Squish to Condish method for Indian curly and wavy hair

We Curlies have our own curly world where we have so many terms and methods. Every curly head is different so that’s why there are so many methods to style curly/wavy hair out there. One such method is Squish to Condish. This method is quite similar to Super Soaker method in the way we use conditioner and water to create clumps and pump up our hair with moisture. In Squish to Condish, we work on hair during the conditioning in shower, while in Super Soaker we do the same thing while using styling products like leave-in conditioner and gel.

Melissa Stites, a stylist from NYC came up with Squish to Condish method. Theory behind this method is, water is the best moisturizer for hair and conditioner is a channel to pass and hold that moisture inside hair. That is the reason our hair looks at its best in its moisturized state on the wash day. But as the time passes, our hair start losing water and start looking dryer on the second and third day (when we do not refresh the hair). Water alone can not keep the hair moisturized as hair start losing it fast once hair starts drying after wash. We need something that can hold water inside the hair. The ingredients present in conditioner like humectants penetrate the hair shaft and hold water inside. And conditioning agents seal the hair from outside. Because of that our hair looks so well moisturized even after it is dry.

So, that was the science behind this method and how the water and conditioner combination work on our hair.  Now we will see how to use this method during the conditioning on wash day.


Squish to Condish steps:

  1. Wash hair using a sulfate-free shampoo or co-wash with a silicone free conditioner as usual.
  2. Apply conditioner generously and gently detangle hair from ends to root using your fingers.
  3. Keep the conditioner for 3-4 minutes.
  4. To rinse out conditioner, catch water in both palms and scrunch your hair using your palms along with water to make a squishing sound. This will rinse out excess conditioner from hair. Keep your head upside down and work on each section of hair. The number of times that you should use the water to rinse out conditioner depends completely on your feel factor. You have to keep a check that you are not washing out all the conditioner.
  5. The other way to do squish to condish is, first wash the conditioner completely and then again apply some conditioner to do squish to condish and to create clumps. I would prefer this way as it will help to keep your scalp clean. 
  6. Your hair is super clumped  at this stage. So, when you come out of the shower do not separate these clumps by running your fingers through them.
  7. After the shower, depending on your hair needs whether it is very dry or not, you can apply a leave-in conditioner again. If your hair weighs down easily then prefer a lighter leave-in conditioner like As I am Leave-in conditioner, Kinky curly knot today, Cantu creamy hair lotion or skip the leave-in conditioner.
  8. Apply gel or other styling products using smoothing motion (praying hand) or scrunch it in. Do not separate curls.
  9. Scrunch hair again a few times to enhance curls. If you have wavy hair then this is step you wont skip. Tighter curls are fine even without much scrunching.
  10. If plopping works for you then this is the time you plop.
  11. Let the hair air dry/diffuse. Diffuser again gives enhanced curls than air dry. Try to diffuse on cold or low heat.
  12. Once hair is completely dry, scrunch your hair again to remove any crunchiness from styling products.

Here is a short demo video on how we do Squish to Condish


Results: This method can be a savior for wavy hair as it is hard to keep the wavy hair clumped together. Clumping and definition of waves and curls are quite amazing after this method. Even hair stays moisturized for long hours.

Note that apply conditioner on hair a little away from root so that when you rinse the conditioner out then it won’t stick to the scalp and leave a residue. If you feel that there is still some residue from conditioner then you can split the routine in two steps. In the first step, wash out all the conditioner (make sure you are not disturbing the clumps created during this step while rinsing) and  in second step re-apply the conditioner on hair away from root and follow the same method of clumping hair using  water and conditioner combo. 

Here are our Curly group members who tired this method in wavy hair.


Manisha- squish to condish

Manisha flaunting her waves

Pre-wash – Sesa oil (Ban Labs brand), extra virgin olive oil and castor oil

Shampoos Khadi Herbal henna & tulsi extra conditioning (SLS & Paraben free) on heavily oiled hair & Aroma Magic aloe vera cream shampoo on lightly oiled hair.

Conditioner – Mix of Enliven coconut & vanilla conditioner and Loreal Paris smooth intense smoothing conditioner and left around 10-20 % of conditioner in hair during the Squish to Condish.

Leave-in conditioner – Watered down version of coconut & vanilla conditioner

Sealant – Jojoba oil after leave-in conditioner.

Gel – Mix of Aroma treasure’s aloe Vera gel and Set wet casual hold gel.

