How do you wash your hair? How often? What products do you use?
I typically wash my hair every other day. I know that many curlies wash their hair way less than that and I know some that wash their hair daily. The reason I wash my hair every other day is because I think it gets "nappy" by the second day, and washing fixes that!
I only use sulfate free shampoo and conditioner on my hair. Sulfates are the compounds that make regular shampoos wonderfully sudsy and are in all sorts of shampoos (and all prices). They are really good at stripping everything off of your hair and making it feel "squeaky-clean", but, because of that quality, they also dry out your hair (they strip off all of the natural oils). Curly hair tends to be drier and so "squeaky-clean" isn't really a good thing, the natural oils your scalp produces help keep your hair shiny and frizz free.
Up until now, sulfate-free shampoos were only available in salons and came with a fairly hefty price tag, but if you consider that I only wash my hair every other day, then I could reasonably afford a shampoo 2x as much as drugstore shampoo if I used to wash it daily. I usually spend around $15 for a regular-sized bottle, or between $25 and $40 for a jumbo sized (many times I can find deals on the larger bottles). Recently, I saw that L'Oreal now has a sulfate-free product for curly hair for around $7 a bottle. I haven't tried it, but it's on my list when I run out of the Redken stuff.
So, here I am, product in hand. Now what? (I have no pictures for this part... for obvious reasons.)
How I Wash My Curly Hair:
- Wet hair thoroughly, shampoo as normal. Occasionally, I shampoo twice if my hair was really dirty. I know that the sulfate-free stuff is gentle on my hair so I don't worry about drying it out too much.
- Flip head over and squeeze out as much water as you can.
- Put a quarter-sized dollop of conditioner in your hand, spread it between both hands and scrunch it into hair starting at the ends.
- Comb the conditioner through hair with hands only and work it up to the roots (but try to get very little if any on the roots). Continue combing until you have all of the tangles out.
- Twist hair into a high bun and secure with a hair tie. Do not rinse.
- Finish doing whatever else you need to do in the shower.
- As the very last thing you do, flip your head back over and take out the hair tie. Comb your fingers through your hair as you hold it under the shower stream. Continue combing until you feel that 95% of the conditioner is rinsed out.
- Turn off the shower, squeeze all the water you can out of your hair with your hands. Dry off.
- Wrap your hair in a towel for about 30 seconds, and no more than a minute.
- Unwrap and get ready to style, or twist it into a high bun until you are ready to style (no more than 15 minutes).
This post is part 1 of a series on how I style my curly hair. (I will update the links as the pages are posted)
Part 2: How I wash my hair
Part 3: How I style my hair