Ultimately, your hair-to-product ratio will depend on the density of your hair. If you have thicker or longer hair, it will most likely require a larger amount of product. But, again, beware of using too much or too many products. “It’s easier to add than to remove product out of your hair. I say use a safe amount (enough to cover the palm of your hand) first to see how the product reacts in your hair,” Redway suggests. She also recommends working the product from underneath layers of your hair so if you accidentally use too much, the portion of your hair that is weighed down is hidden.
Air-Dry If You Can
To dry your hair, you have a few options, depending on your schedule or what type of climate you’re in. If you have more time on your hands — as many of us do these days during the pandemic — and you’re located somewhere with warmer weather, air-drying is ideal. “The less heat you add to your strands, the better the health of your hair will be,” says Redway.
Air-drying allows the hair to set naturally with the same definition you achieved while applying your styling product. “The idea is not to touch the hair until it completely dries,” Dickey says. Leaving your hair undisturbed will protect its definition and avoid frizzing.
But if you’re in a time crunch, you can use what Dickey calls “the microwave approach” by sitting under a hooded portable dryer at home or carefully using a diffuser attachment on a blow-dryer.
Maintain Your Hair at Night
To keep your wash-and-go protected and your curls defined on days two, three, or four, you must have the right nighttime routine. You can put your hair in a pineapple, which is a loose ponytail on the top of your head, or if you have a shorter texture, you can put your hair in a bonnet. If sleeping with your hair contained doesn’t work for you, you can invest in a satin or silk pillowcase, which benefits not only your hair but your skin, too.
In the morning, grab something that will bring luster and hydration to your curls. You can use products like Carol’s Daughter Monoi Star Strength Leave-In Cream (Sturdivant-Drew says “it feels like butter“) or Miss Jessie’s Curly Buttercreme to hydrate your curls but also help smooth your edges down as you style it for the day. To give extra life to your texture, Dickey likes fellow stylist Vernon Francois’s Mist Nourishing Water, a conditioning water spray infused with a special blend of amino acids that help strengthen and refresh strands.