How To Refresh Curly Hair Without Washing (11 Easy Tips)

Refreshing curls is a philosophy in itself – especially with the Curly Girl method.

What is the best way to refresh curls? Everyone with natural curls knows the problem: On the first day after washing, the curls curl like crazy and shine really nice.

To the second day? Suddenly the hair looks like cabbage and turnips, dull and straw-like. And the curls? Let’s put it this way; some still curl, others just stand out, and some strands are more reminiscent of dreadlocks.

At least that’s how many people with curls feel. That’s why I went on a search for the different methods of curly girls and how they do the refresh. Try yourselves through and find your own way to refresh your curls.

How To Refresh Curly Hair Without Washing

How To Refresh Curly Hair Without Washing

Tip 1: Spray with water and refresh curls.

Spray with water and refresh curls

A very typical refresh of the curls works simply with moisture, that is, with water.

For this purpose, a standard spray bottle with water in it is enough. It is good to make sure that the bottle has a fine spray mist that distributes moisture all over the hair (e.g. spray bottle from Efalock *Amazon).

Since this only slightly dampens the curls, you can quickly let them air dry. As a rule, this gives a fresh kick to beautiful curls. If necessary, you can also add some conditioner to the bottle.

My personal tip: Add a splash of perfume essential oil into the water, and the hair smells freshly washed.

Tip 2: Refresh with conditioner

Refresh Curly Hair Without Washing with conditioner

A very popular refresh with the Curly Girl method is to moisturize the hair with a mix of water and conditioner.

This is especially useful when the hair is frizzy after sleeping. The conditioner smooths the texture.

Some curly girls even make the hair relatively wet again so that the curls can bundle up nicely again.

The conditioner is mixed with water on the hands and applied to the hair with Praying Hands or Raking Hands.

Tip 3: Refresh curls with aloe vera

Refresh Curly Hair Without Washing with aloe vera

Since aloe vera gel provides a lot of moisture, it can be used perfectly to refresh curls. To do this, the hair is first moistened, and then aloe vera gel is applied.

Read: How To Fix Curls After Sleeping On It

Tip 4: Refresh with a vinegar rinse

apple cider vinegar

A refresh with vinegar is especially recommended for bad-smelling hair. The vinegar takes away the smell. The vinegar smell, on the other hand, dissipates quite quickly.

Here’s how it works: Put a mixture of water and vinegar (preferably apple cider vinegar) in a spray bottle* and spray the hair with it after sleeping.

If you like, you can add a drop of fragrant oil.

Afterward, if necessary, add some conditioner to the hair in case of frizz. To bring the curls back into momentum, you can also knead in some gel again.

Tip 5: Refresh curls with gel.

Refresh curls with gel

If the curls have clearly unhooked on the second day, they need to be defined again.

Curl gel or flaxseed gel (recipe for flaxseed gel) is particularly suitable for this purpose. Before applying, the hair must be moistened.

Then the gel is applied to the hair more sparingly than after washing. Then let hair dry or diffuse.

If they are dry, knead out any gel cast that may have formed.

Tip 6: Diffuse curls again

Diffuse curls again

If you have a lot of time for the refresh, you have the option to make the hair relatively wet again, knead in a product (conditioner or aloe vera or gel), and then diffuse it again.

But again, make sure to diffuse only at low heat. Then knead out Gel cast as usual.

Tip 7: Refresh overnight

Refresh overnight

It is always best to tackle the root of the problem. So if you make sure that your curls are well protected overnight, you hardly need to refresh them the next day. This saves an enormous amount of time.

In my experience, overnight refreshing goes particularly well by wetting the hair before bed and kneading in conditioner, curl cream, or gel as desired.

Then twist the hair in, tie it up as pineapple or lose chignon, or even plop it. After bedtime, undo the braid, shake out the curls, knead out the products (scrunch out the crunch) and knead in more products if desired.

I have found that my curls look and hold much better the second day if I refresh them overnight.

Tip 8: Refresh curls with curl cream or curl spray

Refresh curls with curl cream or curl spray.

Some report positive results when they refresh the curls on the second day with curl cream or curl spray (not necessarily CG-suitable).

I am still a bit skeptical about the curl cream in dry hair. With me, it always brings not quite so much – except that the hair smells good.

That is, yes already times an advantage. (Here are the most popular curl creams)

With the curling sprays, however, there are actually a few quite good (eg Curly Twist* Amazon). These are usually not necessarily safe for the Curly Girl method.

You can also spray well times in the dry hair. I find the result generally better if you moisten the hair before anyway or if you use the curling spray in the evening and then twist the hair in.

Tip 9: Make hair shine with hair oil

Make hair shine with hair oil

Many swear by using a little oil on the second day to make the curls shine again. It depends a bit on how fine your hair is. I have a lot of hair, but it is relatively fine in itself.

If I get even a little too much oil, they look disastrous. That’s why I use it more for the tips when they are very dry and not to freshen up the whole hair. (e.g., Argan oil *Amazon)

Tip 10: Basic refresh: have the tips cut

Basic refresh have the tips cut

Unfortunately, it’s just the way it is: the longer the curls become, the faster they hang out, and the more maintenance-intensive they become.

If you notice that your curls are already hanging out by the end of the day of washing, you should think about having your tips cut again.

Every now and then, it is really advisable to simply cut off a piece again. Although this hurts at first, it gets the curls going again and is also noticeable on the second day.

Tip 11: To freshen up your curls, run through the rain once

To freshen up your curls, run through the rain once

This is the only reason why curly heads are happy about rain: If you run through it once briefly and then let the hair dry again, they curl again, totally beautiful.

Even if they only get a little damp. I assume that through the moisture, the care products are activated again and are not washed out like when washing your hair.

However, I wonder why you just never get this effect with the spray bottle so well.


Save Refresh-Fail: Sort out beautiful curls.

Often, the curls of the lower part of the hair are still nice and curly on the second day – the top hair, on the other hand, is straw-like and straight.

This is because you haven’t flattened the entire hair at night and rubbed it over the pillow.

So I often just tie the top section of hair together (into a little chignon, for example) and leave the bottom one with the nice curls open: Et voilà, no one sees the straw-like, flattened part.

Refresh Fail: Do without curling mousse.

Many confirm that the hair is more stringy and sticky on the second day if you use a curling mousse on wash day.

Personally, I can confirm this as well. The curl mousse gums up the hair a bit into individual strands, which then hang down like spaghetti the next day.

Since the refreshing is really totally hard. But I find that you can do other hairstyles totally well because the hair has relatively much grip, and you can define beautiful individual strands.

Instead of defining the curls with foam, I would rather recommend a curl cream or curl gel. This basically softens the curls.

Refresh Fail: Hands off the brush

Under no circumstances should you brush your hair to refresh it. This only puffs them up and pulls out the curls. This way, you won’t be able to refresh the curls at all; they will only become beautiful again with the next wash.

If you want to get rid of small tangled areas, you’d better do it with your fingers or, in the worst case, with a coarse-toothed comb (e.g., sandalwood comb*Amazon).

But otherwise, comb the hair only when wet. Even better: during the soaking time of the conditioner or before, put some oil in it. So the bristles glide more easily through the hair and correct no damage.

In general, if you take proper care of your curls, they will stay beautiful longer! Because if the hair structure is not too rough, they still fall beautifully on the second day.