I am a firm believer in not frequently washing hair. This is for all hair types. After over a decade of training my own hair, I have been able to see the benefits of extending the time between wash days. This isn’t really new information for a lot of people with curly hair. It is something people have practiced for decades! The trick to extending washes for curly hair is knowing how to restyle those curls in between.
Curly hair really shouldn’t be washed everyday, unless it is absolutely necessary. The natural oils from the scalp are the best source of nutrition for curls. If the scalp is washed everyday, it isn’t able to produce those oils.
Restyling Curly Hair Video
This lesson includes a video to show what we do to refresh the curls between washes. It is relatively brief and doesn’t go over all the details included within the lesson. Make sure to watch the video and read through the lesson to get all the information!
Extending Washes for Curly Hair
Again, while there is no “one size fits all” method for extending the wash cycle for curly hair, you can be educated about a few personalized tools for your particular curls. Many of these tools are the same, or very similar, to the styling tips we discussed earlier!
If the hair feels gross, you can use dry shampoo. However, those with curly hair shouldn’t use it the same as those with straight hair. Rather than getting a dry shampoo spray and spraying it directly onto the scalp, the focus is on the actual strands of hair to “wash” them. I recommend finding a dry shampoo foam/mousse. You will squirt it into your palm and scrunch it into the curls. This will help them feel clean, give them a little more life, and won’t mess with the oils coming from the scalp.
If the scalp is feeling oily, lightly rub the dry shampoo mousse onto the scalp. This should be done gently, to avoid creating more frizz.
Because the scalp naturally moisturizes the hair, the ends of the hair can go without as much moisture. Simply, using a serum and scrunching it into the ends of the hair will help keep the ends moisturized and strong. This can be done before styling and before going to bed.
When the actual styling happens, remember to keep the hair wet. It doesn’t need to be completely drenched, just wet enough that styling it won’t cause frizz. Spray the hair with a spray conditioner or water. For those days your curls may frizz and don’t have your hair products, keep a small spray bottle of water in your purse or in your car. Just spray some water in your hair and scrunch away!
If the curls get too frizzy, after the hair has been wetted down, you can also pump a small amount of gel in your palm and scrunch it into your hair again. Try not to touch the hair too much when the gel is fresh because it can cause even more frizz!
How Long to Go Between Washing Curly Hair
There is no perfect formula for restyling hair and there is no perfect formula for how long your hair should go between washes. Every head of hair is so different that it is unique to the curls you are working with. If your hair has a hard time going very long between washes, try pushing it one more day than you did last time. Do that a few times and see if it helps your hair get used to it. If it does, try pushing it another day. You can train your hair but it takes time!
The great thing about curls is that if all else fails, they can always be completely wetted down in the shower, conditioned, scrunched with product, and air dried. It doesn’t add more shampoo or heat than when the wash is being extended but it lets you start with a more blank slate.
Whichever way extending your washes works for you, is the best way for you! Don’t let any methods you learn about make you feel like you are failing if you have to completely wet down your hair, or if you need to wash it more frequently than someone else. Our hair is almost as unique to us as our fingerprints. There is no one size fits all method. Don’t be afraid to try different things to push your wash day a little further but also don’t be afraid to accept where your hair feels its healthiest, even if that isn’t quite as long as someone else!
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