I don’t follow any strict rules, but for curly and wavy hair both product selection and technique can make a huge difference to wash day results.
This technique is called 'praying hands' and it's used to distribute product evenly through the hair (although probably not this much product!). It also helps ensure maximum hydration (curly hair is generally dryer than straight hair).
Alternative application methods are:
- 'roping' (kind of like milking a cow 🐮 )
- 'raking' (shaping your hands like a claw or rake and dragging them through the hair)
Product should be evenly spread over hands and emulsified before starting.
This step is usually followed by 'squish to condish' where the product is gently squeezed into the hair to ensure that it is conditioned and hydrated.
Here are some other wash day options:
- Upside down styling
- Right way up styling
- A mixture of both
- Styling on soaking wet hair
- Wet plopping (shower cap after styling)
- Micro-plopping (excess water removed with hair-kind towel)
- Plopping hair (wrap in hair-kind towel)
(For the sake of scalp health I recommend keeping plopping to under 30 minutes.)
You can see why learning to look after my curls after 20+ years of straightening became an actual hobby that got me through last year.
It's so hard to recommend products and techniques. There are so many variables and factors include:
- Hair density
- Hair porosity
- Climate and dew points
- Hair health
I 𝙙𝙤 recommend a silk pillowcase, and my organic jersey cotton hair towels. Imagine ging through all this effort but limiting results by choice of towel!
It really is a case of experimenting (buy products in travel sizes) to find out what works for you, and even then, you'll likely have to change things up at different times of the year.
It sounds like a faff, and can feel overwhelming at first, but it becomes second nature, and honestly I would never go back. Fighting my natural hair is a battle I'm not willing to partake in any more.