How To Squish To Condish For Your Best Curls

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Do you have wavy or curly hair and want to know how to get more hydrated, defined curls and less frizz?

If you’ve been looking for a product or technique that will give your waves and curls the perfect amount of moisture and definition without weighing them down, then you have to give squish to condish a try! We’ll show you how to use the popular squish to condish method to help create bouncy, shiny waves and soft, touchable curls.

What is squish to condish?

Squish to Condish is a technique for adding extra moisture into your curly hair by pushing more water into the cuticles of your hair. The principle behind this technique is simple: water and conditioner are the best things for getting moisture into your curls. The right combination of these two ingredients will make sure you don’t over moisturize your hair but still allow it to retain enough moisture to look and feel hydrated – without becoming weighed down, greasy, or suffocated by product.

Essentially, you’re repeatedly squishing in conditioner and water into your hair, instead of simply rinsing out your conditioner under running water.

Remember that water is what hydrates our hair, not conditioner or oils or butters (those moisturize – there’s a difference). By squishing water and conditioner into your hair, you trap the water in your and the conditioner seals it in. The squishing action raises the cuticles allowing water to enter and hydrate your hair.

The conditioner acts as a sealant around the water, so the two work together to keep your hair hydrated for longer and longer.

The method was devised by hairstylist Melissa Sites. She said this method can be used on all hair types because it’s based on finding a balance between what works on your hair – so don’t worry if you have fine or low density hair-this technique will work for everyone!

squish to condish on fine curly hair

Why You Need To Try It!

Squish to condish has many benefits for wavy and curly hair. The biggest benefit is exactly what it sounds like-additional moisture for your hair. Adding extra moisture can make a huge difference in how curly and wavy hair look, feel, and behave!

If you’re having trouble getting your hair to look hydrated, shiny, bouncy, and springy, then squish to condish can help!

Other benefits include:

  • Reduced frizz, flyaways, and static
  • Helps curls clumps
  • Easier detangling
  • You don’t need to use leave in
  • You end up using less product so your conditioner lasts longer!

Not convinced? Check out these microscopic photos of hair with regular conditioner application and hair with squish to condish. You can clearly see the difference and how well the squish to condish hairs are coated in conditioner. Scientific proof that it works!

squish to condish for wavy hair

Who benefits from this technique?

Squish to Condish is for all curly, wavy, and coily hair types. People with super dry curls will benefit the most from this technique. Those with low density (fine) or high density (coarse) curls can also make use of it! The principle behind squishing conditioner into your hair is that you’re targeting the hair shaft, not your cuticles. If you are looking for a way to moisturize without weighing your hair down, then this is the perfect technique!

If you have hair that is easily weighed down, then be sure to read the last section for tips on using squish to condish for thin or low density hair.

So How Exactly Do You Squish to Condish?

It’s actually pretty easy and just takes a few minutes. You apply your conditioner to wet hair, add water, and scrunch repeatedly like a crazy person. I kid, but really that’s the gist of it. It takes a few more minutes than just slathering on the conditioner and rinsing it, but the benefits are totally worth it!

How To Squish To Condish For Your Best Curls

squish to condish

Learn how to squish to condish for more hydrated, defined, and soft curls and waves.

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • conditioner
  • water


    1. After rinsing out your shampoo or cleanser, apply a small amount of conditioner to the length of your hair. I use about a dime to nickel size for my hair, but you will probably need more.
    2. Flip your head upside down or to the side, and cup your hands to catch some water, OR splash a little water onto the lenght of your hair, OR just quickly stick your head under the running water (super quick!).
    3. Scrunch your hands full of water into your hair, working in sections from the ends up. Add water a few more times and continue scrunching. Scrunch until it no longer drips, and you can move to another section.
    4. Keep scrunching and catching more water ensuring you're getting to all of your hair. Flip to the other side and do more sections. Your hair should start to feel soft like seaweed at this point. If not, add a little more conditioner and scrunch in some more water.
    5. Detangle your curls. You can use your fingers or a detangling brush. Work from the ends up to the roots in small sections.
    6. If your hair needs leave in, then be sure not to end up rinsing all of the conditioner out with this process OR you can use a separate leave in if you wish. If your hair doesn't need leave in, then be sure to scrunch out all the conditioner from your hair. You can do a quick rinse at the end to make sure it's all out.
    7. Proceed with your normal wash day routine. The next step is styling.


Rinse out all the conditioner if you are prone to oily roots, weighed down hair, or have low density hair.

Did you try this?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Some people like to use a bowl to do this instead of in the shower. Check out the Bowl Method of conditioning here. This method is way too cumbersome for me but some do seem to prefer it.

Squish to Condish for thin, low density hair or easily over moisturized hair

I stayed away from trying squish to condish for a while because I know my hair doesn’t like a lot of moisture. I even tried the Bowl Method which was a disaster for my hair.

If your hair is like mine and tends to get over moisturized easily, or if you’re concerned about the amount of moisture because your hair is thin or very fine, you can still do squish to condish with a few tweaks:

  • Make sure you rinse out all of the conditioner

After you have squished your conditioner, rinse it all out (whether you used a regular conditioner or a leave in).

  • Skip using regular conditioner and use a leave in instead

You can do squish to condish with a leave in conditioner instead of regular conditioner if that works better for you. You would follow the same steps but use a much lighter conditioner.

  • Try doing squish to condish less often

Maybe once a week, biweekly, or only when you deep condition works better for you.

  • Use a lightweight conditioner, and use very little of it

Try a lighter conditioner and start with a small amount. The MopTop Light conditioner, Giovanni Root 66, or EVOLVh SmartCurl are good options.

hydrated curly hair

FAQs About Squish to Condish

How often should I squish to condish?

You can do it every time you wash your hair if you want! Since it isn’t a treatment or creating buildup you can do it as often as you want, and most curlies do it every wash day.

What conditioner should I use?

It’s important to use conditioners that don’t buildup on the hair, so your hair can actually absorb the water you’re squishing in. For this reason, I recommend curly girl approved conditioners, and more specifically, water soluble lines like Giovanni, EVOLVh, MopTop, and Innersense to name a few.

Another tip is to make sure you’re clarifying to remove buildup regularly. Again, your hair cannot absorb the water if it is coated in buildup!

Can I squish to condish With deep conditioner?

Yes, you can, but I would let the deep conditioner sit in your hair for the recommended time before squshing in the water.

Does squish to condish work on wavy hair?

Yes, squish to condish works on wavy hair and any textured hair. It doesn’t matter how ‘curly’ your hair is, getting moisture into the cuticle is always beneficial.

Can I do squish to condish with my leave in?

You sure can! I do this sometimes when I skip conditioner, but you can do it with both conditioner and leave in if you want.

Won’t my hair feel gross with the extra conditioner in it?

No! You’re using less conditioner than normal and you’re rinsing most or all of it out. It’s the same as using a leave in, the benefit is your hair has absorbed the right amount of moisture so it will be shiny, soft, defined, and get healthier over time.

Bottom Line

If you have curly, wavy, or coily hair and are looking for a conditioner technique to add more moisture to your locks while also reducing frizz without weighing down your curls then the Squish-to-Condish technique is perfect for you! With this easy step in the conditioner process, you can reduce detangling time, fight off those pesky flyaways (we don’t know about you but we’re always fighting with our own!), and get rid of that dryness on top of your head which leads to frizzy ends. Not only will it make life easier when styling but it’ll give beautiful definition too. Give it a try today and see if all these benefits sound good to you – they certainly did for us!


Science-y Hair Blog – Conditioning Technique: Squish to Condish, How it Works

how to squish to condish for your best curls pin image

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