Wash day. The two words together are enough to send chills running down the spine of anyone with curly, kinky, or coily hair. Wash day can be a major production and a serious time sink.
There are so many schools of thought and methodologies to select from when it comes time to build your routine that many coily-headed individuals are left wondering how in the world to piece together a plan.
Fortunately, we've done the grunt work for you and compiled a list of ways that you can use to make wash day easier if you've got coily hair.
From simple steps like switching to a silk pillowcase to learning new product application methods and routines, here are some ways that you can transform your next wash day into a relaxing display of self-care.
1. GET YOUR CONDITIONER ROUTINE DOWN
Whether it's because somebody loves it or hates it, conditioner is the root of countless controversial opinions in the world of curly and coily hair.
Some men and women insist their flawless curls are thanks to a conditioner-only approach to hair washing; some disparage deep conditioners, others rely on them to keep their coils shining and healthy.
No matter your opinion on conditioner, it has a central role to play in caring for your coily hair. Regardless of how often you choose to turn to conditioner to help tame your mane, here are a few ways to ensure you're reaping as many of the benefits of your conditioner as possible.
Because coily hair is prone to breakage and dehydration, many people choose to work a deep conditioner into their wash day routine.
These conditioners are chock full of oils, proteins, and lubricants designed to offer your coils improved moisture reinforcement, elasticity, and strength.
The frequency with which you deep condition your hair will depend on personal preference. Many individuals with kinky and coily hair opt to deep condition after every wash due to how fragile tight curls tend to be.
However, those who avoid partaking in activities known to damage hair (like swimming, color-treating their hair, or relying too heavily on heat tools) can often get away with less frequent treatments.
Detangling with conditioner
Coily hair should never be detangled while it's dry. It can lead to damage to both your hair itself and your natural curl pattern. If possible, opt to only detangle your hair when it's wet and full of conditioner.
Detangling while you've got conditioner in allows you to leverage the benefits of working with water, conditioner, and oils.
Water will help to clear your scalp and release shed hairs, making working through your locks easier. Hair is more fragile when wet, but it's also more flexible-- use common sense, be careful, and take advantage of that fact.
Copious amounts of conditioner will only make the process easier. The conditioner will create massive amounts of slip, which will allow you to work through stubborn knots much more easily.
As a bonus, the conditioner will also help offer your coils a little protection against the tugging associated with detangling.
Some men and women with coily hair choose to take a unique approach to washing and conditioning their hair. This method, known as co-washing, relies on utilizing a conditioner to cleanse the hair rather than a shampoo.
You can co-wash to varying degrees. Some purists vow never to touch a bottle of shampoo again, while more casual adopters opt to co-wash for one wash and use shampoo the next (or every few washes).
The process of determining which schedule works best for you requires some trial-and-error, but the science behind it is the same.
If you regularly experience stripped hair after a wash, co-washing may be for you. It's a great way to physically clean your hair without depriving it of its natural oils. In most cases, people with curly, kinky, and coily hair report that co-washing helps them gently cleanse their hair while leaving it smooth and moisturized.
2. THE LOC METHOD
The LOC method's creation has been credited to Rochelle Alikay Graham-Campbell of Alikay Naturals. Its name is an acronym that stands for "Leave-in, Oil, Cream" and, fortunately, it's exactly what it sounds like!
The LOC method consists of leave-in conditioner, oil, and cream steps designed to hydrate the hair and seal in moisture before closing the cuticle to prevent damage.
Coily hair is known to become dry and damaged without much prompting. It's actually the most fragile hair texture. The LOC method is a great way to give your coils a boost and seal in moisture, which helps keep damage at bay. The best part? You likely already have the products you'll need lying around in the cabinet under your bathroom sink.
The LOC method begins with an application of a leave-in conditioner. The conditioner is responsible for providing moisture to your coils (this moisture will be sealed in place in a later step).
Opt for water-based conditioners to avoid product build-up-- some men and women bypass a leave-in completely and actually just spray water onto their hair! Separating your hair into four to eight sections will help ensure that you distribute the product evenly.
Combing through your hair with your fingers is an ideal way to spread the conditioner without impacting your natural curl pattern too much.
Next, you'll apply a thin layer of oil to your hair. Ensure that your application here is performed with a light hand; too much oil can cause buildup on your scalp and hair and cause coils to go limp.
The oil will serve to lock in the moisture you added to your hair in the first step of the process. Be sure you do your research and select an oil that's ideal for your hair's porosity and curl pattern.
You're almost through! The final step of the LOC process calls for applying a creamy moisturizer to help finish off your hair care efforts. This moisturizer will serve to lock in the moisture you worked so hard to cultivate in steps one and two.
