In this article, I’ll be sharing with you the hair wash routine that has helped my hair grow to tailbone length after a chin length hair cut, and never previously growing past my ribs. This uses all natural, DIY ingredients, and preserves the natural oils, strength, and texture of the hair.
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You'll be learning:
Why I wash my hair in four braids, and how I do it
The one magic ingredient I use to cleanse my hair, which is 100% natural and doubles as a nourishing, strengthening conditioner for the hair.
The natural hair rinse made with just two ingredients that I use after every wash.
How I style my curly hair with a minimum amount of natural, DIY products
How these hair washing practices have made the biggest difference in my hair length retention, allowing my to grow my hair to tailbone length after a chin length hair cut
Washing in Braids
Why do I wash my hair in braids?
Hair is about 30% weaker when wet, so breakage is more likely to happen during washing than any other time.
Braiding minimizes manipulation of the hair strands and therefore the chance of breakage. It also helps to minimize tangles.
If your hair is shorter than mine, or more oily or straight, braiding may not be the best idea for you because it can be harder to get the hair totally clean when it’s in braids. It’s a benefit to cost analysis. For me, the benefits of washing my curly, long, tangle prone hair in braids outweighs the less effective washing - my hair doesn’t get particularly oily anyways, and I find that squeezing the clay mixture through my braids gets it clean just fine. For other hair types or lengths, it will make sense to wash hair loose or in sections.
Rhassoul Clay Washing
Rhassoul clay is mineral rich and nourishing for the hair, while it’s alkalinity and porous molecular structure attracts oil and dirt to it, cleansing the hair. It moisturizes and strengthens hair, making your hair strands less likely to break off at the ends, even as it grows longer.
I use a liquidy mixture and apply it to my scalp using this hair applicator bottle. I massage it in, and then dip my braids into a bowl or liquid measuring cup with the rest of the clay mixture. I squeeze this through the length of the braids. When my hair was shorter, I skipped this step and simply used the applicator bottle to apply it all over.
I use my scalp massager that I love to massage this into my scalp, and let all the clay sit on my hair and scalp for 1-2 min, then rinse with lightly warm water. I repeat this one more time. I know this takes a long time compared to using conventional shampoos, but for me it is the only option, as any time I have used shampoo, natural or otherwise, my hair reacts badly and becomes dry and tangle prone. Also, the longer washing time is balanced out by the fact that I only wash my hair in this way every 1-2 weeks, as opposed to conventional shampoos which can make the hair and scalp dependant on washing every other day.
As a curly haired person, another reason I love clay washing is because it helps define my curls without the need for a bunch of curly hair gels or products.
When I have applied the second batch of clay to my hair, I undo my braids and use my fingers to gently separate my hair out of the clumps it has formed into from the braids and from its natural texture. I then squeeze the clay through my loosened hair gently.
Do I Use Conditioner?
After rinsing out this final clay wash, I move on to the next step, which for me is an apple cider vinegar hair rinse. If you are using conditioner, you would apply it before the hair rinse. I skip conditioners most weeks because I find it isn’t necessary when I have done an intensive moisturizing hair masque the night before washing my hair.
As I mentioned earlier, this week I applied a honey/olive oil mask to my hair. A video of a similar recipe and technique will be linked in the description. Many weeks I will just apply oil to my hair the night before the wash. The type of oil differs depending on the season and how dry my hair feels. If you have straight hair, jojoba oil is a good start. I get the best results with the honey/oil masque in terms of moisture and curl definition.
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
So, moving on the the apple cider vinegar rinse. I apply this using the same applicator bottle to my scalp and hair length, let sit for 1 minute or so, and then rinse out with cool water. Some people can leave this rinse in, but I recommend rinsing it out to start with and see how your hair reacts. Also, a little vinegar goes a long way. If you have never used ACV before, start with less in your rinse.
Styling and Drying
After finishing up, I gently squeeze the water out of my hair, blot with a microfibre towel, and then apply my DIY flaxseed gel. The recipe video for this will be linked in the description. Finally, I seal my hair ends with a small amount of oil. Today, I used olive oil from my kitchen because it was the most handy. However, if your hair is straighter or shorter than mine I recommend using a lighter oil like jojoba oil, and just a tiny amount on your ends. This seals in the moisture to your hair ends and helps prevent breakage over time.
Today I was in a rush so I simply wrapped my hair up in a cotton t-shirt and went on with my day. When my hair was shorter, I used a microfibre hair turban, but my hair no longer fits in it which is a good problem to have! If it is winter time, I almost always use my TYMO hair dryer with room temperature air to speed up the drying process.
Voila! That’s it, and here are the finished results with my hair. My hair turned out particularly good after this hair wash, and most of all, using these natural washing techniques are largely responsible for growing my hair out to tailbone length when previously it could never grow past my ribs.
Are you feeling inspired to try out this hair wash routine? Let me know in the comments!
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