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Squish to Condish: Define & Hydrate Curls With Expert Tips (2024)

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squish to condishEmbarking on a journey to tame your curls? Dive into the transformative world of Squish to Condish, a method that’s not just about conditioning but a revolutionary way to hydrate and define your curls.

Created by curly hair aficionado Melissa Stites, this technique is your secret weapon against frizz, promising to turn your wash days into a celebration of your natural texture.

Whether you’re battling with waves or coils, Squish to Condish offers a tailored approach to achieving the luscious, hydrated curls you’ve always dreamed of. Let’s unravel the magic behind this method and how you can incorporate it into your routine for stunning, frizz-free curls.

Key Takeaways

  • Squish to Condish is a hydration and curl definition technique created by Melissa Stites, emphasizing the use of conditioner and water to enhance the natural texture of curly hair.
  • The method involves cleansing with a sulfate-free shampoo or co-wash, thorough detangling, and applying conditioner away from the roots to avoid weighing hair down.
  • The squishing technique is central to the method, involving squishing water and conditioner from ends to roots to encourage cuticle penetration and hydration, without fully rinsing out the conditioner.
  • Post-conditioning care includes the plopping technique to retain curl shape and reduce frizz, applying styling products on wet hair, and mixing leave-in conditioner with water for curl clumping to lock in style and enhance curl definition.

Understanding Squish to Condish

Understanding Squish to Condish
Squish to Condish, created by Melissa Stites, is a game-changer for curly hair care.

This method focuses on hydrating curls and enhancing their definition through a unique application of conditioner and water.

Origin by Melissa Stites

You’ve probably heard the term squish to condish bouncing around the curly hair community like a well-defined curl.

This catchy phrase isn’t just a fad; it’s a game-changer for natural hair hydration, frizz reduction, and curl definition. Dreamed up by Melissa Stites, this technique is like a hydration party for your curls, and water is the VIP guest.

Imagine your conditioner as the bouncer, letting water in to mingle and hydrate each strand. It’s not just about slathering on the conditioner; it’s about squishing in the hydration for those enviable curl clumps.

So, if you’re tired of your curls feeling like a parched tumbleweed, give squish to condish a whirl.

Technique Overview

After diving into the origins of Squish to Condish, courtesy of Melissa Stites, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how this game-changer works.

Picture this: you’re in the shower, curls thirstier than a cactus in the desert, and you’re about to quench that thirst with a technique that’s as fun as it sounds. Squish to Condish isn’t just about slathering your hair in conditioner; it’s a strategic play to ensure every strand gets a VIP hydration treatment.

You’re going to squish that conditioner into your hair with water, creating a symphony of squelches that signals moisture is seeping into every curl. This isn’t just conditioning; it’s conditioner penetration, curl hydration, and curl clumping all rolled into one.

And the best part? It’s like giving your curls a spa day, minus the hefty price tag. So, grab your conditioner, and let’s turn those frizzies into fabulous curls with some water squishing action. It’s time to embrace the squish, and trust me, your curls will thank you for it.

Preparing Hair for Squish to Condish

Preparing Hair for Squish to Condish
To prepare your hair for the Squish to Condish method, start by cleansing with a sulfate-free shampoo or co-wash.

Next, thoroughly detangle your hair to prevent breakage and allow for even distribution of conditioner during the Squish to Condish process.

Washing With Sulfate-Free Cleanser

Continuing from the benefits of the Squish to Condish method, let’s dive into the importance of starting your routine with a sulfate-free cleanser. You’re not just washing your hair; you’re setting the stage for those luscious locks.

Think of a sulfate-free cleanser as the unsung hero that preps your curls for the spotlight. It’s like a gentle bouncer, kicking out dirt and oil without the harshness that can strip your hair’s natural oils.

This is where the co-wash benefits come into play, promoting scalp health without the overzealous clean that can leave your hair singing the blues.

Now, imagine your hair as a garden. You wouldn’t blast your delicate flowers with a power hose, right? Similarly, sulfate alternatives cleanse without causing a drought in your hair’s ecosystem. And if you’re worried about build-up, occasional clarifying shampoos can join the party to deep clean without crashing it.

So, grab your GRO Revitalizing Conditioner and finger comb your way through this sulfate-free ritual. Your curls will thank you with bounce and vitality, ready to be squished to condish perfection.



Before you dive into squishing and conditioning, detangling is a crucial step that sets the stage for success. Picture this: a tangled mess of hair can hinder the even distribution of conditioner, leaving you with unevenly hydrated curls.

  • Detangling Products: Opt for products specifically designed for detangling, like leave-in conditioners or detangling sprays.
  • Detangling Tips: Work in small sections, starting from the ends and gradually moving towards the roots.
  • Detangling Schedule: Make detangling a regular part of your hair care routine, especially before washing and conditioning.
  • Detangling Tools: Invest in a wide-toothed comb or a detangling brush to gently remove tangles.
  • Detangling Techniques: Finger combing can also be effective, especially for finer hair types.

