Banding and Shampooing

Ok…ya know what? Earlier this summer, I had an ephiphany about my hair. I discovered that it was long. I’ve been so busy trying to obtain length, that somehow I missed the fact that I’ve got it. The top now stretches about two inches below my chin. The back and sides now stretches below my armpits. I’ve said this before, that is a rather yucky way to describe one’s length but it does indeed give you an instant visual. See Breakage, Growth and Progress for a related story.

Anyway, about two months ago, I was in someone’s hair album, I think it was Pebbles (those of you from NP will know who that is) and she was banding her hair prior to shampooing in order to minimize shrinkage and therefore tangles. (Ok…I think it was Pebbles). It took me a while but if finally clicked that I should be doing that as well because it would definitely make shampooing my hair a much easier endeavor.

So four weeks ago (the last time I shampooed prior to this time) I tried it. I cannot tell you how happy I was with the results. My hair was practically tangle free once I was finished and it cut the time I spent on the shampoo process down considerably. So, this time, I decided to share the entire experience you all.

Now, I say this is for long hair, but I would think that technique would work for anyone that has enough length that makes shampoo/condition and detangling process a nightmare. That’s what it was becoming like for me. Thank goodness, I saw this in someone’s album because really, it had gotten to the point that I absolutely hated having to shampoo my hair. Thanks to this banding technique, I don’t dislike having to do it anymore.

IMG_0362w.jpg picture by Nappyme

If you’re doing your hair in the sink, part the sections and band them along the length of each section. Don’t put the bands on too tight or too close to your scalp because you’ll need to be able to get up under the bands to clean your scalp. But if they’re too loose, you’ll wash they’ll slide off of your hair. You’ll just have to experiment. I always end up with at least one of them washing out in the sink. In that case I just put them back on.

How many bands you use on each section will depend on the length of your hair. I put three on each section. One near the scalp, one in the middle and one on the end. I actually shampooed at my friends house so she could take pics for me and forgot to bring all of my bands. So in the back I just did the best I could with only one band on each section. It turned out fine. Try to make the ones in the back point more toward the top of your head if you’re shampooing in the sink. If you’re doing it in the shower, then you’ll want them to point down.

IMG_0363v.jpg picture by Nappyme

Now wet your entire head down. I’m usually just rinsing all of the product out of my hair. All I use is Proline Comb Thru Lite Creme Moisturizer. It’s water based and rinses out very easily. Once the water runs clear, I apply the shampoo.

IMG_0364u.jpg picture by Nappyme

Ok…I’m done. You can see how my hair is trying to shrink up, but hahahahah…I’ve out smarted it. Now it’s time to condition.

IMG_0366s.jpg picture by Nappyme

20 Responses to “Banding and Shampooing”
  1. Jazzy says:

    This is a great tip! Thank you so much, I really enjoy your site!

  2. nappyme says:

    Jazzy, you’re welcome! If you try it, come back and let me know how well it worked for you.

  3. Sharon says:

    Hi, I’ve just got to tell you that yours is the best website I’ve seen so far. I really enjoy it – I live in the UK, and it is very rare to see black women with natural hair. I am transitioning at the moment, my last perm was early September 06. I have a lot of natural hair at the back and quite a bit of perm left on front and crown of my head. I’ve been combining braids and corkscrews and have a near afro – no heat has been applied since last perm, and I’ve found that virgin Shea Butter is brilliant for softening the regrowth and making it more manageble. I did get a lot of comments ranging from ‘why is your hair like that?’ to ‘ it looks really good, you’ve inspired the young black girls to not perm their hair’ . I have learned how to style it alot better during this transition – and I can’t wait for the front of my hair to grow long enough so that I can cut off all the perm. I just want to thank you for sharing your experience with such humour and honesty, and for keeping your web site up to date!!

  4. Jazzy says:

    Hey again! I tried it, and it worked wonders. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this method before! I’m transitioning (almost 5 months post-relaxer), and my hair is now tangle-free. Thanks, again!

  5. nappyme says:

    @ Sharon and Jazzy, I’m so glad you’re finding Nappturology 101 helpful!

    @ Jazzy, I’m really glad you let me know how the banding and shampooing technique worked. This is technique is quite the bomb! Nobody should have to suffer through combing out all those tangles after shampooing their hair. I hope more people try this and report back how it worked. I’m conviced it will work for everyone who has enough hair to band.

  6. namaste says:

    i’ve been perusing your website this morning and i must say it is very informative and has tons of fabulous information. Thank you so much for detailing this banding technique. My hair is about 5 inches from my waist, very thick and curly and i HATE washing it because it gets so very tangled. i intend to use this technique for the next wash and will let you know of the results. i also would like to try it on my daughters hair. A family member relaxed it against my wishes about 18 months ago and she still has about 3 inches of relaxer at the ends that i’m hesitant to just cut out. Thank you again lady, well done!

