When your curls are feeling dry, stretched and lifeless – that’s when you know it’s time to give it some TLC! I wash my hair once a week because my scalp, towards the front, tends to get very itchy and flaky by day 4-5 – and my hair overall feels weighed down by product buildup. I choose to wash my hair on the weekends because I can take as long as I want – whereas, if I wash it during the weekday I’d have to rush and ensure that my style is fully dry the next day before going to work. Nothing is worse than unraveling your hair from a twist/braid-out, bantu knots, etc. when it’s still wet.

Below is my step-by-step guide of my wash day routine and the products I use:


  • Pre-POO TREATMENT & Detangle

A pre-poo treatment is when you apply some sort of conditioning treatment to your hair prior to washing with shampoo. Pre-pooing really helps moisturize your hair and gets it prepared for the process of washing, deep conditioning, styling and all the manipulation that comes in-between each process. Pre-pooing is crucial since your hair will be stripped of oils through the shampooing process. I usually leave my pre-poo treatment in for 30 minutes to a couple of hours.

Lately, I have been pre-pooing with Apothikarie’s Triple Threat Magic Serum. This serum is loaded with so many beneficial oils such as: coconut, shea butter, lavender essential oil, peppermint essential oil, tea tree essential oil, rosemary essential oil, pine needle essential oil, olive oil – and more! This serum has worked wonders on my hair when pre-pooing, and I’m not just saying that because this product is made by a friend of mine .

When getting my hair ready to wash/shampoo I:

  1. Section my hair in four parts (your sections don’t have to be even) and apply my Apothikarie’s Triple Threat Magic Serum
  2. Detangle my hair using my Q-Redew hair steamer; the prongs of the Q-Redew are perfect to comb through your hair but make sure you’re combing from your ends and gradually making your way towards your roots
  3. Twist or braid each of the four sections of my hair once they’re fully detangled

  • Shampoo

When shampooing my hair, I only lather the product on to my scalp because that’s where my hair is the oiliest. There’s no need to shampoo the ends of your hair because the ends are the oldest and driest part of your hair, and shampoo only dries out the hair more. Shampoo your scalp and allow the water to do its magic with cleansing the length of your hair. Also, when shampooing you should consider diluting the product with water so it isn’t drying your hair out too much.

When Shampooing my hair I:
  1. Unravel one braid/twist at a time and shampoo my scalp with my favorite shampoo (Lately, I’ve been in between Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil & Jamaican Black Castor Oil lines)
  2. Re-twist/braid that section and continue this process through each section
  3. I only try to use my shampoo once since that typically gets my hair clean and doing more than one lather may dry out your hair too much. But if you feel like you need another wash, I’d recommend using a co-washing product instead. I typically use Cantu Natural Complete Conditioning Co-Wash, but decide what product will work best for your hair

  • Deep Condition

I have had this bonnet for years now, so there is some discoloration happening

Once I’m finished shampooing, I dry my hair off using a cotton t-shirt – yes you read that right. Using a towel to dry your hair can cause split ends, breakage and can make your hair feel rough/dry. But, if you can’t live without a towel I’d recommend investing in a micro-fiber towel. I on the other hand, use a cotton t-shirt to dry my hair because it’s smoother which causes less friction and damage to the hair.

WHEN DEEP CONDITIONING MY HAIR I:
  1. Apply my deep conditioner (DC) treatment; as of late, I’ve been using Shea Moisture’s SuperFruit Complex 10-IN-1 Renewal System Hair Masque. Make sure to focus on the ends of your hair when applying the DC treatment as your ends are the oldest part of your hair
  2. Attach my Gold n’ Hot bonnet dryer attachment to my blow dryer and sit for 15-25 minutes (you can sit under a normal hooded hair dryer)
    • If I don’t have my Gold n’ Hot bonnet around, or a blow dryer to attach it to, then I’ll use my Q-Redew hair steamer and deep condition my hair section by section. I find that deep conditioning my hair with the Q-Redew boosts moisture in my hair and makes my hair EXTREMELY soft. But, if you don’t have any of these heating options, then you could:
      1. Apply your deep conditioner
      2. Put a shower/plastic cap on, and/or saran wrap your hair
      3. Sit around for 45 minutes, or longer, and let your body heat do the work

  • Conditioner

After I finish deep conditioning, I don’t immediately wash out the deep conditioner. Instead, I:

  1. Unravel sections of my hair and use a wide-tooth comb to make sure my hair is fully detangled. I find that combing my hair after deep conditioning is really simple because my hair has that extra slip and isn’t soaking wet (manipulating your hair when it’s soaking wet can cause breakage)
  2. Apply my regular conditioner on top of the deep conditioning treatment
  3. Re-twist/braid each section after I finished detangling and applying my regular conditioner
  4. Rinse out everything with cool water to seal in the moisture and retain some of the deep conditioning treatment
    • I used to wash my hair in warm water throughout my entire wash day process, but I learned about the cool water method and it has changed the overall health of my hair
    • TIP: I never fully wash all the product out of my hair, I try to keep some conditioner in my hair to help with retaining softness (unless I’m straightening my hair, in which I rinse out everything from my hair because I don’t want my hair to feel heavy from all the products)

  • Style

My hair in flat twists and ends curled with perm rods

After rinsing, I dry my hair with my cotton t-shirt and let my hair air dry until it’s damp to start styling. When styling, you should use the L.O.C (leave in-conditioner, oil, cream) or L.C.O (leave in-conditioner, cream, oil) method. Layering your products in the L.O.C/L.C.O method helps to retain the moisture in your hair. My hair personally loves the L.C.O method.

USING the L.C.O method, I:
  1. Leave in-conditioner: Use Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Extra-Moisture Detangler, or Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-in Conditioner, as my leave in-conditioner
  2. Cream: Use Shea Moisture’s Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie as my butter-based moisturizing cream
  3. Oil: Use Jamaican Mango & Lime Black Castor Oil to seal
  4. Style my hair in either: a braid-out (my personal favorite/go-to), a twist-out, bantu knots, flat twists or a perm rod set. If I’m doing a braid/twist-out then I curl my ends by using my perm rods. I personally haven’t mastered the wash & go so I avoid this style at all costs… for now

Other Tips/Advice:

  • I keep my hair braided/twisted in 4 sections throughout my entire wash day process, only unraveling them when shampooing, detangling and styling – this really helps to minimize knots and tangles and helps elongate my curls
  • I do a protein treatment once a month, so when I am in the deep conditioning step I add a protein treatment instead to ensure my hair is strong

What products do you use on wash day? Is there anything interesting you do on wash day that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

6 Comments

  1. I’ve never used a Shea Moisture Deep conditioner how long have you been using the Superfruit?

    • Paula Reply

      I’ve been using the Superfruit deep conditioner for 2-3 months now. But I’m alternating between this one and the Manuka Honey masque. The second one extremely moisturizing for my hair, it feels so soft afterwards!

    • Paula Reply

      Let me know how it goes and what product you choose for your pre-poo 🙂

  2. Love this, thanks for sharing! I have a different curly hair type, but it’s still super useful to read your ideas. I’ve been trying to make my own products lately, and am about to travel with one of my concoctions since it’s so hard to find my favorites when I’m in other countries. Hopefully it doesn’t freak out airport security 😂

    • Paula Reply

      I’m glad to know this post was helpful for you! I have also make my own products every now and then when I’m feeling creative. I’m traveling tomorrow and literally have small bottles filled with different hair products just in case, so I totally understand 😂

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