Wash Day Woes: How Long Should My Curls Last?
Posted on 06 September 2018
Washing your hair should be a pretty simple concept, but most curly girls will confess that they are clueless when it comes to figuring out how often they should wash their curls.
There are some curly girls who swear by the seven-day rule and will stretch their wash and go’s until the weekend. But there are also some curly cuties who will rinse their tresses every two to three days to make sure their curls will really pop.
So what’s a curly girl to do? How can you tell, how often to wash your hair?
The truth is, there are many factors to consider when creating your perfect wash cycle, and it can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out. Luckily, here at LUS we pride ourselves on educating fellow curlies on everything you need to know to keep your curls clean and healthy and we've put together a few things you should consider when deciding how often to wash your hair.
Dirt and Oil
Let’s start at the scalp. Your scalp naturally produces an oily substance called sebum. The sebum will travel down the length of your strands in order to moisturize, nourish, and protect your curls.
Over time though, sebum will build up on your hair, and attract dirt and debris from the air.
Depending on your scalp you may naturally produce more oil, which will drive you to wash your hair more frequently than ladies who produce less sebum.
Simply put, hair porosity determines just how easily your hair soaks up and locks in moisture. Low porosity hair repels moisture and is almost impenetrable, which makes it prone to product build up.
High porosity hair has normally endured some sort of trauma or damage and has gaps in the strands, which means that moisture flows freely in and out of each strand. This makes your curls susceptible to becoming dehydrated and damaged if you wash them too frequently.
Not sure where your curls fall under? Check out our blog all about different porosity types and see what the porosity of your curls are.
When first starting their hair journeys, the first question many curly girls ask is, What Is My Curl Type? Knowing your hair type is the first step in understanding your curls and believe it or not, can actually dictate a lot about how often you should wash your hair. It’s all about the structure of your strands.
Remember, the sebum that travels from your scalp down the shaft of your hair? The looser your curls, the easier it is for the oils to travel down the length of your hair and moisturize the strands.
Picture your curly hair like a winding road. The more twists and turns you have to take, the slower you need to drive your car. It’s the same thing with moisturizing your curls!
If you have wilder, kinkier curls, then we suggest you keep your wash days minimal and opt for gentle moisturizing cleansers. If you have wavy, looser curls, then you will probably want to wash your hair more frequently to avoid any build up.
Regardless of your curl pattern or sebum production, some products are just more prone to build up.
Silicones have recently gotten a bad wrap in the curly hair community for drying out our curls by blocking out much needed moisturizing agents like water. They get blamed for that awful filmy residue that collects on our curls and leaves them looking dull and lifeless.
However, silicones are not the only products you should avoid in order to decrease product build up. There are other sneaky agents like mineral oil, petroleum, and waxes that can build up on your curls.
The heavier the products you introduce to your strands, the more frequently you’ll have to wash your hair in order to restore bouncy, shiny curls. Realistically, in order to remove these heavy products you need to use harsh stripping agents on your hair but consistently washing your curls with strong chemicals can cause further dryness or damage.
Ideally, you want to phase out heavy products that weigh down curls and create build up, to lighter, healthier alternatives. A good way to give your curls a fresh start is to clarify your hair. This is an immediate way to clear away any build up and improve the overall health and look of your curls.
While some of us would love spending all day trying out hair products and playing in the mirror with our curls, the truth is, that's just not possible.
You need to craft a wash routine that is not only healthy for your hair but also fits into your hectic lifestyle. Factors like length and thickness can play major roles in how much time you need to carve out in a week for your hair care routine.
But don’t forget to factor in your workout routine! 💪🏼
Don’t believe the hype! You can definitely maintain an active lifestyle and a gorgeous head of curls. It’s all about proper curl maintenance.
If you are a curly girl that loves spin class or enjoys a dip in the pool, you may want to wash your hair a little more often to rid your scalp of excess oil. But again, how often you need to wash will differ from one curly girl to the next. Listen to your curls!
Curls soak up the smells around us like sponges. If you live in a big city with tons of pollution or work around fried food, don’t be surprised if your curls start smelling a little funky. A quick rinse with only water is sometimes enough to do away with some unsavoury scents.
Making it to Wash Day
We know all about the struggle to making those curls last 'til wash day. So we have come up with some tips and tricks on how to rock those next-day curls.
You can go to bed with a set of beautiful curls, only to wake up with a serious case of bedhead. Don’t panic! Grab your nearest spray bottle, and reactivate your LUS All-in-One by spritzing the hair with water and scrunching if need be. If you need a little extra help, add a few pumps of product and fluff! Check the full breakdown here.
Change it Up
Just because your curls are looking a little frizzier does not mean you automatically need to shampoo your hair. Experiment with some creative hairstyles like updos, braids and ponytails to stretch out wash days and rock those curls in other ways.
Check out this awesome braided style we gave @thedelanoys on her Day 6 (say what?! 😱) hair!
If you want to avoid flat curls, try going to bed in a high ponytail at the top of your head, also known as, the pineapple. It will preserve your curl pattern while you toss and turn at night and in the morning you can remove your scrunchie and shake your curls back to life.
This is just one of many sleep hacks you can do to wake up with beautiful next-day curls. Want a few more? Check out our girl @whitneyannromeo and her many methods of keeping her curls crisp through the night.
Build Your Own Routine
Washing your hair is a great way to get your curls looking like new, but overdoing it can leave your hair dry and prone to breakage. We hope these tips have helped but keep in mind that the best way to build your own routine is to have some fun and experiment with it! Listen to your curls, they'll let you know what they want. 😘