How to Shampoo Condition Curly Hair

Posted by Elizabeth Alex on

Want to see how I wash my hair?

Have you noticed in my other videos that my hair is already beautifully clumped before I start styling?

Can you ever detangle during shampooing?

Want to avoid a lot of hair fall while you wash your hair?
... and 87 other questions answered here in this all-inclusive review tutorial! Watch this video first and then read the comprehensive article to learn more 

What Products were used in the video?

Giovanni Cosmetics Shampoo and Conditioner. Read Review here

Did I just use these two products in this video? 

No. I styled after 😍 I used my regular Curly Girl Movement Styling Milk and GelSince the owner itself has low porosity hair I believe these styling products will work for all hair porosity. But for this result, I also sandwiched a mousse between the milk and gel and my hair feels SO light! Love it. I’m testing the mousse from @aghair at the moment - more on this later. 

What was the styling technique employed for this result?


Ok even before we get into the shampoo stage, let’s talk about context. 

Washing Curly Hair in the Shower

Is it important to wash curly hair mostly under the shower? What if there's no shower?

Just for fun here are some stats - A standard shower-head uses 5 liters a minute, or 50 liters for 10 minutes. Also, shower-bath covers a greater surface area than bucket-baths and is more effective removing shampoo off your hair as you have water flowing down with adjustable force and less mechanical work. However, the shorter the shower, the more water you will save. Basically, the gentle trickles of the shower are much gentler on curly hair and scalp compared to the WHOOSH of the cupful of water your pour from the bucket 💥

Water is hydration for hair also (that's why it looks so nice when wet and weird after drying, sometimes) Water provides moisture to our fragile curly hair. However dry brittle curly hair (that’s neglected) can break easily when showered under much force. Be gentle with yourself...

Which is better? Washing curly hair upside down or right side up? 

If washing hair upside down creates frizz for you then do it right side up. If flipping back and forth gets your hair tangled then don’t flip back and forth. If you wash upside down, like in my video here then stick with it all the way until you finish. It doesn't take that long, It takes 2 minutes to shampoo and 3 min to condition . I recommend keeping a similar position throughout the cleansing process to avoid tangles. 

Detangling with Previous Products

If you notice, I finger-detangled FIRST with a little bit of water even before applying shampoo or conditioner.

Rationale: The water reactivated my previous wash days products (And I had refreshed my hair just yesterday too) and those previous products gave me slip to detangle a little bitTHIS shampoo helped me detangle all the way, it’s brilliant - I mean which shampoo would help detangle hair? Most commercial shampoos just dry your hair out but not the shampoos recommended here! Try this trick because it's literally squeezing the most out of your products before it goes down the drain... Paisa vasool!


My top tip is to get your curly hair super wet before working with your shampoo! Also, emulsify the shampoo in your palms first before you start working it in your scalp. Wait for the shampoo to lather in your palms. This way you can detangle better with less breakage while shampooing AND get even distribution better too! I apply Shampoo ONLY to my scalp and let the lather fall work in my hair.

Read more insightful tips from this post here ~


If your hair is knotty and you could never run your fingers through them in the shower, then remember tangles and knots are from a lack of moisture. Shampoo is only meant to clean. My hair is moisturized because of taking great care of it with prepoo, regular deep conditioning. If I only used shampoo and nothing esle t6hen I will have the same knotty problems as you! Curly Hair is just like that, naturally dry. 


Did you notice I raked or worked with the conditioner but away from the roots? I only apply shampoo/oil/cowash on my roots. I always apply conditioner and styling products away from my scalp so this way I achieve more Volume 😍 And LESS buildup! 

Do you not fully rinse out the conditioner? 

I took water in my palms and squished it in, not under the shower. Since my hair is thick and super dry and especially this summer, I found doing this method gives me juicy curls. It’s called Squish To Condish and curly girls have been doing this forever! Try it if you have thick and coarse hair also. I learned this from the original Curly Queen Asha Barrack - she's using Giovanni products here also - watch to learn more.  

A word of caution: If you have fine hair, squish all the conditioner out is all - do not leave anything in or doing so can weigh your hair down. This is NOT the bowl method. Bowl will have a bowl. This is called “squish to condish” STC method.

If you are unsure which rinse out conditioners are safe to leave in after STC - try and see, that’s the only way. 

How long do you leave the conditioner on before doing STC? 

I typically style right after STC. This dual-fiber cap doesn’t suck out all the water so my hair is still wet/damp before I style. I do not style on soaking wet hair. In case you were wondering where to get a bonnet like this from ❤

I always do my hair first and then shower. After Styling I Wet Plop to allow these products to saturate in my hair. Wet plopping also gives more definition. Learn more from Felicia's wet plopping video here (Wet plopping for Flawless curls - 1:21 )

Does leaving the conditioner in longer make any changes? 

No. Conditioners are only meant to coat your hair. If you want something to “deeply" condition your hair then there are products meant just for that purpose. The molecules of a deep conditioner are smaller so they penetrate your hair to do the work - to repair previous damage. The conditioner molecules are much bigger and are meant to stay on top. This is why conditioner helps you prevent future damage. Since I Dirty Dc outside of the bathroom, my showers are legit 5-7min only. 

Is it ok to have a conditioner IN your hair after the shower?

Using CG SAFE conditioners and leaving some in is ok for meMy dry thick 3b curly hair thrives with this method. You want to try to see what works for you. 

When in doubt, always find ingredients online and paste it on this website called “is it cg” to confirm safety. For future reference we only use, recommend, and sell CG products💥 Ok let's get it on! 

Can I use the conditioner as a cowash too? 

I understand curly hair gets frizzy and tangled faster than normal hair. Sometimes, without proper care even on day 2, hair seems to be unmanageable, already knotted up and all frizzy. BUT even in desperate situations like that do NOT rub your regular conditioner on your scalp!! No, please don’t. There are special cowashes formulated with cleansing ingredients meant for cowashing.

If you only want to focus on your hair, you can FLIP-RINSE-WORK with your conditioner, away from your scalp! On super lazy days I work with my conditioner to refresh sometimes, but never on my scalp!

Thank you for watching & reading!

Need more Help? Ask Liz here


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