Free Wash Day Checklist

Last updated on July 3rd, 2024 at 02:39 pm

Nobody will care for your hair the way you will. And, while wash day can sometimes feel like a daunting task, (hence the free wash day checklist below) if you want your hair to thrive you need to take responsibility for your hair care. Save the salon visits for when you want to treat yourself.

In this post, we’ll look at the basic steps needed for an effective wash day. From Pre-Poo to Style, you’ll find the highlights for each step and a handy printable to remind you of what to do and what to use.

wash day checklist

There’s a big difference between getting your hair done at a salon versus doing it at home. Salons want to get you in and out. Especially, during the pandemic. They aren’t really that concerned with giving you the royal treatment. In and out. That’s the goal. Well, that and making sure you are happy with how your hair looks.

Even if you are happy with how your hair appears when you walk out the door, that doesn’t mean you will necessarily be happy with how it will look in the days to come. Plus, I don’t know about you but I don’t want to spend all my money paying a professional to do my hair every week.

Now, let’s look at the steps to take for a basic but effective wash day. There will be days when you wash your hair that you may need to do a little more. You may also opt to alter some of the steps. There are notations made below.


herbal oil pre-poo
available at Shar Naturals

First basic step to an effective wash day is to pre-poo or pre-shampoo. Pre-pooing has a number of benefits with the main one being to protect your hair from hygral fatigue. This is damage that can occur from the cuticle layer of your hair opening and closing during the wash cycle.

Here’s an additional more in depth article on the subject of pre-pooing:

Why and How to Pre-Poo Fine Natural Hair


staple shampoo

Cleansing or washing your hair can be done with shampoo, clays or co-wash products. If you have product build up, you’ll want to use a clarifying shampoo or a clay wash. Co-wash products are the most moisturizing of the bunch but aren’t really adequate at removing excess dirt or product from your hair and scalp.

A more in depth article on the subject of cleaning your hair:

Cleansing fine natural hair for length retention

Deep Condition

deep conditioner fine hair
available at Paige Marie

Deep conditioning is such a critical step in a successful wash day. That’s because your hair’s ability to retain moisture for a significant period of time begins with this step.

You should deep condition your hair every single time you wash your hair. On the wash days that you require a protein (strengthening) treatment, you’ll do so before deep conditioning.

Important note: Your deep conditioner should contain little to no protein on days you are also doing a protein treatment. That’s because you need to balance out the protein with moisture which is hard to do if you are using protein after a protein treatment.

There are however some deep conditioners that contain a balanced amount of protein. Heavy duty protein treatments should be reserved for if you find that your hair is breaking. The alternative is to use henna which should also be followed with a deep conditioner.

Rinse + Detangle

moroccan hair tea rinse

Many do not do a final rinse after washing out their deep conditioner. While it’s somewhat optional, it’s beneficial. Check this out: Moroccan hair tea rinse for strength and growth

Your final rinse is also the time you can choose to detangle your hair. You can dilute a rinsing conditioner to aid in the detangling process. Once your hair is detangled, hit it with a tea rinse.

The detangling part of wash day can also be done during the pre-poo or when rinsing out the deep conditioner.

This is what I meant at the beginning of the article when I said you may opt to alter some of the steps.

Lastly, if you are one that does not wash your hair often, you may need to detangle along with applying your pre-poo. Then, again before styling.

Being able to detangle only once (less manipulation) on wash day is another good reason for washing weekly.

Seal + Style

moisturize and seal daily

While a final rinse can help seal your hair’s cuticles, using a sealing technique to seal in moisture is also beneficial.

There are a number of methods for sealing and subsequently styling your hair. Each require you to layer your products in a particular order:

  • LOC (liquid, oil, cream)
  • LCO (liquid, cream, oil)
  • LCOC (liquid, conditioner, oil, cream)
  • LCG (liquid, cream, gel)
  • LOG (liquid, oil, gel)
  • LOCG (liquid, oil, cream, gel)

These are common methods for sealing and prepping your hair for styling. I’m sure there are other combinations. Do what works best for your hair or try different variations if you find you are not satisfied with your results.

Note: on wash day, the liquid is always water since your hair is already wet from washing it.

Praise the Good Lord

OK this one is not necessarily something you have to put on your wash day checklist. It’s optional but recommended. Especially, if you struggle with your hair care. Just a suggestion.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17

Wash Day Checklist Download

Now for the download. Just click the image for a link to the checklist. No need to sign up for anything.

wash day check list

For the Ultimate, most extensive checklist for Wash Day that includes a guide of Mistakes to Avoid When Washing your hair, grab this $5 Wash Day Checklist.

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