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Taking care of your curls doesn’t have to be complicated, but there’s definitely a right way to help them thrive. Conventional hair routines and products strip curls of moisture and can damage your natural curl pattern, leaving your hair limp, frizzy, and depleted.
We’re here to help, with an easy guide to caring for your curls and insuring they get what they need to look their best.
1. Stay away from curl harming ingredients
What you put on your curls is important, but the things you avoid putting on them might be even more critical. Drying alcohols, parabens, sulfates, silicone, and certain waxed and mineral oils are all on the no list—and it’s worth researching to see if any other ingredients your hair responds negatively to. Read your labels carefully to ensure your hair products are free from potential hair harmers, or use an online tool like curls bot to ensure your product of choice is curl friendly.
2. Say no to frequent washes
It’s tempting to make a complete wash routine part of your daily curl care practices, but that’s actually one of the worst things you can do to your strands. Curly hair thrives on moisture, and when you over wash you’ll leave your strands struggling to stay hydrated, often resulting in lackluster curls and an oily overcompensating scalp. To stretch your washes further, invest in a curl friendly hair health supporting dry shampoo. A few spritzes to your scalp will refresh your strands and hold you over until wash day.
3. Make moisture a priority
Speaking of how curly hair thrives on moisture, hydration needs to be front and center of any successful curl care routine. Curly hair follicles are generally more porous than straight strands, meaning moisture evaporates more quickly and hair has a tendency to be dry. Just ask any curly girl who has struggled with a case of the frizzies! An extra nourishing, moisturizing routine is key when dealing with curls. Apply extra conditioner on wash day using the “squish to condish” method, and make a hydrating hair mask a weekly habit.
4. Scalp care is key
A healthy scalp is the most important foundation for your hair success, so it’s critical that you take care of it the right way. Boost blood flow to your scalp to make sure your roots are getting a fresh infusion of oxygen and nutrient rich blood using tire hands or a scalp massager. Avoid product buildup by thoroughly rinsing on wash day and using a monthly scalp detoxifying scrub. And if you suffer from dandruff, as many curlys do, make sure any treatment you undertake is appropriate for your hair type.
5. Avoid heat tools
It’s tempting to use a curling tool to make your strands look even more defined, or turn to a flat iron when you want to switch things up, but relying on heat tools can leave your hair fragile, and your curl pattern disrupted. Even the humble blow dryer can dehydrate your hair if you make it a regular part of your routine. Remember that those porus strands of yours are already prone to moisture lost, so when you add heat to the mix you’re at risk of ending up with severely dehydrated hair. Try to keep heat tool use to a minimum, using heat free styling alternatives, whenever possible. If you simply must turn up the heat, make sure to apply a heat protectant product before you style.
6. Be sun smart
You’re probably careful to apply sunscreen every time you leave the house, but did you know that your hair needs the same production? UV rays can seriously damage your strands, especially if you have more porous, curly hair. The heat from the sun can also cause moisture to evaporate from within your follicles, leading to frizz and dehydration. Be sun smart by covering up your hair when you leave the house, using a silk scarf or a broad brimmed hat. You can also use UV-protectant hair products for an extra dose of sun safety
7. Don’t damage when you detangle
You don’t need us to tell you that curly hair gets snarled easily, but did you know there’s a right way to detangle it? Many people end up doing more harm to their strands by handling tangles too roughly, so a gentle approach is key. Never brush your strands when wet, as that’s when your follicles are at their weakest, but don’t dry brush either, which can cause frizz. Instead, gently detangle strands when they’re damp and coated in conditioner. Work section by section to carefully work out tangles using your fingers or a wide tooth comb. This careful approach will help preserve your curl pattern and prevent damage to your strands.
8. Switch up your sleep habits
You’ve heard of getting her beauty sleep, but did you know that resting properly is just as important for your hair? Rough pillowcases and sheets can snag on your curly hairs, porous follicles, causing breakage and damage. Switch to a silk pillowcase to help keep your strands strong, or try sleeping while using a protective hairstyle, such as a pineapple bun or braids. Using a silk scarf or sleep cap to protect your hair is another great way to make sure you wake up with your curls looking fabulous.
So there you have it, or ultimate guide to curly hair care! By following these tips, you’ll be setting your stands up for success.