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July 4, 2012

Your Hair Doesn't Have to be an All Day Event!


by Danielle Faust of LongNaturalHair.info 


I often get emails asking how long it takes me to do the various hairstyles I post on my blog, or how long it takes to detangle or straighten with the maxiglide. When I give my response, the person will either respond back asking how I manage to keep my styling times so low, or will say something that hints at disbelief of my answer.

I'm sick of this image of natural hair being this long, drawn out, arduous task that must be dealt with each day/week. I see youtube videos and blog posts of women who seem proud to say it takes them 9 hours to detangle, and 4 hours to wash their hair. It's like a badge of honor, yet I also see videos of women who complain about it. 

C'mon ladies! Your hair does not have to be an all day event unless you want it to be. (Unless you're henna-ing...that takes time!) Your hair is only as time consuming as you choose to make it. You can have a regimen and styling session that allows for you to get done in a reasonable amount of time and then go about the rest of your life.

A few ways to cut down your hair time:
  • Part hair in less sections when washing/conditioning versus having a million small sections to deal with. You'll still avoid major tangles.
     
  • Keep sectioned hair in twists or buns versus clipped loosely. This helps to avoid additional tangles as well.
     
  • Remove a few steps. No need to finger detangle, then use a wide tooth comb, then use a smaller tooth comb. Take out the step that serves your hair the least.
     
  • Alter your upkeep. If you're wearing a twistout, there's no need to retwist your hair each night, you can use the pineapple technique (gathering hair loosely atop your head) instead.
     
  • Choose styles that need less daily upkeep like twists or braids or styles that last up to a week
These are just a few ideas and of course the way you shorten your hairstyling time will vary from woman to woman. I urge you to consider ways that will work with your regimen and current styles that will reduce the time spent on your hair. Our hair is beautiful and does require some work to remain healthy, but it should not take over your entire weekend unless that's your preferred way of spending your days.
 
What do you do to cut down on your styling time?

36 Chime in!:

Anonymous said...

These are good tips overall, but I have to say that pineappling doesn't work for everybody, including myself. I retwist nightly to keep my hair moisturized and to keep it from tangling. I do medium sized twist so it only takes about 15-20 minutes.

Anonymous said...

The thing I've learned most from long time naturals is that simple is best. Not a lot of products or trying every technique there is just to wash your hair. I think also that as your hair gets longer its easier to do like 4 big braids instead of having to do 20. It's all a learning process.

Kimmels said...

I detangle in sections in the shower because once the water runs over my hair it's detangled. If I do detangle or pre-poo I know which products give me great slip so it does not take me anytime at all to detangle

Kimmels said...

I detangle in sections in the shower because once the water runs over my hair it's detangled. If I do detangle or pre-poo I know which products give me great slip so it does not take me anytime at all to detangle

Anonymous said...

I have noticed some naturals enjoy lengthy rituals, and get very offended when others suggest other time-saving methods.
I expect to see many defensive comments in this forum....LOL.
To each his own... Happy 4th!

Dani @ OK, Dani said...

Thanks for posting Nik. This is a bit controversial. Some folks wear their ten hour regimens like a badge of honor. These tips are for the women who don't want to spend all weekend on their hair, but don't know how to shave time off of their regimen.

hairscapades said...

I recently cut out my hour long DC session post shampoo by adding Aubrey GPB or Honeysuckle Rose to my Vatika Oil to do a pre-poo DC. I mix one of the Aubrey's conditioners (alternating week to week), finger detangle and twist my hair in 6 sections on Friday nights. That's usually about an hour. Then, I hit the shower on Saturday when I get around to moving and can usually shampoo, condition detangle, rinse, apply a leave-in, style, get dressed and out the door in less than 2 hours now (though I might have some wet twists/braids to show for it, if I'm not wearing a WnG;). Not having to get back in the shower or rinse in the sink after waiting for a DC to "bake" is the best!

During the week, I don't do much other than re-moisturize and seal with whatever works for the style every few days, which takes no more than 5 minutes. My nighttime routine consists of sleeping with a bonnet, scarf and/or pineapple on my satin pillowcase ... I rarely, if ever, retwist/braid unless it's to reset a style that's become a little wild for work. When I do, I probably don't ever do more than 8 twists/braids and it's while watching TV. Protective styles mean that I usually don't have to do much but slick back my front in the morning and go. I'm always running out of the house, so it's imperative that I have a no muss/no fuss daily style.

