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Second Day Ringlets: How To Style Naturally Curly Hair Without Washing It Every Day

woman with curly hair
In today’s world, it seems like shampoo is every hair obsessive’s worst enemy. First, we were told that shampooing too often was making our manes stringy and damaged. Then came reports that not enough washing was ruining our scalps and scaring off potential dates. So, what’s a busy, hair-conscious lady to do?

As with all the best things, there’s a middle ground between frantically scrubbing your scalp every night and ignoring it altogether. Curly girls, in particular, can’t afford to lose moisture but might benefit from semi-frequent cleansing. If you’re wondering how to style naturally curly hair without washing it every morning, we’re about to blow your mind.

To get the best tips for second-day wear, we called in Mizani artist and educator Jamal Edmonds. The pro stylist breaks down the best ways to hydrate, style, and protect ringlets for the prettiest day two style. There’s no reason to spend 30 minutes a day diffusing your hair in the name of beauty. Just trust us on this one.


What special needs does curly hair have?

While every head of ringlets is slightly different, there are a few commonalities to styling and care. Whether you’re dealing with a loose wave or coils, know that curly hair is often subject to dryness. All those twists in the strand can mean it isn’t so easy for natural oils to coat the strand, which can result in parched hair that breaks, snags, and frizzes.

When it comes to second day stying, focus on hydration above all else. Your ringlets benefit from gentle care, minimal exposure to external aggressors like friction and wind, and moisturizing product. Focus on all three to ensure your hair is in the healthiest-feeling condition for styling.

If you’re ready to tackle stying curly hair without washing it every day, read on. Edmonds is about to give you a master class in curl care.


Every great style begins with a wash.

Shampoo isn’t the villain it’s been made out to be, so you’ll have to re-train your brain. Although many of today’s formulas are much gentler on strands than they’ve been in past years, you’ll still need to balance out washing with retaining maximum moisture.

With that in mind, Edmonds recommends shampooing your ‘do once a week. If you absolutely can’t make it that long, make sure you’re working with a super gentle formula. Think of it like hand washing your delicates instead of throwing them into an industrial strength washing machine.

“If [my clients] are looking to shampoo twice a week, I recommend Mizani’s True Textures Cream Cleansing Conditioner—it’s a gentler wash perfect for in between shampoos,” Edmonds says. “When choosing your product, it’s also important to look for something with essential oils to add moisture to the hair, and something that's sulfate-free. Especially for color treated clients, you want to avoid stripping the hair of its natural oils.”

Duly noted. Edmonds also pays particular attention to clients’ choice of shampoo and conditioner. He recommends staying away from very heavy formulas, which can weigh curls down.

“You just have to find the perfect balance for each curl type,” he says, like the connoisseur of curls that he is. “The most effective shampoo and conditioner should be full of natural oils, be sulfate- and paraben-free.”

From the L’Oréal portfolio of brands, Edmonds’ holy grail duo is Mizani’s True Textures Moisture Replenish Shampoo and Conditioner. Formulated with argan, olive, marula, and coconut oils for hair that feels truly moisturized, this line packs a serious punch. Your curls will thank you for the extra love.

Once you’re set on the wash, it’s time to move onto beauty rest.


The best day two hair requires a little night one preparation.

Whether you’re dealing with a packed schedule or just trying to wean yourself off constant styling, a day will come when having beautiful second-day hair is of the utmost importance. Edmonds is right there for you in your moment of need, suggesting ways to style your mane the night before.

Remember: The golden rule of hair is that you’ll always want to be thinking in reverse. Start with the idea of your goal look and work backward to achieve it through styling and products.

If you’re going to sleep on your curls, Edmonds advises pulling protecting them by avoiding any style that crushes them between your head and pillow.

“Loosely twist the hair, starting near the scalp working your way to the ends then secure with bobby pins on the side,” he explains. “Pull curls lightly in a loose ponytail on the crown of the head then cover with a bonnet and sleep on the sides.”

While many of us are content to deal with minimal frizz sleeping on a cotton pillowcase can cause, those who hope for silky locks should invest in a scarf for sleeping hours. You’ll not only be fashionably accessorized in bed but also free from the unwanted damage friction can cause.

Interested in this method of securing your curls? Grab a packet of bobby pins and keep reading. Edmonds recommends working with one ringlet at a time to preserve your curls as close to their original form as possible.

“Starting near the scalp, loosely wind the hair around your finger to create a pin curl and secure it by making an X-shape with two bobby pins,” he says. “Use a satin scarf or wrap cap to keep [your curls] in place while sleeping.”

With any luck, you’ll create the perfect foundation for your second day ‘do.


Carefully reshape your curls for day two. You got this!

When your alarm goes off on day two, you can take a moment to appreciate the fact that most of the hard work is already done—when it comes to your mane, at least.

Start by unwrapping your scarf and detangling your curls. Be careful not to be too rough with your ringlets, however.

“Brushing or combing the curls will make the curls look frizzy and may create a different shape altogether,” Edmonds says. “Use Mizani’s True Textures Style Refresher Milk to refresh curls. It’s very lightweight while still providing conditioning and repair benefits.”

When in doubt, trust your mane to fall into place. The worst mistake you can make is fussing with it too much, according to Edmonds. Keep the curls out of the way if you body shower, as moisture can be devastating to second-day curl styles. Always use your fingers to shape your curls, never a comb.

If you find that sleeping on your hair has left you with a strangely flat section or two, don’t be shy about touching up the strand with a slim curling iron. Even the best of us have to fake it, occasionally. We won’t tell if you don’t.

Now that your day two curls are fully styled, head into your busy day with confidence. You’ve done yourself a favor—avoiding daily shampooing, boosting the health of your hair, and making the most of your precious free time.


Choose products that make it easy to be a curly girl.

Any professional will tell you that your curls are only as good as your care routine, which is why it’s so important to stay consistent. If you’re working with coily hair, you may find that extreme dryness or flaking at the scalp becomes problematic. All of these issues should mean an honest conversation with your stylist about the health of your mane.

When it’s time for your regular trim, ask your stylist about in-salon treatments that may be able to kickstart your curl routine. For an irritated scalp, a Biolage Scalp Care Exfoliating treatment may be able to ease woes. Those worried about dryness can benefit from a customized L’Oréal Powermix service.

Once you’re at home, keep up the curl power with a shampoo and conditioner geared toward your hair’s individual needs. We love Mizani’s Moisture Fusion Shampoo, which gently cleanses and conditions hair. The formula is infused with cupuaçu butter, argan oil, honey to leave hair feeling clean, smooth, and easy to comb. Try adding a mask into your routine, as well—Kérastase’s Discipline Masque Curl Idéal is a smart choice.


Get styling inspo.

Need a little inspiration about how to wear your curls on their second day? Look no further than these dreamy styles.


Curly Bun

What’s more beautiful than a voluminous ballerina bun? This quick style does double duty, making you appear put together while simultaneously hiding any weird flats that developed overnight. If you’re feeling really extra, tie a printed scarf in it for added panache.


Twin Afro Puffs

These twin puffs are the curly girl’s answer to space buns. Armed with a sharp part and a hair pick, you’re ready to own the day—even if you haven’t washed your hair.


Twist And Pin

No time to waste on an updo? Don’t worry. Twisting one section of hair back will create the illusion that you styled your hair from scratch.

Interested in professional curl styling advice? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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