  7. nappyme says:

    Welcome to NPP101. I’m sooo glad you found the banding technique. For those of us who use it, it has definitely made a big, big difference with detangling.

    I’m sorry about your daughters hair. It always amazes me when I hear of relatives who have the audacity to put chemicals in someone else’s child’s hair against the wishes of the parent. With the proper care and patience hopefully, her hair will be back to its pre-relaxed health and length in time.

    Make sure you come back and visit soon!

  8. CarmenNC says:

    Thank you for this post. I’m showing off your technique to a friend who’s about to give up on her hair.

  9. nappyme says:

    You’re so welcome Carm! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. icequeen says:

    girl! i admire how you went on ahead and showed us those pix; that is soooo helpful! i have always been dreading to wash and detangle my long natural hair, but this has finally given me hope! i would always cut my hair in frustration because of those 4-6 hour sessions of cutting my hair! i know it may seem like a small thing to you, but you have really inspired me. thank you sooo much.

  11. nappyme says:

    Hi Icequeen! Welcome to NPP101 and CNN hair community. Girl I’ve never been ashamed of my nappy hair so it’s nothing for me to show it. I remember once when I was visiting my brother in MD and his wife had washed her hair. She had really long natural hair but still, at the time I considered it “good hair.” But boy did it have some shrinkage. She about had a heart attack when I walked in the room where she was coming it out and she ran back into the bathroom. I’m like… I don’t get that. I mean, when we were little, we’d get our hair washed and my mom would take us out on the back stoop (we lived in the projects) and commence to combing our hair with a big black afro comb and some hair rep. I mean, even though we all got our hair pressed, everyone knew that it started off nappy so it was quite a surprise to me that folks were “ashamed” of letting someone see it nappy.

    Anyhoo, I’m glad you have some hope cause I really don’t think long cNapp hair has to be so hard to take care of. Mine isn’t and so I hope you can get to that place too.

    Girl good luck and see you on cNappymeNow and drop me a line here too if you’re so inclined.

    Take care,

  12. Icequeen says:


    it worked!!!! i gotta learn how to show pix on the websites. gotta question for you though; if you are twisting, do you part with your comb or with your hands/fingers? i am horrible with parts, and in my rush i usually part with fingers which makes for uneven parts and sometimes crossover twists (you know what i mean, hair that seems to belong in two twists instead of one) and i have to redo it. with my thick and dense hair i seem to not really have to worry with perfect parts, (but i wonder if i am lying to myself and no one has told me! gasp) and i do wonder if i make my detangling process more difficult by not parting with a comb versus fingers. also, i know that castor oil has been my lover for a while now and does help me immensely.

  13. nappyme says:

    I do both. When I’m in a big hurry, I’ll do the grab and twist method. But honestly, I prefer to take my time and part my hair with a rattail comb. I seem to get a better lay to my twists that way.

    I don’t know that comb parting or finger parting makes a difference in the detangling process because I detangle as I take each twist down and the make larger twists to ready my hair for shampooing. So honestly, detangling is NOT an issue for me and my hair is over 13 inches long.

  14. punky says:

    hi im new on the board and am late in responding but.. better late than never. I usually braid my hair and wash but i think this band method is better I don’t know why I never thought to do that I’m going to get me some bands …. thk u so much for this info and the site!

  15. sexynappy says:

    I have been transitioning for 6 months and i have 4 inches of natural hair. I trimmed my perm off little by little until i did the big chop 2 weeks ago. i love not have any perm on my head now i am learning the hair care part. Thanks for all the info because i continue my natural journey with joy. As i get used to my new hair i wear wigs for those in between styles and this helps to keep me on track and not give up as i learn how to maintain my beautiful hair

  16. nappyme says:

    Sexynappy you are very welcome and good luck on your journey!

  17. Giselle says:

    Hey nappyme,

    I tried this on my daughter’s hair a few nights ago and it worked like a charm. Thank you for this great idea!

  18. b. fro-real says:

    The banding and shampooing method should be listed on the quick tips page as all newly naturals like myself are looking for quick tips that’ll confirm that we made the right choice by going natural. Thanks sooo much for this article. It saved my nappy state, when the detangling process had me re-thinking my natural ability.

    • nappyme says:

      Ms B fro-real (cute screen name lol)
      I’m glad you like it. Yes ind-d that banding surely does save you some time and heartache. Detangling, as our hair gets longer easily becomes one of the top frustrations that nappy heads experience with their hair. For me, that started happenening around the 7-9 inch mark. That’s when I was sooooo glad to have discovered the banding method myself.

      And that’s a good idea. When I get the chance, I’ll put the banding method on the quick tip page. Thanks!

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