Top of Mind
By Crown Affair
So much styling advice only pertains to dry hair, but what you do with sopping wet strands is just as important as what comes later. What we call “the post-wash ritual” sets the stage, protects your hair, and gives your strands care when they need it most. Think of the post-wash ritual as skincare and everything else that follows as makeup; something meant to enhance, never change, the beauty of what you already have.
We believe you’re the expert on your unique strands, so use the guide below as a starting point and listen to your hair on what it needs first and foremost. Keep in mind factors like pre-existing damage, chemical treatments, and the porosity of your hair will need to be taken into consideration, so use your intuition, use these steps as a guide, and find the ritual that works best for you.
Photos by Vanessa Granda
- For straight hair
The post-wash ritual for straight hair is all about hair health. Unlike curls or waves that can camouflage damage, breakage has nowhere to hide in straight strands, so it’s important to take extra care. The moment you emerge from the shower, wrap your hair in a microfiber towel to prevent breakage and frizz. Keep it on while you do your skincare or another ritual for about 10 minutes to ensure all excess moisture is removed. Working your way from the ends up to your scalp, use a comb to detangle, then give yourself a light scalp massage to stimulate blood flow. Finally, add a few drops of The Oil only to your ends and let your hair naturally dry.
- For wavy hair
Wavy hair often exists in a strange in-between world—it’s not straight, it’s not curly, it’s something in between. Since wavy hair types can have a few different patterns, creating uniform definition is often the key. Similar to the straight hair ritual, wrap your hair in The Towel post-wash and remove as much excess water as possible. Then, detangle starting from the bottom of your hair working your way up to the top and add a few drops of Oil to your mid-lengths and ends. For air drying, you have two options: you can either air dry as is and allow your waves to take their natural shape, or you can create uniformity by separating your hair into sections and twisting them until they dry. We have our Founder, Dianna, to thank for this tip; check out her tutorial here.
- For curly hair
Curls come in many shapes and sizes, but as a general rule they need lots of moisture to stay healthy, take their best shape, and keep frizz at bay. After showering (with your favorite mask or deep conditioner, of course), gently remove excess water by blotting—never rubbing—with The Towel, scrunching your curls up as you go. Always make sure to use a microfiber towel to prevent breakage and frizz; traditional towels are often too abrasive and damage vulnerable curls. Once you’ve removed the excess water, use a wide tooth comb to detangle your hair, starting from the ends and slowly working your way up to your roots. Then, apply a leave-in conditioner, seal with The Oil on mid-lengths and ends, and allow your hair to air dry. Depending on your specific curl pattern, you may want to layer more moisture, but listen to your hair on what feels right.
- For kinky and coily hair
Hydration and moisture are key for coils. Before emerging from the shower, use a gentle wide tooth comb to evenly distribute your conditioner or mask and ensure every single beautiful coil on your head is properly moisturized and preserved. Post-shower, blot your hair with The Towel to gently absorb excess water without causing breakage like traditional cotton towels. Then use the LOC (liquid, oil, cream) method to optimize moisture with a leave-in conditioner (the “l” in liquid), followed by The Oil to mid-lengths and ends, and finally a moisturizing cream. Try not to use any heat to avoid damage and let your lovely coils dry naturally.
It would be a miss to discuss air drying and embracing natural hair styles and not acknowledge the discrimination Black people have faced for their hair. We stand behind The CROWN Coalition (no relation) encourage you to sign their petition here urging lawmakers to end hair discrimination in all 50 states.