The Best Way to Wash Curly Hair

Healthy, bouncy curls are what every curly-haired woman aspires for. So we look for the best way to wash curly hair. But there's so many misinformation going around the internet. Coupled with false advertisements that we often fall into, we end up having dry, frizzy hair most days of the week. We’re tired of it and we know you are too. So, we came up a guide for better hair days for those of us with naturally curly hair.

Common Mistakes in Washing Curly Hair

We make mistakes in washing our hair once in awhile. Acknowledging these mistakes and learning from it is a step closer to getting those healthy curls again. Here are the common mistakes curly-haired women usually make:

1. Not reading the shampoo label.

If you’ve tried different shampoos, you probably know by now that not all shampoo work well (even those labeled “for curly hair”). A lot of them contain 'sulfates' which is something you need to watch out for.

Commonly found in body wash, soap, and shampoo, sulfates are the curly hair’s ultimate enemy. They’re generally too harsh for curly hair, making them frizzy and dry.

Each time you buy a shampoo, make sure that you read what’s in it even if its label states that it’s for curly hair. You can still use even if it contains sulfate as long as sulfate is not listed in the first three ingredients. This is because the first three constitutes a majority of the formula.

2. Always using shampoo.

Curly hair requires special kind of care. Unlike other hair types, it doesn’t need shampoo for every wash. In fact, leaving the shampoo can be good for this hair type.

What’s ideal to use for curly hair is a cleansing conditioner. It’s a type of conditioner infused with mild ingredients for gentle cleansing. They work like shampoo but with extra TLC for your hair.

There are different types of cleansing conditioner and you would want to pick the right one for your hair type. The more kinky and dry your curls are, the more you should opt for cleansing conditioners with the most hydrating nut oils like shea and coconut.

3. Washing incorrectly.

Shampoos, even if they contain the smallest amount of sulfates, can be drying. Applying shampoo from roots to tips will only lead to dry, frizzy curls. The rule of the thumb is when you’re using shampoo, only keep it concentrated at your roots and rinse it quick.

But if you’re using a cleansing conditioner, spend a few minutes working it out in your hair before you rinse it off.

The Right Way to Wash Your Curly Hair

1. Choose the right type of hair product.

As mentioned earlier, sulfate-containing shampoos are the worst type of shampoo for curly hair. They can leave the hair dry and frizzy. What you should be investing on instead is a good quality hair product with the right “co-wash” formula. Co-washing is a term used pertaining to washing hair with conditioner. A number of cleansing conditioners have a good co-wash formula, leaving your hair glossier and bouncier.

2. Try sectioning.

If you have longer curls (6 inches or more), sectioning your hair into 4 or 6 is the best way to go when washing them. This may take you longer but it’s definitely the way to go to prevent tangles, breakage, and knots.

3. Do not wash your hair everyday.

Unlike other hair types, curly hair is more prone to dryness and damage if washed everyday. If you have fine, curly hair, you can cleanse every other day. But if you have thicker strands, you can go without a wash for three or more days.

4. Condition your hair.

Dryness and frizziness are common among curly hair types. These can be easily addressed by using the right conditioner.

Using conditioner while in the shower and using a leave-in conditioner afterwards can protect and hydrate your curls, making them look healthier and bouncier.

5. Avoid rubbing damp hair.

Rubbing your damp curls with a cloth towel will only ruffle the cuticle, making your hair frizzy. What you would want to do instead is to blot your damp hair with a microfiber cloth. Ideally, do this after applying your preferred hair styling product that also serves as your leave-on conditioner.

6. Always use a diffuser.

She doesn't really have curly hair.. but she's using a hair dryer diffuser 🙂

If you’re blow drying, always make sure to use a diffuser. This helps in drying the curls evenly. Start at the roots of your hair and then blow dry the ends last. The ends are prone to damage so you might want to leave them semi-dry.

7. Skip the brush.

A hair brush will only disturb the curl formation, creating more frizz. Instead of a brush, use your fingers instead to tousle curls. Use a wide-tooth comb for detangling your hair.

Washing your hair correctly is only one way of keeping your natural hair’s health and bounce. You would want to couple this with a healthy lifestyle including a well-balanced diet. Try to also avoid alcohol and tobacco smoking.

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Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Last Updated: March 28, 2020

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4 comments on “The Best Way to Wash Curly Hair”

  1. Very interesting. I know I have 1 good brand without sulfates I will check otherwise do put in a curl lotion or cream
    I have fine curly hair weR a a bob now
    Trying to get it to chin length.

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