Her other deep conditioning combinations are

  • Mix of honey+olive oil+eggs+banana mask
  • Mix of curd+olive oil+ honey mask
  • Paste of Tulsi, Neem, Curry and Hibiscus leaves and flower petals grinded with coconut oil and water.
  • YVES Rocher nutri repair hair mask



Manjula - Squish to condish

Manjula with her beautiful waves

Pre-wash – Honey+ Olive oil+ Coconut oil+Curd+2 spoons of store brought deep conditioning treatment mask.

Shampoo – Organic care normal balance shampoo (SLS and Paraben free)

Conditioner – Mix of Giovanni root 66 and smooth as silk conditioners

Leave-in Conditioner – Not used leave-in on this particular wash day but on other days kinky curly knot today or a watered down version of Giovanni smooth as silk conditioner

Sealant – 3-4 drops of Jojoba oil

Styling product – Used flax seed gel before to style hair and then used t-shirt to absorb excess water. Then plopped hair for 20 minutes. Used Diffuser in the end to dry hair and used blow dryer to style the bangs.



My wash day: 

Pre-wash – Mix of Coconut and Castor oil. I have added a few drop of Rosemary, Lavender, Cedarwood, Peppermint essential oil.

Shampoo – Giovanni 50:50 balanced hydrating shampoo

Conditioner – Giovanni smooth as silk conditioner

Styler – Orange spray


Asha - Squish to condish


Thanks a lot to Manjula and Manisha for sharing their experience here!!! You are just rocking your curls here 🙂

I would highly recommend that you try out the Squish to Condish method and request you to share your experience of this method and leave your feedback in the comments below.


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17 thoughts on “Squish to Condish method for Indian curly and wavy hair

  • Miah

    Hi, I recently found your website and have read some of your methods, but I have a few questions. My mother is Pakistani-Indian and my father is white Australian. My dad has wavy hair and my mum has curly hair. Somehow, my hair end up with tighter curls than my mothers! But I definitely see the resemblance, so no doubt it’s from her side.

    From what I’ve read, please feel free to correct me, we should wash our hair every few days and not comb it in between otherwise it will become dry and break, and even worse, frizz. Fluff and frizz are a huge issue with my hair – my mum applies a generous amount of coconut oil and then brushes and braids my hair. When brushing, it fluffs up big-time! So, this method that you speak about is to shampoo, condition and then apply a gel/styling product when it is dry? I’m worried that if I try this my hair will start fluffing really bad.

    I’m sorry, you’ve probably explained this in an article before that I haven’t read yet. But it would be helpful for new people like me, if you one day in the future created an article or something that explains to us the basics of this method, and how to moisturize and care for hair, or how to use shampoo, conditioner etc properly, where it’s visible on your page 🙂

    Due to some reasons, I can’t play video’s at the moment, and because of this, I’m not sure how to ‘scrunch’ hair. I assume you grab clumps of it and just… scrunch it like you would with a stress ball or something? Sorry, if you could explain this in words that would be great! I have many more questions, but I think I should find them answered somewhere. I’m keen to try this method out after I buy some products, thanks!

    • Asha Barrak Post author

      Miah, it is always these many question in the start :). But do not worry you will start understanding things with time. There is one “newbies start here” tab in the blog’s menu where I have mentioned a few useful links to start with. First of all you need to stop using comb on hair. Because whenever we comb hair it separates our curls from each other and makes it look frizzy and leave it without any definition or trace of curl. You must have noticed that you see some good curl definition in your hair after wash before you comb your hair. This is the point (in shower) where we should start working on our hair. Here is my step by step routine how I apply all products on my hair. This will answer all your question about how to use all products on hair. http://www.rightringlets.com/2014/10/how-to-define-curly-hair/
      If you follow the method properly and apply products like leave-in conditioner and styling gel or cream after wash then you will not see poofy hair. According to above method do not disturb hair after wash and let it dry without disturbing. Once dry then scrunch the hair again.
      Scrunching is, hold hair in open palm and squeeze hair by moving it towards top. There is another video in the above link there you will see how I scrunch my hair.
      Other than these things, you have to deep condition your hair regularly at least once in a week. Because curly hair is naturally dry hair so moisture is the key to get frizz free hair.
      Just keep experimenting with the routine and with time you will get comfortable with the routine and you will start knowing what are your hair needs. I hope it will help you start and please do get back if you have any more questions 🙂

      • Miah

        Okay, thank you for your reply, I will start trying this method out and hopefully find what works for me. I have noticed that when my hair is brushed it goes from curls to a zigzag pattern. Also, do you know how to deal with hairs that don’t stick down? I have some on the front which just sort of fly up… it sounds weird, but that’s the only way to really explain it. I have to use hairclips to keep them down, and was just wondering if there was a way to stop it. But thank you!

