Washing your hair does not have to be a daunting task, even for those who think it should take 3-4 hours to complete. This is a specific guide for those who have fine, natural hair. However, this regimen is for anyone who would like to have a productive washing regimen without the hassle and the fuss.
Here is the specific outline for fine, natural hair:
Pre-Poo and Detangle: 5-10 minutes
Cleanse/Co Wash: 5 minutes
Protein Treatment : 5 minutes
Deep Condition: 15 to 30 minutes
Oil Rinse: 5 minutes
Air Dry Until Damp: 30
Pre-poo means to pre-shampoo. This treatment helps to detangle and to condition your hair after taking out your style and before thoroughly washing/cowashing your hair. Especially beneficial to fine, natural hair, this will also reduce breakage to the strands and restore the moisture in the hair.
I separate my hair in 4-6 sections, then apply a cheap conditioner to each section (while concentrating on the ends). As I finish each section, I bantu knot each section and cover with a plastic cap for about 10 minutes. Once I take off the plastic cap my hair is very moisturized, soft, and detangled by the time I begin to wash my hair.
Fine hair tends to get weighed down by the products used during the week, so it is always great to start with a clean scalp and clean hair for the next style. However, you don’t always need to use a clarifying shampoo* to strip the products from your hair every week. Whatever your preference is for washing your hair (clarifying shampoo*, sulfate-free shampoo, cowash, or natural cleanser), be sure that you are removing the product build-up when necessary.
To wash fine, natural hair, it is best to wash the hair in sections. Since your hair is already in 4-6 twists, you can either untwist your hair and wash that specific sections or wash your hair while in twists. Washing your hair in twists will keep your hair detangled and stretched, which reduces breakage and unnecessary tangles.
When cleansing your hair, be sure to massage your scalp to loosen the hair of any product build-up. Then run the shampoo down the length of your hair (while gently squeezing your twists). Afterward, rinse your hair with warm water to rinse the cleanser out.
A must for those with fine, natural hair, protein treatments are used to strengthen the hair shaft and to reduce damage to the hair. If you have fine hair, aim to use a protein treatment every week to every two weeks to build the protein around your fragile hair shaft.
With this said, there is no need to use the heaviest protein treatment you can find. Use a light protein treatment like ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor*, Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Conditioner, or Giovanni Smooth As Silk Extreme. If you need something heavier, try a tea rinse (green tea, black tea, etc) to get added benefits for healthier and fortified hair.
After I wash my hair, I undo each twist and add my protein treatment – starting at my ends. Then I put each section in a bantu knot to keep the section detangled and stretched. For fine, natural hair, the protein treatment does not need much time to strengthen the hair strands. Leaving the protein treatment on your hair for 5 minutes is enough time. Then rinse your hair with lukewarm water to keep the hair cuticles open to add the deep conditioner.
It is very important to deep conditioner* regularly to keep your hair moisturized and protected, especially if you love to wear your hair out.
It is also best to deep condition during each washing regimen, even after your protein treatment. To make your deep conditioner most effective 1). focus the treatment on your ends, 2). cover with a plastic cap and use heat (steamer, hooded dryer, beanie, etc.) to open your hair cuticles, and 3). rinse with cool water to close the hair cuticles. It is best to deep condition for 15-30 minutes for awesome benefits, then put each section back in bantu knots to keep the hair stretched and detangled.
Deep conditioning your hair after the protein treatment will soften the hair strands with moisture, as the protein treatment may make your hair hard.
Oil rinsing is great for easier detangling after washing. The added benefits are less single strands knots, eliminates frizz, and leaves the hair softer and shiner.
After rinsing your hair in cool water from the deep conditioner*, apply a moisturizing oil* (coconut, olive, avocado, etc.) to each section of your hair while paying close attention to the ends. Then put each section back to bantu knots. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes, then rinse with cool water again.
This step is optional after deep conditioning*, but I would recommend this step for those with fine, natural hair to give that much needed boost for healthier hair.
Air dry until damp
I used to dry my hair with a t-shirt, but I find that my hair coils right back up! Then I would have to detangle my hair again, which would wreak havoc on my find strands.
Instead of using a t-shirt to dry my hair, I bantu knot each section of my hair after deep conditioning*/oil rinsing. This will allow my hair to air dry while stretched and detangled.
Then once I feel like my hair is ready, I would set my hair while damp (twist out, rod set, etc.). Sometimes I would stretch my hair with the African Threading Method, another heatless method, if I want to do a stretched style.
For fine, natural hair, the tip is to keep your hair detangled and stretched during your washing regimen. This will reduce the breakage and allow your hair to be easier to work with. What are your tips for washing your fine, natural hair?