Your Curly Hair Wash Day Takeaways:
- Even the most experienced curly-haired people make mistakes during their wash days.
- Using the right products is crucial for you to get the bouncy curls that you love.
- You may want to be a bit more gentle to help your waves or curls maintain their strength.
- How you dry your curls can make a big difference.
As someone who used to religiously wash their hair everyday with a 2-in-1, I’ve come a long way when it comes to my curly hair wash days. Even after learning all about how to amplify the special time my curls get in the shower, I realized that there were a few small missteps I was making along the way. As I’ve learned all of my hair’s secrets (hello Gretchen Wieners), I’ve also learned how to adapt my wash day routine to keep my hair healthy and defined in the following days.
For many people who decide to go curly, learning how and when to wash their waves or curls is an important step in getting to know their hair on a deeper level. The smallest adjustments can give you the most gorgeous results.
You’re Using Your Products Wrong
Using the right products will help your curls stay nourished and healthy. We talk a lot about the right ingredients here at Royal Locks, because we believe that the right formula makes all the difference. Starting with a solid foundation that includes a sulfate-free cleanser and conditioner is key for getting the most out of your wash day.
It’s also important to evenly distribute your cleanser throughout your hair, and not just plop it in one spot. Use your fingers or a scalp scrubber to massage both your cleanser and conditioner into your roots to get the best results. This can also help prevent product build up, and promote healthy hair growth. Make sure to prioritize your full head of gorgeous hair evenly, and not just the top of your head.
You will likely also want to invest in a leave-in conditioner that’s rich with moisturizing ingredients like argan oil to help your curls stay plump and healthy, as well as amino acids that provide elasticity to strengthen and protect. You may not need to use your leave-in conditioner everyday. Hair looking dry and flimsy? Go for it. Curls looking bouncy and healthy? You may not need it.
How fine your hair is also impacts the need for additional moisture. Some people with curly hair find that using their leave-in conditioner 1-3 times a week is plenty, while others will want to use it every wash day. That’s why it’s so important to check in on your hair regularly so you can adapt to what it needs. To avoid your hair looking greasy, apply leave-in conditioner below the front of your hair line, right around where a fabulous bun or ponytail would sit.
Bonus Tip: If you struggle with dry curls or waves, try using a shower cap when using your conditioner in the shower. This can help your hair absorb the product better before you rinse it out.
Less Is More
Not only is the formula of the products you’re using important, but also the amount that you use. Though it can be tempting to push large globs of product into your hair because 1) it feels good in your hands, and 2) it seems like it would create the best results - it can actually have the opposite effect. Make sure to read the recommendations for each product you use so you don’t accidentally overdo it. Here at Royal Locks, we encourage users to start with a dime-sized amount when it comes to our Cream Gel and Dream Cream.
In order to avoid crunchy, untouchable curls, you’ll also want to pay close attention to how you distribute your styling products in your hair. If too much product ends up clumped near the front of your face, and not much gets to the back of your curls, then you’re likely to end up with curls that look uneven. For many people, it helps to distribute styling products when their hair is damp or wet. This gives a bit more flexibility when applying product, and can help the cream or gel apply itself throughout. Not to mention - fresh out of the shower, sopping wet hair, is going to lead to the most defined curls and waves.
You’re Being Too Rough
There was a time when I would grab a hair brush, stand in front of the mirror, and go to town no matter how many knots I came in contact with. The concepts of breakage and delicacy were apparently nonexistent for me, and I would bare my teeth and listen to the ripping sound of the brush tearing through my tangles. Needless to say, my hair was often frizzy and full of split ends.
Though it can feel amazing on wash days to hop in the shower, wash your hair with vigor, and rub every drop of product in, doing so can actually damage your hair. When curly hair is wet, it’s at its most vulnerable. Moisture can cause hair to be flexible and pliable, and allows it to stretch. When your curls are in this bendy mood, it’s possible to push them too far. By being too rough with your hair during your wash day, you run the risk of creating breakage. Though it’s always better to work through knots when your hair is wet, there are ways you can do so without causing damage.
When detangling, cleansing and drying your curls, aim to treat them with a gentle touch. Tools like wet brushes can make the knot removal process simpler, less painful, and cause the least amount of damage. Even if you’re in a rush, try to limit the amount of force that you use and remember that your hair is sensitive (it’s been a long year okay?).
You’re Drying Your Curls The Wrong Way
So, you’ve used all the right products (and the perfect amount of them), you’ve detangled and cleansed your hair gently, and you come out of the shower with the potential for the best hair day the world has ever seen.
Your mission, young grasshopper, is not yet complete.
Drying your curls in the right way is the last and potentially most important step in having the perfect curly hair wash day. Curls need support while they dry to maintain their shape. There are many schools of thought when it comes to the ideal drying process for curls, and finding what works best for you and your curls is major in optimizing your wash day.
Generally speaking, you want to allow your curls to dry with the least amount of interference possible. After applying any post-shower products (did someone say Curl Rescue?), try plopping your curls and letting them dry untouched in a microfiber headscarf or cotton t-shirt. The more you’re able to resist playing with your curls, the more defined they will be when they dry.
Though going heat-free is generally the best way to avoid damaging your curls, there are some days where it’s just not possible. If you’re in a time bind and want to use heat to speed up the drying process, use the diffusing attachment on your hairdryer. This helps to reduce frizz, boost volume and add shine to your curls. Don’t forget to invest in a heat protectant product to avoid any unnecessary damage.
Make Your Curly Hair Wash Day Last
Giving your curls the perfect wash doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right products, care, and drying process, you can have curls and waves that last for days.
In order to make your waves or curls maintain their gorgeousness, remember to master the art of sleeping with your curls. For mornings after the perfect wash day, look into products like Royal Locks Party Curl Activating Spray. Sometimes a little sprucing is all you need.