Tips for Caring for Curly Hair

Woman with curly hair

As curls are making the scene at some mighty impressive Hollywood venues–just to name a few spots–more and more of us “normal” people are discovering how impressively glam they really are. The hair fashion world has taken to producing amazing curl effects and detailed tutorials to ensure everyone can have at least one for their very own. It doesn’t even matter for the once forever curl-less, who at one time ruled the hair empire, as even these silky heads are now Googling curling techniques with a passion! With so many new heads sporting curls–natural and formed–for the first time, there is a need for specific methods of TLC for curls to support anyone’s curly choice.

Shampooing Curls
With shampooing being a bit of a misnomer, curls do best when never coming in contact with detergent shampoos containing ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, salt and parabens. Cleaning or cleansing seem to better fit the bill. You might miss the lather at first, but once you experience the healthier, curly hair, you’ll fall in love! Those shampoos that lather up are too harsh for most curls, which is a guarantee for frizz. Try one of the “co-washing” (washing with a conditioner) products that substitute a gentle formulation of water and oils for harsh detergent shampoos. Cleansing conditioners are available for curly hair, too. Try both on for size, to see which you like better. And curls do best with a little more time between cleansings–like one day up to three.

Style Your Curly Hair While it’s Wet
After lightly wicking the drip-prone water from your hair by gently patting with a towel, apply your styling products while your hair is still wet, using fingers to spread them with a raking motion from your roots on out. Next, scrunch while pressing in toward your scalp. Air dry.

Woman using hair conditioner.

Conditioning Curls
Curly hair needs help for the hair’s natural oils to make the trip from the scalp to the ends. Deep condition the lower extremities of your hair, and always include a styling product that conditions and can be left in. If you are after softer curls, use a spray. Medium to larger curls do best with thicker gel formulations, and for a more crimped style of coils, go with a thick cream product.

Alcohol–the Curl’s Nemesis
Curls and styling products containing alcohol are a recipe for dried out, dull and broken off hair. The worst offenders? First comes hair sprays, followed by gels and mousses. There are some excellent water-soluble products made specifically for curls, and they supply ideal volume, and control that is never brittle.

Diffuser-Dry Only
Resolve to never blow dry your hair without a diffuser. It’s the only way to ensure an even look and over time, the powerful heated air currents can mess with your curl pattern permanently. The best way to dry? Flip your head over and place that diffuser at the hair’s roots first, and then at mid-length. If you’re going to do the ends, save them for last, to prevent certain damage from over-drying.

Only Dry Cuts, Please
Curly hair does not all dry the same, and for this reason, only a dry cut will suffice. Some curls coil more tightly, some looser. Plus you get a better idea of how much your stylist is chopping off.

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