Let's say you have tight, frizzy, color-treated, naturally dry type 3c curly hair.
Your curlfriend has medium length, high porosity, type 2c wavy hair.
What happens when both of you decide to swap wash day routines out of curiosity? Nothing short of chaos, that's what. Ah, but that is the beauty of having a hair care regimen that is unique to a unique head of hair!
A battle between moisture retention and curl definition
On a normal day I typically reach for a moisturizing conditioner as well as a creamy leave-in conditioner as well as a milky, oil-based curl definer. Clearly I love moisture and hydration; these two things are key for keeping my 3c curls from turning into a frizzy, untouchable hot mess by the end of the day. With this regimen, I can also prolong my wash-and-go so that it does not have to be revisited until maybe day 4. And in the meantime, I can use a refresher in between for a little more oomph to texture that falls flat or feels parched.
The amount of milk and oils in my curly wash day regimen might have been a bit too much for Cristina's poor waves to handle. True story: after filming, she entered every meeting with a microfiber towel draped around her shoulders to catch the moisture overload from my regimen.
I go easy on the stripping my scalp of its natural oils -- nah, I need that. I do this by making sure to rub in a co-wash or a non-lather shampoo with the pads of my fingers for a solid two minutes to promote additional blood circulation to my follicles.
When swapping routines, Cristina suggested that I use a shampoo brush to promote even more stimulation. Unfortunately, this started causing my curls to feel dry and matted after rinsing them out. As a result, I had to get rid of a giant knot with a pair of scissors we found. Losing length is not fun, so I will continue to use my fingers, which also allow me feeling existing knots ahead of time and gently undoing them.
Cristina relies on using a diffuser to add more curl definition to her hair. While I might use one once a year, the curl-enhancing tool isn't one that my head of hair usually requires, as natural volume forms throughout the day by way of the outdoor humidity and sweat. It was fun, however, to learn Cristina's rule of thumb for diffusing: tilt your head to the side while holding it underneath for a few seconds on each section -- or clump -- of curls.
Moral of the story: our curls are unique.
Cristina and I had found out the hard way. Although the experiment was all in good fun, I lost a couple of good inches from the back of my head and Cristina had to enter every meeting with a towel draped around her shoulders. To my fellow curlfriends out there: the best piece of advice I could ever give is to understand what works for your specific hair type, including genetics, curl pattern, length, chemical or heat usage and lifestyle. Tip: if you are transitioning and still have not found the set of products that work for you, keep looking. The amazing thing about having naturally curly, wavy or coily hair these days is the vast selection of products, tools and even salons to choose from for the most proper and extensive healthy hair care.
Swapping wash day regimens from your curlfriend?
Consider these tips for a fun and hassle-free, scissor-free experience!
- Ask each other how to use products or tools properly. Since I wasn't too familiar with how to actually use a diffuser or a shampoo brush, Cristina was sure to help me every step of the way.
- Make sure your curlfriend isn't allergic to any ingredients in your holy grail. I was sniffling up a storm when I poured a dollop of Cristina's fragrant shampoo into my palm.
- If she enjoys the product, be a pal and offer it to her. Better yet, create a two-way consolation prize at the end of the wash day challenge by swapping a holy grail for the other to try.
Want to watch the madness that ensued when Cristina and Devri swapped wash days?
Of course you do.
Check out this and other NaturallyCurly videos on our YouTube channel.