Curly Hair [Wash Day] Routine

If you did not know, I have curly hair. Over the past year and a half, I have embraced it, learned how to take care of it and now have healthy hair. I am not an expert, but have learned what works for me. I have developed a routine and kind of wanted to share it because while curly hair might look pretty, its honestly the biggest pain in the ass.

I dread wash days. I like clean hair, but I don’t the drying process. Plus, the fact that I am lazy and my products are expensive, I do not wash my hair every single day. Also, I do not think washing your hair every single day is good for you. The most I can go washing it is a week before I start complaining, but I might do it after 3 days depending on whether or not I get the motivation to deal with it.

Every wash day is made up of 4 steps: Shampoo, Condition and detangle, Styling and Drying. Sounds simple?

Well it isn’t. I’ll explain why.

  1. Shampoo

Obviously, this is the first step and it is an important one because who does not love the feeling of clean hair. Before applying shampoo, I need to make sure that my hair is soaked and the water is not boiling hot. I love hot showers, especially during winter, but boiling hot water is a no no for your hair. So I try to compromise and make it warm. It takes about a minute or two for my hair to really become wet enough, and I know when that is because it feels heavy.

After it is soaked, I add shampoo and then massage my scalp especially my trouble areas. I get a lot of flakes at the front of my head. I start with my fingers and then a silicone scalp brush. When I am done, wash it out.

In terms of shampoo, I love Maui Moisture because it is affordable and sulfate free. I also love the OGX Tea Tree Mint Shampoo.

2. Condition & detangling

This part is very important because my hair is always after dry washing and I only detangle on wash days because it is the easiest and pain-free way to deal with tangles. Once a week, I use a deep conditioner, but if I am going to wash in the middle, I use a regular conditioner. And once a month, I use a protein treatment. Detangling with my fingers is the way best way because your hair is the weakest when its wet, but because I’m lazy I use my denman brush to make it faster. But with my hair not being that tangled, its fine. If it wasn’t I’m not an idiot.

After it is filled with conditioner and detangled, I put it in a bun and take my shower. I brush my teeth, wash my face, do everything that needs to be done. The longer, the better because my hair be conditioned. When I am done, I make the water a bit cooler and wash out the conditioner.

My regular conditioner is the pink Maui Moisture, which is silicone free and affordable. I use the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Masque as my deep conditioner and have been loving it. It smells good, a little goes a long way and is affordable-ish. I use the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Yogurt protein treatment. Once again it, affordable and a little bit goes a long way, but I hate the smell (I am sensitive to smells). However, I bought it and will continue using it.

Now that my hair is clean and I have showered, I get dressed and then go clean the shower. My hair gets everywhere and I don’t want to leave a mess behind, so I make sure that I got the shower the same way before starting wash day. Plus since my mom would kill me if I left all that hair behind.

3. Styling

Clean hair, clean shower, its styling time. This step depends on whether or not I have anywhere to go in the next few days and how lazy I am. The options I have to choose from are:

  • finger curls: this is the most detailed and time consuming one. It also looks the prettiest and lasts the longest. It involves me having the patience to curl every single piece, which could take me about 1 & 1/2 hours to do.
  • denman brush: this is what I do when I want curls but don’t want I am lazy. Unfortunately, it lasts about 2 days, 3 if I am lucky. Basically I use a denman brush to define the curls.
  • add product and hope for the best: this is exactly what it sounds like. I add the product and hope for the best. Honestly, I will be lucky for it to last the day.
  • the regret: anything that makes my hair a tangled mess that I have to deal with on the next wash day
  • twist: lately, I have been doing that because I have no where to go and no one to see me. It keeps my hair protected and moisturized. Also it has nice waves when I take it out.

While styling my hair, I always have a spray bottle of water and metal hair clips. And it is going to take some time I have entertainment – music, podcast, tv show, movies.

In terms of products, I always use a leave in conditioner with my favourite being the Jamaican Black Castor Oil leave-in by Shea Moisture. But the Kinky Curly Knot Today is one of the most amazing things I have ever come across. Unfortunately mine finished and I refused to pay $40 for a bottle on Amazon. I also use a mix of a curl cream and a gel. AG’s Re:coil Curl Activator is the only I haven’t straightened my hair in over a year. Unfortunately, it is pricey ($40 for 12oz), but since I haven’t been leaving the house lately, I use something that is more affordable. Lately, I have been using the curl keeper styling cream which is around $20. When it comes to gels, I don’t have one yet. I loved the Deva Curl Ultra Defining gel, but with the whole scandal earlier this year, nope. Not taking that chance. I will say that the Zotos’ Biotera gel is pretty good if you like a hard cast.

4. Drying

Now that the hair is styled, comes the part I am dreading – getting it to dry. My family has very thick hair that refuses to dry, and after making fun of my grandmother for years, turns out my hair acts the same. So with drying, the options I have are:

  • the sun: the easiest way to get my hair to dry is by being in the sun for a while. The problem with this is that I don’t like being in the sun. I don’t like hot or humid weather. And the humidity makes it frizzy. Also, now that it is November in Canada, there is not much sun. Its dark at 5, cold and just cloudy. So that option is out.
  • the diffuser: a hair diffuser is an attachment that you add to your blowdryer. It easiest way. However, its loud, I am lazy and with me using cold air, it takes forever to dry. I don’t want to be standing with my head upside down for at least an hour trying to diffuse my hair. So I diffuse it until, I get most of the water out and then hope it finishes on its own.
  • go to bed with wet hair: basically what it sounds like. The reality is that I go to bed with wet hair w. If I have to wait until its dry, I will never go to bed. And yes it sucks, but I like sleeping.

All of that is my curly hair wash day routine. And yes I do those steps every single week or modify it depending on whats going on. As much as it is a pain in the ass and I am lazy, it has been what has kept my hair healthy. Even though I dread wash days and procrastinate, I will do it.

Although I do all of that, it does not necessarily mean my hair will come out perfect. I have bad hair days or I am lazy or don’t have the time. And honestly, then thats why messy buns and hair scarves is the most amazing thing to ever exist.


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A quirky, possibly crazy 22 year old talking about her life and doggie.

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