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How to Wash Natural Hair: Step by Step Guide (2024)

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how to wash natural hairLooking to master the art of washing your natural hair? Look no further! In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of achieving clean, healthy locks.

From prepping and detangling to applying shampoo and conditioner, we’ve got you covered. Discover tips for tea rinses, deep conditioning treatments, drying techniques, and more.

Say goodbye to tangles and knots – it’s time to embrace a new wash day routine that will leave your natural hair looking fabulous!

Key Takeaways

  • Pre-poo with leave-in conditioner or carrier oil.
  • Detangle hair with a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush.
  • Use sulfate-free shampoo.
  • Deep condition hair after shampooing.

How to Wash Natural Hair: a Step by Step Guide

To wash your natural hair, you’ll need:

  • A sulfate-free shampoo
  • A detangling brush
  • A conditioner

Start by prepooing your hair with a leave-in conditioner or carrier oil.

Then, apply shampoo to your scalp and rinse it out thoroughly.

Next, do a tea rinse to help remove any product build-up.

Finally, apply conditioner to your hair and leave it in for a few minutes before rinsing it out.

Ouidad Climate Control Shampoo

Ouidad Advanced Climate Control DefrizzingView On Amazon
Use Ouidad Climate Control Shampoo to cleanse your hair without stripping away its natural oils. This sulfate-free, gentle cleanser respects hair’s natural protective barrier, helps establish curl definition and creates the perfect frizz-free foundation.

  • Sulfate-free
  • Gentle
  • Respects hair’s natural protective barrier
  • Helps establish curl definition
  • Creates the perfect frizz-free foundation
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Can be drying for some hair types
  • May not be strong enough to remove all buildup
  • Expensive

Wet Brush Detangling Brush

Wet Brush Detangling Brush, OriginalView On Amazon
To detangle your hair, use a Wet Brush detangling brush on wet or dry hair. The IntelliFlex bristles glide through tangles with ease, minimizing pain and protecting against split ends and breakage.

  • Gently loosens knots, on wet or dry hair, without pulling or snagging
  • Flexible bristles minimize pain and protect against split ends and breakage
  • Works great for all hair types
  • Can be pricey
  • Not recommended for children under 3 years old

Divine Revolutionary Hair Brush

Olivia Garden Divine Revolutionary ErgonomicView On Amazon
Detangle your natural hair effortlessly with the Divine Revolutionary Hair Brush. This detangling brush is specially designed for wet hair, with soft memory-flex bristles and ball-point tips for a comfortable detangling experience.

  • Gentle on wet hair
  • Soft memory-flex bristles
  • Comfortable ball-point tips
  • May be too gentle for some hair types
  • Can be difficult to clean

Carol’s Daughter Rose Water Shampoo

CarolView On Amazon
Start by applying Carol’s Daughter Rose Water Shampoo to your hair, focusing on the scalp and working it through your strands. This sulfate-free, silicone-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free shampoo transforms from a water to a gentle foam lather for a deep clean without stripping or harsh friction.

  • Sulfate-free, silicone-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free
  • Transforms from a water to a gentle foam lather for a deep clean without stripping or harsh friction
  • Perfect for natural curly, kinky, and coily hair
  • Targeted applicator helps the liquid formula instantly flow through hair providing easy scalp access and quickly rinses clean
  • Reduces time detangling
  • Doesn’t strip hair
  • May not be strong enough for people with very oily hair

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo, 8.5 ozView On Amazon
Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo is perfect for hair burdened by buildup and is color safe. This sulfate-free, phosphate-free, and paraben-free shampoo effectively removes product residue, oil buildup, and impurities from your natural hair without stripping away its natural moisture.

It leaves your hair feeling clean, refreshed, and ready for the next steps in your wash day routine.

  • Removes buildup: The Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo effectively eliminates product residue and oil buildup from your natural hair.
  • Color safe: This shampoo is gentle enough to use on colored or chemically treated hair without causing any damage or fading.
  • Restores shine: By removing build-up that can weigh down your strands or make them appear dull, this clarifying shampoo helps restore shine to your natural curls.
  • May be drying: As a clarifying shampoo designed to remove build-up thoroughly , it may strip some of the oils from the scalp if used too frequently.
  • Requires follow-up conditioning : After using Moroccanoil Clarifyng Shampoo,it’s important to condition well since cleansing shampoos generally have stronger surfactants which can leave the cuticles open,resulting in tangling unless followed with conditioner.

Black Detangler Brush

Black Detangler Brush by FeliciaView On Amazon
The Black Detangler Brush is perfect for detangling all hair types, whether wet or dry. It’s made with soft, flexible bristles that help to reduce hair breakage and split ends.