Now my two step henna/indigo is a different matter entirely, which is why I only do it once every 4-8 weeks. I just deal with the grey in between.

Shelli

Madeaj said...

I found detangling in sections with my fingers the night before washing brings my wash time way down. I have also found that following the manufacturers recommended instructions save time and give me the same results for less time. DCing does not take me hours, just minutes. Henna is the only thing that takes a long time and I won't (can't) keep henna on longer than 3 hours. Most times no more than hour and half.

Quite said...

AMEN!! I love this post. I don't get the lengthy rituals. Even though I can't pineapple because my hair isnt long enough, I just puff it after the twists are old on day 2 or 3 or 4. or puff and cinnabun it...i never prepoo..although after reading hairscapades, I may start doing that instead of DC. Fingerdetangle? chilepls. Not as long as Ouidad makes that awesome double detangler. And yea, I will be waiting for the defensive comments too:-) *pops popcorn* to each his own. I just refuse to spend hours weekly or biweekly washing and conditioning my hair!

Jeannette said...

One thing I do to cut down on styling time is that I don't time anything. I just do my hair. I don't get into having to do this and that, I just do it. Sometimes it takes what feels like a long time (especially when twists and braids) but my hair looks so good in the end that they last a very long time without much manipulation. Because my hair is densely packed and kinky, it's actually easier for me to do my hair in smaller sections vs. larger ones.

Nikell said...

I'm still experimenting with how to cut time down when dealing with my hair. I have noticed that eliminating the blow dryer from my wash routine has helped. Now, I condition & de-tangle, moisturize and put my hair in a few pigtails to stretch it while it dries. These tips were really helpful.

Anonymous said...

When is wear my hair curly or straight I always wash my hair in twist I learned from several videos on YouTube because since my hair has grown alot this cuts down time. I remember a woman asked me how I manage my natural hair I told her she looked at me weird ( she is relaxed) and said I cannot deal with it if it is natural when my new growth grows in I immediately go get it relaxed, but she told me my hair was pretty because my hair is not nappy. I was shocked. To hear that. My hair seems like the topic of conversation everywhere I go mainly by relaxed ladies. And the other day at my job my boss said she loved my hair and she wished she had curly hair (she is white). She asked me if I used a curling iron another girl walked in and jumped in my business before I can open my mouth to say this was a braidout, the girl was like she just washed her hair and did a Bantu knot out. I was like bitch in my head she said I do that style alot their mini buns. I was pissed because she did that because she thought I was going to lie and say those were my natural curls to my boss because is white and does not know about natural hair I assumed. This is the same girl weeks earlier who asked me what did I put in my hair I did a wash N's go rocked my natural curls. She said I did not know your hair type was curly because it is 3c/4a since I straighten it all the time before heat damage and breakage caught up with me (my story is similar to curlynikki's). She is natural and her hair texture is a beautiful 4b because she wore it to work one day she still gives be the evil eye only says hi sometimes. But I usually to twistouts and braidouts not wash n' goes that was my first and maybe last because of the ssk's I had to cut out because I was too tired to wash my hair again and went two days after having it for a week. I do not retwist or braid I just pineapple it or just put on my satin scarf fluffy and go this is a hairsaver and cuts down on time that I do not have (college student, type 1 diabetic etc.) Saving time is always best for me.

Megan Montgomery

Anonymous said...

I personally don't see anything wrong with spending 3 to 4 hours one day a week to take care of MY natural hair. It is very therapeutic and relaxing for me. Its my me time. Braiding or twisting at night for me is a must. That pineapple thing I have tried several times with no success. To each his own.

Anonymous said...

For a busy business/family oriented woman like myself, all day is just too long:). My priorities lie elsewhere...my routine is really short compared to what I've seen. Thanks for the great tips!:)

LBell said...

@Anon 7/4 4:26 pm: There's nothing wrong with spending extra time on one's hair, true. The problem is when that time starts being seen as a chore and/or is somehow tied up with the prevailing belief that natural hair somehow REQUIRES a lot of work. From the very beginning, relaxer advertising has always been about making hair care "easier"...back when "hair care" = "getting rid of the kinks by any means necessary."

