So Fresh & So Clean-Wash Day Routine PT II
So our wash routine typically goes like this:
I sit them down with a book, snack, TV programme, iPad – whatever keeps them quiet and comfortable.
· I section their hair into 2 sections (half up, half down).
· I spray each section with a water bottle filled with water, conditioner & oil. This works as what is called “Pre-Poo” – a treatment used to moisturise and condition the hair before shampooing. From what I’ve read and watched, you would typically use a conditioner or oil and leave in for a period of time, wash out and then begin your wash routine – shampoo, conditioner etc. We don’t have time for that, or patience (well I am very patient but the girls aren’t). So, I mix it all into a spray bottle and apply whilst detangling.
· I’ll then start detangling their hair, I always start from the bottom and up to the top and only using my fingers first. This is the most painless way you can ‘comb’ out your child’s hair. It can be very timely if they have really thick hair and its super tangled – like mine do – but it’s well worth the effort, you end up with less breakage and less moaning, which we can all do with a little less of.
· Next, I’ll finish off with our super duper wide tooth comb and just gently comb their hair right through and deal with any tangles lost along the way.
Next is time to jump in the bath, as they get in and start throwing bubbles at each other and one starts crying because they have bubble on their finger or in their eye, I distract them away from the commotion and let them pick out what they want to wash their hair with. Of course they both choose the same thing and then another fight breaks out with who holds it – but luckily someone invented shampoo AND conditioner, so Eva gets shampoo and Isla gets conditioner.
· I rinse both their hair with warm water for a good minute or so. Trust me when I say it’ll get easier rinsing their hair, it took a very long time for them to trust me when I said look up and you won’t get water in your eyes.
· I then start with the shampooing; I roughly section their hair (without clips and bands) and apply the shampoo directly to their scalp and gently massage in a circular motion. I focus more on the scalp with shampoo and once it lathers up nicely I start distributing it down the hair.
· I do this on each section and then just twist the hair round my finger to hold it in place and then go onto the next section. I make about 4 sections – 2 on top and 2 at the back. I like to be thorough with their hair but as long as there is shampoo on the hair, you’re doing great! I leave on for about 2 minutes.
· Using warm water I rinse their hair from the top and let the water run the shampoo through to cleanse the ends. I always make sure I give it a good rinse – I don’t touch their hair much when rinsing as I don’t want it to get tangled, so don’t be tempted to squeeze the ends up into a ball to get the shampoo out quicker.
· On to the conditioner; again, I use the same technique with the sections and apply our conditioner – I focus more on the middle and ends of their hair.
· When applying conditioner I am constantly ‘finger combing’ their hair. This keeps on top of the tangles. I also like to apply lots of conditioner, I use way more than I do shampoo and I make sure I fully coat their hair.
· Depending on how smooth and tangle-free their hair is, I’ll whip out the Denman Brush and give it a nice brush so the conditioner really seeps in and gets into all the hair.
· I grab a clip and clip their hair up so it’s up and out of the way and leave them to play in the bath for about 10-15 minutes (or until someone gets bubble in their eye and now wants to get out).
· Time to rinse: I turn the temperature down a notch so it’s slightly cooler, but not so much they notice. Cold water is great for rinsing conditioner out (for softness, shine and anti-frizzyness) but I don’t think the girls will ever tolerate that – so I turn it down a little bit so it’s just that little bit cooler than the norm.
· I don’t rinse the conditioner out for long at all. I like to keep some in so I rinse their hair for about 10-15 seconds. You can rinse it out fully if you like; there is no harm in it especially if you’ll be applying a leave-in conditioner.
· Before I get them out the bath, I gently squeeze the ends to get all the excess water out, I’ll then grab one of my cotton vests and use this to cover their hair so they can get dry and dressed. Cotton material is much better to use when drying, it reduces the friction and you’ll have less frizz. I don’t dry their hair with the cotton vest, I just place it over their head to stop the drips of water on their back and protect against the friction of putting their clothes on over their head.
(I put the vest against their back with the straps at the top near their shoulders and bring the straps round either side of their ears and tie at top, I then grab the bottom of the vest and bring it over the back of their head and tuck it under where I tied the straps at the front of their head).
· I comb their hair with the wide tooth comb and section it into two (one up, one down).
· I apply a leave-in conditioner and use the Denman brush to brush it through. (Denman brushes are great for evenly distributing product and defining curls)
· I take the top section down and split into two, and repeat with applying the leave-in conditioner and brushing it through.
· I leave the hair for 5 or so minutes to let the leave-in seep in a bit.
· I then apply a cream or milk. I like to style with milk over the next few days and then on wash day I like to use a cream as I feel it defines their curls much nicer after washing.
· I do this in sections and use the Denman brush to brush it through.
· Lastly (we’re all totally ready to be done with hair time by now) I grab some coconut oil and put a small dollop on my hands and rub together so the oil melts and apply to their hair – more so on the ends. Oils are great for sealing in all the moisture from washing and the products you’ve used. I’ve noticed a big difference when I don’t use coconut oil after washing their hair, so I always use it to finish off.
It takes a long time for their hair to dry, especially Eva as she has more. Without exaggerating, it’s about 4 hours and that’s until it’s completely dry. Within this time, we’re obviously at home and so they are most likely to be playing tents under their duvets or scrapping on the sofa so it’s literally inevitable their hair is going to get frizzy and crazy. If they’re sat nicely watching TV or doing a puzzle then I drape their silk scarf behind them on the sofa cushion and this helps with any friction. They’re hair is so prone to frizz so I try my hardest to help prevent it.
Once their hair is dry, I grab the beloved Afro Pik and fluff from the roots to create volume. I love this bit.