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Pictured: @curlswithkeish

Developed by Melissa Stites (a NaturallyCurly community veteran since 2009), the squish to condish technique introduces the importance of water and deeply hydrated hair at every step – especially during conditioning, a process previously thought to do the work all on its own. Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the popular method of doing the squish to condish, but if your hair doesn’t feel as soft when you step out of the shower as it did at the hair salon, you might want to try changing it up.

How to Squish to Condish

The original method consists of apply enough conditioner in the shower that your hair feels super slippery, and then squishing and scrunching water and conditioner into the hair for extra hydration. Here is Alyson Lupo demonstrating the technique on her waves.

How To Take The Basics And Make Them Work For You

At its core, the squish to condish technique is all about enhancing your hair’s hydration so that you can reduce frizz, encourage curl formation, and have healthier hair. Particularly for anyone with Type 2 waves or Type 3 curls, as they’re especially prone to frizz. So if you’ve tried the squish to condish technique in the past but didn’t see amazing results, we recommend trying it again – this time with a little twist.

1. Shampoo as Normal

Shampoo your hair as normal (or skip this step if it’s a co-wash day) and thoroughly rinse it out. In the market for a new shampoo for your curls? We’ve got you covered.

2. Condition

Apply a generous amount of conditioner as usual, taking care to make sure it’s applied evenly and spread throughout your hair. Your hair should feel slippery and silky. If it doesn’t, you either need more conditioner or a better conditioner for your hair type

3. Fill a Cup or Small Bowl With Water and Dump it Over Your Head

It might feel silly at first, but I promise you it’s worth it. 

Rather than tipping your head back under the water from your showerhead, try filling a cup or small bowl with water and gently pouring it over your head. Even just briefly darting your head under the shower head can quickly wash away too much conditioner.

4. Squish as Usual

With the water running in all directions, lean to either side and tip your hair forward, taking a moment to gently scrunch your curls up wherever the water runs.

5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 Until There’s No More Residue

You’ll likely find you only need to repeat steps 3 and 4 a couple times before your hands squish some of the conditioner and water out of your hair and come away clean, without any conditioner residue. It will probably surprise you how little water you actually need to wash the excess conditioner from your hair. 

Note: This is not the same thing as leaving some extra conditioner in your hair after a shower, but is more about not rinsing away all the conditioner you applied.

6. Enjoy the Feeling of Thoroughly Hydrated Curls!

With just the right amount of conditioner removed from your hair, you’ll find it feeling soft and almost just as silky as when you first applied the conditioner. And the crazy thing is that you might just find that you don’t need hair masks at all after that. Because there's a good chance you might have actually been over-rinsing your hair all along.

Have you tried the squish to condish method or another hair hydration technique in the past?

Tell us about what works for you – and if you’ve tried this new take on the squish to condish technique, let us know how it went!