To that point, another way to help lessen one's hair care time is to really get to know, and then ACCEPT, one's hair texture. It sounds simple but it's really not. If I know my hair is going to puff up and shrink once it hits the humid outdoors, why would I spend two hours blow-drying and flat-ironing in addition to the time I'll spend washing, conditioning, etc.? Yet women do that...and they blame their "difficult" hair texture for not doing what they think it's "supposed" to do.

I used to believe I had to braid or twist every night as well, only to find that my hair couldn't handle that much daily manipulation. I now band or make mini-pineapples each night and whatever I get is what I get. And yes, I am mostly-4b, with fine strands. If more black women learned to work with their texture instead of against it, a LOT of regimens would be shorter and simpler.

LM said...

my hair unravels from twists when I try to wash my hair in them so i just go with four clipped sections which still tames tangles. heck my hair unravels from two strand twists anyway. i have been natural almost a year and it still takes me FOREVER to do two strand twists. I don't even do micro twists and, with medium sized twists, it still takes me at least 4-6 hours to do those. and it's not many twists at all lol. i don't know why i'm so slow but it is annoying. But i'm keeping these twists pinned up for a week so the lengthy twisting process is bearable. But detangling with my moisturizer in sections and twisting the night before I wash is a major time saver on wash day. Also, keeping my hair stretched during the week cuts down on tangling.

Anonymous said...

I never quite understood this lengthy hair process. If I wanted that I would go back to relaxing my hair and spending all day at the salon, not including travel time.

So true L Bell "If more black women learned to work with their texture instead of against it, a LOT of regimens would be shorter and simpler."

Thankfully I discovered this early on.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first commentor. No pineappling for me either unless my hair is flat ironed and it's the middle of winter ie the humidity is VERY low. Otherwise pineappling results in tangled ends/poofy undefined hair that's impossible to style that day.

MsJisola said...

Thank you for this article. I learned to detangle/wash/condition my hair in sections because it cuts down on further detangling for me. I tried the wash n go thing, but that's a no go. So I will stick to my twists, twist outs and the occasional braid outs. I do wish I could cut down on mini-twisting my hair - it takes forever! But it lasts for at least 2 weeks. Praise God!

Anonymous said...

Great post. However, I as well do not suscribe to pineappling, even tho my hair is very long. It is also very kinky/coily, and i really think pineappling really is for folks with a looser curl pattern...I may be wrong tho...
Any kinkies do pineappling?

Trini Jamz

Anonymous said...

oh! i would like to add that even tho i don't pineapple, i def do not re-twist every night. My hair just needs fluffing n gentle stretching after i wake n remove my satin bonnet :)

Trini Jamz

Sawah said...

Last wash day, I did not detangle my hair, but did an Amla + Brahmi treatment which totally detangled my hair. I was quite amazed as how strong my hair was after the treatment. And I had about 90% less shedding and breakage!!! So exciting

Read about it here -> http://discoveringnatural.blogspot.com/2012/07/product-review-amla-and-brahmi.html

Tightly Tressed said...

It takes me a long time to do my hair, and not because I have a bunch of steps....my hair is just so darn thick plus it's in the awkward stage of not being short but still not being all that long either. I'm always running so I never get a full day to myself to commit to doing my hair from start to finish. So my DC's are usually an overnight thing. When I come home from work, I'm cooking then eating then I get to style my hair...and that's only if the hubby doesn't feel neglected that night LOL. I have 4b/4c very tightly coiled and kinky hair and recently found that pineappling is a true friend when I don't feel like retwisting. I don't mind how many hours it takes to do my hair. I actually enjoy it. Even when my arms are tired. I love doing hair period.

Abstract said...

@ Trini Jamz - I consider myself to have type 4A, kinky coily hair. I definitely pineapple! I can't imagine re-twisting every night! Though now that my hair is longer, the pineapple doesn't fit well into the satin bonnet so I just use my satin pillow case. I two strand twist my hair and wear the twists for 5 days. Then after 2 wears of the twist out, I usually 'convert' my hair to another style like a texturized up 'do and then some variation of a bun (ie bun w/ pompadour, bun w/ 'headband like' flat twist across the front etc). For many months I cut out my EVCO prepooing step but I see it's beneficial for me to have soft hair so I recently incorporated it back in my regimen.

Erika A. said...

