IMAGE: @nubiarezo

People with textured or curly hair know that attention to detail in a hair care routine can make a noticeable difference in the health of your hair. You trim as-needed, detangle ever so gently starting from the ends, maintain a clean and healthy scalp, and maybe even cover your hair at night to prevent snags from your unforgiving cotton pillowcase. But did you know there’s even an ideal way to apply products to your hair for maximum benefit? Master stylist, curl expert, and Rëzo cut creator Nubia Suarez let us in on the details of her “80/20 rule” for applying products to textured hair—a ratio of 80 percent water to 20 percent product.

Scroll down, and we’ll explain everything you need to know about how to use the 80/20 rule for maximum curl definition, according to Nubia. Nubia let us in on why water is so important in a hair routine, and which curl patterns this method works for. 

IMAGE: @nubiarezo

The Focus is on Maximum Hydration

Yep, you heard that right. When following the 80/20 rule while applying any product to your hair, only 20 percent of what you’re applying should be product and the rest should be water. For some naturals with particularly dry hair this might come as a shock, especially if you’re used to piling on ample amounts of conditioners and butters. But it’s good to keep in mind that while products help keep our hair healthy, water is going to give your hair the hydration it needs. Nubia uses this method and encourages her clients to do the same. “Our beautiful textured hair needs lots of hydration, and like our bodies, love a more organic, simple approach,” she says. This applies to your full routine--washing, moisturizing, and styling. 

The 80/20 Rule for Cleansing

“Using 80 percent water and 20 percent shampoo product, start at the back moving in uniform strokes to the sides, then moving to the top, stimulating blood circulation.” A pro tip: during the first shampoo, the shampooing should be so light that it shouldn’t really create foam! “During the second shampoo use the same ratio, and now that the scalp is clean and hydrated, you will see foam. At this point in motion from top to bottom, finger detangle or use a gentle teaser brush from ends to scalp. Make the shampoo uniform, then rinse evenly with warm water.” Nubia uses and recommends the hydration-focused Curl Control Shampoo by Rëzo Haircare. She then follows up with the Curl Control Conditioner using the same ratio!

IMAGE: @nubiarezo

The 80/20 Rule for Styling

When applying gels and creams for styling, do the same thing. And if you feel your hair is dry, try adding more water, not product. “The Rëzo gel is super hydrating,” she says. “Same ratio, 80 percent water, 20 percent gel. If the curls still feel dry, go apply more water and work the product until the section feels like seaweed. Work it evenly from roots to ends, continue in sections (usually 4) until you’re done!”

IMAGE: @nubiarezo

What Hair Type Does the 80/20 Rule Work For?

Every texture and type can benefit from using this method. “This amazing technique is good for all textures,” Nubia says. “What we do differently is in the choice method of drying, diffuser vs. hood dryer. For very low porosity, we use our incredible Rëzo serum to lock in moisture, then follow with the gel (a game-changer for Type 4). The end result is weightless, shiny, super soft hair.”

If you’re in need of some serious curl advice or maintenance, you can visit Nubia or another certified curly expert at Utopia Salon and Spa in Vineland, NJ, or Rëzo Hair Salon in NYC. All of the photos in this article feature Rëzo cut before and afters.

Do you incorporate a lot of water into your hair routine? Have you ever tried this method? Tell us about it in the comments below.