This question can’t be answered by a simple yes or no, because it greatly depends on your curl type! Depending on your type of curls, leaving in too much conditioner can cause them to lose volume or rinsing it all could cause frizz.
I have read so many different advice about washing out conditioner that I felt lost when I was still new to embracing my curls. It took me quite a while to better understand my curls and know how much leave-in conditioner my curls need. To help you figure out whether you should wash out the conditioner completely or not at all, I put together a few facts.
Consider leaving in your conditioner, if:
- you’re new to embracing your curls after years of straightening. In that case your curls most likely are highly porous (read more about that below).
- your hair is highly porous. Porous hair has many little “holes” in it, that need the extra conditioner. You might even consider sealing with some oils.
- you have too much unwanted frizz. Keeping your curls properly moisturized is key to fighting frizz effectively.
- you have tight curls or coils. These curl types are usually seeking more moisture, because they tend to dry out faster than less curly hair.
Consider washing out your conditioner completely, if:
- your curls feel dirty/ greasy when you don’t wash out your conditioner.
- you’ve noticed that your curls hang down and don’t look bouncy anymore.
- your curls stay clumped, voluminous and frizz-free when you completely wash out your conditioner.
You don’t fit into one of the above categories?
That’s not a problem, it just means that your curls like it when you leave in some of your conditioner. There are various options to deal with that:
- Use a light conditioner (a leave-in conditioner) which you apply to your curls after combing them with your usual conditioner (and washing out the normal conditioner). Don’t rinse this leave-in.
- Rinse your conditioner and then again add some conditioner to your ends (which you don’t wash out). This can be helpful if you notice your ends being drier and frizzier than the rest of your curls. And also if your scalp has a tendency to get greasy.
- Do a deep conditioning treatment as soon as you feel that your curls are getting too dry. Other than that always wash out your usual conditioner.
As for me, I need to completely wash out my conditioner after combing my curls, because my hair is easily over-conditioned. But to ensure that my curls are moisturized, I usually treat them with a deep conditioner every other week.
Are you still new to embracing your curls and found the above information confusing? If so, you might find it helpful to take a look at my washing routine.