As most of you are aware, I no longer shampoo my hair. Instead, I wash my hair with conditioner! It's the best thing I've done for my hair and I wanted to share the method as described in Lorraine Massey's Curly Girl. Note: If you want, you can use shampoo on your scalp, and not your hair if you're worried your scalp won't be as clean.
- Wash your scalp with conditioner (conditioner washing). Begin your routine by wetting your hair in the shower. Distribute conditioner on your entire scalp and massage your scalp with the tips of your fingers (not your fingernails). This rubbing action will loosen dirt and dandruff which can then be rinsed away. (Be sure to avoid silicones in your hair products, see the Warnings.) Thoroughly rinse your scalp afterwards. Depending on how dry your scalp is, you can conditioner wash, once a week, twice a week, or every day.
- "The curly-haired can leave their hair hydrated with natural oils and clean their scalps quite well by rinsing only with hair conditioner once a week or less. Rubbing the scalp firmly with fingers is enough to loosen dirt." - Lorraine Massey
- Distribute conditioner throughout all of your hair and untangle gently. Use your hands or a wide-toothed comb. Start by untangling bottom sections of your hair and then gradually move upwards. Let the conditioner sit in your hair for five minutes or so for extra moisture. You also may want to part your hair at this point with a comb. Part your hair to the side to prevent "triangle-shaped" hair.
- Do the final rinse of your hair with cool or cold water. This will decrease frizz and add shine. Leave some conditioner in your hair, especially in dry sections like the ends. It is fine to run your fingers through your hair gently, but do not comb your hair after this point.
- Apply products to your hair. Do it while it is soaking wet if you have curlier hair, but wait five minutes or so if you have medium to wavy curly hair. Put product in your hands and rub them together to emulsify. Then, smooth or rake the product into your hair by sections. A common method is to begin with a leave-in cream or conditioner to decrease frizz and then follow with a gel for hold and definition. (Using your normal conditioner as a leave-in is fine too.) However, use whatever type and order of products you like. Next, finger shape the curls by scrunching them (cup your hair in the palms of your hands and scrunch in an upward motion) and/or twisting individual curls around a finger.
- Gently scrunch your hair with a t-shirt, paper towels, or a micro-fiber towel to remove excess moisture, as a generic terrycloth towel will make your hair frizzy. You may wish to finger shape your curls at this time instead. Next, wait five or so minutes so the hair can permanently assume its current shape.
- Decrease the drying time of your hair by plopping. Spread an old t-shirt or micro-fiber towel onto a flat surface (such as the toilet with seat down). Bend over at the waist and position your hair in the middle of the cloth. With your head touching the cloth, drape the back section of cloth over your head. Twist the sides until they form "sausage rolls" and clip or tie them at the base of your neck. After 15-30 minutes remove the cloth. If your hair is frizzy after plopping lightly graze the hair with gel.
- Plopping works best for medium to long length curly hair. The curls usually become weirdly squished after plopping in shorter hair. See How to Plop Your Hair for more info. as well.