Squish to Condish – The best conditioning method for curly hair

Recently my hair has started behaving less loopy and wavier. I used to get loopy clumped ringlets at the end of my curls that were suddenly not there anymore. So I was looking for ways to get back my loops (helixes) and that’s when I stumbled upon this gem of a method that would change my curly hair conditioning routine forever – Lo and behold the Squish to Condish method.

The principle behind Squish to Condish is that conditioner and water should work in unison to hydrate hair (because water is the hydrating/moisturizing factor, the conditioner is just a medium to get water into our hair). Just like we bathe to fill up the skin with water and then apply a moisturiser to seal it in, we have to fill the hair with water and then leave enough conditioner to seal the water in. Applying loads of conditioner to hair and rinsing it all out with a continuous flow of water is a very superficial thing to do. We should force the water into our hair.

Benefits of Squish to Condish

  • Helps hydrate curls.
  • Promotes curl clumping.
  • You don’t need a separate leave in. This will leave your hair with the right amount of conditioner it needs as a leave in conditioner.

Squish to Condish – How to

1.Shampoo or co-wash your hair. If you clean your hair using the co-washing method, squish to condish should be done after 1 complete step of co-washing or else the dirt laden conditioner will not be rinsed off your hair completely. Rinse thoroughly under running water.

2.Soak your hair in conditioner and detangle thoroughly. Your hair should feel like seaweed.

3.Flip your head upside down.

4.Collect water in the palm of your hands and squish your hair from ends to the scalp. Do this for your whole hair in sections, collecting more water in your palms as you approach a new section.

The squishing action will force the water and conditioner to work together. When you push the water conditioner mixture into the hair, the inside of the hair strand gets filled with water. The hair is absorbing the water and the excess conditioner is being pushed out. You are replacing the conditioner with water with each squish. You will also see curl clumps starting to form. If you feel that your hair is dry or starting to frizz or if your curls aren’t clumping, add more conditioner and repeat the squishing.

5.Repeat the above step 2 or 3 times.

Here’s a video of how I squish to condish.

Following the squish to condish, your curls will look moisturized and frizz free and clumped 🙂 Here are my results –





  1. Wow!! I really nedd to try this method. I always feel that part of my hair remains frizzy even after conditioning and applying a serum.

    1. Hi Debasmita, I currently don’t have any Hedonista products. If I buy them in future, I will surely review them.

  2. Hi, awesome post. Do you wrap your after this with a tshirt and then apply the styling products ? I find my hair doesn’t stay clumped after it dries.

  3. I scrunch my hair while applying some argan oil and then curling mousse afterwards. Scrunching the whole time and no hair is not dripping wet. Should it be ?

    1. If your hair is dripping wet, there will be more clumps and definition. If it is just barely damp, there will be frizz and volume.

  4. Awesome post! Should try it out. The underside of my hair, near my neck, is extremely frizzy, and has been so for years. Why is that happening, and will this method help to reduce it?

    1. Preeti, that is probably because it is an area that we tend to give least attention to. Squish to Condish is mainly for clumping the lengths so may not address that issue. What you can do is, when conditioning, make sure you smooth that area with lots of conditioner when you detangle in the shower.

  5. Do we need to wash our hair after squish and condish method .wont there be any residues of conditioner which we used. Also is it the same conditioner we use for squish and condish which we use normally. Wen shud we use the serum before or after drying the hair after wash.

    1. No you don’t need to wash. The amount of conditioner remaining will be what your hair requires. Yes you can use the same conditioner. You should use any curl product on dripping wet hair to minimise frizz.

  6. Thanks a lot ……will try and let u know the results. I too was (or still )hating my curly hair as it always looks dry and dull.

  7. Hello Anjana, Do you oil before co-washing? Are the mild surfactants in the conditioner strong enough to cut through the grease? Clumping is a real struggle to me. I wonder if light oiling before co-wash going to help!

    1. I’ve tried but with poor results. My hair looked greasy. So I only prepoo before shampooing. For clumping, hair requires water not oil. So apply and scrunch your products to dripping wet hair 🙂

  8. Hey Anjana, should I leave in the conditioner for some time and then try this method coz the hair on my crown area is a bit frizzy.

    1. Hi Stella..Yes leave in the conditioner for sometime. Also apply conditioner to the crown area for every wash till your crown is frizz free. Once that happens please stop applying conditioner on the crown so that your crown area doesn’t look flat 🙂

  9. Hi Anjana,

    Just found your site and love all of the tips! With this method, do you rinse the remainder of the conditioner out or leave it in?
    If you’re leaving it in, would you need to apply leave-in afterwards? And what product method do you follow? LOC? LOCG?

    Thank you!!

    1. Hey Natalie, I don’t rinse the remainder out. I sometimes apply a leave in after or skip to the cream. I use the LCG. No oils for styling 🙂 They leave my hair greasy and weighed down. I incorporate oils into my deep conditioning and prepoo routines !

  10. I have wavy to straight hair.(I use coconut oil and castor oil prewash.biotique walnut bark shampoo gives bounce and volume to my limp hair.then i use biotique thyme conditioner on my scalp. And dove intense repair conditioner on my strands.) I have coarse hair and lots of split ends.I rinse my hair with water everyday and after 3 days shampoo().I am left with lots of baby hair due to trimming. Shall i change my conditioner to loreal intense smooth to prevent split ends?

      1. Thankyou. I dnt use any heat tools.I get a regular trimming done. But my hair is prone to split ends.So please suggest a good conditioner

  11. I tried this and although my curls were clunkier they ended up being too soft if that makes sense-so they didn’t last long and after a day became fly away-what am I doing wrong?

  12. Hey there, thanks for all your tips. Your hair is beautiful. After I’ve co-washed, when I tip my head upside down the hair at my roots is flat against my crown (I need to comb my hair with my fingers during co-washing from roots to tips to create a silky feel in my hair), which is not a good look once dried. So how should I address this do you think? With my head upside down, do I need to use my fingers to lift the hair from the roots (i.e. combing my hair with my fingers from the roots and through the lengths)? Thanks in advance

  13. Hi Anjana, so I tried this today for the first time. My hair is et to dry so I don’t the final result however my query at this point is that my hair after the squishing a feels still slimy – is that right? Is that how it’s supposed to feel?

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