Shampooing natural hair may seem like a simple, straightforward task. The shorter your hair, the easier it will be. As your hair grows, however, you may need to take additional steps when cleansing to prevent tangles and matting. Here's how:
What You'll Need for Shampooing Natural Hair
*A moisturizing cleanser or conditioner if you choose to co-wash
*Hair clips (optional, but a good idea for long and/or very thick hair)
*Detachable shower head (optional)
Time Required: 5 to 20 minutes
How to Shampoo Natural Hair
1. Longer hair may need to be sectioned before you begin shampooing. Use hair clips to hold hair into four to eight sections.
2. If your hair is tangled, use your fingers to comb through sections. Your hair doesn't need to be completely tangle-free, but working through tangles before getting the hair wet cuts down on possible matting problems.
3. Wet your hair in sections thoroughly. If your hair is very thick and/or long, a detachable shower head makes wetting every strand easier. It may take a few minutes to completely saturate your hair.
4. Put a small amount of moisturizing shampoo in your hands and rub them together before applying to your scalp. Rub the shampoo into your scalp with the balls of your fingers, not your nails. Concentrate on cleansing the scalp by massaging in small circles.
5. Allow the water to work the shampoo down the shaft of your
hair. You can help it along with your fingers. Unless you have heavy products or buildup in your hair, you don't need to scrub the hair squeaky clean with shampoo.
6. Work one section of your hair at a time, clipping it back into place when you're finished.
7. If you shampoo at least once a week, one lather session should be enough. If you shampoo less often or if you have heavy buildup, a second shampoo may be required.
8. Thoroughly rinse the hair, beginning with the scalp and working the water down. Make sure all traces of shampoo are rinsed away.
Tips for Shampooing Natural Hair
1. Do not ball up or pile your hair on top of your head when shampooing. This is a great way to get tangles. Cleansing in the shower is easiest, but if you do have to shampoo in a sink, keep your hair facing downward as much as possible.
2. Use moisturizing shampoos like these cleansers that work especially well for black hair.
3. A pre-poo treatment can be beneficial if you feel your hair needs additional moisture or could use more "slip" while cleansing.
4. Take your time, particularly if your hair is long. Your hair needs to be completely wet in order to get the most moisturizing benefits as well as being properly rinsed. Leaving traces of shampoo in your hair can lead to dryness.