  • Detangles wet and dry hair
  • Made with soft, flexible bristles
  • Helps reduce hair breakage and split ends
  • Available in black and pink
  • Not recommended for use on children under 3 years old
  • Hand wash only

Mizani Miracle Milk Leave in Conditioner

Mizani 25 Benefit Miracle MilkView On Amazon
Apply the Mizani Miracle Milk Leave in Conditioner to your clean, damp hair for easy detangling and styling. This lightweight formula is enriched with coconut oil and fennel seed oil to help repair damage, treat dryness, control frizz, and improve manageability.

It also provides heat protection, so you can style your hair without damaging it.

  • Lightweight formula
  • Enriched with coconut oil and fennel seed oil
  • Provides heat protection
  • Helps repair damage
  • Treats dryness
  • Controls frizz
  • Improves manageability
  • May be too heavy for some hair types
  • Can be pricey

Curls Waves Natural Curl Cream

Taliah Waajid Curls Waves NaturalView On Amazon
After applying your leave-in conditioner, you can use Curls Waves Natural Curl Cream to define, condition, and prevent frizz. This curl cream is specially formulated for curly, kinky, wavy, and coily hair textures.

It contains a blend of herbal extract emulsifiers and humectants that provide top curl definition for all types of curls and waves.

Simply section your hair and apply the cream from root to tip. Use your fingers to distribute it smoothly throughout your hair to define, shape, and style your curls.

  • Defines curls
  • Conditions the hair
  • Prevents frizz

Step 1: Prepoo and Detangle Your Hair

Step 1: Prepoo and Detangle Your Hair
Prepooing and detangling your hair is the first step to a healthy wash day routine.

Prepooing helps to protect your hair from the drying effects of shampoo, and detangling helps to prevent breakage.

To prepoo, apply a leave-in conditioner or carrier oil to your hair. Cover with a shower cap and leave for 5-10 minutes.

To detangle, use a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush. Start at the ends of your hair and work your way up to the roots.

Once your hair is detangled, you’re ready to shampoo!

Step 2: Apply Shampoo to Your Hair

Step 2: Apply Shampoo to Your Hair
Once you’ve detangled your hair, you can apply shampoo to your scalp.

Use a sulfate-free shampoo that’s designed for your hair type.

Apply a small amount of shampoo to your hands and work it into a lather.

Massage the shampoo into your scalp and roots, avoiding the ends of your hair.

Rinse the shampoo out thoroughly with warm water.

Step 3: Do a Tea Rinse

Step 3: Do a Tea Rinse
To begin Step 3, do a tea rinse after shampooing your hair.

Benefits of a tea rinse:

  • Cleanses hair and scalp
  • Deep conditions hair
  • Adds shine and body
  • Helps with hair detangling
  • Reduces frizz

Types of tea to use:

  • Green tea
  • Chamomile tea
  • Hibiscus tea
  • Peppermint tea
  • Rosemary tea

How long to leave in:

  • 5-10 minutes

How often to use:

  • Once a week or as needed

Tea rinses are a great way to cleanse and condition your hair. They’re also a natural way to add shine and body, and help with detangling and frizz reduction.

Step 4: (Deep) Condition Your Hair

Step 4: (Deep) Condition Your Hair
After shampooing, apply deep conditioner to your hair to help restore moisture and repair damage.

Deep conditioner is a great way to give your hair a deep cleanse and boost its hydration. It’s best to use deep conditioner once or twice a week, depending on your hair type.

Here are some tips for choosing the best deep conditioner for your hair:

  • Consider your hair type. If you have dry, damaged hair, you’ll want a deep conditioner that’s rich in moisture. If you have oily hair, you’ll want a deep conditioner that’s lightweight and won’t weigh your hair down.
  • Look for ingredients that will benefit your hair. Some good ingredients to look for in a deep conditioner include:
  • Shea butter: This is a great moisturizer for dry hair.
  • Coconut oil: This is another great moisturizer for dry hair.
  • Aloe vera: This is a natural healer that can help to repair damaged hair.
  • Read reviews before you buy. This will help you to get a sense of what other people think of the product and whether or not it’s a good fit for your hair.

Deep conditioning is a great way to keep your hair healthy and hydrated. By following these tips, you can find the best deep conditioner for your hair and achieve your dream hair goals.

Step 4: Dry Your Hair

Step 4: Dry Your Hair
Wrapping your hair in a T-shirt or microfiber towel to absorb excess water is the best way to dry your hair.

You can also:

  • Air dry your hair
  • Diffuse your hair with a low heat setting
  • Plop your hair in a t-shirt or terrycloth towel

If you’re going to style your hair with heat, make sure to protect it with a heat protectant spray.

