Hair washing is a point of contention in the natural hair community. Some are against traditional washing, and solely co-wash. Others only use clay washes. And for those who use traditional shampoos, other debates ensue. Sulfates or no sulfates? Once a week or every two weeks ? And finally, should you lather twice?
For so long, I’ve feared lathering twice. With natural hair, we have a deep-seeded fear in dryness. It’s warranted. But for so long, I had issues with product buildup. Only three days would pass, and I would ask, “Didn’t I JUST wash my hair?” I would blame my stylers. Then I’d blame my shampoo. But I really needed to do was look in the mirror and blame myself. Why? Because I didn’t lather twice. If you aren’t lathering twice, I’m about to make the case for why you should start:
One Lather is Not Enough
Have you ever noticed that when you lather — at least the first time — there aren’t many suds? Hint: it’s not just because sulfate-free shampoo produce fewer suds. It’s because your hair has a lot of product buildup. The first shampoo simply loosens up the dirt. If women with natural hair washed their hair every day, one lather would be enough. But since we don’t, we need the first lather to loosen up the dirt. This is especially true if you use a lot of product on your hair on a regular basis. After the first lather, rinse your hair thoroughly and repeat. On your second lather, you will not need as much shampoo to create a lather. (Please note: Lather is not indicative of shampoo working better, it’s a psychological attribute to shampoo to make you feel like your hair is more clean. Nonetheless,it is also an indicator that there is less residue in your hair and it’s more saturated.) Rinse again, and follow up with a deep condition to return the moisture to your hair.
Use Your Judgement
Still not convinced? Try it. It doesn’t hurt to try it once. Trying new techniques is cheaper than trying new products. In fact, it’s free! If you lather twice and your hair feels excessively dry, try a milder shampoo or make sure to properly deep condition. If you are still not satisfied, then go back to your regular routine. Overwashing your hair can strip your hair of oils, so if you feel this method is not working, then stop. But since many naturals load their hair with products, dryness is often due to another culprit: product residue.
Product Residue is Drying
If you hair is coated with product, it prevents moisturizers from adequately moisturizing your hair. In fact, it acts as a barrier that prevents water-based moisturizers from penetrating your hair strands. The result? Dull, dry hair. The answer? Washing your hair. If you have excessive buildup, you may need to clarify your hair. Anytime I notice that I have washed my hair, but it still looks dull… I know it’s time to clarify my hair. I either do so with a clarifying shampoo or my bentonite clay mixture. And every time, my hair thanks me. Afterwards, it looks (not artificially coated) shiny and … moisturized.
Still not convinced? Try it and let me know what you think! Share your experiences below.
If I put styling products (butters, leave-ins, pomades, curl enhancers) on my hair several times a week, I shampoo twice. Otherwise, I shampoo once making sure to massage my scalp well. Then once a month I use a clarifying shampoo to remove product build-up and environmental pollutants.