The problem in achieving second day hair is a thorn in many curly girl’s sides. The dread some women actually feel when they hear others describe how easily they obtain 2nd day hair is discouragingly common. It seems so easy when you see the videos or read how-tos from articles on how to maintain not only 2nd day hair but 3rd, 4th or even for a full week! You feel you can do it too but if you are anything like me and my hair, then you know all too well that it is not as easy as it seems. 2nd day hair or hair that requires minimal to nothing done to achieve a lasting style the day after a wash is still a hurdle many curly girls are trying to jump over. Yes, we have seen the videos and yes, we have tried the nightly routines but when we wake up with a bird’s nest or flat hair one too many times we begin to scoff at the idea.  Whether you sleep wild or like a pampered princess, 2nd day hair is not as easy to achieve as some would have you believe.

Now, not all hope is lost. As a curly girl you already know you must think outside the box and if you have tried the pineapple, satin bonnet, satin pillowcase and even sleeping your head over the side of the bed then and STILL cannot achieve 2nd day hair then you may be in the same boat as our reader, Discoveringcurl, who posted the following question on our Curly Q&A.


I haven’t found a way to sleep without messing up my hair and redoing it in the morning, suggestions?


If you have tried just about everything and can still not obtain the coveted 2nd day hair then let’s clear up some misconceptions, come up with some super simple tips outside of what most of us already know and watch you too be allowed into the 2nd day hair club.

What is 2nd day hair?

Second day hair is simply to retain the hairstyle from the day before usually after wash day.  Curly Nikki describes it as “a style that lasts forty-eight hours and still looks fab!” That is about right and her response is spot on as well.

Solid foundation on 1st day hair

If you are wanting 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th day hair you have to ensure you did everything necessary on the 1st day. That means you needed to properly moisturize your hair to retain proper moisture levels and so your hair will not be dehydrated and frizz up or become dry.  If you are trying to achieve it after wash day: did you cleanse, condition, and DEEP CONDTION? I add that because there are still some curly girls skipping this crucial and necessary step to proper pH balanced, softer and moisturized hair. Deep conditioners also restore elasticity to the hair and strengthen it so it needs to be a regular component of your wash day.

Give your hair what it needs on the first day for perfect definition and moisture because trying to add it after the fact is also a reason why you may not be achieving 2nd day hair.  Our hair needs to not only soak in the moisture but to retain it so make sure to gently cleanse your hair, use an excellent leave-in conditioner and seal your hair with a great butter or oil. I also make sure to add gel even if I have nowhere to go because gel sets my curls just right so they remember to stay that way the next day.  Gel or another holding product will lock in the curls and should be applied after the leave-in and oil or butter.

Find the right protection

I cannot pineapple my hair for anything in the world.  Whenever I do it just sticks straight up, stretched to the point of losing my curls and I have to hear the various names my 14 year old son finds to describe my hair.  I have found the satin bonnet is not helpful nor the satin pillowcase so I have enlisted in the Loc Soc for keeping my hair in place without crushing my curls or stretching them to the point of frizz. There is no rule that states you must pineapple or sleep with a satin bonnet on your head. If you can find another product or technique that works then use it. Some can simply sleep on a satin pillowcase and be just fine so try a few different things to see which works best for you and your hair.

You may have to refresh

Yes, many curly girls refresh their curls in the morning and guess what? That is a good thing!  I know very few curly girls that can just shake and go in the morning. Even after I take off my Loc Soc I sometimes have to refresh my coils with my lavender and distilled water bottle mixture and lightly touch my hair with some leave-in conditioner.  It is perfectly OK to bring those curls back to life and even a quick steam from your portable steamer or the shower can often do the trick too.  2nd day hair does not mean no altering, adding or primping. It means not completely starting over with a new style or recreating the one you had. I never have the same curls from day to day but rather work with what I’ve got each morning and keep it moving.  That mindset has kept me from rewetting my hair in the shower every day for about a year now.

You can alter your style

Second day hair does not have to look exactly like 1st day hair. If you can salvage your hairstyle by slightly altering it then by all means do it!  A wash and go on 1st day hair is just as gorgeous as a ninja bun on the 2nd day or a messy bun on the 3rd day.  Do not fret over having to change up your style without having to do a serious make-over like retwisting or completely rewetting and starting over. Do not put too much pressure on having perfect hair and you will find your mornings, wash, and styling sessions less stressful.  It’s about finding a balance with hair care. We are not all alike nor will we all have the same hair care routines, techniques, or outcomes. Not obtaining 2nd day hair as perfect as the next curly girl is not the end of the world so rock your unique curls, maintain a solid foundation for moisturization and make that style your own!

Have you figured out how to achieve 2nd day hair? If so, tell us how below!