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Washing our hair is a necessary component of a healthy hair care regimen, but often we are not aware of just how fundamental it is to styling our hair too. How well we wash and condition our curls will reflect how well it looks thereafter and if your wash day is not solid it can cause for bad hair days and tangles. Products are just as important but it takes more than what you put in your hair and a lot of how you put them in your hair to give off amazing second and third day looks so often we get questions like the one from Phoebe7  in our Curly Q&A.

Question

My curls are not nice the day I wash them! I always shower at night and the day after. My hair is so stiff and fragile, I can't style it, and my hair looks a lot better on the second or third day... I have type 3a/3b type hair. I already use sulfate and silicone free shampoo and conditioner and sometimes I don't use shampoo. I've been struggling with this for year and I really want my hair to look good consistently and not have to wait 1-2 days to feel good about it. Please help!!

Answer

With your curl type you are doing well with the sulfate free products on wash day but remember clarifying or using a shampoo with sulfates may be needed occasionally for buildup. You didn’t really describe how your hair was better on days 2 or 3 but I used to hate my hair on wash day too because it was limp. It never acted right nor looked good so I completely understand what you mean by this. Are you wetting your hair in the shower day and night? I ask because if you are not then maybe the steam alone is rejuvenating your curls for better second and third day hair. If you are rewetting it then your after-wash day routine may be what your hair needs so there may be a need for some tweaking on wash day to mirror more of what you are using afterward. Either way it seems your hair needs more moisture and tweaking on wash day. Here are some tips.

Make sure your wash day is solid

That just means you are cleansing, conditioning, and styling like a champ. That’s where I was lacking. Since I was so used to just concentrating on the washing of my hair on wash day, I neglected to see how that process affected the rest of my styles until the next wash day. The wash day is the foundation that your hairstyles thereafter must grow upon. I began to pay more attention to deep condition and applied styler correctly so that all my coils were gaining the benefit of my gel. That led to better second and third day hair and in turn I had much better styled hair on the first day. I allowed my hair to fully dry or dry 90% of the way before touching and treated my hair like I was doing more than washing but styling it too. If styling is just as important as washing then you will apply the right styler and the right amount so that it builds the character your hair needs for second and third day hair and in turn wash day hair is perfect too.

The wash day is the foundation that your hairstyles thereafter must grow upon. 

Try more moisturizing products

It may mean your hair is thirsty on wash day if it is benefiting from the steam of showers afterwards. If so, then try sticking to extra moisturizing shampoos, as your cleansing routine may be making your hair thirsty. Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo and Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo are great shampoos that will up your hair’s moisture levels. If you are rewetting your hair after wash day then that routine (whatever it may be) seems to be satisfying your hair’s needs so tweaking what you are using on washday may be all you need to do to get the hair you desire on washday.

Try new styles

Opt for updos, braids styles, and headpieces like headbands to get you through those first days if it is just a matter hair needs some time to feel like itself.

Give your hair back its character

Wash day means removing all the dirt, product, and (for some) character for those first few days. You can try a texturizing product like Ouidad Wave Create Texture Taffy to add some texture to your hair if it needs some oomph from the wash day blues. You can even use DevaCurl No-Poo Quick Cleanser that will clean your hair (without water) but add some texture to limp strands.