wash day routine for natural hair

Wash Day Routine For Natural Hair: A Step-by-Step Guide

Wash day is right around the corner. Cue the dread. As a naturally curly person, wash day is likely your least favorite day of the week—besides Mondays of course. After all, washing curly hair is like an uphill battle that may or may not work out in your favor. Curls don’t turn out the way you want? Back to the shower.

Here’s the thing: wash days are frustrating, but they don’t have to be that frustrating. Today, we're spilling the tea on why your wash day routine matters and how you can achieve wash day success.

Table of Contents

Why Your Wash Day Routine Matters

A strong foundation is the key to those head-turning curls you’ve been rocking since day one. Cleansing your curls once a week, depending on your hair type and texture, ensures that your hair stays hydrated, nourished, and ready to slay the day. Now, let’s dive into the details.

How to Wash Natural Hair: A Step-by-Step Guide

Wash Day Routine for Natural Hair

Step 1: Pre-Shampoo

Before you soak up the suds, treat your hair to a little pre-poo action. You probably giggled at that. We did, too. Pre-pooing your hair is like adding an extra layer of moisture to keep your hair hydrated before, during, and after the shampooing process.

Grab your favorite bottle of hair oil and work a large amount of it throughout your locks. This is also a great time to start detangling pesky strands. Focus on your hair rather than your scalp. 

Step 2: Shampoo

Even though plenty of curl guys and gals disavow shampoo, we’re here to tell you that shampooing your curls is important. Shampooing your hair helps clean your scalp, keeping it free from product buildup. Apply a curl-safe shampoo to your scalp, and massage it using the tips of your fingers rather than your fingernails. 

That said, some curly-headed folks can get away with co-washing—and no, that’s not what you think it is.

Step 2 Alternative: Co-Washing

If you’re planning a wash day routine for 4c hair or are wondering about how to co-wash natural hair, then this is the step for you. Co-washing, which is short for “conditioner washing,” is the holy grail for curly, coily, and kinky-haired humans.

This alternative step involves using a conditioner to wash your hair, eliminating the need for traditional shampoos, which can sometimes be too harsh for natural hair.

Step 3: Deep Condition

Deep conditioning is where the magic happens. Slather on your favorite deep conditioner, put on a shower cap, and let the product work its wonders. You can even apply some heat for a steamy spa experience. After all, your hair deserves the best.

Step 4: Hydrate & Moisturize

This is the step you don’t want to miss. After you’ve applied your deep conditioner, you should seal your strands with a hydrating moisturizer. Curly hair is prone to dryness, so implementing a hydration routine after your wash is boss.

Step 5: Detangle 

Stop: don’t dry that hair yet. Your curls need some serious detangling, and you’re not going to do it on damp or dry hair.

Always detangle your curls after applying a generous amount of moisturizer. The lather and slippage will help your wide-toothed comb glide effortlessly through your locks. If you run into some bumps along the way, gently detangle with your fingers. 

Step 6: Style

You’ve made it through your wash day. Now it’s time to show off those curls. Whether you prefer a fierce afro, a defined twist-out, or a sleek protective hairstyle, be sure to use curl-safe natural hair care products from AFAM.

Make Wash Days Suck Less With AFAM

woman washing natural curly hair in shower

Wash days don’t have to be a pain if you have the right products. Our curated collection of natural hair essentials is formulated to nourish and protect curls of all kinds. Take your wash day to the next level, and explore our selection of shampoo and conditioner, hair oils, and more.