It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the natural hair space or a true veteran; you can always do with a few extra haircare tips to help amp up your routine.
Plus, with the influx of self-proclaimed haircare experts on the internet, sometimes it’s good to get professional advice from industry experts – they help cut through the noise of what needs or needs not to be done.
Ursula Stephens has over 15 years of experience in the natural haircare industry, creating show-stopping looks for A-listers such as Rihanna, Zendaya, Kerry Washington, and Laverne Cox, among others.
She also owns a high-end NYS-based salon and is a significant contributor to various online natural haircare resources, including the Wash Day Series with Kia Marie.
We recently tuned in to one of her haircare sessions, checked out some of her interviews on natural haircare, and jotted down these Ursula-approved tips on how to step up your wash day game.
Make Haircare A Priority
You can’t attain your hair goals if you don’t maintain a healthy foundation. And the best way to do that?
Learning what your strands need and what it doesn’t like. By paying attention to your strands, you can figure out which ingredients to use and the hacks that best complement your hair.
Swap Out the Sink For the Shower
If you always run to the sink to wash off hair color or shampoo your strands, you might want to reconsider your choices. According to Stephens, it’s better to wash your in the shower since it keeps the hair downward. Once it’s upside down, your strands start tangling up, and you know how hard it is to undo that mess.
Detangle Your Hair Before Applying Shampoo
Working through frizz, knots, and tangles is why most naturalistas dread wash days. To make the process effortless, Ursula recommends you start the detangling process before hopping into the shower.
Comb through those strands, loosen the dirt and tangles, and washing will be a walk in the park.
If you have voluminous hair, try sectioning it into braids to make it easier to manage. You could even try going into the shower with your plaits, letting the water soak them, and then unraveling them.
Water will help you detangle, thus minimizing the damage and pain.
Also, once you shampoo and condition, do a quick comb-through with the conditioner – it detangles your strands further and makes the rest of the process seamless.
Rinse Your Strands With Cool Water
Before hopping out of the shower, give your stands a cool rinse. Cool water helps seal your cuticle, adds more shine, and keeps the tangling and frizz at bay.
Slather On Your Leave-In Conditioner Before Using A Styling Product
After shampooing and conditioning, reach for a hydrating leave-in conditioner.
Slathering your strands with a leave-in conditioner (before anything else) will help protect your strands from environmental stressors and heat and prepare your cuticles for styling.
Ursula suggests using the Dove Amplified Textures Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner ($7). It contains Dove’s signature moisture amplifying blend that nourishes your coils and curls, locks in moisture, and protects your strands from daily styling damage.
Pro Tip: After your leave-in conditioner is all settled in, go with a moisturizing cream, gel, or oil, depending on the style you’re looking to achieve. These products also further prevent any heat or environmental damage.
Apply Products While Wet
When you let your hair dry, you have to reapply product, which causes product build-up. To avoid this, always apply products when your strands are soaking wet. It’s just like skin moisturizing – using your lotion when the skin is wet helps lock in the moisture better and leaves your skin looking oh-so radiant.
For Twists-Outs & Braid-Outs, the End Should Be Your Beginning
If you can’t get enough of twists-outs and braids-outs, Ursula recommends doing these things to achieve optimal results:
- First, figure out which direction to go in and twist your strands in that direction. Doing so reduces pulling and manipulation after your hair’s dry.
- Second, make the twists-outs and braid-outs bigger – it helps create less frizz and gives you a jaw-dropping definition.
- When you make them small, your hair gets too wiry, and frizz becomes part of your daily struggle.
If you’re looking for a product to help you step up your twist-out and braid-out game, Ms. Stephens says the Dove Amplified Textures Twist In Moisture Shaping Butter Cream ($7) is a brilliant option.
It uses nourishing ingredients that provide hold and definition and enhance your natural curl pattern for an out-of-this-world look.