Some women declare that they do not have time to manage their hair in its natural state, and therefore cannot go, or stay, natural. If relaxer had never been invented, I doubt they would make such a claim. Rather, they would have simply learned how to manage their natural hair like everyone else. Adapting your hair care regimen to suit your schedule and time constraints is important, whatever a person’s hair texture.
The use of chemicals should be an informed choice, not a necessity. There is nothing inherently wrong or unmanageable about our hair in its natural state. We simply have to realise the importance of educating ourselves about natural hair. And most importantly, our children’s natural hair. If we do this, we will develop the ability to adjust our hair care accordingly. Initially, it is going to take patience and practice, but trust me, it’s worth it!
Here are some suggestions on how to save time when managing your natural hair:
1. Deep Condition your hair before shampooing
Deep conditioning or hot oil treatments don’t have to be done after shampooing. It can become tedious, shampooing, getting out of the shower, deep conditioning, sitting under the dryer, and getting back in the shower, all over again. If you deep condition or do a hot oil treatment before shampooing, you only have to use the shower once. This will save water and time.
If your shampoo is natural and free of sulphates, which strip the hair of moisture, the benefits of the deep conditioning will not be ‘washed away’. If you are using a shampoo that contains Sodium Lauryl sulphate and others chemicals, deep conditioning will at least prepare your hair for this. It is likely to result in less moisture depletion.
Some people would call this a ‘pre-poo’ (pre-shampoo). I believe the result is the same, regardless.
2. Detangle in the shower before co-washing
This may not be an option for everyone, as wet hair is weaker. So detangling in the shower, may make the hair more vulnerable to breakage. However, if you use conditioner to detangle, this can be done in the shower and you can go straight into co washing. Put your hair into 6 to 8 sections. Detangle and co-wash one section at a time, and re-twist straight away. The downward motion of the shower water, helps to ensure that your strands are flowing in the same direction and helps with detangling.
Check our Naptural85’s demonstration of this method and a convenient style to do, during the process:
3. Alternatives methods to finger detangling
Studies show that those that finger detangle, have a thicker hair density. However, finger detangling does not work for everyone. There are others who prefer to use a wide tooth comb to detangle, after saturating their hair with conditioner or a mixture of ingredients. Check out KKKM’s method, using her homemade ‘detangling cocktail’. This softens the hair and cut her detangling time down to ten minutes!
4. Keep hair stretched out during the week
If you keep your hair in a stretched out state in-between washing, your hair will be easier and quicker to detangle. Twist-outs and braid-outs are great styles, to keep your hair stretched. Roller sets, flexi-rods and curl formers also keep the hair stretched. If you finger comb your hair after it has been in one of these styles, it will appear in a blown out state. Buns are also great for keeping the hair taut. High buns, low buns, top knots and side buns, all help to keep the hair stretched. When you take your hair down from a bun you will notice this.
So there should be less knots, and the hair will be more manageable. This will cut down your detangling session. Detangling your hair after a wash and go, or after it has shrunk during the week, takes a very long time, in my experience. Hence, the reason why I have only attempted a wash and go once, with my 4b hair.
5. Divide the hair into large sections
In my experience, the longer your hair becomes, the less sections you need to divide it into. Dividing your hair between 4 to 6 sections, should make it quicker to wash. We’ve all been there, working our way through the sections, anticipating getting to the last one. When there are less sections to work through, this moment comes around sooner.
6. Try to remove shed hair whenever possible
Whilst styling my hair, I always take the opportunity to gently remove shed hair. This ensures that less shed hair tangles with the existing hair. There will also be less shed hair to remove on wash day. So while finger combing my hair before styling, I take less than a minute to remove any shed hair. This reduces the build up of shed hair overall.
When you are short on time, here are some quick hairstyles to try.
Roll, tuck and pin
Short Natural Hair (TWAs)
For short hair and TWAs try spraying the hair with a water and glycerin mix, to moisturize and enhance your curls. Add a cute accessory, such as a flower or head band. You can create a side parting and pin one side down with a clip.
What do you do to save time with your hair care regimen? Please share your suggestions below.