Summer curls and waves can be a challenge – there’s heat, humidity, chlorine, sea water, more heat and more drastic temperature changes… Hair can take a summer beating, at times.

But, having curls and waves also come with benefits – like not having to wash them all too often. If you miss a day, it’s ok, your curls and waves can, literally, bounce back, without a lot of work. And for tough summer days, not washing, or conditioning only, can be a great benefit.

For those who prefer to shampoo and condition on a daily basis, as well as for those who don’t, this simple revitalizing process can be used for any type of curl or wave. It’s especially good for going from work to a dinner party or special event after a long day.

It’s also a wonderful process for styling curls before you go to bed, without having to wash them again.

The Revitalizing Process: Gel & H2O

That’s all you need to revitalize your natural curls or waves. It’s best to have a spray bottle for your water, one that mists or covers larger areas on your head. Select a gel that is kind to your curls. It doesn’t have to be costly, there are some good drug-store buys that are easy to find and won’t hurt your wallet. A few favorite gels for curlies and waves are: La Looks Gels, Biotera Gel (Biotera Glaze is great for finer hair or waves”>, Kinky-Curly Curling Custard, La Bella Sports Gel, Ecostyler gels. There are reviews of all of the products for your hair-type as well. You can find more gel recommendations here: Top 20 Curl-Friendly Gels.


  1.  Start by sectioning your hair into smaller sections (depending on your length you may have up to 4 or 5 sections”>.
  2. Clip each section and apply water with your water spray bottle to the first section, enough to dampen it.
  3. Then, use a quarter to half-dollar size of gel on your section, applying it evenly throughout the section.
  4. Sometimes it’s easiest to coat your hands with the gel for each section. Be sure not to rub your scalp or pull on any parts of your hair as you apply. Gently repeat on each section of hair then blot each section with a damp towel.

In addition, you may want to finger-curl some sections as you work the gel through.

How to Finger-Curl

Simply take a part of the section of hair you’ve worked the gel and water into and twist it around one or two fingers, depending on how wide you want the curl to form.

This process is perfect for the evening or the morning, just allow amply drying time. It’s best to allow revitalized curls and waves to air-dry.

Sleep On It

Use a satin or silk pillow case to sleep on, or wrap your hair in a silk scarf at bed time. If you have limited time, use a diffuser and gently allow the curls to dry.


Photo courtesy of @Flaviaesantiago

Styling It

Going from work to a dinner party? The above process may take a bit more time than you have to get from your office to an evening party. Therefore, you can try a simpler and quicker process by having your water on hand and a small bottle of gel. It’s always a great idea to keep some gel at work, or in your bag. Instead of creating sections, mist your hair lightly with some water. If you don’t have a water bottle handy simply use your hands. It’s not necessary to make your hair too wet.

Coat your hands with the gel and work it into your hair. Going from ends to roots may “plump” up your curls and waves a bit more and help style your hair at the same time.

Apply more gel as needed until you have finished. Use your hands to twist and coax any curls or waves back into place.

If you are headed to a special evening out be sure to have a few glitzy hairpins with you too. Add them to your revitalized curls and waves for a more elegant or “party-going” look.

MORE: Top 20 Curl-Friendly Gels

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