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How To Choose Curly Hair Products On Washday For Guaranteed Success (Using The Washday Roadmap) 

When it comes to nailing your washday and wearing your natural curl pattern, it’s not as simple as finding that one unicorn product line and using the same thing every time. 

….the reason for that  is because curly and wavy hair is complex by nature and always changing. 

Your hair changes with age, humidity levels, the environment, and your hormones. 

So it’s important to approach each washday with that in mind. 

This is why my whole approach to curly hair care is to customize each washday and treat it as its own. 

When it comes to choosing products for your specific hair type, I’ve found there are typically a few mistakes people make that cause their hair to be frizzy and unmanageable. 

I am currently working on a mistake finder quiz that will help you identify which mistake you are making, and how to choose the right products for the best results!


You can click here to join my VIP list and be the first to take the quiz when it is finished.

How To Choose Curly Hair Products On Washday For Guaranteed Success (Using The Washday Roadmap)  

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning that at no cost to you, I may make a small commission on anything you purchase through my link. But don’t worry, I never promote products that I don’t believe in or truly love <3 This just allows me to continue publishing quality content regularly. You can read my full privacy policy here.

It’s important to always start your washday by assessing three main areas of your hair.

Step One: Do The Scalp Test 

Beautiful hair starts with a healthy scalp. So the first thing you need to assess on washday is how your scalp is feeling.

Ask yourself these questions about your scalp:

  • Is your scalp itchy?
  • Does your scalp feel irritated?
  • Is there any flaking going on?
  • Does your scalp feel dry?
  • Does your scalp feel oily?

How you answer these questions will determine which cleanser, treatments, and even stylers you choose. 

Step Two: Do The Bounce Test 

Next, you need to get a good understanding of the health of your individual hair shaft. You can do this by doing what I like to call the “bounce test”.

Simply pull down on a curl clump and release! When you release did it snap back up toward your head? Or did it stretch out and lay flat?

Repeat this method on several areas of your head. Sometimes you will need to treat sections of your hair differently. 

Make a note of how your curl clumps reacted overall and move to the next step.

Step Three: Do The Overall Look Test 

Overall, how does your hair look and feel and rate it on a scale from 1-10. 

  • Is there excessive frizz or normal frizz? 
  • Is your scalp feeling pretty good overall or in need of some TLC?
  • How does your hair look?
  • Does it have some shine or does it look dull and filmy? 
  • Is there product buildup on your hair?
  • Is your hair super tangly?

Again, each answer to these questions will help you create a custom washday routine to fit your hair’s needs today (which are often times different than last washday).

Step Four: Choose A Product In Each Category Based On Your Results

Now that you have a good overall understanding of your hair needs, it’s time to customize your routine.

As always there will be a level of testing involved so don’t get discouraged if it takes you a few washdays to create the perfect combination. 

The more you are aware of your hair’s needs, the better you will become at choosing the right products for it. 

Based on the assessment you’ve taken of your hair, choose one product in each category below to create your washday routine.

If you are having a hard time choosing the right products for you hair, you may want to check out The Curly Hair Products Made Easy Guide!

This guide includes everything you need to choose the right products including the method we are covering in this article.

CLICK HERE to check out the curly hair products made easy guide!

Cleanse 

When choosing a cleanser, choose one of the three typeslisted below.

Clarifying Shampoo: A clarifying wash is designed to strip buildup and residue from products, the environment and natural oils from your hair.

They typically contain heavier amounts of surfactants (cleaning agents) than normal shampoos.

If you are experiencing excessive frizz, dull looking hairs, product build up, itchy scalp, or an irritated scalp it may be a good time to use a clarifying shampoo. 

On healthy hair, a clarifying shampoo should be used once per month or when you are experiencing any of the above issues.

Important note: I always recommend following up with a deep condition as clarifying washes tend to dry out your hair. 

Co-wash Shampoo: A cowash is a conditioner based shampoo and is designed to cleanse the hair while cleaning it. 

This is a super helpful way to cleanse your hair while helping it retain moisture. 

If your hair is excessively dry, this is a good option for washday. 

Low-poo Shampoo: A low-poo shampoo is free of sulfates. Sulfates are the ingredient used to make suds in soaps which are harsh to curly hair, can dry it out, and even damage it. 

This will be a cleanser you use when everything seems balanced. Your hair isn’t particularly dry or oily and you aren’t having any problem areas.

All of my favorite cleansers and shampoos are listed in The Curly Hair Products Made Easy Guide. You can check it out here!

Condition (or treat)

Once you’ve selected the right cleanser for your hair, it’s time to choose a conditioner.

A conditioner is used to re-establish moisture (and sometimes protein) into the hair shaft. Since textured hair isn’t able to distribute natural oils evenly (due to its texture) it tends to lose moisture quicker than other hair types. 

