Curly hair isn’t for the weak and the meek. Every day can feel like an adventure when looking for ways to tame curly hair textures.
Since most people on the planet don’t have to deal with curly tresses, it can be difficult to find a research-based hair regimen that makes sense for maintaining beautiful curls.
But the trick to naturally curly hair is nurturing your hair as it is and not attempting to make it conform to what it should be. Here are 10 tips on how to take care of curly hair and keep your mane looking majestic.
- Co-wash Your Hair
Co-washing is a new trend for textured hair that helps your hair strands maintain moisture between washes. It’s a great trick for curly hair that can dry out if washed too often during the week.
Co-washing just means that you apply conditioner to your hair just like you would shampoo. There are specific co-washing formulas available from major brands, or you can simply use your favorite conditioner as a co-washing product.
- Shampoo in Sections
Clumping large amounts of curly hair can create a tangled mess in the shower. Avoid rushing through a shampoo and take your time to work through your hair in sections.
Divide your curls into four sections and apply shampoo to each taking care to massage your hair from root to ends. The result is fewer tangles and product residue when you apply your conditioner.
This is important because your conditioner needs to penetrate the full length of your hair strands in order to leave it with a healthy shine. Too many tangles or leftover residue makes it hard for the deep conditioner to work its magic.
- Don’t Shampoo Daily
Straight hair can stand up to daily shampoos. Curly hair doesn’t have the same maintenance demands. Too many shampoos throughout the week can mean dry hair strands that get unmanageable with time.
Help your hair hold on to moisture by reducing the number of times you shampoo your hair during the week. If you need a reset, co-washing your hair or finding a good leave-in are both great ways to keep your hair looking great during the week.
- Use Cool Water
There is nothing sexy about a cold shower. But your hair will thank you for turning down the heat on shampoo days.
The cold water helps to seal the cuticles of your hair which means more body and shine. If you can’t stand the cool water for the entire shampoo, opt for cold water only during the conditioning treatment to get the best results.
- Upgrade Your Towel Dry Experience
Upcycle old t-shirts into hair towels to gently rid your hair of excess water. Heavy towels often strip curly hair of moisture and should be avoided at all costs if they’ve reached their scratchy phase.
A microfiber towel or old t-shirt are two of your best bets when looking for a drying solution that’ll keep your hair healthy. If you have longer hair, hair plopping is a great option to extend your drying overnight. It’s the process of wrapping your hair in an old t-shirt or microfiber towel and sleeping in it.
- Use Satin or Silk
Women with textured hair often use a satin or silk bonnet to help lock in moisture while they sleep. The roughness of cotton pillowcases leads to frizz in curly hair which means unpredictable hair in the morning.
If you don’t want to sleep in a bonnet, aim for satin or silk sheets instead. As you toss and turn throughout the night, your hair strands are still protected by the fabric.
- Avoid Heat
It’s tempting to try out the latest sleek straight hairstyles. But doing so can lead to permanent damage to your curly texture if you have fine hair.
Flat irons, blow dryers and other heat tools are bad news for curly hair. Remember air-drying is your friend.
If you need to dry your hair quickly, only use blow dryers with a diffuser attachment to minimize the impact of the heat. Dry from tip to root on the lowest heat setting to avoid potential heat damage.
- Remember Root to Tip
Comb your curls correctly to prevent breakage. Always start combing at the tips of your hair and gradually work your way up to the roots.
Like with shampooing, you’ll want to detangle your hair in sections to avoid creating more tangles than you started with. Curly girls don’t need to brush unless you are looking to put your hair in a sleek ponytail.
Brushing curly hair confuses the curl pattern and can leave you with a frizzy mess.
- Make a Hair Cocktail
Until you find that perfect mix, don’t hesitate to mix up a few hair cocktails to find out what your hair likes most. Sample leave-in conditioning products together on your hair to create a ‘cocktail.’
Think of products with opposite traits like gel and coconut oil for the best results.
- Sleep in a Pineapple
Put your hair in a top-knot before going to bed at night. This trick helps maintain your curl pattern overnight while preventing ‘bedhead.’
As long as you’re using the right pillowcases, you’ll wake up to bouncy curls in the morning. Simply take out your ponytail and give your hair a shake to release your curls.
Learning How to Take Care of Curly Hair
Expect the process of learning how to take care of curly hair to take months, if not years to master. There’s no magic bullet that produces perfect curls every day, but there are strategies that can help you avoid damage that leads to frizz and tangles.
Keep your hair in good health to increase your chances of maximum shine and natural volume. Hair treatments for curly hair are all about locking in moisture and letting your curls live their best life.
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