How do you wash your hair and would you spend an hour at it?

How do you wash your hair and would you spend an hour at it?

When it comes to hair wash days, I’m the least excited. This is because if you want to do right by your hair, it would mean you’d have to put in a certain amount of effort towards its care.

It’s no debate that you might have to spend more than half an hour for the washing process, and as my hair never cooperates, I have to take about 2hrs to get the utmost care for it, no kidding.

Photo by Kat Love on Unsplash

I’m not sure I support the idea of spending that amount of time to “clean” the hair, especially when I know that out there, non naturals wash their hair while in their 6 – 8mins shower time duration, and of-course come out with a clean hair.

The men will roll their eyes and say it’s ridiculous to spend so long to rinse hair and I agree. But agreeing doesn’t change anything, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

Are there ways to shorten the time taken during wash days? Let’s go through an average routine and check:

Wash Step 1: Prepooing

Here’s the numero uno of the washing procedure. With time I’ve gotten to learn the proper method for prepooing, although it’s possible some hair kinds could work well with other different procedure.

What I learnt is, especially from the thorough videos by this YouTuber nappyfu, preferably for the best result, you should prepoo with any of your light essential oils only – like olive oil, coconut oil- because they penetrate the hair shaft intensely.

And how to go about it simply, you single out various parts of the hair, less than a handful at a time, and you massage the oil from the roots to ends generously. Continue till you saturate the life out of the hair on your entire scalp!

I’m usually particular about spending minimal time here since it’s not a major process, but truth be told, you will spend more than 8mins dabbing oil to all lengths of your hair and you’d actually work it as if you were planning to do a killer style and you want the hair to shine gloriously.

I used to apply a mixture of conditioner and oils to prepoo but that’s so wrong. So so wrong. Nevertheless, whether the later or former, I let the application sit in my hair between 20-30 mins (recommended time is to stay above 30mins.

Read: How the hair products worked

You cannot “over prepoo”. There’s no damage when oil sits in your hair for 100days, but you don’t want that because it will cause a product build up and block the pores of your scalp from naturally secreting it’s own oil, a lot of story there).

The time therefore to achieve good out of this process is a total of 8 plus 20mins (oil dabbing plus hair nap)

Sidenote: People skip this process but it’s imperative you do not. Nappyfu explains it well in a lot of her videos.

Essentially, applying oil before shampooing protects the hair cortex and cuticles from having too much protein strip off the hair during the continuous expansion and contraction that happens while you wash the hair.

There’s a whole lot of chemistry talk about hygral fatigue and sebum to support prepooing as a naturally standard process to wash days but don’t worry about all that. Just go ahead and prepoo).

Wash Step 2: Shampooing

The actual process of washing! Here, I tend to cleanse the hair thrice (first time is usually barely a wash. The shampoo hardly lathers because of the oil in the hair since they’re originally immiscible in themselves. So I have to go a 2nd time being the real first time).

But that’s not what takes time though -in fact for each time during the scalp scrubbing, I doubt i take about 4mins (so 12mins for the cleansing). The entire shampooing process commonly takes more than 10mins simply because of the prerequisites to washing the hair.

Now before you shampoo, you still have to separate your hair strands as well as do a quick detangle carefully. (You already detangled while applying the oil for the prepoo remember).

You still have to section your hair into parts to manage washing the hair simpler and better, and then washing out all that lather off isn’t cakes. So that’s a total of 10 plus 12mins (prerequisite plus actual washing).

Photo by Noah Buscher

Wash Step 3: Conditioning

The last process on the wash row. If anything, this takes the shortest amount of time and you can’t skip this. Why would you not want your hair to be orgasmicly soft? This process compensates a bit for the entire time spent, and your hair will feel invigorated.

You just even have to apply it over your hair’s length, you don’t have to bother about your scalp, that’s for the shampoo. So the duration for this would be about 7mins, and that’s including the combing.

Read: How to Prevent your hair from breaking

Sure you’ll comb your hair before you wash out the conditioner, it helps to evenly distribute the product across the hair shafts. You’ll want for ALL parts of the hair soft. Yes you will wash it out afterwards!

That’s all.

Frankly, each step takes longer. I only calculated for the least possible timing in each of those. In all, we have 28mins for prepoo, 22mins for shampooing and 7mins for conditioning, a total of 57mins!

This is how the process is for me when I don’t have to bother about Protein Treatment PT or Deep Conditioning DC, which is like never.

Each of those additional steps (PT and DC) already needs 30mins extra for the product to sit in the hair for maximum penetration, and applying the product into the hair needs tolerable attention.

You don’t just slap the products unto your ends and expect it to perform the function you intend it to. It could, but not maximally. And this meticulous application process ofcourse would take a bit of time too. Now grossly, imagine the wash process minimum time of 57mins plus this 30mins+ treatment time.

Read: The Biggest Hair decisions of my mane life

So what process can be adjusted? Asides prepooing since it can be undertaken overnight (eliminating 27mins from the total time of 57mins, to give 29mins).

I’m not so comfortable with the overnight bagging to be honest, I’m still dragging my heels in view of that, but I know when you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, you’ve got to do it.


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  1. Sometimes wash day is literally an entire day for me – prepoo in the morning and let the oil seep in while I do chores around the house, shampoo when I shower then apply deep conditioner, throw on a shower cap + headwrap + nice earrings to complete the look, head out, rinse out the conditioner when I come back home, put my hair in twists and thus ends wash “day”. So best believe I’m all here for tips on how to spend less time on my hair.

    I love how well you broke down each of the steps. 🙂

  2. Hehehe, I probably take longer than an hour oo! I prepoo the night before tho, then wash in the morning. But there’s this other procedure I add – tea rinse. Seriously I wonder why it takes that long for natural hair compared to relaxed(that isn’t even natural and should take more processes). But what can we do? I doubt if there’s any step that can be left out, each of them is vital for the hair oo.
    Great post. Cheers to longer, fuller and softer hair.

  3. It’s the first time I’ve heard the word “prepoo” and I don’t know why it makes me laugh. I wish I took better care of my hair. I’ll take your advise on washing. Thanks

    1. First time? That’s interesting.

      Well, It does sound like what you should do before taking the big number 2😐😒

  4. One hour is small oh – and that’s excluding detangling before washing and prepooing, which I now do a day or even a few days before washing.

    Washing maybe 7 minutes. Deep conditioning would already take 45 minutes – 1 hr. Then moisturizing and sealing? Then styling?

    Definitely more than an hour in total.

    1. Ofcourse it’s definitely more. I think 1hr should be the least possible timing for a FULL proper wash. I don’t feel good about saying this though. I mean, it’s hair..

    1. You should share with your female friends. It’s save stress and less likelihood of making poor hair mistakes (hair kit and save money). Not necessarily the post, but the tips. Just read enough on here to be able to speak like you know a lot about the hair thing. You get?!☺️

      Thanks. Will connect to your blog!

  5. Babes! I so dread hair wash days mainly of the time. I’m glad i am a nappy for you fan too and as for deep conditioning, i do that like once in a week that is if i’m not wearing a weave.

    Great post babes!

    1. You kuku have strength for “once a week” DC. Your head is the head my hair aspires to be on. I should be more like you please.

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