Washday blues…ugh! They will have you cursing for sure. We love our curls, coils, and waves but sometimes we get tired of the extra work many of us face during washday. I used to dread washday but now I have gotten my washday down to a science by planning ahead. This is a necessary component of healthy hair, so I put on my big girl panties and do what I gotta do!
Let’s not even pretend you do not understand what I am saying. You, yes you are the biggest culprit for your tangled washdays. I am calling you out (myself included), because we can make them easier if we take the time to ensure they run smoother. Here are a few ways to avoid tangles and simplify your washday.
1. Do not put off washday
Let me say this one more time for the people in the back row, yea, you in your feelings right now, I’m talking to you! Do not put it off until you have a tangled mess to wash! How many of us have procrastinated washday because we are either tired, forget, dread it, or feel too lazy marinating in our own funk to care? This is part of the reason washday becomes a chore. Putting it off is not only keeping your hair dirtier longer, but you are allowing the tangles to accumulate.
Dr. Oz says the average person loses anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs every single day and about 100,000 shed hairs follow a predictable cycle. They are either growing (anagen phase), not growing (catagen phase), or resting (telogen phase) and then they are released during the last phase.
These hairs that will shed do not stop when you do not feel like washing your hair. They only grow more intertwined throughout the length of your attached hair.
No one is suggesting that you detangle daily, but if you put it off then you are allowing the shed and unshed hair to become more densely tangled. Every single time I put off washing my hair I regret it. If you are reading this article with hair that has not been detangled in a month, here are some tips to help what could be awaiting you.
A pre-poo is an oil treatment that is applied prior to shampooing your hair. Favored oils for most naturals include olive oil or coconut oil, but you can select whichever oil you like. A pre-poo will help to dissolve your tangles, and the longer you let it sit (15-30 min) the easier it will break down the tangles and allow your washday to become a breeze.
I cannot stress this enough! I understand if you are in the TWA stage and it may not be necessary, but when your hair is no longer a TWA and you notice more tangles when washing, it is now time to make a change – this typically occurs when the hair is around 6 inches in length. Washing in sections allows you to be more productive by allowing you to concentrate on smaller portions.
4. Use tons of conditioner
Conditioner is your friend. Love it, cherish it, and use it! Washday is not the time to be stingy, and if you already incorporate the Curly Girl Method or the Tightly Curly Method then you already know the power of conditioner. Conditioner allows you to remove the tangles successfully without yanking out gobs of hair. Adding a few drops of oil to your conditioner will also help in eliminating tangles without ripping out strands of hair. And please, do not forget to detangle starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots.
Not everyone is into co-washing and I understand. Despite your misgivings on the subject, if you are noticing more tangles with shampoo, then you may want to give co-washing a try. Shampoos are meant to cleanse and many (but not all) contain harsh surfactants that alter the pH of the hair and induce tangles as you massage the scalp. Co-washing is just using daily conditioners or co-wash formulated products (such as As I Am Cleansing Co-Wash and DevaCurl Low Poo) to gently cleanse while also conditioning your tresses. I have tried the sulfate-free shampoos but my hair does not like the stripped feeling, so I jumped on the co-washing bandwagon and never looked back.
Trying one or more of these tips should really cut down on your tangles. Remember to take your time so you are not tugging at your hair.