Hair Regimen Series Part 1 – The Wash

August 18, 2014

Hello everyone!

Current Length

I took out my braids a few weeks ago and relaxed my hair. Cornrow braids has really helped me retain healthy length, so I will be doing it often. Click here out for posts on braid upkeep and takedown.

The regimen series covers the basics of how I care for my hair. I sectioned the series into 3 parts; The Wash, Moisturize & Seal, Protect & Style. This post covers the first (and what I consider a key) process, the wash.

Happy reading!

Hair Cycle:

I relax my new growth every 16-17 weeks, below is the summary of my regimen cycle.
Week 1: Relaxer touch up
Week 2-8: Wash and deep condition weekly, heatless styles, protein treatment in week 4 and 8/9(before braiding)
Week 9/10: Braid hair
Week 11/12-15: Wash/condition braids, moisturize braids using LCO method
Week 16/17: Take out braids, wash + protein treatment (before relaxing)
Week 17/18: Go to week 1

I always part my hair into 4 sections before applying products. I also wash my hair in 4 sections

The Wash


Below are the wash steps that I follow, i have underlined the products used.

I do a prewash treatment before shampoo. My favourite treatment is honey and olive oil mix, which I reserve for winter or when I am over 8 weeks post-relaxer. My typical prewash treatment is coconut oil, or grapeseed and castor oil mix. I also add a few drops of tea tree oil to the mix to remove buildup and stimulate my scalp.

I alternate between a clarifying shampoo and a moisturizing shampoo. Clarifying shampoo removes buildup from hair; it also strips moisture, which is why I use it 1-2 times a month. I use a moisturizing (sulfate-free) shampoo every other week to retain moisture. I apply the shampoo using the techniques discussed in the relaxed hair guide.

pic_of_cellophane_hair_conditioner I do 3 types of conditioning treatments; cowash, deep condition and protein treatment.

I co(ndition) wash my hair using a regular conditioner. My second wash of the week is a cowash and I skip a prewash treatment to avoid moisture overload. I apply the conditioner and leave it in for 15-20 minutes with a shower cap on. I wash it out with warm water, and I follow it with a cold rinse.

I deep condition weekly to restore moisture lost to shampoo. I use a conditioning mix of honey, olive oil, shea butter and a conditioner. I heat the first 3 items in the microwave for 30 seconds and let it cool for about a minute, then thicken the mixture with the conditioner. I apply the mix to each section of  hair and leave it in for about 30-40mins with a shower cap on. If I am short on time, I apply a regular deep conditioner for about 15-20mins. Deep conditioners typically have the synonym of water in their name (i.e. moisturizing, hydrating, etc.).

I do a protein treatment once a month, a week before/after a relaxer touch up, and a week before/after braiding. I use ORS hair mayonnaise and i always follow a protein treatment with a deep conditioner. Note that protein conditioners typically have the prefix “re” in their name (i.e. restorative, reconstructive, etc.).


Cold Rinse

I run cold water through my hair for about a minute as a final step of wash. I run it through my scalp very quickly because the water is just too cold. The rinse flattens the cuticles raised by warm water to minimizes frizz and add shine.

Tea Rinse

tea rinse-02

I do a tea rinse (before deep conditioning) about twice a month to minimize shedding. I love it because it slightly colours my hair. Black tea darkens my hair and green tea lightens it.

Final Note

The slowest steps in the wash process are prewash and deep conditioning. I always pick a day that I am home and I have chores to do (i.e: cooking, cleaning, laundry). So I spend the wait times completing my chores. To speed things up, I apply the prewash treatment the night before and cover my hair with shower cap and a (silk) scarf to avoid any mess on my pillow.

Photo credit: Google Images

Which of the above wash process do you follow? What is your favourite shampoo/conditioner? Have you tried a tea rinse? Let me know your thoughts below 

Yinka A.