The Perfect Wash-Day Routine For Wavy To Curly Hair

Curl, curls, curls. In all of their windy, wavy, and spiral glory, each one is different—and so is each wash day. For example, one week, your hair may need more moisture. The following week, you may find your curls are craving a mix of hydration and protein. However, that doesn't mean your stylers can't be a tried-and-true mix that yields curls that last through day three each time.

As mentioned above, not all curls are the same, which is also true for curl patterns and textures. For example, 2C curls typically show up in an “S” pattern, while 3C curls can have a mix of two separate patterns that range from corkscrew curls to zigzags. There are also many different variations in between, which means creating an individualized product layering process once you wrap up your wash routine is essential.

Thankfully, Not Your Mother's has formulated a line of curl-specific haircare products with your unique hair needs in mind. The Curl Talk collection features products made with a blend of rice, keratin amino acids, and enzymes that help hydrate, condition, protect, and enhance curl retention. And we can't forget to mention that the budget-friendly line is formulated sans sulfates, silicones, parabens, and alcohol. So what does this mean for your curls? A wash day routine with products to style and refresh that can be mixed and matched to reveal beautiful ringlets from day one. Keep reading for more on how to work with these stylers for wash-day-worthy curls.

2C Curls - Deep Waves

2C curls are deep waves that have an “S” pattern to them. You might think that this curl type is primarily frizz-free, but in reality, these loose curls are still prone to frizz. To minimize this, start in the shower with Curl Talk’s Curl Care Shampoo. It’s a gentle formula that washes away product build-up from days of restyling. Plus, it hydrates and protects your strands while also helping it keep its shape so your hair feels clean—but never stripped. An added bonus: its fruity floral fragrance of jasmine and mandarin smells sublime.

Combating frizz also requires supplementing products after your shower that help smooth the hair cuticle—and for any curl type, a defining cream made to bust frizz from the start is an excellent styling tool. In this case, the Curl Talk Defining Cream, which is made with ingredients you'd often find in your shampoo and conditioners, is a great place to start. Applying this styler to damp hair (and if your hair is low porosity, soaking wet hair) will not only create a smoothing foundation but will also keep your hair nourished and hydrated.

3A Curls - Loose Spiral Curls

Curl type 3A is a loose spiral curl that’s prone to some shrinkage. Take the extra step in the shower to make sure your strands are well-hydrated by following your shampoo with the Curl Talk 3-in-1 Conditioner, formulated to work three ways — as a co-wash, a conditioner, or a leave-in conditioner, depending on your curls’ needs. It helps to lock in moisture thanks to its formula which includes Rice Curl Complex, a blend of rice, keratin amino acids and enzymes for soft curls.

Like any hair type, how you layer your products will depend on hair porosity and density. We want to offer a pro-tip for optimal results out of the shower: cocktailing the Curl Talk Sculpting Gel with the Defining Cream. Think of it as making your very own gel-cream styler. The gel helps to maximize control and sculpts curls, while the cream imparts definition and shine. As you work the combination through the hair, take your time to work from root to tip (preferably section to section) to ensure it coats each curl. Follow up the gel and cream with a layer of Curl Activating Mousse to set each curl.

3B Curls - Tighter Curls

3B hair is a tighter curl—think curls the size of a pencil—that only needs to be washed once a week to prevent overdrying. Because 3B curls are tighter, using more curl cream to add weight to each ringlet (depending on your hair density) can help minimize shrinkage. The Deep Conditioning Curl Masque has ingredients like sunflower seed oil and a superfood oil blend that your strands will drink up for the most nourished locks. Saturate your hair with this ultra-hydrating formula as a final step in the shower; simply leave it on for a couple minutes and then rinse out.

In addition, as we mentioned, washing 3-hair types too often can cause more harm than good, so having a refresher in the mix can help stretch your wash-day beyond day three. The Refreshing Curl Foam has all of the hydrating, frizz-fighting ingredients infused into the line— plus aloe vera—and can be scrunched into curls to bring them back to life or refresh ahead of restyling for 3rd or 4th day hair.

3C Curls - Tight Corkscrew Curls

Hello, 3C curls. If you have 3C curls, you likely have a mix of textures that vary from a corkscrew to tight zigzags. This means you must handle your curls with extra care. Because your hair is thick, working section by section. Applying a cream (for hydration), a gel (for definition), and a mousse (to seal) may be what your thirsty curls need to live their best life.

Similarly, you may need to apply more products to ensure each curl gets the product TLC it needs to thrive. Since 3C curls are tighter, using a deeply moisturizing hair mask in the shower (along with the added protection of a Leave-In Conditioner when you’re out) may be what your thirsty curls need to live its best life. A nutrient-rich blend of marula and avocado oils deposits moisture to hair so you can just spray and go.

Feel like you got your perfect wash-day routine down for your unique curl pattern? Head to to shop the full Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk collection!