This Quick & Easy Wash Day Routine Takes Only 10 Minutes

4 Materials
10 Minutes

This tutorial is for those of you who don’t want to wash your hair but have to. I’m going to show you my natural hair wash day routine when I have to wash my hair but I’m feeling really bad, sick, or tired. This isn’t recommended for every day, just when you need to get by. Let’s get started.

Tools and materials:

  • Cleansing conditioner (co-wash)
  • Conditioner
  • Hair oil
  • Hooded dryer
Quick wash day routine

1. Wet your hair

I start by completely soaking my hair, and I mean dripping wet. I have low porosity hair, so I make sure I’m using really warm water not hot water, which can cause heat damage. It should just be warm enough, with the highest pressure available, so your hair can easily absorb the water and get wet.

If you have normal or low porosity, the pressure isn’t a big deal, but if your hair takes forever to get wet, this will really help. I do this for a full three minutes to make sure my hair is completely saturated. I make sure both the ends and roots are both completely soaked.

For more hair-washing hacks, check out my previous tutorial on how to wash hair for hair growth.

Using a co-wash on natural hair

2. Co-wash

Next, I use a cleansing conditioner or a co-wash. I use a generous amount, rub it between my palms, and put it all over the roots of my hair. The main focus should be the roots because that’s where all the dirt and grime stays, but I put what’s left over on the ends and hair shaft.

Work and lather it in even if it doesn’t foam and then thoroughly rinse it out. If you don’t have a co-wash, you can use any conditioner if your hair isn’t covered in oils and build-up. If it is, I recommend using a sulfate-free shampoo if you have one. Otherwise, whatever shampoo you have is fine.

Remember, this isn’t ideal to do all of the time, because your hair isn’t going to get as soft and you won’t retain as much length, however, this is my number one alternative to doing nothing. I suggest doing this once a month for those busy weeks when you’re extremely tired or just had a bad day.

Squeezing out excess water

3. Squeeze out excess water

Use your hands to squeeze out all of the excess water without using a towel or a t-shirt. You still want your hair to be wet, you just don’t want the product to be slipping down.

Conditioning hair

4. Condition

Next, choose whatever condition you have that is light enough to go into your hair. Work a good amount into each side of your head. Since there’s no detangling stage in this quick wash day routine, I recommend doing this in twists, braids, or cornrows.

If my hair is out, I either don’t risk it or I braid my hair the night before. I focus on the shafts and the ends before putting some on the roots. Do not put this on your scalp, because you don’t want it to clog the follicles. 

Natural hair wash day routine

Once I’m done, I give myself a quick, 2-minute scalp massage to help move all the conditioner around and make sure my hair absorbs it well before we move on to the next stage. Again, you should be using a very light conditioner that your hair can absorb well without getting trapped in your braids or twists.

Using heat with a wash day routine

5. Go under the heat

Tie your hair up in a loose ponytail, and then cover it with a plastic bag or a plastic cap while your hair is still warm. Then, go under the heat for 20 minutes. This is where the magic happens. Unlike usual, we’re not going to rinse this out because it’s going to double up as our leave-in conditioner. 

Applying hair oil

6. Apply hair oil

Oil your hair with your favorite oil. My hair growth oil recipe is a mixture of many different oils, including tea tree oil and peppermint oil which helps my hair feel lovely and refreshed while stimulating hair growth. The tea tree is also antibacterial and antimicrobial which helps if you feel you didn’t do a wash as well as you hoped. I’m not dousing my hair because I don’t want to cause build-up.

For more hair oil recipes, check out my tutorials on rosemary oil, avocado and moringa oil, and olive oil.

Scalp massage

Now it’s time to do our in-depth scalp massage. This takes about five minutes to make sure all the oils are perfectly absorbed in the scalp and working well.

Fixing braids or twists

7. Fix braids or twists

If your braids or twists have unraveled, this is the time to redo them but not anytime else because they can easily come undone throughout the washing and massaging process.

Instead of twisting all the way to the bottom, I just twist around my finger to make sure it makes a nice coil to stop it from unraveling. Twisting them too tightly can cause breakage and split ends.

Results of the wash day routine

Wash day routine

That’s it for this wash-day routine. At this stage, my hair looks kinda frizzy and yours might too, but that’s okay. This is just going get you by. When I go out, I’ll be wearing a hat or a headwrap. Let me know what you think about this washing natural hair routine down below! 

Suggested materials:
  • Cleansing conditioner (co-wash)
  • Conditioner
  • Hair oil
See all materials

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