Applying Conditioner Correctly

Applying Conditioner Correctly
When applying conditioner using the Squish to Condish method, it’s crucial to get the amount and distribution right.

You’ll want to use a generous amount of conditioner, ensuring it’s evenly spread through your hair, but avoid applying it directly to the roots and scalp to prevent buildup.

Amount and Distribution

When it comes to applying conditioner the right way, think of your hair as a thirsty plant that needs just the right amount of water and nutrients to thrive.

The trick is in the balance: too little and it remains parched, too much and it gets overwhelmed. Start by slathering a generous dollop of conditioner on your wet locks. Imagine you’re painting a masterpiece, and your hair is the canvas—every strand needs to be coated but not drenched.

Avoid the roots like you’d avoid getting syrup in your hair—messy and unnecessary. As you comb through with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb, you’re not just detangling; you’re ensuring every hair shaft gets its share of the love, reducing breakage and boosting manageability.

This step is crucial for achieving that dreamy hair density and making styling products work their magic later on. Remember, it’s not about drowning your hair in product, but about quenching its thirst in the most efficient way possible.

Avoiding Roots and Scalp

After you’ve slathered your locks with a generous amount of conditioner, it’s crucial to sidestep the scalp to avoid greasy roots. Instead, focus on the lengths and ends where moisture is most needed. This ensures even distribution without compromising scalp health.

Keep squishing to encourage curl formation and maintain those moisture levels, but steer clear of the scalp to keep it fresh and flake-free.

The Squishing Technique

The Squishing Technique
To truly harness the power of the Squish to Condish technique, it’s essential to focus on encouraging cuticle penetration. This helps in ensuring that your hair is absorbing moisture effectively. Listening for an audible squelching sound is another key aspect.

These indicators not only signal that you’re applying the method correctly but also help in achieving optimal hydration and curl definition.

Encouraging Cuticle Penetration

After you’ve slathered on the right amount of silicone-free conditioner, it’s time to get down to business with the squish to condish technique.

You’re aiming for deep hydration, and that means encouraging cuticle penetration and conditioner absorption. Think of your hair cuticles as thirsty little sponges. They’re just waiting to soak up all that moisture.

So, tilt your head forward, let your hair dangle like a willow, and squish! You want to hear that satisfying squelch – it’s the anthem of moisture retention. Keep squishing, and you’ll feel your hair drinking in that conditioner-water cocktail.

It’s like a spa day for your strands, with every squish ensuring that deep conditioner is working its way into every nook and cranny. And remember, patience is a virtue here. Give your hair the time to really absorb that goodness.

You’re not just going through the motions; you’re embarking on a curl-care routine that’s a game-changer. So, keep at it until your hair feels like it’s had its fill of that deep hydration. Your reward? Curls that are the envy of the frizz-free, deeply moisturized hair world.

Audible Squelching Indicator

  1. Start with freshly washed and detangled hair. Co-wash or use a sulfate-free shampoo.
  2. Rinse hair thoroughly under running water.
  3. Apply a generous amount of silicone-free conditioner to your wet hair. Focus on the lengths and ends.
  4. Use your fingers to distribute the conditioner evenly and detangle. Your hair should feel slippery and coated like seaweed.
  5. Flip your head upside down and cup your hands to collect water from the shower.
  6. Gently squish and knead the water into your hair from ends to roots using a pulsing motion.
  7. You should hear an audible squelching sound, indicating enough conditioner is present.
  8. Continue squishing water into all sections of your hair until it’s fully saturated but not dripping.
  9. There’s no need to rinse out the conditioner fully. The squishing motion helps the water and conditioner penetrate the hair cuticles.
  10. Scrunch out any excess water with your hands or a microfiber towel.
  11. Apply any styling products while hair is still soaking wet for enhanced curl definition and clumping.
  12. Allow hair to air dry or use the plopping technique for longer hair.

The Squish to Condish method hydrates curls from the inside out, reduces frizz, enhances curl definition, and eliminates the need for separate leave-in conditioners. It can be done with regular or leave-in conditioners on most curl types except very oily hair.

Rinsing and Defining Curls

Rinsing and Defining Curls
To ensure your curls are optimally hydrated and defined, the Squish to Condish method is key.

It’s all about using water and conditioner to enhance moisture and encourage curl clumping.

Water Squishing for Hydration

Water squishing is your secret weapon for hydration heaven. Think of it as giving your curls a big, refreshing drink of water.

You’re not just rinsing out conditioner; you’re using water to push that moisture deep into every strand, unlocking the door to hydration town. This isn’t just splashing water around; it’s a strategic squish, ensuring every curl gets its fair share of love.

It’s like your curls are throwing a hydration party, and water’s the guest of honor. The result? Curls that look like they’ve been on a spa retreat, not just a quick shower detour.

So, dive in, squish away, and watch your curls come to life, frizz taking a backseat, and shine taking the wheel. Remember, it’s not just about getting wet; it’s about getting wise with your water.

Curl Clumping and Definition

After thoroughly squishing the water and conditioner mixture into your hair, you’ll notice your curls start to clump together into defined ringlets or waves.

