleansing your hair with a good shampoo breaks down oil and dirt when done correctly. Gently massage the shampoo onto your scalp using your fingertips. Lather the suds onto your hair strands, sticking to one motion to avoid tangling your hair strands. Rinse, then repeat once more.

Avoid combing your hair during the shampooing process because hair strands break more easily when they are wet. Simply run the shampoo through your hair in one direction. If you have natural hair, you can part your hair into sections prior to shampooing, and then wash each section separately. This will further reduce tangles.

  1. Conditioner

A good conditioner adds moisture back into your hair.  If you have natural hair, this is the time to detangle your hair either using your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. Keep being gentle with your hair to avoid unwanted breakage. Follow the instructions on your conditioner bottle for the correct steps before rinsing it off.

ALSO READ: Five hair mistakes you need to avoid

The fibres on a towel can tangle and break your hair when its wet. (Image: Curology on Unsplash)

  1. Deep condition

This step is optional if you’ve already conditioned your hair, although its best to deep condition your hair at least twice a month. Different deep conditioning brands have different instructions, though most brands recommend putting on a plastic cap and applying heat over the cap so that the product penetrates your hair strands. You can sit under a hair dryer or cover the plastic cap with a scarf so that the heat from your body warms up your scalp.

Protein treatments are also vital because the protein in them further strengthen your hair strands. You can opt for a store-bought treatment, or a homemade one with egg yolks, avocado and olive oil. Note that when you put egg yolks on your hair, keep away from heat because some egg whites remain on the yolk and cook when they come into contact with heat! You can do a protein treatment every four weeks.

  1. Dry your hair with a t-shirt

A cotton t-shirt can actually dry your hair! Just make sure you use an old t-shirt and not your favourite everyday tee. All you have to do is wring out the excess water from your hair after rinsing out your deep conditioner, then wrap your hair with the t-shirt, just like how you would with a towel.

The fibres on a towel can tangle and break your hair, especially when its wet. Also, remember not to rub the tee through your hair. Simply wrap your hair with it and sit with it until its dry enough to blow-dry or style!

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