Thursday, May 28, 2015

Battling Summer Frizz with the "Condish and Squish" Method

Posted by Jen Lennox at 2:11 PM
Yes, you read that right. Condish and Squish. I've been reading some other curly blogs and stumbled across a beautiful Canadian curly girl named Krista Leavitt. She runs her own curly-girls-only salon in Barrie, Ontario and is a very successful stylist and blogger about all things CG. After reading her story on, I was led to another blogger who wrote of a method called "Condish and Squish."

The Condish and Squish Method is based on the principle that water is our hydrator and conditioner is our softener. This means that, in order to have frizz-free curls, we must have plenty of both. Many people (myself included) go about this by using microfiber towels and refreshing with a spray bottle full of water when curls get limp. Some girls like to "plop" after showers and many of us deep condition to seal in moisture. Still, there are times when, no matter what you do, you end up with a head full of frizz.

Maybe we're doing it all wrong. I was a bit cynical of this new rinse-out method until I saw this picture, taken from Krista's webpage:

I don't know about you, but I want to look like the girl on the bottom. Right now I'm looking remarkably more like the girl on the top. So, what's the secret?  Here's what blogger Melissa Stites had to say:

"Add enough conditioner to really wet hair, enough to slip through the tangles, if any. There is a reason why we only finger comb; hair has a cuticle on the outside and a reservoir on the inside that can absorb. When the hair is dehydrated, the inside is shrunk leaving those cuticles lifted where they can become like velcro that can grab and stick to the others, therefore creating tangles. Instead of ripping through them with combs or brushes when our hair is most fragile (you say you're gentle and you know you’re not), try this method instead: Add conditioner to that area, add water and squish. When you push that water conditioner mixture into the hair, the inside plumps up with water and seals with conditioner. It’s the process of plumping and sealing the cuticle that makes the cuticle itself tighter and smoother, releasing the velcro effect and allowing your fingers to slide through like butter. 

Now, when your hair is soaking wet with water, you need to add enough conditioner to feel slippery, like seaweed. We then begin to squish this water conditioner mixture into the hair.  Curly girls often experience water rolling off the hair; we want to push it in. Your curls should start clumping together and feeling firmer.

We do not totally rinse out the conditioner. It starts by trickling some water onto the hair to help it get even wetter, and start squishing it in again.  I do this by standing away from the shower head, catching water in my cupped hands and throwing it into my curls section by section. Your curls should be incredibly wet, slippery and frizz free now. As we are doing this, the hair is drinking up the water and you can see the excess conditioner being pushed out. We are replacing and diluting the conditioner with water, and you can actually feel it happening. This is our new way to rinse."

In other words, instead of just rinsing conditioner out in one fell swoop, force our hydrator and softener to work together. What a novel idea. There are times I love my curls, and there are times I wish I didn't have to do a 10-step washing/conditioning/scrunching/spritzing/diffusing routine to make them behave. I am learning that all of this, in the end, is much better than frying my hair with heat tools, but it can definitely be confusing and sometimes downright frustrating. And so, with summer around the corner and a pile of misbehaving curls to deal with, I plan to give this method a go and see if I have the same success others have. 

What are your favorite frizz busting products and techniques?


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