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For Black women, Wash Day isn’t a routine — it’s a ritual. From the products we choose to the spaces we create, the time we spend caring for our hair connects us to ourselves, our culture, and the people we want to be. Our first subject, Siraad Dirshe, a professional writer, content creator, and former beauty editor, explains how her wash day provides her with a much-needed moment of reflection.
I straightened my hair a lot in high school and college. I went to a predominately white school, which impacted how I wanted to style my hair at the time. When I moved to New York, I went to the Dominican salon for monthly blowouts, but I quickly realized that I was going to fry my curls. So, I said, You know what? I'm gonna learn how to do my hair. I started to look into better products and grew out my heat damage. I knew that I wanted to keep my routine as simple as possible. I've seen people with extreme methods that take hours and tons of products, and that didn't feel like me.
My hair is a very curly texture, which I think makes people question my ethnicity. My dad is Somali, but I didn't grow up with him. I'd always get the 'What are you?' or 'Where are you from?' questions. I assumed it was because of my hair texture, and I think that dictated the relationship I have with my hair and coming into my identity. Even though I didn't grow up with my dad, I have become more curious and open to owning and teaching myself about that side of me.
I think it's expected for everyone to have a major aha moment with their natural hair, but my relationship is different, and that's okay. I've never had a relaxer or a big chop. My hair routine is a small piece of a larger self-care puzzle that includes taking care of my mind and body.
Wash day, for me, is an opportunity to spend time with myself. The city is so hectic, and I try to find as many moments in the day where I'm not distracted and can have peace, whether that's through my beauty routine, journaling, or reading. Those moments — without emails, without your phone, and just with yourself — are so precious.
My Wash Day Diary
I start by cleansing my hair in the shower with Amika Nice Cream Cleansing Conditioner, a product I discovered and really love. It smells amazing and has a really nice slip. My hair can get tangled pretty easily, so I end up wetting it with a co-wash to make detangling easier and to keep my strands hydrated. I use shampoo once or twice monthly to remove product buildup.
Once my hair is cleansed and hydrated, I use a deep conditioning mask to nourish and protect my blonde highlights. To evenly distribute the product through my hair, I loosely separate my strands into sections and rake the formula through with my fingers. Once each section is properly coated, I form loose twists around my head and cover them with a shower cap so the product can seep in for 15 minutes.
While my deep conditioner is cooking, I play some music to set a good vibe while I clean up or read. I usually play some chill R&B music like Sampha or Tom Misch. If I need some extra energy, I'll blast my Kelis playlist. She also happens to be my celebrity hair inspiration.
When the timer's up, I wash out my deep conditioner. Then, my go-to style is a wash-and-go. I rake through Ouidad's Climate Control gel, which gives me definition and hold without flakiness or crunch. Then I lightly scrunch my curls and let them air dry.
A big part of my routine also revolves around taking care of my body, whether that's through physical activity, eating a vegetarian diet, or body care. After doing my hair, I usually exfoliate my entire body and use a luxurious moisturizer when it's time to wind down. One of my favorites is Oribe Côte d'Azur Restorative Body Crème, because it isn't oily or greasy, and it won't mess up my sheets once I get into bed.
I aim to actively move my body and exercise at least five days out of the week. Rest is equally important, and I try to get eight hours of sleep daily. I've also discovered a passion for surfing, which benefits my physical and mental health. I love the ocean and I find it very therapeutic. During a recent trip to Ghana, I saw so many locals surfing, and I thought to myself, 'Wow, I didn't know that Black people surfed.' It was a genuine thought because we are not what you see in mainstream coverage of the sport, and that was revolutionary for me. It's become an all-around meditative experience for me, which is how all of our moments for ourselves — from our beauty routines and beyond — should feel.
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