View Full Version : More frequent washing (deep conditioning) or less frequent washing (less messing w/)?

April 14th, 2019, 03:34 PM
Where's your sweet spot?

Especially asking super-curlies (or other VERY dry-haired peeps) but interested in everyone's responses! Where is your perfect balance, between over-washing your hair and giving it treatments like deep conditioning, etc.?

As a tight curly dry 3c, I think of my Aspirational Hair Routine as being wetting/washing once a week, but I'm not able to do that. I try to stretch my wash days out to twice a week, but even that is hard. My curls are fuzzy, frizzy, and not fit for going out in public by around day 3-4.

So I'm doing the whole big routine (rinse, deep condition under heat for 30 minutes, co-wash and leave slimy with condish, LOC, air-dry) somewhere between 2-3 times a week. I think this is too much. Every time you get your hair wet, you damage it, right? Every time you go through the drying LOC twirling routine, you expose it to damage? Even just warm water damages hair, right? Old lace and all that.

But is there a point when more deep conditioning is better for the hair? Where's the balance?

Where's your sweet spot, dry kinky sisters? How much washing vs. how many treatments? My fellow 3c ladies, do you find that your hair grows longer the more you stretch out washings, or the more often you give your hair deep treatments? Where is your perfect balance between benign neglect and TLC?

April 14th, 2019, 03:48 PM
I wash whenever my scalp gets too oily. So once a week.

Curls or waves frizzing & sagging is totally normal, I would not start washing 2/3 times a week for that, it might actually make it much worse in the long run. :flower:

If you can go 2 weeks, by all means. I think less manipulation may be far better, if you can do it!

April 14th, 2019, 04:27 PM
I notice an increase in splits within a few weeks if I try to wash my hair more than once a week. I like what weekly DCing has done for my hair, and my ends are getting dry and flattening out more quickly than they did even a few months ago, thus I don’t want to go too long without a DC. So I wash or co-wash weekly. I spritz my hair with a 50-50 mix of aloe juice and water as needed between washes, often sealing with olive oil or JBCO afterward. I only use flaxseed gel to help with frizz around my forehead and bun, and rarely on my ends (since they’re usually in a bun. I live in a desert with naturally dry hair, and this is what works for me. Your sweet spot for washing might be different, so you might need to experiment. Spritzing does help though!

April 14th, 2019, 04:28 PM
2/3 times a week sounds way too intense for curly hair. Having a bit of texture and volume should keep the roots fresh longer.

I'd say wash enough to prevent dermatitis, greasy look, and smell. Treat washing as a necessary hygienic procedure that provides an opportunity to deep condition/oil your hair, as opposed to a deep conditioning ritual. Though my hair was never past my tailbone, so more experienced users might be better informed

April 14th, 2019, 06:40 PM
3c here and for me I cant go much longer than once a week without deep conditioning it (Add DC, apply heat for 3-4 min, leave in 30-60min). Some weeks will extend to day 8 or 9 but then my hair feels really dry and in need of moisture.

Regarding dryness of curls past day 3, what I do is I just sprits a little water in my hair and even apply some leave-in if it feels dry and then let it air-dry. Sometimes if my curls have really separated and look like a total frizzy mess, I just re-wet my hair thoroughly and apply curl cream and let it dry. This way I add some moisture back in and get definition back in my curls.

I don't deal with an oily scalp (in fact I sometimes add oil to my scalp) so my scalp doesn't need to be washed more than once a week.

I wouldn't want to go through the whole routine of wash day more than once a week. If your scalp doesn't need additional washing and you are just doing it for sake of curl definition/frizz, then just rewet and apply some conditioner or curl cream. That will get you another 3-4 days until your wash day.

