Honest Liz’s Curly Hair Routine

Posted by Elizabeth Alex on

Do you have an oily scalp? dry hair? annoying frizz? I won't lie, curly hair care can be overwhelming; stressful sometimes to even think about washing it. So here's when a curly hair routine comes to play. Here's a video about the subject. For more in-depth information on a curly hair routine see more below. 

Having a routine gives you control. Every new life decision we make adds more stress in our life. So having a routine and knowing when to do our hair avoids a little bit of stress. Being in control gives us  confidence, no? Have you slept better knowing you’ve crossed off one important thing off your To-do list? Having a curly hair routine is not only great for hair health (we discuss more below) but its better for our mental health too!

  • Avoid washday anxiety and stress
  • Sleep better knowing you did what you had to
  • No panic attacks and resorting to "quick fixes" 
  • Making effective use of your time!

How to Set a Curly Hair Routine based on Your Personality

All of us have a routine; you just don't know it! Here is how you can streamline curly hair care into your routine. Think of it this way; there are two types of people in the world. The Type-A people who plan and Type-B (like me) who never do! I present two ways to set a routine below. So based on your personality, see what suits you best. 

  1. Pick Days -  I don't schedule my week but I wash my hair every three days regardless of how it looks. I pick days between washes and stick to that as a routine regardless of what day of the week it may be.
  2. Fix Days - If you are a stickler for schedules then fix two days in a week to wash your hair. For example, my friend Laura Marie Smith washes her hair every Sunday and Wednesday with no refreshes in between! (Goals!!)

Two Kinds of Washday

These days it seems like there's not enough time for self-care. Well, with my three children, online consultations, curly hair salon in Pune, handling my Instagram pages at least I don't. So to make my curl hair care fit into my crazy busy life I divided my routine into two washdays -  a main and a quickie washday! If you like to fix days then a main washday can happen over the weekend, and a quickie during the week.

Pro Tips for a Main Washday

Curly hair is fragile and so it needs special care. Would you take your best silk shirt to the dry cleaners or pop it in the washing machine with your other clothes? Curly hair is like silk, its precious. I hope you give it that level of care and consideration too. 

Being inherently dry our curly can stretch and break easily sometimes. If you add too much moisture curly hair can feel gummy and mushy on other times. To achieve the right protein moisture balance your curly hair may need special treatments. 

My main wash day will ideally include these steps (not all at the same time, but still) I never mix two special treatments in one wash. It’s a main washday because these treatments need more thought and effort to carry it out. Timing is everything with special treatments. For the I-really-don’t-care-days or when your hair feels not-so bad, do a quickie washday! 

Pro Tips for a Quickie Washday

I allow myself a quickie washday with just cleansing and styling when there's not enough time for foreplay. Wham bam thank you mam - no special treatments on this day. But a quickie is only successful when I’ve done special treatments in the past. For busy bodies have a quickie one on busy weekdays. By eliminating sulfates and silicones, I can get away with just ACV rinse and styling on busy days. Oh yes, that's a quickie may not always mean a main washday. 

Considering Factors for Your Washday Schedule 

If you pick your days, give the number of days in between washdays the main consideration. Like me? I wash every three days regardless of how my hair or scalp feels. My postpartum scalp feels tender and soar if I stretch my washdays too long. As a general rule, most experts recommend washing your hair every 2-3 days. This will, of course, vary depending on your hair type. 

If you want to fix your days then I suggest pick a weekend for your main washday. Take 20 minutes out to do something just for yourself. Caring for our tired aching mind and bodies is so underrated these days. Some of us even feel guilty for even reading this! Yes you work hard all week. Sat under air conditioning for hours at a stretch. Stretched your curls out in that bun. Your worn out curly hair needs a bit of TLC. 

When Routine is Bad for Curly Hair

When I have a terrible main washday (oh yes I do have those also!) I may have added too much moisture or too much protein; a bad reaction from testing a new product or after fresh new haircut my curly hair becomes unmanageable. It just doesn’t behave right. During these special times I break my routine rules to wash and style my hair daily for five straight days! Logically speaking, anyone with wrong products for their hair type or using wrong techniques are in trouble. I mean if either one is out of whack then what you do or when you do it won't matter. Such a routine will not do anything for your curly hair.

A Curly Hair Routine Prototype

Tweak this based on your hair needs. These are just some ideas that have worked for me. If you can stretch more days between washes then that's ok too! 

Day 1: Sunday: start with the final wash.

To remove buildup from all the products you used on your hair during the week. All oil residue, dirt, and gunk from your hair needs to go! But why Sunday? Healthy curly hair looks better after wash days. If your hair looks good only on washdays then you have a problem mister! Besides, doing it on a Sunday allows you time to relax spend time on yourself, put on a face mask, get a pedicure, gather your bearings and prepare for the week ahead.

Day 2: Enjoy your second day hair or Light refresh

Refreshes are meant to make your hair look fresh (just like wash day) but without actually washing your hair. Day two or three is the best for most curly girls with healthy hair. If your hair dries out the very next day, then seriously consider switching your products/routine or Asking Liz for help! Here are a few combinations and ideas for a light refresh:

    • Homemade flaxseed gel on dry hair and scrunch.
    • Spray water lightly and graze your hair with Jojoba oil and scrunch.
    • Curl Cream or leave-in conditioner on dry hair and scrunch.
    • Fluff roots and scrunch with any light oil.

Day 3: A Full Refresh or Prepoo

It’s normal to wash your hair twice in a week but if you want to stretch a few more days then this is a great option. Wet hair with a spritz bottle and style, as usual, using the exact products you used on wash day. Wait. Why use a spritz bottle to refresh? Because we don’t want to wash away your natural oils on your scalp. Style as usual. Prepoo is what you do to your hair before-you-shampoo (or cowash) I use the Innate Life Mask so it's both prepoo and deep conditioning in one step! Use my code HONESTLIZHERE15 for a discount if you want to get some too!  

Day 4: Doing Nothing Day

Only you will know what is needed for your hair. But sometimes I want to let my hair be in its natural state. So I like to scalp massage and detangle your hair in the morning and leave it alone. Put it in a stylish bun or braid if you’re up for it. For this day sometimes, I shove all my hair in a stylish satin scarf and let it be.


    Moral of the story

    Schedule wash days!  I experiment with new products all the time, so I wing it depending on how my hair feels. If some products don't work for me, get my hair feeling weighed down or get a bad reaction on my scalp, I wash every 3 days. If everything goes well, I can stretch up to 5 days without washing.  

    Stretch more days between washes to keep your scalp healthy, and to encourage faster hair growth! If you travel you are exposed to the environment (or bad habits/products) then you have to wash more frequently. If you workout then check this guide here.

    If days loop perfectly and our heart beats in a perfect rhythm too, I hope you find your curly hair rhythm also. If you don't then you know where to find me! 

    Need Help? Ask Liz here

    Thank you for watching & reading!



    • This was a great read. Very informative and perfect for someone that is starting their curly girl hair journey or someone who just needs a refresher on the basics.

      Simply_yani on

    • Informative, interesting and engaging! Love you for putting this together. Makes Life so much easier! God bless you!

      julie joseph on

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