Naturally curly hair can look dry, frizzy and out of control. Taming it often requires drastic measures, but it doesn’t have to. Some simple changes in your hair routine will make your curly hair healthy, shiny and full of vitality.
For the best results with your curly hair, identify which type you have. The Naturally Curly website developed a typing system that can help you keep your curly hair healthy and looking fabulous. Some tips apply across all curly hair types. Let you hair air dry after blotting it with a towel. Curly hair tends toward dryness–the hairdryer can make it worse, and rubbing causes frizz. Avoid brushing your hair when it is dry and use satin pillow covers to reduce tangling.
The book “Curly Girl” by Lorraine Massey with Deborah Chiel recommends avoiding shampoo and using a high-quality conditioner to clean curly hair. While this may seem extreme, the ingredients in many hair products like shampoo cause damage to hair. Curly hair tends to have higher susceptibility to damage due to its porous nature.
Look for an alcohol-free conditioner with emollients, humectants and protein. Emollients, the nut butters and oils in conditioner, make the hair shiny and soft. Humectants lock in moisture. Look for ingredients like honey, panthenol and sorbitol. You also want protein in the conditioner. Because hair is made of keratin, a protein, this ingredient helps repair and restore hair. Look for it listed as wheat, silk and soy.
Cleaning your hair with conditioner works a little differently than using shampoo. Rub and massage a dime-sized squirt of conditioner into your scalp. Do this all over your head. Rubbing helps the product remove dirt and build-up. Rinse thoroughly while continuing to massage your scalp. You may need to conditioner your hair as you normally would and detangle by finger combing it through all of the hair. Rinse with cool water. If you aren’t willing to try eliminating shampoo or if you find over time that residue builds, wash your hair with about 1/2 tsp shampoo mixed with a little water. Try to wash your hair only as needed instead of every day.
Find a silicone-free gel for holding the curls. Use your fingers to scrunch it into your hair. Leave your hair alone while it dries. Use your fingers to arrange and separate curls. Twist curls you want to emphasize. For height on top, cross sections of hair over each other and let them fall. If you need to hurry the drying process, use a diffuser on your hairdryer set to low heat.
- long curly hair image by Frenk_Danielle Kaufmann from Fotolia.com