        • Asha Barrak Post author

          Miah, as I told earlier do not brush your hair when it is dry. Because you will lose all the curl definition and also it leads to breakage as well. The hair that sticks out are broken hair. When you will start using some styling products after wash as per the method I have mentioned above then it will help you with these stray hair. Also, do not use any teethed hair band ( if you use them). Because it will damage these broken hair more. Be very very gentle while detangling your hair in shower so that there will be minimum breakage. And always detangle hair while the conditioner is on your hair. Without conditioner there will be more breakage while detangling. You will see in my routine how to detangle hair.

          • Miah

            I was talking to my mum about this method and she said keeps on denying it and saying that “you have to brush your hair or else it will be messy.” But I will definitely try it out this weekend with some flaxseed oil and I won’t brush/comb. Thanks.

            • Asha Barrak Post author

              Hehe… use the flax seed gel and make it with flax seeds. The recipe link is there in my routine. You can follow my video as well in which I have shown how to apply flax seed gel after wash. Apply it in soaking wet hair. If you follow each step of the process properly then you can not get it wrong. Once you get comfortable with the routine the you can buy styling products from market.

              • Miah

                I have one more question, since you do not brush your hair, how do you deal with knots? Or do you just leave them until your next shower? Thanks

                • Asha Barrak Post author

                  Yeah we only detangle hair in shower. But you need to apply a leave-in conditioner and gel after wash to keep the curls in form. Second day aain refresh your hair with water and leave-in conditioner and may be you can reapply little gel depending on your hair.

  • Priya

    Hi asha..
    I have scanty hair and suffer from hair fall..But i do have curly and frizzy hair..If i follow this routine they seem even less.. Please advise.. Please suggest a good hair pack for hair growth ..

    • Asha Barrak Post author

      Priya, you can try rake-in method to apply products on hair. Also, instead of apply products on really wet hair, apply them on damp hair. When you apply products on damp hair then definition will no be that great but it will give you some volume. For hair growth, try to use fenugreek mask regularly. You can also use essential oils mixed with other carrier oils regularly. Here is one post on that – http://www.rightringlets.com/2015/10/essential-oils-blend-for-hair-growth/
      Also One person in our curly group suggested to use mix of onion juice, curd and lemon on scalp. It is helping her with the hair fall.

      • priya

        Thank you!! now i ahve started raking method n hair is looking much better!! its softer cos i follow wat u advised n looks thicker!
        will surely try the packs..

    • Asha Barrak Post author

      Aishah, flax seed oil won’t give the hold so it can not replace the flax seed gel. But you can use the flax oil as a sealant after wash. Check out the LOC method to see how we use oil after wash.

    • Asha Barrak Post author

      Cysteine treatment is a temporary solution to calm down the frizz and does not last long. Also, if you have tight curls then the hair texture changes and it loosen your curls. After a few months when the treatment effect fades away then hair wont be have the same texture like the original tight curls, and the new growth and treated hair will look different. Personally I do not recommend it as this is only a temporary solution and loosen the curl pattern too.

  • Ruchira Ghosh

    What I understand basically is that not touching your hair after wash/conditioning,is the best way to keep the curly look intact. This also helps keep the frizz at bay. Have tried it a zillion times, but have ended up combing my hair, which had got the frizz back. Since I like tying my hair, and you can’t tie without combing. Also I can still avoid tying the hair, but I workout, and can’t help tying up braiding my hair at such times. Workout gets my head sweaty and and the frizz back anyway. So any help/tips for my situation. I would love to have a curly girl non frizzy look.

    • Asha Barrak Post author

      Yes Ruchira, the more we touch hair separate curls the more it will be frizzy. After wash, apply products on soaking wet hair and scrunch it. You can also try plopping and see if it works for you. You can still tie hair in curls. And also buns look very good too with curls.
      After exercise you can cowash your hair with a silicone free conditioner instead if shampoo and follow the rest of the routine. Deep condition your hair often ans use oils and hair masks. It will help your to keep your hair moisturized and help to prevent frizz.