Here’s my top tips and tricks, and 7 hair styles to make your wash days last longer. Ensuring you look cute every day between washes. Rather than looking more and more like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards as the days go by.
Whether you’ve got curly or straight hair; long or short, wash days take time and effort, and are a bit of a pain in the neck – or back. Literally! We plan our week, days and activities around them. There’s a reason it’s an ironic, funny joke to avoid something by saying you “have to wash your hair that day.”
Take Your Time on Wash Days
My first tip is to take your time on wash day. I find this alone helps to make my wash days last much longer. And my hair looks better, for longer, on the days in between.
Use Good Quality Products
My second is to use good quality products, and that doesn’t necessarily mean expensive products. Some brands and products work better for me. For example, part of the reason I love Jessicurl products so much, is because I rarely ever need to refresh between washes. I’ve listed what products I’ve used for this wash day at the end of the post.
Day 1: Hair Down
Now, Day 1 can vary. I wash my hair in the mornings, so my wash day is my Day 1. However, if you prefer to wash your hair in the evenings, or at night before you go to bed. Then the following day is your Day 1. Whenever you choose to wash your hair, show off all your hard work, time and effort that went into your wash day and wear your hair down, if you can.
Day 2: Hair Band
Most people prefer to wear their hair down. But it doesn’t always look as good as the days go on. Part of the secret to wearing different hair styles to make your wash days last longer, is working with how your hair is looking and feeling. To make the most of the results from wash day, other than throwing it up in a pineapple on Day 2. Put on a cute hair band, Zazzy Bandz, head bands like these ones from Bizzy Crafts – you get the idea.
Day 3: Half Up
So you’ve got to Day 3. Your hair has been down for the last two days. The curls may be a little pulled out. Or maybe you’ve got a bit of frizz on the top canopy layers of your hair.
My favourite solution to this, is a half up – half down hair style. It’s also a great style to wear your hair if you want to let it back down later that day, evening or even the next day. It’s also a good option if you work out regularly and don’t want to ruin and pull out your natural curl pattern.
Top Tip: If you have shorter hair like me, wear your hair higher up in a half up – half down style. If your hair is longer, you can wear it lower down your head, and a little looser too if you like.
If you want a more stylish look, or to dress up this hair style. Put on a hair band, or use a satin scrunchie like these ones from Coorie Curls. I prefer to use the micro-sized Puff Cuffs for these half up – half down hair styles on Day 3.
Get 15% off Puff Cuff here using code CURLMAVEN.
Day 4: Ponytail or Pineapple
I’ll be honest, this is often my go-to style for most days between my wash days. It’s also how I protect my hair at night – which you can read more about in this post. A pony tail or pineapple.
If you keep your pony tail loose and high, you won’t pull the curl pattern at the roots. Which means, with a quick refresh, you can wear it down again that evening, or the next day if you want to. I use a mini-sized Puff Cuff, or my satin scrunchie from Coorie Curls.
Get 15% off Puff Cuff here using code CURLMAVEN.
Day 5: Banana Clip
Okay okay. This may feel like a blast from the 80’s past. But hear me out. I’ve been wearing banana clips in my hair for almost as long as I’ve been using mousse. I LOVE banana clips! You can buy them in my Amazon Shop here.
They’re great for throwing your hair up but still showing off all your curls. It’s also a genius way to put your hair up out of your face, without losing length. These are the best and strongest banana clips I’ve found for thick hair like mine. I just love the look of my curls cascading down my back or over my shoulder like a waterfall. Like the Puff Cuff, they don’t damage your hair either, because of the claw and clip function.
Top Tip: if you want lots of volume, put the banana clip high up on your head. If you want to maximise length, even on short hair; put the banana clip lower so the base of the clip is on the nape of your neck. See the difference in the pictures below.
Day 6: Bun
Day 6, it’s almost wash day. Your hair might not be looking it’s best, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rock a cute hair style! And still look perfectly respectable. A low bun will give a more sophisticated feel to your look, more sexy if you wear it at the nape of your neck with a few pieces or curls falling loose around your face, and a pair of hoop earrings.
A higher bun will make it more fun – and is often the most practical too. If your roots are getting a little greasy, or losing a little volume. Use a CG-friendly dry shampoo, like this one from Innersense.
