Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My New FAVORITE Hair Washing Technique!

This weekend in preparation for V's B2S hairstyle, I used my new FAVORITE hair washing technique for the second time and I am so SOLD on it!

I mentioned last week a quick wash technique, but that isn't ideal in every situation.  This technique, I believe, is the BEST way to wash tightly curly hair.  It is a method that has you wash the hair section by section instead of a whole loose head of hair at once.  I think this is ideal because:  1) It keeps the hair from getting tangled up while washing and 2) by washing a small section at a time you are sure to get every inch of the hair and scalp wet and clean!  If you are accustomed  to washing very thick curly hair, you know what I mean!  It is crazy how you can run more and more water over the hair, trying to move the hair around to get to the deepest layers of hair, and yet still find out there are areas that are almost totally dry when you are done!

Let me walk you through this step by step.  If you recall, V's hair was in this temporary style of 7 large cornrows into a ponytail:

Step 1
Remove one cornrow (or a few cornrows or braids, depending on the style you have in, enough to make a section that is about 1/7 or 1/8 of the hair) and Detangle.

Step 2
Put that section into a twist.  (at this point if you wanted to do a deep conditioning treatment, you could add the oil or conditioner before twisting the hair so it can soak in while you are working on the rest of the hair.)

Step 3
Continue process working around the head until you have all of the hair detangled and in twists.

Step 4
Head to the shower and undo ONE of the twists, put in your conditioner (or shampoo, if you use it) message it into the scalp and rinse.  This is WAY easier with the help of my new hand held shower head!  

Step 5
Add more conditioner if you like to do a leave in and put that section back into a twist and move on to the next section.  Move around the head, washing just one section at a time.  

Step 6 
You are READY to put in your new style!  No need to detangle again because the hair didn't get all tangled up while washing!  

I actually washed her hair the day before I wanted to put in V's B2S style so I quickly made those loose twists into some braids for the rest of the day and night.

You can see some whitish looking streaks because I loaded her hair up with some shea butter/coconut oil.  I was so excited the next morning to get up and be able to get started straight away on her nice clean, tangle free hair!  I was able to remove all these braids before I got started on the style and the hair was nicely stretched and it was very easy to make all of the parts needed for her new style.

If you know about my old washing technique you can see that not only does this technique seem to be a better way to get the hair clean, but it is saving me some time as well.  I used to detangle before I washed, and then I would need to detangle again after the wash.  And that was no matter how carefully I washed her hair to try to keep it from tangling.

Do you use a similar technique for washing?



  1. LOL I am too distracted by the fact that those beautiful cornrows were a *temporary* style! They didn't even look fuzzy yet! If you're ever in AZ, please stop in and help me out, Katie. :)

    ps - Thanks for the sweet bloggy comment. I love that I was an encouragement to you, back in the day, and now you are one of my inspirations when I'm getting discouraged with hair. Kinda funny! ;)

  2. @Andy and Kiara - Oh Kiara! Too funny! That cornrow picture was the one I took on the day I put them in :) Unless you were talking about the ones you could see when I had just one taken out. You are right though, they weren't looking bad. I probably could have easily gotten away with two weeks on that style, but I had to get that new school hair done!

    P.S. I am headed to AZ next month!

  3. I have a quick question that is somewhat unrelated to this post :) haha I have a question about a basic cornrow style like the one in the top picture on this post. When you do cornrows into a ponytail, obviously some of the cornrows are actually going bottom to top, from the nape of the neck... do you hold your hands differently to do these or do you have the girls tilt their heads down and you position yourself so it's the same angle as regular top-to-bottom braiding? I wasn't sure if it would require a whole new technique of hand positioning... hoping not!

  4. Hi Katie and Steph,

    I have a similar routine. If Jannah has braids in, I spray her braids with a mix of conditioner and water. This makes it SO easy to take the braids out, they just slip right out and no damage whatsover is done. Then I sit with my daughter in the tub (a tub that has that seat thingy in it, don't know the name of it sorry) so only my feet are in the water. this works well for me because it makes it easy to be patient lol. Then I part her hair in 4 sections. I have an old empty shampoo bottle that I use to dilute conditioner with water. This conditioner that I add to the empty bottle at the moment is Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship. I just dump about a teaspoon of this on the scalp to make it easier to distribute. I stopped using shampoo so I only cowash. I massage the section gently with my fingertips and add more conditioner mix to the hair and finger detangle. after I'm done with that section I go to the next. After I'm done with all sections, I rinse the hair out section by section to make sure all is out. U are right when u say u never know if all is out of the hair if u are not sectioning. so after that I add Hello hydration to each section and leave it in. I don't wash it out.
    pfew! here goes your longest comment ever! haha

  5. Oh like that. Working all the conditioner in section by section and THEN rinsing section by section. That might be even faster because I wouldn't have to keep switching things in my hands water sprayer to conditioner to water sprayer to conditioner....

