A natural hair blogger you follow posts about their day 3,4 hair on Instagram.
You don't see much frizz. Their hair is still bouncy and shiny. You're almost envious at their results!
Why doesn't your hair look like hers? Why is your day 2,3 results flat and hers look like they've been preserved so well?
If you relate to this incredibly common dilemma in the world of natural hair, this article is for you.
If you've been struggling with refreshing your wavy and curly hair, this post will arm you with plenty of tips and techniques that will leave you feeling empowered and excited to experiment.
Here's the most important thing to realise before we jump into this though, and one you should remind yourself often-
Not everyone can boast amazing results every day after day one and nor should you feel pressurised to do so.
This is not a competition, despite sometimes the community making you feel that way.
Not washing your hair everyday ensures your scalps natural oils are not removed and ensure a healthy growth.
But nothing is good in excess.
The point is to be inspired by other's techniques and results and try it to see if it suits you while knowing that hair type, weather, hair length, porosity and even daily activities play a huge role in the results, not just the quality of products used to refresh.
But eventually, despite whatever you do, each day your hair will get frizzier and limper and that’s absolutely normal!
And when it’s not salvageable by refreshing them, it's time to start afresh and shampoo/cowash or clarify!
To find out your hair's limit, keep a note of how fresh your hair and scalp remains for how many days.
For eg, I know my curls last well for 3 days maximum. With my length and 3 A loose curls, travelling daily in the metro and often tying it up in a bun to concentrate better, 3 days is a good stretch.
Instead of feeling disappointed about this, I simply know that day 4 is going to be a wash day.
Make it a point to learn how YOUR hair behaves and create a routine based on just YOUR results.
Next, remember that the more defined and frizz free your results are on day 1, the less you need to worry the following few mornings.
Lastly, make sure you protect your curls each night or during a nap.
You can tie your hair into a loose bun or a pineapple and wrap with a satin scarf, cap or even sleep on silk/satin pillowcases to prevent frizz and tangles.
Now that you're prepped, let's get down to the different techniques on refreshing your waves and curls.
The Easiest Way To Refresh Wavy Hair is Using Water
Yep, just plain old aqua. Not only does this step leave you feeling fresher (especially for those who find not combing or not washing their hair everyday frustrating), water also reactivates the products that you applied on day 1 and gets the frizzy sections to re-clump.
The easiest way to apply water would be using a spray bottle and no, you don't NEED the fancy kind. A regular garden spray bottle will do. Just fill it with water and spray generously on the frizzy sections.
Then flip your hair upside down and with your fingertips lightly rub your scalp and fluff the crown.
I often change my parting each day too by flipping hair to the other side. This creates more volume on the crown.
Pro Tip- Some hair types, especially low porosity find just a spray of water will leave hair frizzy. In that case, be more generous with the amount of water. Skip the spray bottle and take palmfuls of water and drop it on the frizzy sections. Again, with some water in your palms, scrunch up sections of your hair gently. This is best done near a tap or wash basin. Low porosity hair will do better with this technique than just a few sprays which could leave water sitting on your hair instead of penetrating it.
Pro Tip- On day 3,4,5 where water is not enough, after spraying, take a small amount of leave in conditioner/conditioner/curl cream/gel in your palm. With your fingers or palms smooth it on the frizzy sections to get the frizzy sections to clump again. Remember being heavy handed with a product could lead to limper hair!
Using Mists/Refresh Sprays
There are some products in the market that are made for reviving your waves and curls. These are called sprays or mists and often contain some light moisturising ingredients that smooth down the frizz faster. These are also light enough that they do not weigh down your hair. Follow the same technique mentioned above. This works well for day 1 frizz and especially thin, light waves and curls.
DIY Refresh Mix
In your spray bottle, you can create your own DIY Refresh Mix. Simply fill it with 3 parts water and add 1 part of leave in conditioner or curl cream, whatever you have lying around. Even your conditioner will do. Mix it well and shake. You can also add a drop or two of a light oil/essential oil that will leave your hair shiny and smelling nice.
Spray it well on the frizzy sections, smooth it with your palms and shake the crown with your fingertips to create some volume and you’re ready for the day!
Some curly peeps find that directly applying a small amount of a leave in conditioner or curl cream on the frizzy parts gives them better results. Since there is no water involved, it is called Dry Refresh. It's also easier in the morning because you don't have to waste additional time drying your hair. This technique also works with very watery/liquidy lotions and even the crowd favourite DIY Flaxseed Gel.
Created by @marisascurls, a wavy-curly hair blogger, this requires you to wet your PALMS with water instead of your hair. Wet your palms and then add a dollop of either leave in conditioner/curl cream/gel and rub together so your hands are coated equally.
Then section by section use praying hands technique to smooth down frizzy sections. Remember to wet your palms and rub a drop of your chosen product between them before moving on to another section. This technique is excellent for those whom a simple water refresh or dry refresh leaves your hair frizzier.
Now, there is some controversy about this. Some don't consider this as a refresh routine since it involves you thoroughly drenching your hair with water, in a way rinsing out the previous product that's left over, then re-applying your leave in conditioner/curl cream/gel throughout your hair. Then according to your preferred styling technique, you simply smooth and scrunch, use a Denman or a narrow comb or a flexy brush or finger coil. Basically, repeat your styling routine without cleansing your scalp.
Now this technique should not be done if your scalp is in dire need of shampooing/cowashing or clarifying. Follow this technique only if there is no itchiness or discomfort.
What is the best product to Refresh?
After reading the above, you may be wondering if you should use a mousse, a leave in conditioner, a curl cream or a gel.
A mousse is the lightest among all and can give very thin or light waves the refresh they need without weighing them down.
A leave in conditioner is slightly more moisturising and controls frizz better than a mousse.
Curl creams are rich and creamy and are perfect for day 3,4 frizz on any hair type but can weigh down hair if applied too often.
Gels are slightly sticky but are great at redefining clumps and fighting frizz in humid conditions and do not weigh down hair like others.
I would encourage you to use all of these on different days and see what works better. This doesn’t mean you go buying all products in haste- do it one at a time.
You can also try it like this- use a leave in conditioner when the frizz is quite less, curl cream on the day 3,4 when you need stronger frizz control and just a gel when you need to go out in very humid weather.
There is no right answer, it all depends on your preference!
I hope this article has given you clear tips on how to go about refreshing your hair.
If you're looking for a frizz fighting curl cream to style and refresh, don't forget to check out our Curl Up Curl Hydrating Cream here!
ABOUT THE GUEST :
Pallavi Juneja, also popularly known as ‘thecuriousjalebi’ is a Delhi based curly hair blogger and owner of happy, bouncy & hydrated curls! Her work surrounding curly hair care has inspired Indian Curlies to explore the CG-Method and with her fb page “Ask Jalebi” she helps newbies and veterans alike with their CG journey.