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How to Wash African American Hair Properly

How to Wash African American Hair Properly

Do you feel that your hair-washing habits could potentially be doing more harm than good? Does it feel like the specific shampoo you use, the frequency at which you wash your hair, or the actual technique of scrubbing your scalp are contributing to hair loss? If so, you’re not alone.

In fact, so many African American women are in the very same boat you are right now. And, as stressful and anxiety-inducing as it may feel not really feeling confident washing your hair, you’re in the right place. We’re here to help you melt away all that uncertainty in this guide on how to wash African American hair properly.

At Allurium Beauty, we’re on a mission to empower black women everywhere to love themselves more - by helping them unlock the hair of their dreams. And we’re excited to do the same for you. 

By the time you finish reading this guide to washing African American hair, you’ll feel a renewed sense of excitement hopping in the shower to give your hair a gentle cleansing. First, let’s talk about why, despite how simple it may seem, learning how to wash African American hair isn’t something to take lightly…

The Way You Go About Washing African American Hair Can Make or Break Your Hair Health…

It’s something you’ve been doing since you took your first big kid shower or bath alone back in the day…so why are you here going back to the drawing board and learning how to wash African American hair properly? 

Well, two reasons. First and foremost, a little refresher never hurt! But more importantly, so many individuals were taught wrong. 

Really, this conversation today is going to be more focused on the frequency and timing of when you wash your hair - and the products you use to do it. 

While we will talk about the actual techniques of washing your hair, it’s the other two considerations that can make such a profound difference in your hair’s health and well-being. 

Think about black hair vs white hair for a moment. There are some dramatic differences, right? Our hair is tightly coiled and inherently more brittle. That means it’s much more prone to dryness and breakage. 

These are two issues you’re probably all too familiar with already. But did you know that these could be the result of harsh chemicals in your shampoo? Or, the outcome of excessive washing frequency? 

While African American hair has a beautiful, distinctive texture, managing it is no easy feat. That’s why we’re here to guide you through the process of washing African American hair properly once and for all. So, without any further ado, let’s dive into the guide!

How to Wash African American Hair Properly: Frequency, Products, and More

We’re going to break this guide on washing African American hair into three different sections: choosing the right shampoo, determining your frequency, and the actual technique of washing your crowning glory.

Because what you actually use to wash your hair is the most important consideration, let’s start there… 

Carefully Choosing Your Shampoo

Selecting the right shampoo is a critical step in the hair care journey for African American women. Many conventional shampoos contain harsh chemicals, sulfates, and detergents that can strip your hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness, breakage, and an unhealthy scalp. 

To maintain the health and beauty of your hair, it's essential to choose a shampoo that is gentle, moisturizing, and formulated specifically for your hair type.

Look for shampoos that are sulfate-free, as these are less likely to strip your hair of its natural moisture. Opt for products containing natural, nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, and natural oils (such as argan, coconut, or jojoba oil), which can help to replenish and maintain your hair's moisture levels. 

Additionally, consider incorporating a clarifying shampoo once or twice a month to remove any product buildup and promote a clean, healthy scalp. 

Our guide on the stuff in shampoo that causes hair loss is a great resource if you want to learn more about who you should avoid on the ingredients label. With that said, let’s move on to determining your washing frequency.

Determining the Right Washing Frequency

So many individuals make the mistake of thinking cleaner is better - and thus, they should wash daily. This is not true! Striking the right balance when it comes to washing frequency is crucial for maintaining the health of African American hair. 

Washing too often can lead to excessive dryness, while not washing enough can cause product buildup, an unhealthy scalp, and hinder hair growth. Neither of these is a situation that contributes to your dream hair. So, how often should black hair be washed?

As a general guideline, African American hair should be washed every 5-10 days, depending on your hair type, lifestyle, and the products you use. However, it's essential to listen to your hair and adjust your washing routine accordingly. 

If you exercise frequently or use heavy styling products, you may need to wash your hair more often - perhaps twice a week. Conversely, if your hair tends to be on the drier side, you might benefit from extending the time between washes.

Ultimately, there will be some trial and error as you try and find the sweet spot between too frequent, and not frequent enough. But, with a bit of work, you’ll find the balance! Now - let’s talk about how to actually wash your African American hair…

Proper Hair Washing Techniques

Adopting the correct hair-washing techniques can help to minimize damage, promote growth, and improve overall hair health. Follow these steps for an effective and gentle hair-washing routine:

  1. Pre-Wash: Before getting your hair wet, gently detangle it using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers, working your way up from the ends to the roots. This will help to minimize breakage during the washing process.
  2. Wet Hair: Thoroughly wet your hair with lukewarm water. Hot water can strip your hair of its natural oils, so it's best to avoid using it.
  3. Apply Shampoo: Pour a small amount of shampoo into your hands and rub them together to create a lather. Gently massage the shampoo onto your scalp using your fingertips in a circular motion. This will help to cleanse your scalp and stimulate blood flow, promoting hair growth. Avoid using your nails or roughly scrubbing, as this can cause damage and irritation.
  4. Rinse: Rinse your hair thoroughly, ensuring that all the shampoo is removed. Any remaining shampoo can cause buildup and irritation on your scalp.
  5. Condition: Apply a generous amount of conditioner to your hair, focusing on the mid-shaft to the ends. Let the conditioner sit for 3-5 minutes, allowing it to penetrate and nourish your hair. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
  6. Dry and Style: Gently squeeze out excess water with a microfiber towel or t-shirt, avoiding rubbing or rough handling. Apply a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to help lock in moisture and protect your hair. Allow your hair to air dry whenever possible and avoid heat styling tools to minimize damage.

By following these steps and implementing a proper hair washing routine, you can improve the health, strength, and appearance of your African American hair, allowing you to feel confident and beautiful in your natural texture. You’ll be well on your way to repairing damaged black hair and making your African American hair softer!

Final Thoughts on How to Wash African American Hair Properly

Hopefully, you feel more confident washing African American hair now that we’ve guided you through the three major things you needed to know. 

And now that you know how to wash African American hair properly, there’s only one thing left to do - overhaul your shampooing regimen today! Or, if you want to learn more about taking care of natural black hair, our blog has more great resources for rounding out your hair-care regimen. 

You can learn about how to treat dry scalp in African American hair, best days to cut hair to encourage growth, differentiating between new hair growth or breakage, the African American hair growth rate, and more advice on how to treat hair loss in black women. Learn about promoting black hair growth today! 

For now, though, it’s time to bring our conversation on washing African American hair to a close. Before we do that, we want to introduce you to your secret weapon in growing your healthiest, happiest hair to date: Allurium Beauty’s hair growth serum

This is the best natural hair growth product for African Americans, filled with ancient herbs that are proven to fight hair loss and encourage new hair growth. The serum has helped countless black women like yourself restore their hair to what it once was. It’s even capable of regrowing bald patches in African American scalps. And with new hair, comes a new sense of confidence. 

This serum, along with our advice today on how to wash African American hair properly, will help you love who you see in the mirror more than you ever have before! Head over to the site to learn more.