Depending on the cream you select, this step may also serve purposes in your styling routine. Some creams provide definition, others provide hold, and some do both or neither-- but no matter what additional tricks your cream has up its sleeve, it'll be helping your hair stay hydrated.
3. DO A LITTLE PRE-PLANNING
Managing coily hair is a science; it comes down to Einstein-level science and a lot of prep work. Most of the secrets to keeping coils manageable and gorgeous come down to preventing damage.
Styling, too, becomes much easier when you apply a little forethought to your routine. Below, we've proposed a number of steps you can take in advance to ensure your hair remains safe and styled after a wash.
Put twists in your hair overnight
Putting your hair in twists overnight serves a dual purpose: it'll keep your coils safe and ensure that they remain defined, making styling the next day a much easier process.
Simply changing the way that you put your coils up for the night could have a serious impact on your morning routine and your hair's overall health.
Twists are a simple and easy way to keep your curls defined and separated while they're up. All you have to do is assemble two-strand twists as close to the root as possible, saturate the area with a curling cream, and secure the twist. Remember: tightness is more important than sectioning.
Use a silk pillowcase or scarf
Pillowcases can cause serious damage to coily hair, especially if you're struggling to keep your locks healthy and hydrated. Using a silk or satin pillowcase, cap, or scarf is a great way to soften the blow that laying on your head all night can deal to your coils.
Bonus: retaining moisture is easier too.Silk and satin will give your coils the freedom to slip around rather than dragging over rough cotton. That translates to less frizz and fewer creases.
4. OPT FOR NATURAL
If you want your coils' natural beauty to shine through, you'll have to take a more holistic approach to hair care than you may be used to. Naturally coily hair doesn't respond well to efforts to tame it or change its appearance.
Learning to work with your coils, rather than against them, will afford you the ability to hear what they need and provide it for them.
Air dry rather than heat drying
Stop forcing your hair to come into contact with heat-- especially when it wouldn't happen naturally.
The damage that can build up over time from heat drying and styling is something that those with coily hair should avoid at all costs. Since your hair is naturally prone to breakage, there's no need to up the chances of damage.
It can feel like an uphill battle to dry a head full of thick, coily hair without the assistance of heat. Fortunately, there are a number of tips you can employ to help make the process easier (and faster) for yourself:
Shake and squeeze:
• Gently squeezing and shaking your hair helps release excess moisture from your coils
• Viewing your hair as a sponge helps make this process clearer
• This is a great way to remove the initial majority of water from your head and hair
Use a t-shirt or special towel:
• Regular towels are damaging to coily hair
• Use a microfiber towel or old t-shirt
• Squeeze the towel or t-shirt around your hair gently to remove excess moisture
• Avoid the temptation to rub your hair
Trust your hair
The greatest key to a successful wash day lies in one simple mantra: trust your hair.
Piecing together the perfect routine for your hair will involve making and rectifying mistakes. Each one of us has a unique head of hair; and if yours is kinky, curly, or coily, you've got to contend with numerous factors that your straight-haired friends don't.
Curl type and pattern, classic struggles with hydration and breakage, and temperamental hair are all a part of the game.
Try to stay open to trying out new methods for washing, conditioning, styling, and otherwise caring for your hair. What works well for one person may not work well for you, even if it appears that your hair is virtually identical.
Curl pattern not allowing you to twist exactly how you want to before bed? Assess the situation, fix the problem, work with your hair instead of against it, and move forward.
Caring for coily hair is a little bit of a love affair-- there's struggle and frustration and hard work, but they all culminate in a part of you that you hold near and dear to your heart.
The journey to (and through) loving your hair is one that should be treated like any other relationship in your life: with care, grace, and joy.
Looking to learn more about caring for your coily hair? Wondering whether it's possible to simplify your routine?
No matter your intentions, RevAir should be your first pitstop on your path to healthy hair. We offer a number of specialized styling products carefully designed to get your coily hair looking its best. From groundbreaking new technology to old standbys, RevAir has what you need to round out your hair care toolkit.
Four years' worth of product development has culminated in tremendous success. We're proud that our drive to create innovative and disruptive products that enhance and empower our customers' lives has come to fruition, and we're eager to share our knowledge with you.
If you're still wondering what your next step should be, there's no need to despair! Contact us today and a friendly, knowledgeable member of our team will be happy to speak with you and address your questions and concerns.
We're on a mission to ensure that curly-headed men and women around the world have the tools they need to transform their hair. No matter your knowledge, our staff is well-poised to arm you with the tools that you need for hair care success.