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How Do You Wash Curly Hair, and How Often?

Jan 3

Curly hair is beautiful. But it can also be challenging to maintain and style. Curly hair tends to be more dry, brittle, and prone to frizz than straight hair. It is because of its curved shape and uneven distribution of keratin. Curly hair also has a natural curl pattern that brushing can easily disrupt. 


However, with the right tools, products, and techniques, you can keep your curly hair healthy, hydrated, and defined. In this blog post, I will share some tips on how to wash curly hair. Also, how often, from choosing the best shampoo and conditioner to rinsing and drying your hair?


Choosing the Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Curly Hair

One of the most critical aspects of washing curly hair is choosing the curly hair products. The type of shampoo and conditioner you use can significantly impact your hair's appearance. 


  • The ingredients. Choose sulfate-free, moisturizing shampoos and conditioners for healthy hair. Moisturizing ingredients, such as oils, butter, or plant extracts, can help hydrate, nourish, and smooth the hair. Also, they are great for preventing tangles and breakage. Avoid shampoos and conditioners that contain alcohol, silicones, and parabens. 


  • The Consistency. Look for shampoos and conditioners with a creamy or gel-like consistency. Creamy or gel-like shampoos and conditioners can help coat. Also, they can define your curls without leaving any residue. Light shampoos and conditioners can be too harsh or dry for curly hair. 


  • The scent. Look for shampoos and conditioners with a mild scent rather than a strong or artificial one. Soft and lovely scents can help you relax. Also, you can enjoy your washing experience without irritating your scalp or senses. Strong or artificial scents can be overpowering or annoying and contain chemicals. This can harm your hair or scalp.


Some examples of hair cleanser for curly hair and conditioners that are suitable for curly hair are:


  • Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner: These products are formulated with coconut oil, silk protein, and neem oil. Also, they can moisturize, smooth, and protect your hair and enhance your curl pattern. They are also sulfate-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free.


  • DevaCurl No-Poo Original Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser: These products are formulated with peppermint, rosemary, and grapeseed oil. This can stimulate, cleanse, and condition your hair and add shine and bounce. They are also sulfate-free, silicone-free, and paraben-free.

How Often to Wash Curly Hair?

Another important aspect of washing curly hair is how often to do it. Washing curly hair too often or too rarely can adversely affect your hair's health. Washing curly hair too often can strip the hair of its natural oils. Washing curly hair too rarely can cause dirt, oil, and product buildup since it is the major cause of dullness, itchiness, and dandruff.


However, as a general rule, curly hair does not need to be washed every day or even every week. Depending on your hair characteristics, you may need to wash your hair once or twice a week.


To determine the best washing schedule for your curly hair, you can experiment with different intervals. You can observe how your hair responds. You can also use some indicators, such as your scalp condition and hair texture. This will help you decide when to wash your hair. For example, if your scalp feels oily, itchy, or flaky, your hair feels greasy, limp, or sticky, or your curls lose shape and bounce, it may be time to wash it.


To preserve your hair between washes, you can use some methods, such as:


  • Use a dry shampoo or a curl refresher spray to refresh your hair and scalp. This will help to absorb any excess oil or dirt. You can gently spray these products on your roots and massage them. After that, you can spray them on your ends and scrunch them lightly.



  • Use a shower cap or a silk or satin bonnet to protect your hair from water and humidity. This can help prevent your hair from getting wet, curly, or tangled.


  • Use a silk or satin pillowcase or a silk or satin scarf to protect your hair. This can help prevent your hair from getting frizzy, flattened, or knotted.


How to Wash Curly Hair?

The final aspect of washing curly hair is how to do it properly. Washing curly hair can be a delicate and time-consuming process. But at the same time, it can also be rewarding and enjoyable. Here are some steps on how to wash curly hair:


  • Wet your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water. Lukewarm water can help open your hair cuticles. "It will also enable the shampoo and conditioner. This will deeply cleanse and nourish your hair." 


  • Focus on your scalp, where most dirt, oil, and product buildup accumulates. Please avoid using your nails, which can scratch and irritate your scalp. Avoid applying shampoo to your ends, as they are more fragile and prone to dryness. The shampoo will run down your hair as you rinse it and cleanse your ends without stripping them of moisture.


  • Rinse your hair thoroughly. Remove all the shampoo from your hair, as any residue can cause dullness, itchiness, and buildup.


  • Apply a generous amount of conditioner to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair. Avoid applying conditioner to your roots, as they quickly get oily or weighed down. Leave the conditioner on your hair for a few minutes or as long as the label instructs.


  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with cold water. Cold water can help close your hair cuticles. "Seal in the moisture and nutrients provided by the conditioner. It can reduce frizz and flyaways, as well as add shine to your hair.


  • After washing your hair, be sure to gently squeeze out any excess water. Blot it gently with a microfiber towel or a cotton t-shirt. Avoid rubbing or twisting your hair, which can cause frizz and damage. You can also use a leave-in conditioner, a curl-enhancing product, or an oil. This will help to moisturize and define your curls.


How to Dry Curly Hair?


After washing your curly hair, you should dry it to speed up the process and create more volume and definition in your curls. However, drying curly hair can also cause frizz and damage if done incorrectly or with the wrong tools. Here are some tips on how to dry curly hair:


  • Avoid using a regular towel or a hair dryer. A regular towel can cause friction and frizz on your hair, and a hair dryer can generate heat and damage to your hair. Squeeze hair gently to avoid frizz and damage. Blot your hair gently, let it air dry or use a diffuser.


  • Use a diffuser to dry your hair. "A diffuser is an accessory that can be attached to a hair dryer. This will ensure equal distribution of heat during the drying process." Gently create more volume and definition in your curls. Attach a diffuser to your hair dryer, then set it on a low heat and speed setting. Then, gently lift and lower your hair with the diffuser without blowing it around. You can flip your head upside down to add more volume and lift to your roots.


  • You can use a curling iron or a wand to curl your hair if you want to change your curl pattern or create more uniform or defined curls. Then, wrap small sections of your hair around the barrel and hold for a few seconds. Release the curl, and let it cool down. 




In conclusion, washing curly hair is a proper process. It requires attention to both the unique characteristics of curly hair and personal preferences. The key is to strike a balance between maintaining cleanliness and preserving the natural oils. This can contribute to the health and vibrancy of curls. Lastly, experimenting with different products and techniques will help to enhance your curls' natural beauty.