How to Wash Curly Hair – Best Shampoo and Conditioner For Your Type
How to Wash Curly Hair – The Right Way
Choosing the Best Curly Hair Shampoo and Conditioner
We asked Jason Hallman, a senior stylist at Ouidad’s New York flagship salon and Curl Advisory Board member (translation: he basically has a PhD in working with curls and texture), to walk us through the how to wash every curly hair type in the best way.
Which cleanser should I use?
“Choose a shampoo or co-wash based on the condition your hair is in,” Hallman says. “If your hair is dry, brittle, or damaged, go for an extra-moisturizing formula like Ouidad’s sulfate- free Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil.”
A cleanser targeted to your curl type’s needs is always a good bet—for example, kinky curls are best cleansed with a co-wash, while loose curls benefit from a volume-boosting shampoo and conditioner combo. For classic curls, the best curly hair shampoo and conditioner balances moisture; for tight curls, a more deeply hydrating regimen is ideal.
“If most shampoos leave your hair feeling too squeaky clean and dry, try Ultra-Nourishing Cleansing Oil – it has fatty acids that cushion your curls, and it’s great for all curl types (even fine hair).” –Jason Hallman, Ouidad Curl Advisory Board
How often should I wash my hair?
It depends on your curl type. Loose and classic curls can lather up two to four times a week. Kinky curl types can co-wash weekly, and deep cleanse with shampoo once a month. Tight curls fall somewhere in between – shampoo or co-wash every few days to a week. A good rule of thumb: If your curls feel dry, try washing less frequently. Washing your curls everyday can remove the natural oils of your curls and makes it difficult to retain moisture.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wet your hair. “Rinse and condition more often; shampoo less,” Hallman advises. If you work out daily, rinse and co-washing your curls instead of shampooing every day is the best way to wash your curls.
How do I wash curly hair without tangles?
“Don’t shampoo in a circular motion, which tangles the curls,” Hallman advises. “Instead, use a gentle back and forth motion, and avoid bunching up your curls.” Massage your shampoo or co-wash into the roots of your curls, and work the lather down the mid-lengths and lightly on the ends.
If your curls are very knotted, carefully break up the tangles with your fingers before washing your curls– but don’t dry brush your curls. “Because curly hair stretches so much, you’ll get less breakage if you detangle wet,” Hallman says.
What’s the best way to condition curly hair?
Choosing the best moisturizing hair products for your curls depends on how much hydration your hair needs, then let your curl type guide your application.
If you’re a loose or classic curly hair type, apply your conditioner from your hair’s mid-lengths to ends, “so you don’t weigh down the roots and create a pyramid,” Hallman says. If your curls are tight or kinky, you can condition closer to the scalp as well as through the ends.
Use your fingers to detangle as you distribute the conditioner, or if you have curly hair prone to tangling, comb through with a wide tooth comb or Ouidad’s Double Detangler. Let your conditioner soak in for between two and five minutes (“the longer the better,” Hallman says).
If your goal is elongated curls, don’t wash out all the conditioner from your curls – leave a light coating on the hair to add weight to the curls.
Watch how Ouidad stylists wash curly hair with the Advanced Climate Control® regimen: