Deciding how often to wash your hair sounds like an easy decision and it may even sound like there should be a universal answer. That couldn’t be further from the truth for a number of reasons. We are so different. Yes, naturals are different. We may share a kinship with hair type or curl pattern but there are variables that step in and regulate how we style, wash, and maintain our hair. These variables that determine our wash cycles are a natural’s schedule, lifestyle, products, and climate. All of those dictate whether you realize it or not.
Schedule. Finding the time to wash your hair may pose a challenge with a hectic schedule. For some women, wash days are horrendously long and a natural needs to find the time to do it especially if she’s working, in school, got a family or a upcoming trip. Going out of town sometimes means going to smoky restaurant or bar. Sometimes (like a few months ago when I went to an outside comedy concert and folks were blazing it up!) after a night out in certain arenas you need to wash the smell of weed out of your hair. Hey, we live in Denver…need I say more?
Lifestyle. There are many naturals who frequently workout. We have athletes who need to wash more often and let’s not forget the swimmers who are forever washing chlorine out of their hair. There are women who have chronic illnesses who may not wash their hair as often or have to wash more often. Seriously, these are real issues to consider.
Products. Do you regularly use products that cause build-up? Are you trying a new style that requires a gel that flakes? Some products we love require more washings due to product build-up. If I want slicked back hair for a dramatic look, I have to slather Eco-styler gel on. Now, I know I’ve got to wash it the very next day.
Climate. Some of us live in smog-riddled cities and wanting to keep the pollutants out of our hair is a constant reality. Some naturals living in humid climates may be sweating more in their hair and feel washing more often is necessary. In the winter or in colder climates naturals may wash their hair less often due to the drying nature of the weather. That can go for windy climates as well. Your geographical locale may determine when and how often you choose to wash so never count out the climate you live in when considering a washing cycle.
These are all reasons why setting a wash cycle for all naturals would be impossible. I know many of us say about once a week or bi-weekly but there are hundreds or even thousands of naturals that fall out of those categories for the reasons mentioned above. Do not feel you have to fit your life and hair into a universal schedule and instead look at the many factors that determine when your washing schedule should be tailored.
One of the beautiful things about being natural is the freedom of choice. You can chose what style to wear, color, length…the list can go on and that list must have wash cycle on it too. Don’t feel pigeon-holed into a wash cycle that fits someone else’s lifestyle, products, climate or schedule. Always remember, if your hair is happy with what you are doing then you must be doing it right!
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