August 4, 2021
Welcome back to Glamour Magick Beauty! Let’s talk about the Natural Hair Community. There’s been a conversation about Black Women not washing our hair enough. As a Black Woman who’s now been natural for the majority of her life, I must say I’ve been privy to a culture of not washing one’s hair too often. But where does this culture of hair hygiene come from? Let’s discuss…
Washing hair often in my life, has been associated with Whiteness. Growing up I was told that, “white girls wash their hair everyday, we can’t do that”. I would say my Mother washed my hair weekly back when she was responsible for my haircare routine.
As I took charge of my hygiene and self care in my early tweens, I started washing my hair more often because I simply felt it necessary and I had the freedom to. I washed my hair as my heart desired. Mind you, by this time I already had relaxed hair. Moving into my teens, Beauty Editors and Cosmetologists made it clear that daily hair washing wasn’t all too great for one’s hair.
However, throughout my experience of taking charge of my own hair, I can’t say I’ve seen a direct correlation between how often I wash my hair and it’s growth or length retention. In my experience water quality has affected my hair more than anything else. During my time in college in New Orleans the water was very hard and gross and would severely dry my hair out. Coupled with drinking lots of alcohol and late nights out on the town, my curls were begging for moisture. Straightening once a week helped me retain length during this time as I didn’t have to get my hair wet as much.
Fast forward to now, where I live now the water is much softer. Since my second big chop back in 2019 I have stuck to old rituals when It comes to my hair care routine and my curls have flourished. I admit, I haven’t shampoo’d super often. Before I big chopped this time I wore my hair pressed, therefore I shampoo’d on a weekly schedule. Now that my hair is healthy, I’ve been back to shampooing when I feel it necessary. I use water soluble products and less products overall now that I don’t manipulate my hair heavily anymore. I let my hair be, and that has been the key to health, growth and length retention.
As my 3 year anniversary of my Second Big chop approaches, I find myself giving myself more and more length checks. I’ve also seen commentary on Twitter and Tik Tok about how often Black women wash their hair. Which got me to thinking, “Do I wash my hair enough?” I believe the frequency you wash your hair should depend on your lifestyle. But I do agree once a week sounds like a pretty decent one size fits all formula. Adjust accordingly of course.
When seeing a Tik tok video, many Black ladies in the comments were saying they only shampoo’d “once every 3 months” and “once a month”. I can’t imagine going three months without cleansing my scalp but to each their own. Recently, my Mother gifted me some Design Essentials shampoo and conditioner and it has been a joy! The shampoo and conditioner are light, hydrating, and well-scented. My hair is healthy, happy, thriving! I recommend this set to my girls with normal hair that just need simple hydration. These products actually make me look forward to wash day. I recommend finding something that gets you pumped for you Venus day glamour magic routines!