April 14th, 2019, 11:51 PM
I have kind of wavy hair, not curly, but it is quite dry. I would recommend washing as your scalp needs it, like when it gets greasy/itchy/smelly/etc. I wash my hair every 6-10 days on average, sometimes longer, because I have a dry scalp. But my ends could definitely use more conditioning, so sometimes in between washes I will condition the length only without washing. I put it either in a ponytail or pigtails for this, usually loosely braided, and wet/rinse it in the sink so I don’t even have to shower. It definitely helps with smoothness and tangles for me. Maybe something along those lines could work for you, as well.

April 15th, 2019, 07:41 AM
Wow - so this thread is making me re-think my super-dry-hair routine as well! I definitely don't DC enough (have a hard time fitting it into schedule) so I need to work on that! But I've also been washing at least 2 times a week and sometimes 3. Was considering trying to do a mid-week scalp-only wash instead of a full wash, and just keeping it up so I didn't have to look at the rest.

HMMMMMMMMM. Thank you all for the input (and OP for the thread!)

April 15th, 2019, 08:43 AM
I think you should find the compromise between happy scalp and happy length. Personally, I have to keep the length tangle free and moisturized in order to keep away damage, and putting in products just doesn't cut it. The damage from washing is nowhere as bad as letting my hair dry out and knot up. So I would definitely not recommend stretching washes if your hair dries out and/or tangles in between.

Maybe you could do just a quick rinse and keep the big routine to once a week or so?

ETA: This might go a bit against the grain of usual curly hair advice (and keep in mind I'm just 3a/3b), but I actually find that using LESS product and keeping my hair contained keeps the length "moisturized"/ presentable for longer. For me the biggest frizz/dryness offender is gel and other hold products, it makes my hair look great for a day and the next day it's tangled, dry and gunky... but it also happens if I overdo the leave-in conditioner.

April 15th, 2019, 10:40 AM
I do not have curly hair, but as a hair stylist, I work with a couple of curlies. (My sister and dear friend esp.) When you're stretching your wash time, and your curls are frizzing everywhere, try taking a finger dip of your favorite oil, and finger through your curls, re-shaping the worst ones with some gentle wrapping or twisting depending on your style of curls. It also might be worth a try of just taking a finger-tip or two of gel and scrunching it through your damp length and ends.

For me, I just wash about 2 times a week. But I have thin, straight hair, so that works for me. I wish thee luck

April 15th, 2019, 11:29 AM
My scalp is my priority. Scalp should also be a priority in my opinion. I experimented with all kinds of washing methods over the past decade (except for baking soda, thank god I didn't mess with this ish), and that's the conclusion I came to. So I wash whenever my scalp needs washing, which is once every 3 days in my case. I just needed to figure out how to negate the drying effect of shampoo on hair, and so far it seems like things are going ok.

April 15th, 2019, 03:28 PM
2c/3a here. I wash my hair three times a week. I don't think wetting your hair that often damages the hair. Especially, if you're using luke warm to cool water, and I do my deep treatments twice a week. But after every wash I using a moisturizing oil.

Kat-Rinnè Naido
April 21st, 2019, 08:44 AM
I wash and DT once a week. This is my spa day. On the occasion I wash twice a week I would just rinse with water and squish the conditioner in as a leave-in.
Between washes I spritz some distilled water all over, lightly oil and add a little cream.
Sometimes when my scalp is iffy then I give my scalp a good brushing. (This always happens to my scalp around autumn. )
My hair is best well hydrated. I could never do DT's after each wash it would be too tedious. My hair is mostly in braids and clipped away or occasionally in a bun.

However every curly haired routine may be different. As scalp and hair health should come first. Also length of hair makes a big difference. For example chin length very curly hair would need to be dehydrated daily because it is more exposed to the elements. I noticed that if I let my hair go dry due to a hectic life my scalp will act up. Maintaining a healthy balance is best.

April 22nd, 2019, 10:22 AM
Also a 3c here. I prefer frequent washing. Shampoo every three days, condition daily and use a hair mask at least twice a week in the shower. I apply leave in and serum daily.