This is a great hair style to wear if you work around food, or in a corporate environment that doesn’t embrace naturally curly hair. (That’s a whole other debate and issue that needs to be addressed, but we’ll leave that for another day.)
Make sure you don’t pull your hair too tight, or twist it tightly before wearing your hair in a bun. The secret to most of these up-styles for curly hair is to keep it loose. I use a mini-sized Puff Cuff and clip it around my loosely-twisted bun. A pair of earrings and/or lipstick will bring this Day 6 hair style from desk to date night.
Get 15% off Puff Cuff here using code CURLMAVEN.
Day 7: Top Knot
Perfect for the weekend when you’ve got to do the housework, the grocery shop and stand on the sidelines cheering on your kids as they play their favourite sport. Wait, what am I saying? My kids get so embarrassed when I shout and cheer them on. It’s not cool apparently. They impose a strict set of rules of no jumping up and down, no cheering, no clapping, no encouraging, advice, excessive joy, excitement or smiling; and definitely no waving! Please tell me this is normal?!
Either way, pair your Day 7 Top Knot with a cute head band, earrings and a bold lip. You’ll have a look that’s both cute and practical; as well as disguising greasy or gritty roots. This is my go-to look when I haven’t been able to wash my hair in the morning, and have stuff to do before I can get around to washing my hair. I use a regular hair tie, or a mini-sized Puff Cuff, which is perfect for my thick hair. Or if you want a pop of colour, a satin scrunchie from Coorie Curls.
Products used in this post: Innersense Pure Harmony Hair Bath // Pure Inspiration Daily Conditioner // I Create Lift Volumising Foam // I Create Hold Gel // Headband from local gift shop // NARS Audacious Lipstick in Annabella // Earrings from Mint Velvet
I hope you found this post helpful. If you try out any of these looks, please tag me on social media. I’m @curlycailin.ie on Instagram. You can also follow me on Facebook here. I’m putting more time and creative effort on this site so make sure you subscribe, if you haven’t already. Then you won’t miss anything, as I’ve lots of things coming up.
If you’re struggling with halo frizz, make sure you check out this post on what are the most likely causes you haven’t even thought of.
Or if root volume is your problem, check out this post.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the tips, advice and product recommendations. Click here for more information on my Curl Clinics™. A completely bespoke curl consultation service tailored to suit you and your hair. Designed to help get your waves and curls back and achieve your healthy hair goals. Or book in here!
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Need some advice. I’m growing out my long pixie it’s short on one side than the other. The long side is just above my jaw the shorter side is by my ear. I’d love to get 3 days out of my hair as I was it every second day as it’s.limp no volume. I have 2b curls and have started using shampoos gels and conditioner you have recommended. Can you recommend hairstyles while I’m growing it out
Hi Ailbhe, beautiful name btw. My name is Gabriella, not Cailín – don’t worry, I get that mistake all the time. Pixi cuts are really hard to manage while they’re still growing out, especially if it was shorter on one side. You want to grow it out, but still look cute but not style it in a way that’s going to damage or pull out the curl. I would recommend loosely pinning back the shorter side, in a side sweep half up style, until it grows long enough to balance out the longer side. When that happens, get a trim and shape to even up both sides. Hope that helps x
I need help! I just started the CGM… When I crunched out my cast, my hair was soooo oily and greasy, like it had loads of product in it.. I had to wash it again the next day! It was my first wash, using the cgm and I washed with baby shampoo to clarify and put in shea moisture conditioner, which I washed out (as fully as a low pressure shower can on my thick hair!)… I have low porosity hair. I thought I used too much gel, but looking at some cgm videos, I don’t think I did. What did I do wrong?? Trying the same thing again today but with much less gel. Help?
Hi Fee, so you maybe had too much product/conditioner still left in your hair before you applied your styling product. But also, I suspect Shea Moisture is the problem here. Those products are full of cheap quality, heavy oils and butters which will weigh your hair down, and make it look and feel oily and greasy. You need to use a different conditioner and swap it out for something that’s more botanical and light. I have a few posts on my favourite curly girl products and how to build a curly routine which will help you with that. Hope that helps! x
I think this is the perfect post to accompany the one about how to care for your curls when you have depression and anxiety. It’s easier to wear a headband or put my hair in a bun when I’m feeling anxious/depressed and it looks like I made an effort.