Step 5: Apply Your Leave-in Conditioner

Step 5: Apply Your Leave-in Conditioner
Now, it’s time for you to apply your leave-in conditioner to your natural hair.

Use a small amount of conditioner, about the size of a quarter, and work it through your hair from roots to ends.

Leave it in for a few minutes before rinsing it out.

You can reapply leave-in conditioner throughout the day as needed.

Choose a leave-in conditioner that’s specifically designed for natural hair.

Look for ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera.

You can find leave-in conditioners at most beauty stores.

Step 6: Oil, Moisturize, and Seal

Step 6: Oil, Moisturize, and Seal
Once you have applied your leave-in conditioner, it’s time to move on to the next step: oiling, moisturizing, and sealing your hair.

To start, use a light oil such as argan or jojoba oil to seal in the moisture from the leave-in conditioner. Start by focusing on sealing the ends of your hair first since they’re more prone to dryness and damage.

Avoid heavy butters or creams that can weigh down your hair or cause buildup over time. Instead, opt for a lightweight moisturizer specifically formulated for natural hair. Apply it evenly throughout your strands using praying hands method or scrunch out any excess product if necessary.

To ensure long-lasting hydration throughout the day, reapply a small amount of oil whenever needed. You can lightly spritz some water onto your hair before applying additional oils to enhance absorption.

Remember that finding what works best for you may require some experimentation with different products and techniques until you find what gives you optimal results in terms of moisture retention and overall health of your natural tresses.

Detangle With Detail

Detangle With Detail
When it comes to detangling your natural hair, one important tip is to divide and conquer.

Sectioning your hair makes the process easier and prevents further tangling.

Co-washing can be a great option for detangling, but don’t overlook the power of shampoo when it comes to thoroughly cleansing your scalp.

Curating a routine that works for you, avoiding damaging DIY treatments, and drying your hair with care are all crucial steps in maintaining healthy natural hair.

Divide and Conquer

To detangle your hair with detail, divide it into four sections and work on one section at a time, starting at the ends and working your way up.

Co-Washing is Cool, but Shampoo Works Too

Co-washing is a gentle cleansing method that can help to detangle your hair without stripping it of its natural oils.

However, if your hair is heavily weighed down by product buildup, you may need to use a clarifying shampoo to remove the buildup before co-washing.

Curate a Routine

Once you’ve found the right products and techniques, curate a routine that works for you.

Here are some tips:

  • Find the right frequency of washing for your hair type.
  • Use products that are designed for your hair type.
  • Experiment with different styling techniques.
  • Use the right tools for detangling.
  • Be patient with your hair.

Reconsider DIY Treatments

When detangling your natural hair, it’s important to reconsider DIY treatments.

Baking soda and apple cider vinegar are harsh and can damage your hair. Stick to using hydrating ingredients like moisturizing leave-in conditioner.

Dry With Care

Dry your hair with care to ensure minimal breakage and detangle with detail for a smoother, more manageable result.

Use a microfiber towel or air dry whenever possible.

Avoid heat or use low heat settings if necessary.

Consider protective styles to minimize manipulation and maintain healthy hair.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I wash my natural hair?

To maintain healthy natural hair, wash it twice a week on days 2 and

This helps balance moisture levels while preventing product buildup.

Adjust your routine based on your hair’s needs and consult with a stylist for personalized advice.

Can I use regular shampoo on my natural hair?

You can’t use regular shampoo on your natural hair because it’s too harsh and will strip your hair of its natural oils.

Use a sulfate-free shampoo instead.

Is it necessary to do a tea rinse after shampooing?

No, it isn’t necessary to do a tea rinse after shampooing your natural hair. However, a tea rinse can help to remove build-up and add moisture to your hair.

How long should I leave the deep conditioner in my hair?

You should leave the deep conditioner in your hair for 15 minutes.

This will allow it to penetrate the hair shaft and deeply moisturize your curls.

Some recommended oils for sealing in moisture are:

  • Jojoba oil
  • Argan oil
  • Coconut oil

You can apply these oils to your hair after deep conditioning or styling.


To master the art of washing your natural hair, follow this step-by-step guide.

Start by prepping and detangling your hair using the right tools like the Wet Brush Detangling Brush or the Divine Revolutionary Hair Brush.

Then, apply a suitable shampoo like Ouidad Climate Control Shampoo or Carol’s Daughter Rose Water Shampoo.

Don’t forget to do a tea rinse and deep condition your hair using products like Mizani Miracle Milk Leave in Conditioner and Curls Waves Natural Curl Cream.

Finish off by drying, applying leave-in conditioner, and moisturizing and sealing your hair.

Say hello to fabulous, healthy locks!

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.