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:
- Wash hair using a sulfate-free shampoo or co-wash with a silicone free conditioner as usual.
- Apply conditioner generously and gently detangle hair from ends to root using your fingers.
- Keep the conditioner for 3-4 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Apply gel or other styling products using smoothing motion (praying hand) or scrunch it in. Do not separate curls.
- 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.
- If plopping works for you then this is the time you plop.
- Let the hair air dry/diffuse. Diffuser again gives enhanced curls than air dry. Try to diffuse on cold or low heat.
- 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.
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
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:
Shampoo – Giovanni 50:50 balanced hydrating shampoo
Conditioner – Giovanni smooth as silk conditioner
Styler – Orange spray
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.