My Washing Routine for Curly Hair

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In today’s post I would like to show you my washing routine for curly hair. As explaining my whole routine would be a bit too complicated I have decided to do a video about it – I hope you like it!

In addition to the video, I put together some tips to help you improve your washing routine in order to achieve the best possible results (frizz-free curls!):

  1. Use a sulfate free shampoo to properly cleanse your hair and scalp. Do this by massaging your scalp – I’m sure you will love it
  2. Make sure to thoroughly wash out the shampoo, massaging your scalp helps once again – almost feels like a day at the spa:-)
  3. When you’re combing your curls, they should be dripping wet and covered with conditioner/detangler. You can either use a comb or you can finger-comb your hair. I always go for finger-combing as this way I am able to detangle my curls more gently. If this hurts too much, rewet your curls again and add some additional conditioner/detangler.
  4. If your curls need the additional moisture, leave-in a bit of your conditioner (at the ends) when you have finished washing your curls, however don’t do this if you feel like your curls could be over-conditioned.
  5. Add styler to your curls when they are still dripping wet and do not comb it into your curls if you have troubles achieving great clumps
  6. Instead, scrunch in your styler until your curls don’t release any more moisture!

Here is the link to the video, please note that some parts are on fast-forward, since I thought it would be rather boring to watch me detangle my curls for about 5 minutes. All in all, the washing routine took me about 10-15 minutes.

What does your routine look like – similar to mine or completely different? Let me know by leaving a comment -I would love to read from you!

13 Comments
  • Annie
    December 5, 2015

    Looks exactly like what I do. I only really “wash” my hair every 10 days or so. The rest of the time I either refresh my curls with a lavender spray or rinse in the tub with the shower/sprayer, use a curling cream and plop my hair in an old t-shirt until I’m ready to go. My hair is so much healthier now!

    • Sandra
      December 7, 2015

      That sounds great, I wish I were able to only wash my curls ever 10 days!

  • Heather
    December 6, 2015

    Hi Sandra! I love your blog and all of your tips. When I follow this washing routine and then stand upright I have great clumps throughout the top layer of my hair but the layers underneath on the sides and back of my head are all stuck to my head and tangled. If I pull them gently into place I am left with stringy curls on the inner layers. I have tried doing everything upright instead of upside down but then I lose all the volume. My hair is collarbone length and 3A for reference. Any suggestions??!!

    • Sandra
      December 7, 2015

      Hi Heather, you could try to scrunch out all the excess moisture and then immediately start diffusing without plopping first. If your curls are still too wet at that point, you could additionally scrunch your curls with a towel before diffusing. I suppose this should help with your volume and at the same time make sure your curls don’t get too tangled..

  • Vulcan Princess
    December 13, 2015

    Hi again 😛

    Does scrunching ever cause tangles? Sorry if this sounds weird, but are you able to run your hands through your hair once its dry without messing up the curls and causing the poofy dry-combed result? I feel weird saying, but to explain-I want my significant other (if I ever get one haha) to be able to run their hands through my hair without ruining it

    • Sandra
      December 15, 2015

      I’m sorry to say, but that’s going to be tricky: Whenever you run through your curls that causes the clumps to break up and thus get you a poofy and frizzy result. Try to keep your hands out of your curls as much as possible and unfortunately also those of your significant other. In case you don’t like that, just pull your curls up into a ponytail (or any other updo) whenever your curls have gotten too poofy!

      • Vulcan Princess
        December 25, 2015

        Ah darn. But that makes sense. Thanks for the reply! And good idea!

  • Rachel JC
    December 22, 2015

    Great video!
    I sometimes use the kinky curly detangler but mainly as a leave in. However I might try using it to purely detangle then rinse to see if my hair clumps better, and use my fingers instead of a comb. My hair is 2c/3a and fine but I have a lot of it and it gets frizzy so easily! 🙁 (I cringe every time my 2 year old touches my hair!!). My clumps seem to separate as my hair dries. (I plop then air dry).

  • Fauna
    January 11, 2016

    Do you use a diffuser after this routine to dry your hair? Tks.

  • Sandra
    January 17, 2016

    Yes, I always use a diffuser!

  • Louise
    January 25, 2016

    Hi, I’ve only just discovered my hair is curly so I’m still at the novice stage! I follow your routine but unfortunately the front of my hair always looks greasy. I’ve tried reducing the amount of product and this hasn’t helped. What am I doing wrong!?!

    • Sandra
      January 29, 2016

      Hi Louise, do you completely wash out the conditioner? I recommend you to do so since your hair look greasy (or some parts of it do). If you’re already doing that, I suggest using a shampoo with some sulfates in it – like for example the Low Poo Shampoo by DevaCurl. I hope this helps!

      • Louise
        February 2, 2016

        Thanks for this. I used Aussie miracle moist shampoo and Ojon conditioner and my hair is now much less greasy! Ironically, the product that gives me the most curl is my 3 day straight frizz ease, left over from my hair straightening days 🙂

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