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Creating the Perfect Wash Day Routine (with or without hair extensions)

Written by: Mimi Kone



Time to read 9 min

Welcome to another exciting week at the Mimi et Mina blog!

If you're like many of our clients, "wash day" might seem more like a necessary task than a delightful experience. But guess what? It doesn't have to be this way. Today, we're diving into how to turn your wash day into a luxurious ritual, specifically tailored for afro hair. With Mimi et Mina's expertise in luxury black hair care, we're here to guide you every step of the way.

1. Listen to Your Hair and Scalp

The foundation of any great afro hair care routine is understanding your hair and scalp's unique needs. 

Not all hair is the same, and neither should be your wash day routine. 

 The condition of your scalp is a key indicator of your hair's health. For instance, if your scalp is itchy, flaky, or feels tight, it may indicate dryness or dandruff. On the other hand, if your scalp feels greasy or oily, it may be a sign that you need to wash your hair more frequently.

Afro hair tends to be dryer than other hair types due to its coily structure, which can make it difficult for natural oils from the scalp to travel down the hair shaft. If your hair feels brittle or looks dull, it might need more moisture.

Remember, as your hair grows and as seasons change, so should your approach to hair care. Keeping in tune with your hair's needs is a journey, not a destination.

2. Conditioning is Key

Conditioning afro hair is like watering a plant - essential and nourishing. Mixing up your use of deep and rinse-out conditioners can make a world of difference.

Understanding Afro Hair Structure

  1. Curly Structure: The curls and coils of afro hair can prevent natural oils from the scalp from easily travelling down the hair shaft. This can lead to dryness, which is why additional moisture is necessary.
  2. Porosity: Afro hair often has high porosity, meaning it absorbs moisture quickly but also loses it rapidly. Proper conditioning helps in retaining this much-needed moisture.

Types of Conditioners


  1. Rinse-Out Conditioners: These are used after shampooing and are left on the hair for a few minutes before rinsing. They provide instant detangling and add a layer of moisture.

  1. Deep Conditioners: These are heavier and more nourishing. They are typically used every 1-2 weeks and left on the hair for an extended period, often under a heat cap, to deeply penetrate and hydrate the hair.

Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Deep Conditioner Smoothie 8oz


  1. Leave-In Conditioners: Applied after washing and not rinsed out, these conditioners add extra moisture and make the hair easier to manage. They also offer some styling benefits.

Carol's Daughter Goddess Strength Divine Strength Leave-In



While conditioning after every wash is crucial, the type of conditioner you use can (and should) vary. Deep conditioners are perfect for those days when your hair feels extra thirsty, and rinse-out conditioners work great for regular maintenance. Just like a bespoke suit from an iconic brand, your conditioning routine should be tailored to fit your hair's unique needs.

3. Choose Your Products Wisely

Selecting the right products for afro hair is crucial. 

Understand your hair's structure and needs.

As much as possible, we recommend opting for water-based moisturisers and steering clear of harmful ingredients like silicones, parabens, and sulphates. These ingredients can strip your hair of its natural oils and lead to long-term damage. 

Understand Your Hair's Needs

  • Porosity: Hair porosity refers to how well your hair can absorb and hold moisture. Afro hair often has higher porosity, meaning it can lose moisture quickly. Look for products that help to retain moisture.
  • Texture and Curl Pattern: Whether your hair is tightly coiled, loosely curled, or somewhere in between, this will influence the types of products that work best for you.

Moisture-Rich Products

  • Water-Based Moisturizers: These should be the cornerstone of your hair care regime. They hydrate the hair more effectively than oil-based products. Look for products where water (aqua) is listed as the first ingredient.

Mielle Organics White Peony Leave In Conditioner 240ml

  • Leave-In Conditioners: Ideal for providing long-lasting moisture. They can help in detangling and defining curls while maintaining hydration throughout the day.

Avoid Harmful Ingredients

  • Sulfates: Often found in shampoos, sulfates can strip natural oils from your hair, leading to dryness. Opt for sulfate-free shampoos.
  • Silicones: While they make hair appear smooth and shiny, silicones can build up over time and prevent moisture from penetrating the hair shaft. Look for products labeled as “silicone-free.”
  • Parabens: Used as preservatives, parabens can be harsh on sensitive scalps. Choosing paraben-free products is generally a safer option.

Oils and Butters for Nourishment

  • Natural Oils: Coconut, jojoba, and argan oil are great for afro hair, offering deep nourishment without weighing hair down.
  • Butters: Shea butter and mango butter are excellent for sealing in moisture and providing essential nutrients.

Protein Treatments

  • Balance Moisture and Protein: Afro hair can benefit from occasional protein treatments, which help to strengthen the hair and reduce breakage. However, it's important not to overdo it, as too much protein can make hair brittle.

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey Repair Hair Treatment


4. Gentle Detangling

Detangling is an essential step in your afro hair wash day routine. 

Understanding Gentle Detangling:

  • Why It's Important: Afro hair, with its coily and curly nature, can easily become tangled. Detangling is essential to prevent knots and matting, which can lead to breakage. Gentle detangling minimizes stress on the hair, maintaining its health and integrity.

Remember, gentle and patient detangling can make a significant difference in maintaining the health and length of your afro hair.

Techniques for Gentle Detangling:


  2. Start with Moisture: Dry hair is more susceptible to breakage. Begin by lightly misting your hair with water or a leave-in conditioner. This adds slip, reducing friction during detangling.

  3. Use the Right Tools: Opt for wide-tooth combs or specialized detangling brushes designed for afro hair. These tools have wider spaces between bristles or teeth, allowing them to glide through curls without snagging.




