The Curly Girl’s Guide to Winning the Wash Day Battle
Washday for curly hair can definitely be a nightmare if you’re not using the right curl products. You have so many things to worry about like controlling frizz, keeping your curls hydrated and not damaging your hair. Because you have curly hair, it’s a little harder to handle when wet.
You have to be careful and gentle with it to prevent causing any further damage. If you’ve recently gone natural or if you’ve simply never learned how to properly wash and care for your curls, we’re here to help guide you through the process and conquer the dreaded washday.
The process of finding the right products and routine for your curly hair can seem endless and confusing. You’ve spent so much time and money at your local drug store trying to find the perfect products for your curls but something just isn’t working.
Your hair is unique, which means your wash day routine may slightly differ from the next person’s, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because your hair is unique, it just means your routine and product choices should reflect your personal hair goals and needs. We’re here to help take the guessing game out of the process.
To help you find the perfect combination of personalized wash day products take our FREE Personalized Hair Care Quiz. We’ll curate the perfect combination of products specifically tailored to your personal hair needs and goals. Best of all our products are all non-toxic and cruelty free.
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Wash Day Routine For Curly Hair
Prep Your Hair
The first step is preparing your hair, also known as pre-pooing. To prep your hair, apply a moisturizing oil to your hair overnight. This will help prevent unnecessary breakage and allow your hair to soak up some extra moisture.
Detangle Your Hair
Once you’re done pre-pooing, gently detangle your hair while it’s still dry. Wet hair is more susceptible to breakage and damage, so detangling it while it’s dry will prevent unnecessary breakage. Detangling is especially important if your hair was just in a protective style during the preparation process.
Wet Your Hair
After you detangle your dry hair, rinse it with warm water only. Don’t add any products just yet; simply rinse it for a few minutes making sure your hair is fully saturated.
Co-wash Your Hair
Co-washing is short for conditioner washing. Co-washing involves using a co-wash conditioner to wash your hair. Co-wash conditioners moisturize and condition your hair at the same time, leaving your curls soft and sleek.
Co-washing and shampooing can be swapped out for each other. A lot of people recommend co-washing because most co-washes have milder ingredients than shampoos.
The only issue with co-washing is, it doesn’t get your hair as clean as shampooing does, which will require you to wash your hair more often. Washing your hair too often tends to cause structural damage to it over time.
You can rotate between a co-wash and a shampoo. For example, you can use a co-wash a week or two before shampooing.
After rinsing your hair, gently add shampoo. Do not pack your hair to the top of your head and rub the shampoo in it. Sure, it looks fun in commercials, but it’ll just reverse all the detangling work you did. Curly and textured hair tangles easily, so make sure to gently comb through with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb while you wash.
While shampooing, it’s advisable to divide your hair into sections and wash each section separately. This way, you can be confident that all the energy you put into detangling doesn’t go to waste. Focus the shampoo on the scalp area, then massage it into the hair. Rinse through your hair with warm water and prepare to add conditioner.
For the best results, use a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo. There are clarifying shampoos specially designed for curly hair, which won’t strip your hair of its natural texture.
Condition and Detangle
After rinsing the shampoo off, gently squeeze out the excess water and apply some conditioner to your hair. Start applying it from the middle —or mid-shaft— to the ends while simultaneously combing your fingers carefully through your hair, detangling it.
Once any major tangles are out use a paddle brush or wide-toothed comb and start from the ends of your hair and gently work your way up to your roots. Rinse it out of your hair as soon as you’re done detangling.
Cover Your Hair With A Shower Cap
After detangling your hair and rinsing out the conditioner, carefully squeeze out any excess water and cover it with a shower cap. Never wring out your hair as this may cause breakage and disturb your natural curl pattern. Carry on with the rest of your bathing routine. Once you’re out of the shower, dry yourself, complete your post-shower routine, and take off the shower cap.
Apply A Leave-In Conditioner
Leave-in conditioners are essential for curly hair. Once you’re done with your shower routine, take off the shower cap and divide your hair into sections. Not all leave-in conditioners are applied the same way, so make sure you follow the specific instructions listed on the product.
Seal The Moisture In with a Curl Cast
After moisturizing your hair with a conditioner, typically you would seal the moisture in with a gel cast. Take an adequate amount of gel and begin to apply it to the sections of your hair. The best method to use is the raking technique. It allows you to spread the gel while simultaneously combing through your hair with your hands. During the drying process after gel is applied to wet hair, the gel will harden around the curls, creating a gel cast. A gel cast actually helps to hold the curls in their natural formation until the hair dries while simultaneously protecting the hair
Pack Your Hair Up in a Turban
Next step is to gently pack your curls up into a turban or silk scarf. A great turban to check out is the Aquis Lisse Hair Turban. Proven to cut your drying time by 50%, this turban prevents Hygral Fatigue—the stretching and swelling of wet hair that makes it vulnerable to frizz, split-ends and damage.
Drying Your Hair
Washing in The Morning
Use a t-shirt or a microfiber towel like the Aquis Hair Towel to gently pat your hair till all the excess water is out. Next, section your hair and begin diffusing until it forms a gel cast. If you’re not in a hurry, you can diffuse partially and then let it air dry.
Washing in The Evening
A shorter and more straightforward process. Simply leave your securely tied turban or silk scarf on through the night. Make sure to use a silk pillowcase. By the time you wake up the next day, your hair will be dry and moisturized.
Crush Out The Gel Cast
Once you’ve dried your hair, either by diffusing or leaving it to dry overnight, it’s time to crush out the gel cast. You can do this by rubbing Argan or Coconut oil on your hands and crunching out the gel. This process will be easier because your hair is still sectioned. Carefully work your way through each section. Once you’re done, your hair will be bouncier and have a much softer texture.
Wash Day may seem long and tedious, but when done consistently using the right products, your curls should last for days! Happy washing!