I’ve had people ask me if they have to shower in the morning if they want to follow the curly girl method or otherwise embrace their natural waves or curls. Nope! You can shower at night. It does take some additional planning, though.
I have always preferred to shower at night (I am not a fan of waking up earlier to shower and do my hair!) so I can share how I make it work! Well, this is what I do on ‘regular’ wash days anyway. Sometimes when I’m doing blog posts for this blog I will do my hair differently for the sake of a blog post.
How To Wash Your Hair At Night On The Curly Girl Method
On most wash days, I shower at least 2 hours before I want to be in bed. I could probably get away with just showering an hour and a half before I plan to be in bed, but I like to give myself a little extra time. I plop for 10 minutes, add my products, and then diffuse for about 40 minutes.
My shower itself takes about 20 minutes. So, in total, I need a little over an hour to shower, plop, apply products and diffuse. Not sure how to diffuse? I have a blog post sharing four ways to diffuse wavy hair.
I generally don’t like to diffuse to 100% dry as I feel that can add more frizz. So I diffuse until my hair is about 90% dry, and let it air dry the rest of the way. This is why I like to shower at least 2 hours before bed, to give my hair more than enough time to finish air-drying after I diffuse.
If your hair is lower density than mine, shorter than mine, or higher porosity than mine, you may not have to diffuse for as long. Or if your hair has similar properties to mine but you use a blow dryer that takes longer to dry your hair, you may need more time. I needed about an hour and 20 minutes prior to owning the Dyson hair dryer (click to read my review) which dries my hair faster.
After diffusing, I usually leave my hair in the cast overnight. I find that if I scrunch out the crunch before bed, I get more frizz and lose more of my waves and curls overnight. If I sleep in the gel cast, it helps hold my style overnight. Not sure what a gel cast is? I have a blog post that tells you all about gel hair casts & why you want one.
Anyway, giving your hair enough time to dry is the most important takeaway. Make sure you shower early enough in the evening to give yourself time for your hair to dry fully before you lay down. We often talk about how you shouldn’t touch your hair too much while it’s drying, and laying down to sleep is basically doing the same thing. If your hair isn’t dry yet and you lay on it, it can disrupt your results by flattening your waves out and adding frizz.
Want additional information about how to protect your wavy hair overnight? I have a blog post about different methods for sleeping on wavy hair.
Why You Shouldn’t Go To Bed With Wet Hair
If you go to bed with wet hair, your hair will stay wet longer than it usually would. When we sleep, air can’t get to our hair to help it dry. While water is good for our hair, it can be harmful to our hair to stay wet too long. When our hair is wet, it causes the cuticle to swell. If our hair stays wet too long, the cuticle stays wet longer which can be damaging to our hair cuticle. It can cause hygral fatigue.
Also, if you are trying to embrace your natural waves or curls, your hair will basically “lock in” the shape and style that your hair has when it is dry. If your hair dries while you’re sleeping, it’ll get “locked in” to the shape it’s in when you are laying on your hair which is likely a flatter, straighter shape than what you’re going for.
The results I got when I plopped my hair overnight once!
Why You Shouldn’t Plop Your Hair Overnight
If you plop your hair overnight, your hair will likely stay wet all night long. This can be damaging to your hair and cause hygral fatigue. It can even lead to fungal infections for some people. Additionally, plopping wavy hair often can cause it to dry in strange shapes if you leave the plop on too long. For most people with wavy hair, you want to plop for no more than 15 minutes.
How To Air Dry Hair Overnight
You can’t air-dry your hair overnight. If your hair is nearly dry before bed, it might dry before morning – but it’s not good for your hair health. When we sleep against a pillow or mattress, our hair doesn’t get airflow the way it does when we are upright. It’s best to make sure your hair is dry before going to bed.
Can You Follow The Curly Girl Method While Showering At Night and Air Drying?
Most people who shower at night while doing the curly girl method will need to diffuse their hair to ensure it’s dry before bed. However, if you have hair that naturally air dries quickly you may be able to shower at night and stil air dry. It all just depends on how long your hair takes to air dry. If it takes your hair 2 hours t air dry, you could shower at night as long as you shower at least 2 hours before bed, for example.
But I’ve Always Slept With Wet Hair?
I hear you. I went to bed with wet hair most of my life, too. While it’s not good to do for any hair type, it’s more of a problem when you’re using leave-in hair products as we do when following the curly girl method or working to embrace our waves. Any products that you add to your hair are likely to make it dry more slowly. This will mean if you try to sleep with wet hair, your hair will stay wetter than it did back when you weren’t using leave-in hair products.
Products like gel or mousse can really slow down the drying process, but these products are nearly essential for many of us with wavy hair. This is why diffusing is the best way to go for many people with wavy curly hair.
Hi! I have an unrelated question. I’ve been doing the W/CGM for 2.5 months now and my problem is that wash days are so-so but day 2 and 3 are really good! How can I make wash day better? I refresh on days 2 &3 with a water bottle that has about a teaspoon of Cantu curl activator and add more mousse, pixie diffuse and then SOTC. I have 2a/b wave, low density. Wash day consists of low poo, conditioner, leave in, gel and mousse, plopping w tee, diffuse, smasters.
Any advice is appreciated!
Emily Evert says
Hi! I haven’t had this myself, but I can pass on some ideas based on what I’ve read about others’ experiences :). Usually when people prefer their day 2 and day 3 hair it’s because they feel their day 1 hair isn’t soft enough, is too defined or is lacking in volume. If any of those are the case for you, you could try changing up your mousse and gel or maybe seeing what it’s like to style with just the gel or just the mousse rather than both. Or you could try to skip the smasters? Smasters is known for giving lots of definition so if you want softer/looser/fluffier results smasters might not be for you.
And/or you may experiment with the “wash now, style later” technique? That would mean washing your hair and applying your leave in but just leting your hair air dry, then re-weeting your hair and adding your mousse and gel later. People sometimes use this if they just don’t have the time to do their full styling routine when they are ready to shower, but it sort of can mimick refreshing. So seems how you like your results from refreshig, maybe that would work for you on day 1?
Thanks I’ll try these.