  1. Finger Detangling: Before using any tools, gently separate your hair with your fingers. This method is particularly gentle and allows you to feel and carefully undo tangles without pulling on the hair.

Step-by-Step Detangling Process:


  2. Section Your Hair: Divide your hair into manageable sections. This prevents re-tangling of areas you've already detangled and allows you to focus on one section at a time.

  3. Start from the Ends: Begin detangling at the ends of your hair and gradually work your way up to the roots. This method prevents putting too much tension on the hair and roots, reducing breakage.

  4. Use Gentle Strokes: Whether using your fingers or a tool, gently work through tangles. Avoid pulling or yanking, as this can cause significant breakage and damage.

  5. Apply Detangling Products: Use detangling sprays, conditioners, or oils that provide slip, making it easier to glide through tangles.

Tips for Minimizing Tangles:

  • Regular Trims: Keeping your ends trimmed can prevent them from becoming frayed and tangled.
  • Protective Styles: Styles like braids or twists can help protect your hair from tangling, especially while sleeping.
  • Silk or Satin Accessories: Using silk or satin pillowcases, scarves, or bonnets can reduce friction and prevent tangling during sleep.

Post-Detangling Care:

  • After detangling, it's important to follow up with proper moisturizing and styling practices to keep your hair healthy and manageable.

By incorporating these gentle detangling techniques and tips into your routine, you can maintain the health and beauty of your afro hair, reducing breakage and promoting length retention.

5. Incorporate a Pre-Wash Treatment

A pre-wash treatment can work wonders, especially for afro hair that tends to be drier.

 Whether it's an oil treatment or a pre-shampoo mask, this step can help in managing tangles and adding an extra layer of moisture before you shampoo; it prepares your hair for the cleansing process, ensuring it retains its natural oils and moisture.

Understanding Pre-Wash Treatments:

  1. Purpose: The primary goal of a pre-wash treatment is to condition and prepare the hair before shampooing. It helps in detangling, moisturizing, and protecting the hair from the stripping effects of shampoos.


  1. Types of Pre-Wash Treatments:


    • Oil Treatments: Natural oils like coconut, olive, or jojoba oil are popular for their moisturizing properties. They penetrate the hair shaft to nourish and strengthen the hair.
    • Protein Treatments: These are designed to strengthen hair by replenishing the protein lost during styling. Ingredients like hydrolysed keratin or silk protein are common.
    • DIY Masks: Homemade masks using natural ingredients like avocado, honey, and banana can provide both moisture and nutrients.

How to Incorporate Pre-Wash Treatments:


  2. Choosing the Right Treatment: Select a treatment based on your hair's specific needs. If your hair is dry, go for moisturizing oils or DIY masks. For brittle hair, a protein treatment might be more beneficial.


  4. Application:


    • For Oils: Warm the oil slightly and apply it thoroughly to your hair and scalp. Massage gently to ensure even distribution and to stimulate blood flow.

    • For Protein Treatments and DIY Masks: Apply the treatment evenly, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends where hair is the oldest and most damaged.

  7. Duration: Leave the treatment on for a sufficient amount of time to allow the nutrients to penetrate. This could be anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours. For an intensive treatment, you can even leave it on overnight, covering your hair with a cap to avoid staining your pillows.


  9. Frequency: The frequency of pre-wash treatments can vary. A good starting point is once every two weeks, adjusting based on how your hair responds.


  11. Rinsing and Follow-up: After the treatment, rinse your hair thoroughly. Follow up with a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. Remember, the goal is to remove the excess product without stripping away the natural oils.


In conclusion, mastering your wash day routine is all about understanding and catering to the unique needs of your afro hair.

At Mimi et Mina, we believe in providing not just products but solutions and experiences that enhance the natural beauty of black hair.

Share the love and knowledge with friends and family, and turn your wash day into a luxurious ritual!

Until next time,




1. How often should I wash my afro hair?

Answer: The frequency of washing afro hair varies depending on your individual hair and scalp needs. Pay attention to how your scalp feels – if it's itchy or oily, it may be time to wash. Conversely, if your hair feels dry, you might want to extend the time between washes. Remember, as your hair changes with growth or seasonal shifts, so should your wash routine.

2. Why is conditioning important in my wash day routine?

Answer: Conditioning is vital for afro hair as it provides necessary moisture and nutrients. Afro hair benefits from a mix of deep and rinse-out conditioners. Deep conditioners are great for intensive moisture, while rinse-out conditioners are suitable for regular upkeep. Conditioning after every wash helps maintain the health and vitality of your hair.

3. What should I look for in hair products for afro hair?

Answer: When selecting products for afro hair, look for water-based moisturizers and avoid harmful ingredients like silicones, parabens, and sulphates. These ingredients can strip natural oils and lead to damage. Understanding your hair's structure will help you select products that nourish and protect your hair effectively.

4. What are some additional steps I can include in my wash day routine for better hair care?

Answer: Apart from the basic washing and conditioning, incorporating a gentle detangling process and a pre-wash treatment can significantly benefit afro hair. Detangle starting from the ends and moving towards the roots to minimize breakage. Pre-wash treatments, like oil or DIY masks, can provide extra moisture and make the cleansing process more gentle on your hair.

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The Author: Mimi Kone

Mimi is the founder of a brand called "Mimi et Mina". She was born in Burkina Faso and later moved to France for her studies, where she briefly worked as a model. Afterward, she completed her education and moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where she lived before eventually relocating to London. She loves everything luxury, self development and meaningful friendships.


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