  • Encourages curl formation and enhances your natural curl pattern
  • Creates bigger, bouncier, more defined curls
  • Reduces frizz by binding the hair strands together

As you continue squishing, the curls will become more saturated with moisture and the clumps will become more pronounced.

Once your hair stops dripping excess water and the curls look frizz-free with a smooth, defined shape, you’ve achieved optimal curl clumping through squish to condish. At this point, you can move on to the next steps like plopping or applying stylers.

The amount of conditioner and water squishing needed can vary based on factors like hair length, density, porosity, and curl type. But the end result should be hydrated, defined curls with minimal frizz and enhanced clumping.

So be patient and keep squishing until you achieve your desired level of curl definition and formation.

Post-Conditioning Care

Post-Conditioning Care
After completing the Squish to Condish method, it’s time to set your curls for the day.

You’ll start by using the plopping technique to help your curls retain their shape and reduce frizz.

Then, while your hair is still very wet, apply your styling products to lock in moisture and define your curls.

Plopping Technique

After mastering the squish to condish method, it’s time to wrap things up—literally—with the plopping technique. This step is your secret weapon for locking in that extra moisture, reducing breakage, and enhancing curl definition, all while keeping frizz at bay.

Think of it as tucking your curls into bed; a soft, cotton T-shirt or microfiber towel becomes the cozy blanket that helps your curls retain their shape and hydration as they dry. Simply lay your chosen fabric flat, flip your curls onto it, and wrap them up on top of your head.

This isn’t just about drying; it’s about giving your curls a gentle hug, ensuring they wake up looking their best. So, go ahead, give your curls the pampering they deserve with a good plop. It’s like a spa day for your hair, minus the hefty price tag.

Applying Styling Products on Wet Hair

After squishing in your conditioner and defining those curls, it’s time to lock in the style. While your hair is still soaking wet, that’s your golden window for product application. Think of your strands as thirsty little sponges; they’ll drink up the right balance of water to conditioner, leading to clump-tastic curls.

Now, don’t just slap on any product willy-nilly. Consider your hair’s porosity—does it soak up moisture like a desert in a rainstorm, or repel it like a duck’s back? This will guide how much product you need.

For the perfect cocktail, mix your leave-in conditioner alternatives with water—aim for a 20% leave-in and 80% water ratio. This isn’t just a frugal tip from the curly community; it’s a curl clumping method that’s easy on the wallet and heavy on the benefits.

Distribute this concoction with finesse, using techniques that ensure every strand is equally pampered. Remember, the goal is to have those curls so well-defined, they could sign autographs.

So, go ahead, flip your hair like you’re in a shampoo commercial and squish in your styling products. Your curls will thank you with bounce, shine, and a frizz-free existence that lasts all day.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does hard water impact the Squish to Condish method?

Hard water can be a curly-haired person’s nemesis, especially when you’re squishing to condish.

Those extra minerals in hard water, like calcium and magnesium, can form a stubborn film on your hair. This barrier locks out the moisture you’re trying so hard to squish in, leaving your curls thirstier than a cactus in the desert.

It’s like trying to fill a cup with a lid on it – no matter how much you pour, the goodness just can’t get in.

Can Squish to Condish accelerate hair color fading?

Squish to Condish doesn’t directly cause hair color to fade, but frequent washing and conditioning can.

Be gentle with your locks to keep that color vibrant!

Is Squish to Condish effective for high porosity hair?

Yes, Squish to Condish is effective for high porosity hair as it helps to lock in moisture, which is often a challenge for this hair type.

How often should Squish to Condish be performed weekly?

Throw caution to the wind and squish to condish once or twice a week to keep your curls in shipshape!

Listen to your locks—they’ll tell you when they’re thirsty for more.

Can Squish to Condish replace deep conditioning treatments?

No, squish to condish can’t fully replace deep conditioning treatments. Here’s why:

Squish to condish is a technique that helps distribute conditioner evenly and boost moisture, but it uses a regular rinse-out conditioner. Deep conditioning treatments, on the other hand, use richer, more intensive hair masks or deep conditioners that penetrate the hair shaft more deeply to provide extra nourishment and repair.

While squish to condish is great for adding moisture during your regular wash routine, deep treatments are still necessary every few weeks, especially for very dry, damaged, or high-porosity hair. The concentrated formulas in deep conditioners help strengthen the hair, improve elasticity, and provide longer-lasting benefits that regular conditioners can’t match.

So while you can squish to condish frequently for added hydration, it shouldn’t completely replace the more intensive deep conditioning your hair needs periodically. Using both techniques gives you the best of both worlds – consistent moisture from squish to condish, plus the reparative benefits of deep treatments.


Savor the simplicity and success of Squish to Condish, your go-to guide for gorgeous, hydrated curls.

By embracing this method, you’re stepping into a streamlined routine that transforms frizz into fabulous definition.

With these expert tips, achieving dreamy, defined curls is within your grasp.

Dive into this journey and let your curls shine with Squish to Condish.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.