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How to wash curly hair?

wash curly hair

How to wash curly hair?

Do you remember my How To Wash Hair Properly article? If you have straight or slightly wavy hair, you may want to check it out! Today it is time for curly hair to shine. Check how to wash curly hair and to keep its natural shape at its best.

How Is Curly Different From Straight?

Curly hair needs moisture and nourishment even more than straight hair. Usually, this characteristic is porosity-related, as curly hair tends to have higher porosity.

wash curly hair

Higher porosity hair loses moisture faster. Therefore, it is prone to get dry and frizzy easily. Curly hair has usually naturally raised cuticle, so it is important to use it for its benefit, not the other way round.

Curly hair not only loses, but also absorbs moisture better and faster. This is why you should strive to 1. provide moisture, 2. lock it up.

Shampoo or co-wash?

For curly hair, I would say that co-wash is often the best choice. However, not every scalp will appreciate that. As always, match the method to your personal needs.

Co-wash seems to be a good solution, as a more gentle method than washing with a regular shampoo.

I Choose Shampoo!

If you feel the need to use shampoo, try and compare SLeS and SLeS-free options and decide which is favored by your scalp. Oftentimes, SLeS-free formulas are perfectly fine to remove all the dust, sebum and other build-ups. Some scalps, however, prefer stronger cleaning factors, and Sodium Laureth Sulfate in shampoos makes no harm. As always, go with your scalp and hair’s preference and observe long-term effects. Be ready to adjust at all times.

I Choose Co-wash!

If you choose co-wash, it is extremely important to choose polyquat, silicone- and, preferably, protein-free products. Silicones used for washing hair will create build-up on scalp and hair eventually, leading to numerous problems: oily scalp, possible dandruff, heavy hair and so on.

Protein, on the other hand, may make hair frizzy and tangled, and lead to protein overload.

Ingredients to look for in co-wash formulas are: Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol.

Behentrimonium Chloride and Cetrimonium Chloride foam nicely, creating a „shampoo-like” feeling.

Cetyl Alcohol and Cetearyl Alcohol feel smoother, but wash equally well.

A bit of oils, moisturizers like Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Aloe or plant extracts is welcome.

To Brush or Not To Brush?

Recalling my How to wash hair properly article, the most important step in washing hair is brushing it before washing, in the direction of washing.

With curly hair, depending on its curl structure, there is no need to brush or comb it before washing. Using fingers to separate individual curls is enough.

Remember: Curly hair is not supposed to be brushed or combed dry. If you have to, brush it while wet, after applying a leave-in conditioner. Use fingers if its possible.

After 1-2 months of proper hair care of curly hair, you may be able to throw away the brush completely. Keep treating your hair well and you will see progress!


Depending on chosen product, use shampoo or conditioner to wash your hair. If it is shampoo, dilute it and foam first. If conditioner, apply small portions. Always start washing from scalp, and the more you get to the ends, the less product you apply. With shampoo, foam running down is usually enough.

Should I Apply More Conditioner?

If you use a shapoo, then obviously! If you co-wash, you can use a heavier formula, with more oils, for the second conditioning.

Apply the conditioner and squeeze your curls firmly. Leave the conditioner under saran/plastic wrap or do the plopping.


Plopping is optional, but highly adviseable. Use an old, cotton T-shirt and wrap it around your head to get the streetfigter look. Leave the conditioner for 10-30 minutes, then rinse and apply an optional drop of leave-in or style with linseed gel.

Remember: leave-in conditioners are no differen to non-leave-in. It is just about how the producer labels it. You can use the very same product as both rinse- and leave-in formula, even in one washing!

No plopping

If you don’t have time, just squeeze in the conditioner, leave for 5 minutes while brushing teeth, and rinse. Then, apply an optional drop of leave-in or style with linseed gel.

Linseed Gel The Miraculous

The absolute must-have of every curly girl or boy. The best and the cheapest natural gel for styling hair and the best moisturizer. Use it on wet, rinsed hair, after removing excess water with a towel.

Squeeze it in to help your curls form better and leave it till it’s dry. Squeeze it again, breaking the dry layer.

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