  6. @Tet - I have been getting this question a lot lately. I'm gonna have to have my hubby take some pics of the different positions V sits in when I work up the back of her head! The short answer is - I cornrow exactly the same, we just position ourselves differently so that the hands can always be in the optimal place.

  7. I do a version of the technique you describe, but I might try yours! I put my daughter's hair (very thick, coiled but not as long as V's) in to 7 or 8 sections that are in chunky braids or twists. I wash a section, then load it with conditioner and finger detangle, then run a modified Denman brush through the section to remove the shed hair (D3 I think with alternating rows removed). I then rebraid the section with the conditioner in it and move to the next section. At the end, I do a major rinse of all sections still in the chunky braid. This works much much better for cleaning and detangling.

  8. At first I was looking at that thinking it looked like more work, but now that I see how you only detangle once, I can see how that would save time. I'm going to give it a try! Thanks for the idea (and the helpful pix and explanation)!

  9. I have been watching the videos and hair styles on here for a couple of weeks now. I work at a 24 hour care facility for children with special needs. I was at my wits end trying to learn to fix their hair and come up with ideas. I found this site and have fallen in love with all the information found here.
    Since I found your videos and tutorials I have done many of the hair designs, and even purchased, combs, beads, and other hair products based on the views of this site, out of my own pocket.
    The hair of some of the individuals that I support was badly damaged and not detangled properly and just put in any hair style not complimentary to them. In just a few weeks, I can see a major difference in their hair, and even though they can't speak, I know they feel pretty when I am finished.
    Thank you so much for taking so much time out of your busy lives to keep us informed!!! Great Job

  10. @Anna - Bless you Anna for putting so much love and care into those children that need you! I am glad that in some small way we have been able to help with that.

  11. Thank you Katie and Steph!! The hair styles and product reviews that you have posted on your site have been a Godsend to me. I have 2 girls that absolutely hate to have their hair done, and cry the entire 3-6 hours, depending on the style, it takes me to do their styles. I have found a leave it conditioner, detangler that works well for me, as these 2 particular girls have very thick, course and curly natural hair. I used to detangled, then blow dry out, then grease, and finally braid, now I condition and detangled and braid, I no longer blow dry their hair and find that it is softer and not as brittle feeling, and their scalps seem to be improving, and I have noticed a lot of new hair growth!! Thank you again!!

  12. Hi Katie, LOVE the blog and completely appreciated all the time you both take to share.
    I noticed the parts from the original 'do don't come to a perfect point where the pony was. Knowing how careful you are to part and section evenly, I've got to ask, was it intentional? If so, why? With our daughter, I've noticed when I part like that and do line it up, there is some tearing at the center point. Parting the way you did may avoid that to an extent.
    Look forward to your response and the next blog post!

  13. @Debbie - Your AWESOME! It made me chuckle that you noticed that and that you know me well enough to know that that is a bit unusual for me :) Even, maybe that it drove me a little bit crazy to know that I was going to post a picture of those uneven parts :)

    It wasn't intentional, although you have a great point. I usually do have them lined up more that that, but then I know that you can't actually see the center once they are cornrowed into the ponytail, so I might adjust a bit at the tips to avoid breakage. When all my rows come to a very specific point in the center of the head then they often are only using a very few hairs right at the center. So I Might have one go all the way to the middle and the next one come up a bit short. Is this making any sense?

    Anyway, I think that since I had the ponytail in, then took out the rows and washed the hair, and then put those sections back in, the parts just migrated a bit.

    Also, I am actually trying to turn over a new leaf on my hair perfectionism. I take SUCH a long time doing hair and I realized that maybe if I wasn't so darn particular maybe I could shave off some time! I have really been trying to loosed up :)


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