By Sara, Hair Goddess
I’ve been thinking a lot about my first hair post for YCS, because I’m obsessive like that, and there is SO much to talk about when it comes to being curly, from products, to styling dos and don’ts, to how to score a great curly cut. I plan on bringing plenty of intel on products and styling in the months to come, so for today I will focus on every curly girl’s fingerprint: my basic hair routine (aka the Wash ‘n Go or WNG).
If you’re completely new to the curly game, I highly recommend you check out Naturally Curly’s guide to find your curl pattern. The methods and products that work best vary somewhat by curl pattern/hair type, so while this works very well on my 3B/3C hair, some variations are necessary for other hair types. Steps 1 & 2 are largely the same, though those with type 4 hair may want the help of a comb or tangle teaser for detangling. Products are trial and error for all hair types, and type 4s will want to consider a braid/twist out, bantu knots or a similar style for defined curls in the styling phase (more on styles in a later post). Feel free to let me know your hair type in the comments and I will include variations in future posts!
Step 1: Cleanse
No shampoo! Cleanse by co-washing with a conditioner of your choice. I like minty ones for a tingle, but you can use anything as cheap (or not) as you’d like. Just try to get something moisturizing or for curls. It’s also a great way to use up conditioner that doesn’t work out for detangling. As long as you make sure to scrub your scalp to remove product build up, you’re cleansing!
Every Day Shea Moisturizing Conditioner in Vanilla Mint (Whole Foods)
Step 2: Condition & Detangle
Your detangling conditioner should be heavy weight, very creamy and as moisturizing as possible. To find the perfect detangling conditioner takes a little trial and error (and if it doesn’t work out, see step 1). Wet your hair in the shower, and then ring the water out of your hair so it has room to absorb the product. Saturate with conditioner, clip hair up for 5-10 minutes, and then rinse about 95% out. Detangle by finger combing your hair in sections, beginning at the bottom of each section and working your way to the scalp. I divide my curls in quarters at the scalp, use a butterfly clip to pin it up and a heaping palm full of conditioner on each section.
Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner (any grocery store)
Step 3: Style
Keeping your hair soaking wet, apply your leave-in product (you can do this in or out of the shower, but you won’t be rinsing it out). Depending on your hair type, this may be oil, leave-in conditioner, gel, mouse or any combo thereof, based on your hair type, the weather, and personal preferences. Finger comb a generous amount through your hair, focusing extra product on the ends to keep them from drying and splitting. I divide my hair into quarters, emulsify oil and leave-in conditioner, and use about 1-2 silver dollar size amounts on each section.
Macadamia Natural Oil Leave-In Cream (Target)
Organix Penetrating Moroccan Argan Oil (most grocery stores)
DevaCurl Light Defining Gel (online)
Step 4: Dry
No towels! For a true WNG experience, air dry. Expect this to take 1-3 hours, depending on your hair length and density, the humidity and temperature. Once fully dry, flip upside down and gently shake hair for added volume. If you can’t or don’t want to have wet hair for that long, scrunch out excess water with paper towels or an old t-shirt. This also does wonders for clumping your curls and adding definition. Attach a larger defuser to your dryer, and start drying your hair in sections. I shake my hair lightly as I go, but too much touching/movement will cause frizz. Once your hair is about 75% dry, flip upside down and dry from the bottom. This will give lovely volume. Dry to about 90% to avoid frizz and air dry the rest of the way. Once completely dry, do the flip and shake described above.
Any of these microfiber towels will also work well in place of the paper towels or t-shirts
Here’s the WNG routine on my 3B/3C hair!