Every curly girl needs a morning routine to start the day off right.

I don’t know about you, but I'm not a morning person. I have to get up an hour and a half before I need to leave because I move slowly before 11 a.m. Every morning means another day of getting ready and doing my hair. Now that I don’t straighten my waves very often, my hair doesn’t really take that long, which is a huge blessing. But that doesn't mean that I don't need a reliable morning routine that will give me awesome second day waves or even just an out-of-the-shower routine that will start me off right.

What You'll Need

Once I make it to the bathroom and either assess the damage or get out of the shower, my morning routine always includes a few things:

  • My diffuser. I don’t have a special one at the moment, but I am working on perfecting the DevaCurl DevaFuser.
  • My scrunching fingers. They appreciate nighttime so they can be rested in the morning!
  • Whatever products I’m currently using and convinced I can’t live without. Because I like to try so many new products, I don’t usually stick to the same thing every week. I’m a mix-it-up-every-week kind of gal.

Upside Down Styling Routine

Once I'm done rinsing out my conditioner, I flip my head over and use the microfiber towels or a t-shirt to start scrunching and get the first round of water out.

Doing this upside down is especially important for wavy hair because it creates volume and lift at the roots, and prevents that "wet dog" look a lot of wavies complain about.

At this point I take whatever gel-type product I'm using, and with my head still flipped over, run my palms over the top and bottom layers of my hair, and then scrunch again (this time without a towel). Then I get out, flip my head back over, and get ready for round two.

I then turn to a spray like KMS California Sea Salt Spray or John Frieda Dream Curls or some other spray that will enhance my waves that I haven’t discovered yet. Once I have sprayed my product in, I go back with the Aquis Mimi’s Diva Dryer Hair Towel and scrunch again. Using the microfiber towel helps reduce my frizz dramatically as well as get the extra water out so that I don’t have to diffuse for very long, if at all.

I then do my makeup, eat breakfast, and start catching up on some TV shows that I recorded the night before. Once I’m dressed and almost ready to go, I add something light like a mousse or foam, which at the moment would be AG Foam Weightless Volumizer to my waves. I then diffuse my hair for about five minutes, and then I am done!

And on the Second Day...

As many of you know, second day hair can be a little harder to tame because you might have made a mess of it overnight, or it just might not look the same as your fresh hair. Since I started using a satin pillowcase, I've noticed a huge difference in the mess of my hair when I get up, but I still need to do some taming.

To start things off, I get my spray bottle of water and evenly coat my head. I do not get my hair soaking wet by any means, just enough to make my hair damp. I then take a spray (one of the ones I use when fresh out of the shower) and spray that all over. I again grab my microfiber and start scrunching. If I feel like I need a little extra hold, I will use a mousse, but that typically doesn’t happen.

I stay away from gels and mousse on my second day hair because it makes me feel like I'm on product overload, and it also makes my hair extra crunchy.

If You Haven't Found Your Groove Yet

Establishing a morning routine took me a little while because I wasn’t exactly sure what method worked best. Now that I have created a routine, I cannot do my hair any other way. Even if you aren’t sure what products work best in your hair, it always helps to know a good order to do things in so your waves look the best they possibly can.

If you're in the process of going natural and have a lot of heat damage, I would recommend staying a way from the diffuser just for a bit so your hair can take a break from heat. If you need to diffuse before you leave, make sure you use a low heat setting. No need to damage your hair when you are trying to embrace your natural look!

This article was originally published in March 2012 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.

Wave On/Alyssa Hawkins

It sounds like to me, the reason you have trouble on the 2nd day is because of allthe product you put in the 1st day! If you would use a serum and a lotion or cream the 1st day,twist and diffuse,the 2nd would be a breeze!Too much product makes the hair hard on the 2nd day. chk me out-- off mane st salon Hendersonville TN

Aww. thank you! I've been looking for this for some time!

I noticed that some of your products contain cones. How often do you clairify & what do you use? Thanks.

I am SO happy to have found this! The "Curly Girl" book got me started, but she doesn't talk much about second-day hair, so your explanation is a huge help to me. Thank you!

Cwild!! I am SO glad to hear that! Ever since I discovered that this particular routine works best for me I have never left it. But I know exactly how you feel. I was straightening for so long just because I didn't know how to deal with my waves, and now that I do I love them! It's great to be able to wear my hair natural and actually enjoy it!

THANK YOU ALYSSA! For years I have never really known what I was doing with my hair. I've just been kind of guessing.. I wore my hair straight for a long time, and I've been naturally wavy for the last 5 years but had no clue how to get it to look good. It always turned out frizzy and dried-out looking. I just followed your morning routine and my hair looks GREAT!! I am so happy!!!! I finally know what I'm doing! Thank you so much.

Alyssa's routine sounds pretty much like mine, even down to waking up a good hour or two for me to join civilisation! I like the morning checklist (perhaps I'll print one off for my husband too!)