4C Natural Hair Wash Day Routine…

A few people have been asking about my natural hair, and I thought that I would just do a blog post about it. I’ve been fully natural for about 5 months now, but I began my journey a little over a year ago (I can talk in detail about that journey, why I went natural, what it means to me, etc. in a future blog post). For today, however, I’ll be washing my hair and taking you through an abbreviated version of it. Disclaimer: I’m not an expert on my natural hair yet, and this is meant to be an informative blog for beginning naturals — I, myself, am still experimenting with what works and what doesn’t for my hair, but I feel like I’m finally in a place where I’m willing to share where I am in that process.

Below are all the products that I currently use on my hair. Of course, I will not be using them all today, nor do I always use them all at once, but these are just all the hair products that I currently own and use, either actively or sparingly:

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From left to right: Cantu Natural Hair Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo; Cantu Natural Hair Sulfate-Free Hydrating Cream Shampoo; Jamaican Black Castor Oil with Coconut Oil; Eco Styler Professional Styling Gel with Argan Oil; Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioner Repair Cream; Cantu Shea Butter Grow Strong Strengthening Treatment; Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream; Black Silk Leave In Treatment with Keratin and Silk Proteins; Parachute Deep Conditioning Hot Oil; Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream; ORS Olive Oil Glossing Hair Polisher; and ORS Olive Oil Nourishing Sheen Spray.

Washday usually takes me anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours depending on how I’ll be styling my hair as well as my hair needs. I usually try to wash my hair every week, but I’ve been really busy the past two weeks and weekends, and haven’t got a whole day where I’m just at home and can comfortably do my hair — my hair is actually just fresh off the Mt Longonot hike, for those who read my last blog, so it’s currently looking like a hot mess of product, dust, and sweat.

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Yikes! One thing is for sure: my hair is in urgent need of a good wash.

I’ve seen that some naturals with much longer and thicker hair have to wash their hair in anything from 4 to 8 sections for the best results. Luckily, I’m able to shampoo, condition, and detangle mine in just 2 or 3 sections, especially since my hair is somewhere in between thin hair and hair of medium thickness:

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Sectioned hair before hopping into the shower

Most times I substitute my Cantu Cleansing Cream Shampoo for something much lighter and less stripping of my natural oils like the OGX Weightless Hydration + Coconut Water Shampoo (not in picture) or just co-wash (no shampoo, just conditioner), especially when my hair looks and feels very dry. However, since my hair has a lot of product buildup and dirt from the hike, I’ll be using my Cantu Shampoo. After shampooing, I then use my Cantu Conditioner, cover my hair with a plastic cap to let the product soak in, and proceed to take my regular shower. Afterwards, I detangle my hair, first using my fingers, then with a wide-toothed comb, and rinse out the conditioner (note: I only ever pass a comb through my hair when it’s wet to reduce breakage as much as possible).

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My hair post-shower, facing major shrinkage! Surprisingly, the last time I straightened my hair just before a trim, it was actually slightly past shoulder-length.

It’s now time to deep condition with my Parachute Deep Conditioning Hot Oil. I rub a generous amount of oil in between my palms to activate its warmth and massage it onto my hair in sections, working from the ends towards the roots. I then cover my hair with a plastic cap and cover the cap with a scarf or a towel to trap in heat and allow the oil to infuse into my scalp. I let it sit for about 30 minutes.

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Let that Deep Conditioner soak in!

I then rinse out the deep conditioning hot oil with cold water to close my hair cuticles and lock in moisture. I love deep conditioning my hair because after, it just feels darker, more vibrant, and moisturized:

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My moisturized hair, shining in all its glory!

If I’m wearing my afro, I then use my Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream and call it a day.

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Unleashing the ‘fro

If I’m going to be using heat on my hair, I apply my Cantu Grow Strong Strengthening Treatment to serve as thermal protection. However, if it’s like any other day, I prefer to keep my hair stretched and heat-free, and so instead, I apply the Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioner Repair Cream, and plait about 8 braids “matutas” on my hair. When I need to go out, I simply style my hair by undoing the braids, spritzing some water and sealing the moisture with Jamaican Black Castor Oil. I don’t like to sleek my hair down too much with hair gel because I actually like the natural 4C hair look. I do, however, sometimes use my Eco Styler Gel with Argan Oil as it gets further away from wash day and my hair is drier, thus, less malleable. I always make sure to spray enough water before, though.

A couple of simple styles that I’ve been doing lately are:

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A simple low puff.
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Instead of using a hair tie, I use a string or a bandana to achieve this full puff look.
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And finally, my favorite look at the moment: Afro Pigtails! All it takes is simply tying your hair in two sections.

2 and half hours and a sore upper arm later, I’m finally done! #washday is a struggle, but you gotta love your hair for it to love you back! Here are some internet natural hair washday memes for making it through this post:

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I hope that you all enjoyed reading this post. It’s a bit different from what I usually post, but I’m trying to expand the type of content that I post on my website. Again, as I said, this is all a journey of discovery, and as I continue to learn, I hope that you all learned something from this post too. Please feel free to reach out to me, thus, with any tips and questions that you may have. Finally, let me know if you would like to see more of this type of content.

– Dashushka ♥

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