The Best Curly Hair Washing Tips

The Best Curly Hair Washing Tips - curlylife


As someone with curly hair, you know that washing and styling your locks can be a bit of a challenge. If you're not careful, you can end up with dry, frizzy hair that's difficult to manage. But with the right products and techniques, you can achieve beautiful, bouncy curls that are healthy and easy to style.

  • Curly Hair Washing Tips
  • Monthly Curly Treatments that Boost Curls
  • Tools to Avoid
  • AuBonacci Products
  • How Often Should I Wash Curly Hair

Curly Hair Washing Tips

Wash your curly hair with a gentle, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to keep your locks hydrated and looking their best. Avoid using shampoos that don't have some moisturizing ingredients or leave curly hair feeling dry and brittle. Opt for products specifically designed for curly hair, which will cleanse your scalp without stripping away moisture.

Curly hair as we know is a tad on the drier side naturally, so when shampooing, focus on the scalp; gently massage and let the shampoo rinse out throughout the ends. If I am washing frequently, I will often put conditioner on the ends of my hair and then apply the shampoo to the scalp.  I still follow with conditioner all over!  When conditioning, again, always good to focus on drier sections, generally from the ears down to the ends of the hair shaft.

  • Some say to avoid using hot water when washing curly hair, as this can strip away natural oils. Instead, use lukewarm water.  Really, your scalp will let you know if the water is too hot! It should be a comfortable temperature.
  • After shampooing, apply conditioner to your curly hair and leave it in for several minutes before rinsing.  Keep an eye on the directions for the particular conditioner you are using!  They will probably have the optimal time for their product, and you should follow that. More time is not always better!
  • Tangles and Distribution: Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to detangle curly hair while it's wet and conditioned- be gentle, add more conditioner to tough tangles to help them loosen. 
  • When styling curly hair, use products that are designed to reduce frizz and add shine. Again, you will want to distribute your products well- rake through with fingers, wide tooth comb, or grab your favorite Denman brush to help distribute to every curl!  Check the new AuBonacci Hair Line for some great results your curls will love. 
  • Air dry or diffuse.  I love the AuBonacci Styler for directing my roots and giving me some control of where my curls go!  Check out how diffusing helps curls here

    Monthly Curly Treatments That Boost Curls

    Curly Treatments that boost curls by the Curly Life Company

    Clarifying Shampoo

    Use a clarifying shampoo once a month to remove build-up from styling products. Aveda Rosemary Mint Clarifying Shampoo is my go-to. 

    Deep Conditioning Treatment

    Curly hair is prone to dryness, so it's important to add a deep conditioning treatment to your moisturizing plan. Some people enjoy this weekly, some once a month, or some adopt it in the drier month’s vs the rest of the year.  Play with it to find your sweet spot!  Try out different treatments!  One wonderful way to get all the benefit is to apply a deep conditioner to damp hair, cover your head with a shower cap and let it soak in before rinsing.

    Hot Oil Treatment

    A hot oil treatment can help to add moisture and shine to curly hair. Apply the treatment to damp hair, then cover your head with a shower cap and let it sit for the recommended time before rinsing. An oldie but a goodie: Alberto VO5 hot oil treatment. 

    Tools to Avoid

    Curly haired woman using a flat iron and damaging hair by the Curly Life Company

    High heat tools can damage your fragile curls.  Blow drying on high heat can strip the moisture from your hair.  Flat ironing or using a curling iron can cause damage to your hair follicles over time.  Plus, if you straighten curly hair, you know if you hit any humidity your curls are going to try to show up anyway!  Embrace the curly journey and get rid of the high heat tools.   I know some of you cannot see joining the curly journey on the daily.  I get it and it took me quite a while before I embraced it 100%.  So, if you are dying to curl or flat iron your hair, PLEASE make sure you are using heat protecting products to protect your hair follicles. Your curls will thank you for it!  Look for products that say they provide thermal protection.  Also don't forget UV protection!  We realize more and more the damaging effects of unfiltered sun exposure.  While we love it, we do need to keep SPF in mind for our skin, and UV protection in mind for our curls!

    AuBonacci Products

    AuBonacci Hair Care Products for curls by the Curly Life Company

    When washing curly hair, it makes a definite difference to use products that are specifically designed for curly hair. Your curls need you to help hydrate them and tame the frizz!

    AuBonacci Shampoo gently removes impurities from your hair and scalp while soothing and moisturizing your hair to support a healthy and happy head of curls.  Our shampoo hydrates as it cleans, protecting colored and chemically treated hair.  The results?  Improved definition for vibrant and frizz-free curls!  Also safe for chemically-treated and colored hair. 

    AuBonacci Conditioner hydrates thirsty hair with 11 botanicals while providing excellent slip for easy detangling, giving you boosted curls and reduced frizz.   Great for all curl types.  Safe for chemically-treated and colored hair. 

    Of course, when you are washed and conditioned and ready to style, check out this blog post to learn more about our styling products :).

    How Often Should I Wash Curly Hair?

    Woman getting curly hair washed by the Curly Life Company

    When it comes to curly hair, less is often more when it comes to washing. Curly hair tends to be drier than straight hair, so washing it too frequently can strip away vital moisture and leave your locks looking dull and lifeless.

    Generally, curly hair should be washed every three to four days.  However, this may vary depending on your individual hair type.  I am thrilled if I'm on a busy trip and my hair is looking great through day 5 with just refreshes!  I have also seen some people who do challenges to see how long they can go without washing their curls, and their curls can go either way- they may look wonderful because they naturally are more moisturized because they get oilier, or....they look scraggly and dirty.  Either way, I don't think I could take it!  I love how it feels to get a good wash!

    Dry Curls

    • If your curly hair is on the drier side, you may only need to wash it once a week.

    Oily Curls:

    • If your curly hair is oilier, you may need to wash it more frequently.

    Active Curls:

    • If you are on the go, to the gym, running, swimming, you may need to wash your hair much more frequently than you even want to!  In these cases, definitely try applying the conditioner from mid-shaft down to the ends of your hair, and focus the shampoo on the scalp, as described above.  And keep in mind, there can be buildup of product which will change your results.  If you are washing more frequently, then you are also styling more frequently.  You may need to clarify more frequently, as well as deep condition more frequently.

    Be sure to condition your hair every time you shampoo to keep it hydrated and looking its best. If your hair feels oily in between washes, try using a dry shampoo to soak up excess oil.



    Generally curly-haired women should wash their curly hair with a gentle, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. They should avoid using shampoos that don't have some moisturizing ingredients or leave curly hair feeling dry and brittle. It is best to wash curly hair every few days or once a week. If curly hair feels oily in between washes and you aren't ready to wash, use a dry shampoo to soak up excess oil. 

    We haven't touched on protein vs moisture in products.  A quick tip: If curls are too soft and losing shape, it may be too much moisture.  If curls feel very dry and straw-like, but you have been moisturizing, it may be too much protein.  Either way, do a clarifying wash and start over- it should make a big difference. It doesn't mean you have done something wrong- it just means you are learning to listen to your hair and it's needs.  Follow these curly hair washing tips to achieve beautiful, bouncy curls that are healthy and easy to style.

    Check out our blog post once washed and conditioned....the opportunities to love your hair continue! 

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