"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Friday, February 18, 2011

Breakage 101 series #5 : Washing


Wash day is another occasion for breakage to occur. It's not really in how much you wash your hair but how you go about it. When washing our hair, depending on the products we use, our hair looses some, if not all, of it's precious oils and becomes dry, this dryness makes it prone to breakage while washing. Another thing that can cause breakage  on wash day is detangling. Any form of detangling can cause breakage if not done properly, whether it be with a wide tooth comb, a denman brush or  our fingers. As I stated above, natural kinky hair is very vulnerable to breakage while washing. so detangling, whatever the procedure, has to be done with care!

Here are a few tips to protecting your hair while washing it :

1. Wash in sections : this means, part your hair in sections and wash each section separately. This system avoids excessive tangling and in turn less tangling will minimize the risk of breakage. This also applies to natural queens with short hair. If you are rocking a TWA you can still wash everything at the same time and get away with it.

2. Detangle with a conditioner : I believe every natural is already aware of this, at least I hope so. Do not attempt to detangle your hair without a conditioner in it. You can pre-detangle with just water but you will not be able to do get everything done without a conditioner. A conditioner helps detangle your hair (depending on how much slip it has) and keeps your strands moisturized and protected by coating your them, thus reducing the risk of breakage tremendously. 

3. Wash with a moisturizing shampoo : If you shampoo, try doing so with a moisturizing shampoo that will not strip your hair of it's moisture. Most shampoos with harsh surfactants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate etc. are not moisturizing! If you have to use a shampoo with  such surfactants, try following it with a moisturizing shampoo. If you need a shampoo that removes build up of any kind, try using a cleansing shampoo without any such harsh ingredients. A bad shampoo is one of the major, if not the number one causes, of breakage while washing.

4. Prepoo : Prepooing is a great way to avoid breakage if you use shampoo, even if it's a moisturizing shampoo. Prepoo means treating your hair to a moisturizing mix before shampooing. A Prepoo treatment gives your hair additional moisture, thus, preparing it for the shampooing to come.

5. Use appropriate products : This means use products that are appropriate for your hair's needs. Do not use a conditioner that contains protein if you are protein sensitive (please read this post and and this one for more information)! Do not use products with cones if you do not use shampoo! etc. Be very careful, such a move could provoke serious breakage.

Well that's it!

Be careful with your hair and do all you can to prevent unnecessary breakage!

If you have any suggestions or additions or an experience to share, do tell!

Stay blessed and funky sisters!


  1. My tips:
    -Wash and/or condition in loosely twisted/braided/banded sections.
    -Use an applicator bottle to apply shampoo directly to scalp.

  2. Thanks Anonymous! Thanks for the 2 additional tips!


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