Washing Afro Curly Hair is not easy, even if it’s short, due to the volume of hair, it makes washing thoroughly quite difficult.  

Washing your hair seems like a no brainer right? You’ve probably been washing your own hair since your teens so why would you need to learn how to wash it now? Our hair has a lot of volume and the volume makes it difficult for cleansers to reach the scalp. This means, even though we’ve been washing our hair for all these years the way we know how, it doesn’t mean we’ve been doing it thoroughly. 

I am sharing 5 tips that have helped me cut down on the time it takes to wash my hair and I know it’s been washed thoroughly. You may already do these, if you do, great if not, I hope these help make your wash day easier. Let’s get into it.

Section Your Hair 

This is the step that makes the difference for washing Afro Curly Hair more thoroughly, making the experience quicker and more manageable. 

Section your hair into 4 if it is shorter than shoulder length and into 2 if it is below shoulder length. 

Shorter hair has more volume closer to the scalp so sectioning into 4 makes it easier to manage. When longer hair is soaked, it stretches away from the scalp and down the body giving easy access to the scalp. It switches around for conditioning, but that’s for another post. 

Use an alligator clip or something that you don’t mind getting wet to keep the sections separated before proceeding to wetting your hair. 

Wet Your Hair Thoroughly 

Using warm water, stand under the shower or apply the water to your hair until it is completely drenched. Warm water opens up the cuticles of the hair strand and helps lift some of the dirt away. It is also great for helping the shampoo spread easier meaning you use less of it. 

It may take a little while for your hair to absorb the water, give it time. When your hair starts to feel heavy and stretched down your body, it’s ready for the shampoo/cleanser. 

Focus The Shampoo On Your Scalp

Your scalp is usually where dirt, dead skin cells and sebum build up, so focus the shampoo on the scalp. Apply to your scalp first, gently work it in all over the scalp, then move out to the hair ends.

Don’t scrub your ends, it is the most fragile and prone to breaking at this point. Let the shampoo do its work and as you rinse, it will pick up and wash away any buildup or dirt on your hair ends. 

If you’re using a shampoo bar, wet it, then gently rub it onto your scalp before distributing it to the rest of your hair. 

Use Your Fingertips Or A Gentle Scalp Brush

Once the shampoo is in your hair, use the pads of your finger, not your nails, to work the shampoo throughout your scalp to lift away the dirt and excess oils. You can also use a scalp massage brush that has soft bristles to gently slough away the dirt. 

The added benefit to using the brush, is that it gives your scalp a lovely massage that helps increase blood circulation. 

The reason we advocate against using fingernails is that sharp nails can scratch the scalp which can become infected, cause inflammation or attract bacteria that lead to scalp conditions. 

Rinse Out Shampoo With Warm Water 

After applying the shampoo, rinse your hair with warm water. Many suggest using cold water to rinse and at one point I used to do that, but remember, warm water opens the cuticles and cold water shocks it closed. 

If you are using a conditioner afterwards (rinse out, leave in or otherwise), which our hair needs to combat dryness, then we need the cuticles of the hair to be open to absorb the moisture from the conditioner. 

Bonus Tip

Only apply conditioner to the driest parts of your hair, i.e. midway down your hair shaft to the ends. Conditioner should not be used on the scalp. Use a light oil or one formulated for scalps, such as our Revive Scalp Oil to keep your scalp from becoming dry and help balance the natural sebum as it is reproduced. 

We have a post about how shampoo works here if you want to learn a bit more. We also have one about conditioners here.

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Until next time,

Be Great x

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