It has been ages since I did a Washday post. My Washdays are pretty much routine: henna & moisturising DC every 4-6 weeks, Wash and deep condition every other week. Same routine, same products- but this time, I did a little extra extra.
The Warm Up
After I took out my weave, my scalp was itchy. So I oiled the space between the cornrows with coconut oil. Soothing an itchy scalp is the only thing I actually like to do with coconut oil that I don’t do with anything else. But, I like to oil my scalp at the beginning of Washday, itchy or not, with whatever oil I have when my hair is somewhat sectioned- easiest way to get to my scalp.
Then I loosened my cornrows, and spritzed the super dry hair with plain water. Then I held my hair in two puffs.
Four hours before I took the weave out, I’d mixed my henna and left it to set.
For this, I brewed some hibiscus tea. I put a handful of hibiscus or sorrel or zobo leaves to simmer in some water, on low heat for a bit. Then in my designated henna bowl, I poured the tea over 100g of henna, one dollop of conditioner and a generous drizzle of castor oil. I mixed it all with a plastic spoon and left it alone. For more about my henna process, you can go here.
I added some honey to my henna mix just before I applied it to my hair at some minutes after midnight. I wrapped my henna’d hair with clingfilm and went to sleep.
I woke up five hours later and waited for 2 more hours before I rinsed the henna out.
Deep Conditioning with Ghee
After henna, it is compulsory to do a moisturising deep condition. For this, I used man shanu. Man shanu is what the Hausas call cow ghee, and if we’re being fancy, clarified butter. It is a product of the milk making process. When fresh cow milk is being boiled, the oil rises to the top, and this is the ghee, butter, the man shanu.
I ordered mine from Hadassah (Nappily Nigerian Girl.) You can mail her for yours: nappilynigeriangirl [at] gmail [dot] com. I’ve seen canned ghee in Indian stores and places Indians go to shop. In Calabar, I’ve seen it at Divine Favour Supermarket at WAPI Junction, and also at my grocer’s shop in Marian Market. In Lagos, you can try The Bazaar (14 Ade Akinsanya Street, Ilupeju) If you have SPAR in your city, check there too.
As you can see, my man shanu was yellow. Hadassah says fresh manshanu is supposed to be white, and smell like yogurt. There was a bit of a hitch at ABC with the delivery, so mine got to me later than it should have. Though yellow, it didn’t smell bad or sour. It smelt like one of them white milk candies I used to buy at the mallam’s shop. I actually tasted it, definitely some kind of butter.
So I rubbed the man shanu on my hair, melting it first between my palms or my fingers, using a little more than I needed. As I did this section by section, I chunky twisted my hair. Then I covered with a shower cap and left it in for 2 hours. For 35 minutes of that time, I was under a hooded dryer, heating things up.
Man shanu is butter, and that’s oily (Duh lol) so I washed it out of my hair with conditioner.
I (think I) exfoliated my scalp.
Just before I co-washed the man shanu out, I made a paste of sugar and salt, with a little castor oil to bind the mix together, and gently rubbed my scalp with it. I’m not quite sure what I did there, and I was being super careful not to bruise my scalp. For more about scalp exfoliation, see this post on Black Zulu’s blog.
At the end of it all. Did my hair feel amazing?
Not really. It was just there. Definitely better than it felt after henna, but I’m used to softer hair post DC, even on henna days. After I finish my little tub, I’ll be able to tell whether my hair likes man shanu or not, or at least how it likes it. It has really good slip sha, I have to say. So, I may try pre-pooing with it next time.
Below is a picture of the hair I lost detangling. Too much? Or okay? I really don’t know, I’d like to know your thoughts.
Again, section by section, I twisted my hair, applying 3 products in this order:
- Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream to moisturise
- AfroRiri Luxe Hair Butter to seal
- Beautiful Textures Curl Defining Pudding as a styling aid.
The next day, I loosened the twists for a twist out.
I had some definition, though the back looked a mess. I refused to over-think it and carried it like that LOL. I think I’m getting better at Wet Styling, but I much prefer to style on dry hair- even better when stretched smooth.
In addition to caring for le ‘fro, I also extended the Washday love to my hair extensions, which I wrote about last week, in this post.
It was a stressful two days and the day after was Washday for my bathroom. All that gunk I put it through- the henna and the man shanu. Iyama.
How did your Washday go?