How to get perfect second day curls

All curlies know the problem of achieving great curls on non-washing days. What happens during your sleep are your curls stretching out hence they won’t look nice in the morning or even worse they’re totally poofy and frizzy. In this post I’ll share some tips with you to get perfect second day hair.


Achieving great second day curls begins before you go to bed! Put your curls into a ridiculously high ponytail (called the pineapple). Using a normal hair tie will be just fine (see the above picture).


When I get up in the morning my curls usually look a bit frizzy and chaotic, but thanks to the pineapple you can still recognize the natural curl-pattern.

Still I don’t like them the way they’re looking now, which is why I’ll guide you through my next tip step-by-step:

  • Take a bit from your favorite conditioner (one that doesn’t weigh down your hair) – I used the Shea Moisture Conditioner and mix it with water.
  • Add the conditioner and water mixture topdown to your hair (see the following picture)

2. Add the conditioner and water mixture topdown to your hair

  • When all your curls are covered with the conditioner/water mix start scrunching your curls. You’ll need to scrunch carefully as you don’t want your clumps to split up and your curls getting frizzy again

  • That’s all! The following picture shows my curls on a second day after putting my curls into the pineapple and adding some conditioner/water mixture

  • DZilla
    September 11, 2014

    Just saw your routine on Naturally Curly and decided to visit your blog as I’m also a 3A and am always in need of curl help. First off, your hair is gorgeous! In regards to second-day curls, the pineapple method doesn’t work very well for me as my hair is shorter (not quite shoulder length). Do you have any tips? So far, nothing has worked and I have to just get it soaking wet every morning or I look like a hot mess (flat on one side, Sideshow Bob on the other). Thanks in advance!

    • Sandra
      September 12, 2014

      Thank you 🙂 Have you tried french braiding your hair before you go to bed (this should work even with shorter hair)?

      Or maybe you should get a sleeping cap to keep your curls from moving and rubbing on the pillow too much. As regards to the pillow, it’ll also help prevent your curls from getting frizzy if you sleep on a satin pillowcase. I hope one of these ideas work for you!

    • Sara
      January 12, 2015

      I am the same!
      I have 3a/3b hair and the pineapple will keep the curl at the bottom of my curls but the top (closer to my parting) is total frizz disaster.

      I have to re-wet every morning and scrunch with some gel and then I’m fine.
      I’ve ordered a satin sleeping cap to see if that helps!

      • Sandra
        January 12, 2015

        Hi Sara

        Trying a satin sleeping cap sounds like a great idea! I’ve noticed it getting harder to get nice second day curls the longer my hair gets, because the ends are getting more tangled. So sleeping with a night cap should help..

        If you’re still having a hard time with frizz you could always try some nice hairstyles for second day!

    • Lida
      February 16, 2016

      I have 3A type curly hair and i got natural silk pillow case, it helps a lot.

  • Megan
    September 12, 2014

    I find that if I just sleep like normal and don’t do the pineapple but add a little of the conditioner water in the morning and gently scrunch, I get a good second or third day curl.
    I never thought about the conditioner water before this post! I love it! I use a product from LUSH and use wet hands and to the scrunching.

  • Laura
    September 13, 2014

    This is exactly how I do my hair!

  • Julie
    September 18, 2014

    I am so glad I came across your site! I had never heard of doing the pineapple before I read this, but I tried it and got good results. I do have a quick question: with the conditioner and water mixture, do you mix it in a bowl or just rub the conditioner in your hands and get them wet? Use a spray bottle? I’m one of those folks who needs details. Thanks!

    • Sandra
      September 18, 2014

      Hi Julie, thanks for your message! No, I just put some conditioner in my hands and then add water by just holding my hand under the water-tap. I’m not patient enough to mix the conditioner and water in a separate bottle. However I’ve heard this also works out really well – you’ll have to get a bottle, that allows you to then spray the mixture on your curls.

  • Janet
    January 13, 2015

    Hi Sandra,

    After you scrunch your hair with the conditioner and water mixture, do you let it air dry or diffuse it a little? I just hate leaving the house in the morning with my hair even a little damp. By the way, your hair is absolutely beautiful!!


    • Sandra
      January 13, 2015

      Hi Janet!
      Thank you 🙂 I only add very little water and conditioner to my curls on a second day, so my curls aren’t wet, just slightly damp (they’ll dry within 5 minutes) which is why I don’t need to diffuse at all. But I suppose you’ll be able to diffuse them until they’re dry, just be aware this’ll cause a bit more frizz and on the upside more volume!

  • Elizabeth
    July 20, 2016

    Hi Sandra,
    Thank you for this site. I have been using Curly Girl products like Deva Curl for several years. However, just recently I have started trying the Curly Girl method with less expensive products like Shea Moisture. It has been hard to find information that is not for the ethnic culture about this. I really appreciate you taking the time to share what has worked for you. Your curls are beautiful!! Aldo, I’m sure you probably already have this info on your site somewhere & I just haven’t seen it. However, can you tell me your daily routine like how many times a week you wash your hair and what you do on the other days? Thank you so much. 😃

  • eiahowa
    September 28, 2016

    I think this hairdo can be achieved with hair pins (not bobby pins, but the U-shaped ones). It would create less of a dent on hair that is easily “bent”.

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