How do I know what proportion of water and conditioner to use when I'm refreshing my hair in the morning?
To answer your questions about the conditioner and water ratio...actually, it depends...
If you feel your hair is getting too flat by the end of the week, or it looks really flat when you take it out of its bun(s) or braid(s) in the mornings, add more water and more (combing) conditioner
at the end of the week. In my fuzziest spots my hair can be almost wet with water and conditioner. But if I'm wanting flatter hair, I only add a little tiny bit of water and conditioner, just to perk up my hair. So really, how much you add is up to you, and what you are wanting your hair to do that day.
On an average morning, when I undo my braid, my hair looks flattened and frizzy, especially around my hairline. I put about a dime of conditioner on my hands, wet them, rub them together and then smooth
them over my hairline where it's fuzzy. Then I do the same thing but smooth over the ends of my hair. If needed, I'll add a little more water on my hands and go over those spots to distribute the conditioner. Then I let my hair dry.
If I have a snarl, I put a glop of conditioner on it, wet it, then comb just that spot with the Denman.
If I feel I'd like my hair to be a bit more fluffy today (like on a day I feel my hair seems flat), I'll add very little conditioner, but lots more water. Maybe even no conditioner. I just wet my hands and run them over my hair, and keep repeating until my hair looks smooth, and my curls have sprung back.
If it's near the end of the week, and I want to wear my hair down, I will repeat with the dime-size amount of conditioner and water and concentrate on wetting my ends, and then smoothing all my hair, repeating as needed.
For even more defined and spectacular curls, I go one by one through my curls, and run my fingers down each one until I see it spring back into a nicely defined curl. I do this until there isn't conditioner in my hands. I'll then add more conditioner, wet my hands, and keep moving through my curls until I've defined and refreshed all of them. This is a spectacular look. If you want very defined curls, use more conditioner. If you want fluffy curls, use very little conditioner--just enough to cut down on the frizz.
It does take some experimentation to see how much conditioner to use on a given day, but really, you can't go wrong. I just keep going until my hair seems smooth, and I don't see any flattened curls anymore.