Thanks for the tips! Styling my hair usually takes the longest. I'm always looking for ideas to lessen the time of my hair routine :) although I want to start pre-pooing.

Jae said...

I absolutely can't stand taking hours to do my hair. However, these tips to shorten the time seem to only be targeted for those with long hair. My hair is shoulder length when stretched & much shorter when shrunken. It is also extremely THICK and tightly curly & coiled. So, the pineapple method and using fewer sections would be a major fail. I wish I saw more posts that pertained to or at least took into account those of us without hair at BSL.

Tightly Tressed said...

@Jae I totally agree with having more posts for those with shoulder length or maybe an inch shorter. Putting hair in twists while washing doesn't work at all. Sections before styling, ok maybe. I did it once and it worked fine for me. I think I had about 7 sections. I've only pineappled once my hair was already stretched from a braidout. I had to have about 6-7 pineapples.

Jae said...

@Tightly Tressed - Exactly, I really think this in between length is the hardest to figure out and I need some help. LOL

Anonymous said...

I detangle, apply styling product and twist in rows instead of one section at a time. Ive tried pineappling and it just doesn't work for me either, maybe my hair isn't long enough yet (not quite earlobe length), so I twist nightly. Now that I've been transitioning for over 6 months, it doesn't take as long as it used to in the beginning when I really didn't know what I was doing lol -maybe 30 to 45 minutes it I work straight through. I don't mind taking extra time when I shampoo and DC, but sometimes I DO miss being able to wrap my relaxed hair, tie it up and hit the sheets in 5 minutes! But it's all good. Overall, I LOVE taking care of my hair! Glad I'm not the only one who can't pineapple!!!

neceyluv

Anonymous said...

Mary in Md

I usually keep my hair in twists. So, my routine between washes (every three to four weeks) is pretty quick. I moisturize and seal each evening. Then don my satin scarf (to resmooth) and satin bonnet. I'm still trying to find the quickest and most effective way to get through the non-henna/special treatment wash days.

What I've tried lately is when I'm in a super hurry, I may co-wash and ACV rinse. Put on a leave-in condish and leave in whatever twists I have. If I have detangling time, I (1)finger detangle with condish & oil (2)braid/twist each detangled section (3) deep condish braided/twisted hair (3) co-wash or poo in twists/braids and (4) ACV rinse. When hair is just damp, rebraid/twist each braid/twist for improved stretch. The longest part of the routine is the finger detangling, which I sometimes do the day before. It is still a work in progress. But, I was finding that making the longer routine a must meant I was having long stretches without cleansing. So, if I get to the three week mark and don't see time for the longer routine, I have now started doing a more abbreviated routine rather than stretching it out. Thankfully, as long as I keep up with the daily moisturizing and sealing my hair doesn't seem to suffer.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to pineapple or retwist your hair everynight to prevent tangling.
It's far far simpler to put your hair in two big loose braids before putting your satin bonnet on.

This keeps your hair from tangling and gently stretches out the coils. This method allows me to stretch and maintain a gelled up wash and go style for up to 3 weeks.

Anonymous said...

As far as pineappling, my hair isn't long enough yet, but I do put my hair in 4 puffs and then put the bonnet on. In the morning, I fluff and shake and go. This lets my WnG last for a week.

Brooke B. said...

I find that washing my hair in twist in the kitchen sink has helped significantly with detangling & the time I use to spend in the shower detangling loose hair which use to take upwards of 2 hours. I don't miss that at all, lol!

Hilary B. said...

twice this week, I've put in a couple twists, looked at all the hair that still hasn't been done, and gave up. lol It's just so daunting and I hate spending more than 30, 45 minutes tops on styling. I actually look forward to detangling day, weirdly enough. I think it's 'cause i've finally mastered it. What works for me is a good seamless shower comb, a conditioner with tons of slip (Treseme Naturals is amazing for this), working in small sections, and a little of patience.

Hilary B. said...

lol, this is definitely true for some people but I can understand why. Keeping your hair healthy is a sign of discipline and skill and some people conflate a long regimen with those characteristics. To quote the great Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for that." lol

Kisha_Michelle said...

I wash/condition my hair in twist which cuts down in time spent detangling. I twist my hair at night in about 8 twist to preserve my twistout so as to do less styling in the morning. If I don't retwist, I pineapple. That's about it. I hate spending hours upon hours on my hair. Keep it simple. :)

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