refresh

Image Source: @naturallycurly, of @quirkycurlsbylm

Are you one of the many fine-haired curlies who need to completely saturate your hair on a daily basis to get back your curl definition? Up until about a year ago, I was, too. I watched countless videos of perfect ringlets tumbling out of satin scrunchies four days after being washed and thought that either 1. a great lie had been perpetuated on YouTube, or 2. my hair was more difficult than other curlies’. It took me a while to realize my regimen was undermining my second-day and beyond hair attempts. If your refresh results are currently less than stellar, one or more of the following things is likely the culprit.

1. Your styling routine is too heavy for your hair.

There are two common recommendations that I see for high-porosity curls that tend to frizz or easily lose their shape: a heavier hold styler, or sealing. Both are good tips for creating brilliant, bouncy day-one curls, but the next day is a different story. If you use the LOC method, for example, to seal your hair, the following morning you will most likely awaken to hair that is both weighed down and frizzy at the same time. When you try to refresh, the product you use will not be able to penetrate the oil barrier on your hair, will lay on top of it, and leave you with weighed-down ringlets. Heavy, hard-hold stylers that form a strong gel cast can be problematic, too because all of the scrunching and picking required to make your curls crunch-free can lead to a loss of curl definition.

Hair fix: Lighten up on your routine by using just a small amount of water-based products. If your hair is in good condition, yet tends to get easily weighed down, you may do fine with a wash day that is comprised of shampoo, and then a cream-based leave-in. If you need a bit more hold, scrunch in some volumizing foam.

2. You are using a refresh product with too many oils in it.

Refreshers with oils listed in the first five ingredients on the product label can wreck your refresh. Besides blocking out water-based products and weighing hair down, they can cause scalp itching and flaking, as well as flat and greasy roots. Even if you just place the tiniest bit of oily refresher on your parched ends, it will find its way to your roots (especially if you tend to manipulate your hair throughout the day).

Hair Fix: Choose a water-based, light refresher spray that will provide you with a small amount of moisture and hold. Some great choices are:

3. You are starting the refresh on curls that are too open.

This is a common practice and it almost always leads to failure. If your hair is picked out and possibly frizzy before you go to bed, it has lost a significant amount curl definition and moisture. No matter how well you orchestrate your pineapple, when you take it out your hair you will have very little curl to work with.

Hair Fix: Moisturize your hair about an hour before going to bed. To create a DIY moisturizer, fill a fine-mist sprayer with 75% water and 25% leave-in conditioner. Mist this from the mid-shafts of your hair to the ends, and then use your fingers to detangle any large knots and tangles. Scrunch and shingle your curls back into shape. Allow your curls to dry completely, and then pineapple them or don a satin bonnet for sleeping.

4. You are sleeping on cotton pillowcase.

If you are sleeping on a cotton pillowcase it will suck all the moisture out of your hair, and rough up your hair’s cuticles leaving you with next-day frizz that no amount of refreshing will calm.

Hair fix: Get yourself some silk or satin pillowcases for a hair-loving slumber.

5. Your pineapple is stretching out your roots.

If you have longer hair, putting all of it up into a pineapple will leave you with a lot of fullness at the roots which is desirable. Medium-length or shorter hairstyles, or ones with higher-layers or bangs can be difficult to pineapple without tension. Tension equals stretching, which leads to hair with straight roots and curly ends.

Hair fix: Pineapple only the section of your hair that tends to tangle. For many of us, it is that section just below the crown. Gently pick up the curls, and secure them lightly with a satin scrunchie. The curls should just be resting inside the scrunchie. You should avoid your roots taut.

6. You have tried to use dry shampoo to freshen your roots.

I know that people use dry shampoo and love it. I have seen video evidence of it. It leaves my hair looking like I stuck my head inside a chimney. (I suspect it is because my scalp does not tend to get greasy.) Dry shampoo smells great, though, so I can see (or rather smell) why some users would enjoy it.

Hair fix: If after misting your hair with a refresher spray, it still needs a little bit of fragrance, lightly spray some rosewater at your roots.

7. You are fighting the steam of the shower.

Does your morning shower ruin your curls? If so, do you try to avoid this by keeping your hair in a pineapple or perhaps putting on a shower cap? While these methods can work for some of us, more often than not they can lead to frizz and flyaways.

Hair fix: Starting with hair that was moisturized the night before, spritz a refresher spray very lightly over the mid-shafts to the ends of your hair. Detangle your hair with your fingers wherever it needs it. If your hair is long and you don’t want to get it wet, put it up without stretching it. Shorter hair can be left as is. As you shower, the steam will open the cuticle. When you get out of the shower, apply some mousse to any curls that have become frizzy or lost definition using the praying hands method. Smooth, and then shingle those curls if needed.

What are your favorite refreshing techniques? Let us know in the comments. For more great refreshers to perk up your morning click here.