You know the drill. Cleanse, condition, deep treat, steam, and then style. Wash day means spending hours working your way through a five- or six-step routine. For protective styles, add a solid 24 hours (or more!) to the process for dry time. And if your hair is highly porous and holds onto water—well, double that setting time.
Once your hair is freshly styled, day one hair is magic. Your curls bounce just right, frizz is nowhere in sight, and your hair looks healthy and hydrated. By day two, however, things may not be as glorious. Second-day hair can look dry, frizzy and, depending on how you slept on it, curls can lose their shape. As frustrating as it can be to preserve all the goodness you get on day one, it’s not impossible. Read on to find out exactly how to refresh second-day hairstyles with these second-day hair tips.

What Is Second-Day Hair?

So, what is second-day hair? Well, as the name suggests, this refers to curls that are being worn two days post-wash. Or, depending on how you styled your spirals, the day after taking down a protective style like a twist- or braid-out. The term means that there was no hair washing in between day one and day two.

Second-day hairstyles are generally where your hair can start to go one of two ways: wrong or right. You’ve slept on it, which perhaps caused some curls to flatten or stretch out. Or, maybe it’s starting to look a bit dry and frizzy overall. The good news is, with the right steps and second-day hair products, you can revive second-day hair—or even better, maximize the way you care for strands on day one, so that by day-two, your curls still look good.

Does Hair Look Better On The Second Day?

Second day curly hair is when your strands have fully absorbed the nourishing ingredients from the natural hair products you’ve applied. This means they start to thrive, fully take shape, and look hydrated and bouncy. All of these factors contribute to hair looking better on the second day. Depending on your curl pattern, this can even be true for day three, four, or five hair as well.

How Do You Refresh Your Hair On Day 2?

In the days following your wash day, strands should look plump, shiny, and bouncy. But this may not be the case if your hair has a difficult time retaining moisture or if you don’t wrap your hair properly before bed. There are a few steps that you can take to refresh your hair on day two, but what happens on day two very much depends on what you did on day one. To avoid having to load your curls with a ton of second-day hair products, which can weigh them down, make sure that you wash curly hair properly and are using the right creams and oils on day one and maximize how you apply them.

Moisturize every step of the way. Curls of every shape, size, and coiliness need constant hydration, and achieving moisturized curls that last starts in the shower. Begin by cleansing hair with a sulfate-free shampoo to remove old product buildup without stripping it of its natural oils. Next, be sure to condition and detangle thoroughly. This step will not only replenish moisture to your hair, but you’ll also smooth the cuticle and ultimately cut back on frizz. Fuzzy curls won’t look good on the first or second day, so this step is important.

Once you get to day two, start your refresh process by applying a lightweight oil or a pomade like the Mimosa Hair Honey. Focusing on curls that look particularly warped or dry, use your fingers to re-twirl or slightly scrunch them until they bounce back into shape. If your second day curly hair feels really dry, add a light spritz of a leave-in conditioner before layering on your oil and finger coiling.

How Do You Get Smooth Second-Day Hair?

Utilizing hair oils can help keep the cuticle sleek and smooth. Overall, the best way to get smooth second-day hair is to ward off frizz. Before heading into day two and beyond, make sure you have a sleep plan in place. This can be wrapping your hair in a silk scarf, wearing a bonnet, or swapping out your cotton pillowcases for satin or silk versions. The fabric makes a significant difference between smooth second-day hair and a frizz fest.

Additionally, once you set your style, keep your hands out of your hair. It’s tempting to touch, but the more handling you do of your hair the more frizz you’ll create. The rule of thumb is that once your hair care and styling products are applied, and you’ve created definition by shingling, there’s no need to touch your hair until it’s completely dry.

How Do You Refresh a Second-Day Wash-and-Go?

Freshening up a wash-and-go can be tricky. The shape of your second-day curly hair is different when wearing a wash-and-go versus a twist out. A leave-in conditioner should be your go-to for re-wetting wash-and-go hair. The conditioner will add some slip that’ll make your next step a lot smoother. Your best bet is to saturate hair with more moisture than you think you need, re-coil strands with your fingers, and then let your hair air dry all over again.

Using too little product can cause frizz to flare up. Coat hair thoroughly with a leave-in (it should feel as damp as lightly towel-dried hair), then use your fingers to twist individual strands that seem to have lost shape or spirals that look frizzy.

What Products Should You Use For Second-Day Hair?

As mentioned, start the steps to your best second-day hair on day one, with a sulfate-free shampoo like the smoothing Sacred Tiare Sulfate-Free Shampoo. Follow it up with a hydrating conditioner like the Monoi Repairing Conditioner. Hair that doesn’t absorb and retain moisture as easily can benefit from a deep conditioning treatment. Ingredients like coconut oil and mango seed butter in the Coco Creme Curl Quenching Deep Moisture Mask will penetrate dry hair to replenish moisture from within and eliminate frizz on the outside of each strand. What’s even better is doing regular steam treatments in tandem with your treatment. The added step will help open the cuticle and let much-needed moisture inside.

Once you get to your styling steps, try the LOC method to layer on your second-day hair products. This is also a technique that you can use to refresh your hair beyond day two. Apply a leave-in conditioner like the Monoi Repair & Protect Multi-Styling Milk. Then, add an oil-based product that works for your specific texture. Lighter oils for wavy hair, heavier for thicker curls.

Or try the Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Pure Hair Oil, which is a universal option for a range of curl patterns. And lastly, smooth a curling cream like Hair Milk Nourishing & Conditioning Styling Pudding through your hair while using your fingers to separate and respiral each curl. For a bit more hold, swap the pudding for the Coco Creme Curls Shaping Cream Gel with Coconut Oil. You can then let your hair air dry or use a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment to speed up the process and reset your style.

Make the most of these second-day hair tips with a lesson on how to sleep on naturally curly hair.

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