Thanks so much for these posts.
Hi Renee, you are so right! I hadn’t even thought of that. Thanks for pointing that out. I’m actually going to go back and link those two posts together. Have a wonderful day, and of course you are very welcome! I’m glad you find my content helpful. xoxo
Hi there! I LOVE the headband you wear in these photos, could you please share where you got it?
Nichole Stell says
Hello. I have 2c/3a baby fine hair. There is no way I can go 7 days in between wash days. I usually get 2 days and then my roots are looking greasy and I need to wash. Is there any product or technique that will help me spread out my wash days?
I usually wash my hair twice a week, so don’t feel pressured to go 7 days between washing it. If you suffer from greasy roots, check out Innersense Organic Beauty Dry Shampoo, it’s curly girl friendly!
I have heavy thick hair like you and length is just a little longer than yours after your haircut. When I try to wear my hair up, the bun or pony is so heavy that it pulls the top slick to my head and hangs in the back unless I pull it tight. Then I look like like I have an old lady bun. Ive tried using a medium sized clip under the pony to help “lift” it, but that doesnt work either because its no enough. Ideas?
Hi Susie, I would consider getting layers in your hair to lighten the weight of it. If you don’t like to wear your hair up tight, then I would use open bobby pins to hold your bun in place. They’re really long u-shaped pins. Stick them into the edge of your bun to catch a little of the hair/bun, and then twist them back away from the bun and secure into place. That’s what I do, if the bun isn’t staying in place, as I have thick hair too.
I also have thick hair and found a method; two points tails on top of one another and pull the lower one through. It looks like a banana clip, then I saw this post with a banana clip. There are a lot of videos on buns or ponytails from two or three ponytails. The weight of the hair gets spread out so doesn’t weigh you down as much, or give headaches.
Love, love this post! So super helpful. Thank you for sharing all your curly hair wisdom.
This is EXACTLY my hair style routine over the week! Do you refresh your hair regularly or just any other week? Love your curls and your website 🙂
Hiya, I actually very, very rarely refresh my hair. I put in extra time, effort and attention to my hair on wash days so I don’t have to refresh in between wash days.
I was so excited to see the puff cuff, it looks like a dream come true for someone trying to not ruin their hair with elastics!! Sadly when I went to purchase them it said they are no longer available. I am in the US, not sure if that is the problem, but do you have any suggestions? I am just starting the curly girl method and see how so many of my bad habits have taken a toll on my curls, making them merely waves. Thank you for posting so much about all of this, it has been a huge help and has answered a lot of questions for me. Still trying to figure out what to do to keep my hair out of the way while exercising though, the loose pineapple doesn’t last make than a few minutes for me due to my layers…
Hi Sienna, Puff Cuffs are still available, you can purchase them directly from the Puff Cuff website, https://thepuffcuff.com/discount/CURLYCAILIN and get 10% off using my affiliate code CURLYCAILIN10. If they are out of stock, which they weren’t when I checked a few days ago, you can get them on my Amazon store: https://www.amazon.com/shop/curlycailin.ie Hope that helps! x
Do you put products in your hair for day 2 onwards?
I don’t, I very rarely refresh my hair at all.
This like everything else on your website is very useful.
For these types of headbands that wrap all around your head (https://bizzybcrafts.com/), how do you stop them from slipping off the back of your head? I can’t get them to stay in place, whether I’m wearing a top knot or just my hair down. I’ve tried bobby pins but that didn’t work.
Thanks for any tips you have
I have Bizzy Bee Headcrafts stuff and I’ve never had them slip off. Maybe get the long scarf tie and then you can make it as tight as you want/need.
I would love to be able to go 7 days without a wash. My scalp gets insanely itchy after 3 days. Any tips on being to lengthen the time between washes.
Hey Mary, I don’t…and I’ll tell you why. I think that washing your hair twice a week is the ideal amount of time. I don’t believe it’s good for the hair or scalp to try and push wash days out longer and longer. The focus should be on a healthy scalp and healthy hair, not how long you can go without washing your hair, and suffering in the mean time. Hope that helps x