Curl Cleanse 101

Curl Cleanse_Ouidad1Here’s the scoop: the key to bouncy, tangle-free curls starts with a four-star cleanse. It’s the foundation that sets your curls up to shine 24-7. When done to perfection, a good shampoo halts dryness and snagging (two of the biggest wash-day complaints) in their tracks. How do you make your next wash a winning one? Get in the know with these pro-approved tips and product picks.

Know Your Frequency When it comes to curl cleansing, less really is more. While residue and dirt must be removed to prevent dehydration, curly textures—especially kinky ones—don’t need to be shampooed every day. Frequent shampooing can dry out hair, setting the stage for tangles and damage. Shampooing less allows your natural oils the time to travel down the hair shaft, lubricating and protecting your strands. As an alternative, consider using a co-wash a few times a week as an extra step toward creating luscious, moisturized curls. Co-washes are conditioning cleansers that remove buildup without stripping away oils.

Know How Much Don’t get overzealous with shampoo—a nickel-size amount usually works for all curl types. If your hair is longer, it may require a bit more product, but usually a dollop will do. When using a co-wash like our Curl Immersion Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner, apply three to eight pumps per section, then massage the scalp with fingertips and use a wide-tooth comb to distribute evenly through to your ends.

Know Your Technique Whether you use a shampoo or cleansing oil, gently massage the scalp with the balls of your fingertips (never your nails) to lift debris off the scalp. Be careful to avoid bunching or scrubbing hair together while shampooing, as this roughens the cuticle and causes weakened, frizzy hair.

Know How to Detangle With Care Hair is at its most fragile when dry, so do your curls a favor by shampooing, conditioning and then detangling—starting at the ends and working your way up toward the roots. We suggest you use a tool like our wide-tooth comb in combination with Curl Quencher Moisturizing Conditioner to detangle hair while still in the shower.

Know How to Cleanse By Curl Type Loose Curls Avoid heavy shampoos and conditioners that weigh down the hair. More often than not, weighty polymers paired with harsh ingredients, such as alcohol, have a drying effect on loose curls. Shampoo Rx: PlayCurl Curl Amplifying Shampoo is formulated with hydrolyzed silk proteins that expand the hair, making each strand look thicker by plumping up hair from within.

Classic Curls Use a pH-balanced shampoo to help keep the cuticle smooth and moisture-protected. A jagged cuticle allows moisture and healthy ingredients to escape. The result is malnourished, shapeless curls. Shampoo Rx: VitalCurl Clear and Gentle Shampoo works to keep the cuticle smooth while locking in moisture. Vitamin E and jojoba seed oil seal the deal as a bonus-level of nourishment.

Tight Curls Stick with moisture-infused shampoos that hydrate from the inside out and leave hair soft and manageable—a key for sidestepping brittleness and breakage. Shampoo Rx: Curl Quencher Moisturizing Shampoo saturates tight curls with vitamins A and E to cleanse, hydrate and restore internal weight—which is essential for optimal curl formation.

Kinky Curls Shampoo isn’t your only option. If you have kinky curls, a cleansing oil is a gentle alternative that rids kinky coils of product buildup without stripping moisture. Shampoo Rx: Ultra-Nourishing Cleansing Oil is made of coconut oil, which penetrates deeply and mimics hair’s natural oils to hydrate dried-out curls. The Ultra-Nourishing Cleansing Oil also cleans scalp and tresses, washes away residue and helps curls maintain softness and manageability.

Want more info on detangling with ease? Check out our Rake and Shake video for additional tips and advice for your curl type.

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  1. Buy cleansing products for tight curls, Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Shampoo.
    Curl Quencher® Moisturizing Shampoo
    $18.00 - $50.00
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