Squish to Condish – This Method Will Change Your Curls

squish to condish for curly hair

Squish To Condish is a technique for adding extra moisture into your curly hair. It is incredibly popular- and for good reason! Squish To Condish is a quick and easy way to add moisture into your hair EVERY time you wash it and it takes about a minute. 

This technique is a step that you can add into your routine in the shower before you apply styling products. You can do it alongside all usual cleansing and conditioning routines. This extra step will make a huge difference and it works on all curly hair types. 

The real selling point? You will be conditioning your hair MORE but using LESS conditioner. I know. Wait for it..

Ready to spend less money on leave-in conditioner?

The crucial idea here is that it is water that actually hydrates your hair, not the conditioner. The conditioner is the channel by which your hair receives the water and the conditioner helps to seal it in. My mind was blown the first time I looked into this. 

We have habitually used huge amounts of conditioner in the shower to nourish our hair when it feels dry. Hair feeling like it’s in bad condition at the moment? Just add more conditioner..more! That was the old way.

Turns out that the important factor isn’t how much conditioner you use, but how you apply it. The method is crucial. When you use Squish To Condish you are ‘trapping’ the water in your hair and using the conditioner to seal it in.

The Squish To Condish method

  1. Shampoo your hair as usual and rinse with your hair forwards
  2. Apply conditioner as usual with hair still forwards
  3. As you rinse the conditioner out, cup your hands and catch the water, simultaneously scrunching the mid-lengths and ends of your hair up towards your scalp with your hands. Move away from the water and keep scrunching until your hair stops dripping. You can add some additional conditioner at this point and keep scrunching. You will hear a ‘squishing’ noise. By squishing the water into the cuticle you are hydrating your hair and sealing in the moisture with the conditioner.

An Alternative to Step 3

You can use a cup and bowl rather than your hands. Before you start rinsing, the conditioner fill the cup with warm water. Pour this over your hair and then squish. The bowl will catch the conditioner-water. Keep pouring this over your hair with the cup until the bowl is empty.

In doing this you are using your usual conditioner as a leave-in conditioner. One less product to buy!

squish to condish method for curly hair

How Often Should I Squish To Condish?

Every time you wash your hair. It only takes a minute and you’ll feel the difference straight away. You’ll want to do it every wash day. 

Which Conditioner Should I Use?

I always use the same conditioner for all parts of the conditioning process. Having said that, I have seen people use a different conditioner for the last step. In this case you would apply usual conditioner, rinse it out and then apply a coating of the second conditioner. You may want the second conditioning product to be lighter than the first as it is being left in. For ease I would start with your usual conditioner and then experiment if you feel the need. Keep it simple!

I would recommend using a conditioner without silicones as silicones can build up on your hair, particularly if you are using it as a leave-in. Whether or not you are following the Curly Girl Method it is still worth checking for silicones.

Silicone – free Curly Girl Approved Conditioners

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Wave Hello Curl Defining Conditioner

Silicone-free conditioner made from 97% natural ingredients to define curly hair. Ingredients include sea kelp and avocado oil for soft, defined curls. Curly Girl Method Approved


Curl Conditioner

Silicone free conditioner which hydrates and strengthens, penetrating deep into the hair cuticle. It is lightweight so it doesn’t weigh down curls. Ingredients include coconut and argan oil. 


Ultimate Blends Repairing Hair Food

This is the Papaya Blend, but they are all as good – I’ve heard that this one and the banana are great. I have the aloe vera and coconut which I love and it smells amazing! They are all silicone free and are made from 98% natural ingredients. They can also be used as a mask when left on longer. These multi-purpose conditioners are also Curly girl Method approved.

These products can all be used in the method set out above

Will I feel the extra product in my hair?

Not at all. You only scrunch into the mid-lengths and ends. Just add a small amount of condiioner to begin with, you can always add more. Once your hair is dry the only thing you will notice is that the ends of your hair feel softer and more nourished. 

Who devised it?

The method was devised by stylist Melissa Sites. She was trying to encourage her salon clients to hydrete their hair with water rather than just adding on more and more conditioner. Squish To Condish was the answer! It was something everyone could easily do at home with the curly hair products they already own. 

Extra Advantages

Frizz control

Hydrated curls are less likely to frizz. The extra moisture added by ‘forcing’ water into your hair will help reduce frizz when your hair dries.

Formation of curl clumps

As you squish your soaking wet hair you are helping the curl clumps to form as you scrunch your hair up towards your scalp. Any rinsing after this point would disrupt the curl clumps so this is another reason to leave the conditioner in.

I hope you enjoy trying out the Squish To Condish method. It is curl hydration using the products you already own. We’re on to a winner. 

Lauren xx

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