Curly Hair 101: Washing

Forget everything you know and stop what you do when you wash your hair. What are you using as a shampoo? How often do you shampoo? Curly hair tends to be on the dry side. If you say ‘I wash my hair because its so oily’, it is oily in part because you wash your hair too often. When you wash your hair often and with harsh detergents like sulfates, we strip our scalp and hair of its oils that curly hair needs to not be frizzy. So then it produces more oils. Some people way over shoot and get oily, and some people’s scalp and hair just stays dry and this can attribute to frizz. If you use silicons, parabens, and sulfates…stop. Like now. Go to the store and get a clarifying shampoo, as that is the only thing that will rid your hair of the silicons products you were using. Now lets start fresh. After clarfiying you should only be using products that are paraben, sulfate, and silicon free. There is a wide selection of products that are free of these ingredients with varying price points and toxicity. No matter what is important to you when it comes to beauty products,  you can do this.

Start by spacing out how often you shampoo. I did a full month of only using conditioner (co-washing) to clean my hair. My hair looked gross and oily for a while but my scalpe regulated and adjusted. I now only wash my hair with a lathering sulfate free shampoo about once a week. Some people go much further in between. Others use a cleanser that doesn’t lather at all or mildly lathers, and others use a conditioner or a ‘co-wash’ to cleanse their hair. There is honestly something for everyone. Because my fine hair can be weighed down easily, even with clean products, I use a lathering shampoo to as my fine hair can get weighed down by product build up. I honestly don’t notice too much of a difference between mild and regular lathering so I go for whatever is cheapest but clean.

As far as conditioning goes, this again can go many different ways. You have to play around what works for you. I was using a regular conditioner and then using a lighter conditioner as a leave in. Then I started deep conditioning regularly (about once every two weeks or so) and now I only need to condition the once, my leave in conditioner depends on what styling products I use. This can vary depending on the weather and time of year as well.

Now comes the technique. In the shower I shampoo normally, standing up, lather and rinse. Some people detangle during this step, I have never had luck with that. I rinse and then I apply my conditioner. This is when I detangle my hair with my fingers. Gently as to not pull and tug at my hair. Once in a while I will use a wide tooth comb to detangle but other wise, I never brush or comb my hair. Once my conditioner is evenly distributed I flip my head upside down with my head under the water (I also do this directly after shapmooing) I then begin to comb my hair in this direction with my fingers. I will go back and fourth putting my head from to away from the water as I comb through my hair getting the desired separation in my hair under the water as I rinse out most of the conditioner. All the while I am squishing my hair, ringing out the water, to encourage the curls. Once my hair feels like it is properly rinsed of the conditioner, I continue squishing my hair away from the water (or I shut off the water once my shower is done) so get all the water out that I can. I flip my head back up (standing up) and I do not take a towel to it until after I have applied product.

This method gives me more volume at the top of my head. Otherwise my hair is very flat. It should be noted that I do not use a regular towel on my hair. I use an old t-shirt or a microfiber towel to lessen the friction to my hair and thus lessening the frizz. I then apply my products while my hair is still quite wet. That will be the topic of your next video: styling products and styling methods.

Here are links to some product options:

Clarifying Shampoo



Deva Curl

Shea Moisture





5 thoughts on “Curly Hair 101: Washing

  1. Love your tips and tricks on hair washing! You certainly have me inspired to start a healthier curly hair journey!! I have been researching more and more about caring for curly hair and wanted to ask how you sleep on your curls to get good second and third day results? Do you use a silk or satin pillowcase? How to you wear your hair when you go to bed? Looking forward to more videos 🙂


    1. I usually sleep with my hair up in a pineapple (a high pony tail on top of my head) but honestly sometimes I just fungi bed with my hair down on a regular pillow case. For good second and third day results it mostly depends on the products I use. I have gotten the best results with custards. just spritz water and reapply some custard. I’ll for sure touch on this in a future video, thanks so much for the question!!


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