Natural Hair

My 4 Step Curly Hair Wash Routine

For me, wash day means the start of a new week. I’m a bit lazy sometimes so it can stretch over the course of a couple days because #ThickHairProblems. We’re into any and all kinds of self-care these days (especially with the way 2020 is going). Wash days allow me to take a few minutes and relax. Since the wash day process is tedious, I like to get a head start at least a day before to make everything easier.

I’ve been doing my hair since 6th grade so that’s a bajillion wash day Sunday’s. That means a lot of trial and error over the years with products and routines to perfect my curly hair wash routine. I wash my hair on a weekly basis since I sweat a lot plus I don’t like the way my hair feels when it’s dirty. It’s dry, tangled, and doesn’t want to behave at all. This wash day routine helps me maintain it and keep it manageable.

Head Rub

The first thing I do after taking down any style is a head rub. They get the juices flowing and It feels amazing running my fingers through my hair and across my scalp. I imagine rubbing my hair loosens up any shed hair while relaxing my scalp. In addition to the head rub, I like to give my scalp a good scratch too. Listen, a good scalp scratch feels just like heaven. After a week of light scratches to keep the style looking cute, a good one that gets in those hard-to-reach areas does the magic. I’ll do that for a couple minutes to get the process started and prepare for the rest of the routine.


Sometimes I skip this step if I’m being lazy but detangling hair helps any curly hair wash routine tremendously. It takes me about 15 minutes or so total to get rid of all the shed hair after I dampen and apply oil to each section (you can watch my routine here) . I usually detangle the day before washing to let my hair strands soak up everything to retain a bit moisture to endure the wash step. One thing I notice is when my hair is detangled, it makes washing my hair so much easier. To me, my hair is smoother because all the shed hair from the previous week is gone.


This step takes less time if I detangle prior to wetting my hair. I’m using Mielle Organics Babassu Conditioning Shampoo at the moment and it leaves my hair super clean. Idk if this really does anything but I like to let the shampoo sit in my hair and soak while I wash my body. Considering I use a lot of oils and other products on my hair for styling, I wash it at least twice per session to make sure I remove the weekly product buildup. I also use a clarifying shampoo at the beginning of the month as a reset to really remove what’s left of product buildup.


I’m more relaxed when it comes to conditioning my hair. I can use anything from SheaMoisture to Carol’s Daughter. My main thing is my hair needs to feel soft, nourished, and has slip. Yes, most directions say to leave it on for 15 minutes tops but I’ll wear it all day or even overnight if I’m being lazy.  Depending on the week, I’ll use a regular conditioner or a cocktail of regular conditioner with a deep conditioner for some razzle dazzle. I use Africa’s Best Hair Mayonnaise on the first wash day of the month to give my hair the nutrients it needs to be healthy and strong.

Simple, right? If I’m feeling productive I can get through this routine from the head rub to rinsing out the conditioner in an hour tops. Leave a comment below about your wash day routine and products you use.