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How to Refresh Curls in the Morning: 4 Easy Ways!

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Refreshing your curls each morning doesn’t have to be a tiresome chore. If you’ve been meticulous about your nighttime hair routine—sealing in moisture and embracing the magic of silk or satin accessories—yet still wake up to lifeless, flat curls, you’re not alone. Even the best-laid plans can go awry when it comes to curly hair.

So, what’s the secret sauce on how to refresh curl in the morning? The solutions are straightforward: mist your hair using a spray bottle, refresh damp hair with your preferred styling product, scrunch your curls with the aid of a satin pillowcase or satin scarf, or employ the finger coil technique.

Let’s explore these various ways to bring back those bouncy curls and breathe new life into them!

How to Refresh Curls in the Morning without Rewashing it

YouTube video
Video credit: Curly Susie

The best refresh routine for your curls will depend on your specific hair type and needs. Feel free to experiment, and remember that even the most reliable methods can be tailored to better suit you.

Note: Using hard water (water rich in calcium, magnesium, or other ions) can adversely affect curls.1 

Let’s establish a solid refresh routine using different techniques to sustain your curls all the way to your next wash day.

Method #1 Mist Curls with Water

  1. Start by Loosening Your Curls: First, shake out your curls to loosen them up. This creates the perfect canvas for reviving your ringlets.
  2. The Spray Bottle is Your Friend: Lightly mist your hair, starting from the top of your head down to the ends of your hair, taking care not to oversaturate it. A little water goes a long way to reactivate any styling product already in your hair to help your curls re-clump. If you don’t want to rewet your hair, you might want to skip this step and opt for a light spritz of dry shampoo instead.
  3. Manipulate Curls with Care: Use your fingers or specialized styling tools to gently smooth out and redefine your curls.
  4. Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch: Scrunch your hair with your hands to help enhance your curl pattern.
  5. Add a Holding Agent: If needed, apply a minimal amount of gel or mousse to maintain the curl shape.
  6. Fast-Track Drying: Either let your wet hair air dry naturally or use a diffuser on low heat (or medium heat) to speed up the drying process. The quickest and easiest way depends on your hair type and the look you’re aiming for.
  7. Natural Oils in the Final Step: Try scrunching the ends of your hair with a few drops of natural oils like jojoba, argan, or grapeseed oil. Not only will these oils lock in moisture, but they’ll also add a lustrous shine. Just a little goes a long way—simply scrunch the oil into your curls after they’re styled, focusing on the ends and avoiding the roots. The result? Softer-looking natural curls.

Method #2 Wet Your Hair and Apply Styling Product

  1. Initiate Moisture: Wet your hair lightly, focusing on the top of your head, and apply a leave-in conditioner or curl cream. Natural ingredients in these styling products can work wonders to reduce frizz and reintroduce essential moisture to dry hair.
  2. Shape Your Curls: Use your fingers to individually smooth out each individual curl, laying the foundation for a more unified curl pattern. This step deserves a little extra love, as meticulous handling here sets the stage for great hair days.
  3. Boost Definition: If you’re after sculpted curls, add a dab of gel or mousse to your damp hair for enhanced definition.
  4. Final Touch: For that extra gleam, a small amount of serum or oil will smooth the hair shaft and add a healthy shine.
  5. Fluff for Volume: Once your hair is completely dry, without over-manipulating your hair, use your fingers to fluff it out. The aim is voluminous, bouncy curls without unnecessary frizz.

Method #3 Scrunch Your Curls with Your Satin Pillowcase

If your curls have survived into the fourth day and just need a quick refresh, this method utilizes your satin or silk pillowcase (you can also use a silk scarf or satin scarf) to bring them back to life.

  1. Loosen and Prep: After undoing your pineapple hairstyle, gently shake your curls to make them more pliable.
  2. Silk or Satin-Scrunched Curls: Using your silk/satin pillowcase or bonnet, scrunch your curls from the tips towards your roots. The satin material not only combats frizz but helps maintain the integrity of different curls.
  3. Spot Treat: If certain areas need additional attention, employ the shingling method (see video tutorial below). Add a small amount of gel or mousse to targeted sections for that extra boost.
YouTube video
Video credit: Olivia Rose

Method #4 Finger Coil

If your beautiful curls have lost their signature spirals overnight, finger coiling offers a targeted approach to revive them.

  1. Initial Hydration: Lightly mist your hair with water to create a responsive base for the upcoming products.
  2. Address Problem Areas: If you notice frizz, flyaways, or stubborn strands, apply a pea-sized amount of conditioner to these areas. As you apply, gently twirl the hair around your fingers.
  3. Secure Your Coils: Once your strands are coiled around your fingers, reinforce the shape with a small dollop of gel or mousse. These styling products often contain polymers that form a thin film around your hair, locking in the shape as they dry.
  4. Choose Your Drying Method: Whether you diffuse your hair on a low heat setting or let it air dry naturally is up to you.
  5. Final Fluff for Definition: After your curls are fully dry, use your fingers to gently fluff them out, enhancing their definition and volume.

Maintenance and Frequency

Don’t worry if, despite your best efforts and a cupboard full of curly hair products, your curls seem to lose their mojo by day’s end or the next day. It’s a common struggle but far from an unsolvable one.

Repeat this curl-refreshing process every few days, or as your hair needs it.

Side note: And don’t forget—first thing in the morning (or in between washes) is an ideal time for a quick scalp massage to stimulate those hair follicles.

YouTube video
Video credit: Jayme Jo

Conclusion

Refreshing your curls doesn’t have to be a Herculean task. Armed with the right products and these different methods, you’ll find it easier than ever to maintain vibrant, second-day curls (and beyond!).

A great tip to keep in mind is to tailor your curl refreshers to your specific hair needs. The best way to find out what works best for your hair is to experiment with different products, techniques, and timing.

Try alternating between curl refreshers or between finger coiling and scrunching. Take note of how your curls respond each time, and soon you’ll have a personalized refresh routine that keeps your curls at their best.

The goal is to develop a strategy that caters to your unique curl pattern and texture, offering you optimal results with each refresh.


Reference

  1. Srinivasan, G., Srinivas, C. R., Mathew, A. C., & Duraiswami, D. (2013). Effects of hard water on hair. International Journal of Trichology, 5(3), 137–139. ↩︎

HI,I'M VERNA

I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

My mission? To empower others with the tools to restore, and maintain healthy hair, and celebrate the hair they were born with!

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