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How to refresh your curly hair between wash days?

Have you ever woken up, looked in the mirror, and wondered how your perfectly styled curls from yesterday transformed into a tangled nest overnight? You’re not alone. The good news is that with a few insider tips and tricks, you can breathe new life into your curls without needing a full wash and style routine.

The key to maintaining gorgeous, bouncy curls between wash days lies in mastering the art of refreshing, which involves a combination of the right products, tools, and techniques tailored to your unique curl pattern.

Why do curls go limp without refreshing between washes?

Curly hair is generally more porous than straight hair, which means it’s quick to lose moisture. As your curls dry out, they lose shape and can frizz. Add to that the friction from sleeping, the natural oils from your scalp, and the general wear and tear of daily life, and it’s no wonder our curls need a little pick-me-up between washes.

You have to identify which of the above is/are the culprit and adjust your approach to refresh your curls accordingly.

Must have Products and Tools for Curl Refreshing

I’ve experimented with just about everything out there, and these are the game-changers that have earned a permanent spot in my curl care routine:

  • Leave-in conditioner: It’s my go-to for adding moisture without weighing down my hair.
  • Curl refreshing spray: A few spritzes can bring life back to even the most stubborn strands.
  • Dry shampoo: My secret weapon against oily roots.
  • Volumizing powder: For when my roots are feeling flat.
  • Gel or Mousse: For the perfect cast to hold your curls in place at work
  • Microfiber towel: This gentle option helps reduce frizz and keeps your curl pattern intact.
  • Fine Mist Spray bottle: This humble tool is essential for dampening hair during refreshing. It’s like having a mini rain cloud at your fingertips.
  • Bobby pins: For pin curling and touching up specific sections.
  • Foam rollers or flexi-rods: When I need to add some oomph to flat sections, these are my go-to tools for creating defined curls.

Tried-and-True Techniques for Revitalizing Curls

Pineappling + Leave-In Combo Before Bed

By gathering your curls loosely at the top of your head before bed (which is what pineappling is), you’re essentially creating a protective style that preserves your curl pattern while you sleep.

To pineapple effectively, use a soft scrunchie or a silk scarf to secure your curls. Pair this with a silk pillowcase, and you’ve got a recipe for minimal frizz and maximum curl preservation. I’ve found that this method works wonders, especially when combined with a light misting of leave-in conditioner in the morning.

Finger Coil On lightly misted hair can work wonders

On days when certain sections of your hair need extra attention, finger coiling can be your secret weapon. This technique involves twirling individual curls around your finger to redefine their shape. I like to dampen my hair slightly with a spray bottle and apply a small amount of lightweight gel before finger coiling. The key is to work in small sections and be patient – your curls will thank you for the extra care.


Remember how fun it was to scrunch your hair with mousse in the ’80s? Well, scrunching is still a vital technique for refreshing curls, minus the crunchy, helmet-hair effect. When your curls are looking a bit lifeless, try flipping your head upside down and gently scrunching from the ends up towards your scalp.

I’ve found that using a leave-in conditioner or curl refreshing spray during this process helps to reactivate the curl pattern and add moisture.

Pin Curling + Volumizing Spray

For those stubborn sections that refuse to cooperate, pin curling can be a lifesaver. Before bed, take small sections of hair, twist them into tight coils, and secure them flat against your head with bobby pins.

In the morning, remove the pins and gently separate the curls with your fingers. I love this method for creating defined curls in areas that tend to get frizzy or lose their shape quickly. Finish with a touch of volumizing spray to rock that fluffy yet uniform coily look.

Bowl Method for your thirsty curls

The bowl method might sound a bit odd at first – after all, who thinks of dunking their hair in a bowl? But trust me, it’s a game-changer for adding moisture to dry, thirsty curls. Fill a bowl with water and a small amount of leave-in conditioner. Dip your ends into the mixture, then scrunch upwards. This technique is particularly effective for refreshing low-porosity hair that struggles to absorb moisture.

Good ol’ Rollers

Don’t overlook the power of good old-fashioned rollers. For areas that need a boost of volume or a more defined curl pattern, try using foam rollers or flexi-rods. Apply a small amount of styling product to the section, wrap it around the roller, and let it set while you finish getting ready. Remove the rollers and gently separate the curls with your fingers for instant volume and shape.

Tips to get the most out of your Curl Refreshment routine

  1. Start with a small amount of product and add more if needed. Over-saturating your curls can lead to weigh-down and greasiness.
  2. Low-porosity hair might benefit from the bowl method, while high-porosity hair may need more frequent moisturizing.
  3. Sometimes, curls look even better on day two or three. Don’t feel pressured to wash or fully restyle every day.
  4. Excessive touching can lead to frizz. Once you’ve refreshed, try to leave your curls alone.
  5. Work in manageable sections to ensure even product distribution and thorough refreshing.
  6. A fine mist can make all the difference in evenly distributing water and product. So invest in a decent spray bottle.
  7. Apply dry shampoo to your roots strategically before bed to absorb excess oil overnight.

In the end, refreshing curly hair is as much an art as it is a science. What works for one person might not work for another, and what works today might not work tomorrow. I’ve had my fair share of curl disasters, but each one taught me something new about my hair. But I’m positive that I have listed everything under the sun you might need to revitalize your curls, no matter the type, with a bang!

Gwenda Harmon

Gwenda Harmon

Gwenda Harmon, our esteemed hair stylist and resident beauty expert at Power Your Curls, boasts over a decade of experience. Her specialization lies in dispensing invaluable advice on hair care, styling, and beauty techniques. Frequently featured in reputable publications such as Yahoo!, VEGAMOUR, BestLife Online, and more, Gwenda is dedicated to helping individuals attain healthy, beautiful hair by sharing her wealth of knowledge in effective hair care practices.