When you choose a conditioner you will want to choose one of the three listed below.

Normal Conditioner: A normal conditioner is your typical conditioner that will establish moisture and shine to your hair. 

You can use this if everything seems balanced with your hair. 

This is a good option to use in conjunction with a co-wash since the co-wash is adding moisture to the cleansing process. 

Deep Conditioner: A deep conditioner is used when your hair is super dry, thirsty, and frizzy. 

This is great to have on hand during the hottest and coldest months of the year since they seem to really dry your hair out.

Treatment/Masque: A mask or treatment can be used when your hair needs a little TLC. 

Treatments can include protein treatments, keratin treatments, olaplex, or bond curl rehab. 

There are many different treatments that can enhance your curl pattern, reduce frizz, and promote shine.

Detanlge 

Detangling is necessary to allow products and stylers to distribute across your hair strand evenly. 

There are three main categories when it comes to detangling. 

Dry Detangle 

This is a method of detangling before you’ve done anything to your hair. It can be helpful since your hair is least vulnerable when it is dry. 

But depending on how intense your tangles are, you may need to add some water or product to help loosen them up.

Pre-poo Detangle 

This method works best when your hair is super tangly. 

A pre-poo is the act of preparing your hair for washing and detangling.

Simply apply a product with slip (this can be a leave-in conditioner, deep conditioner, or normal conditioner) to your hair and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then gently detangle your hair. 

With this method, your hair is already tangle free before you even start washing it. 

Wet detangle 

This method is done after you’ve applied your shampoo and conditioner. Use your fingers or a curl friendly brush to gently remove tangles from your hair. 

This works best for hair types that just need water in order to detangle.

Detanlge 

Detangling is necessary to allow products and stylers to distribute across your hair strand evenly. 

There are three main categories when it comes to detangling. 

Dry Detangle 

This is a method of detangling before you’ve done anything to your hair. It can be helpful since your hair is least vulnerable when it is dry. 

But depending on how intense your tangles are, you may need to add some water or product to help loosen them up.

Pre-poo Detangle 

This method works best when your hair is super tangly. 

A pre-poo is the act of preparing your hair for washing and detangling.

Simply apply a product with slip (this can be a leave-in conditioner, deep conditioner, or normal conditioner) to your hair and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then gently detangle your hair. 

With this method, your hair is already tangle free before you even start washing it. 

Wet detangle 

This method is done after you’ve applied your shampoo and conditioner. Use your fingers or a curl friendly brush to gently remove tangles from your hair. 

This works best for hair types that just need water in order to detangle.

Style 

Once you’ve taken the time to thoroughly assess your hair and customize a product line based on your curls current needs, you can move on to styling.

When it comes to styling, it is easy to get caught up in all the different products. But it’s important to not go crazy and overdo it. 

Stylers can be categorized in three main groups. Typically, I recommend choosing one styler from each group unless you have special needs regarding excessive frizz or hold. 

Leave in / Cream

Choose a leave-in conditioner or a styling cream to set the foundation of your hair. 

Gel / Mousse

Depending on the level of hold and definition you want will determine if you choose a gel or mousse. 

Generally speaking, gels offer more definition and mousse offers more hold. 

But it can totally vary from person to person and product to product.

Serum / oil

Always finish your styling process by breaking the cast with a serum or oil. 

Serums are typically a bit more lightweight than oils.

Dry 

After you’ve completed the styling process, it’s time to dry those beautiful locks!

Air Dry 

This is a good method if you are not in a hurry and want to take your time.

Diffuse

This is the best way to dry if you are in a hurry or keep a busy schedule because it gives you a little more control.

Hybrid Dry

Hybrid dry is where you combine both drying methods to your liking. This is how I almost always dry my hair. 

It allows you to get a few tasks done while your hair dries as much as you like, and then finish off by blasting your roots with a diffuser. This helps create volume as well.

All my favorite and recommended products are listed in my product guide as well as my entire process to nail your washday every single time.

CLICK HERE to see everything included in the product guide!

In Conclusion:

Rather than treating every washday the same, start each washday by using this washday roadmap and doing a thorough test of your hair to help you customize your washday. 

Do The Scalp Test 

Always check in with your scalp to see how it is doing. Remember that beautiful hair begins with a healthy scalp.

Do The Bounce Test 

Test your hair’s elasticity by doing the bounce test. This will help you determine if your hair needs moisture or protein.

 Do The Overall Look Test 

  Ask yourself how your hair looks overall and where it could use some improvements.

Choose A Product In Each Category Based On Your Results

Choose one product from each category to ensure that your hair has the right amount of hold without weighing it down or causing product buildup.

Xoxo

Curly Colleen 

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