10 Things Every Curly-Haired Lady Should Know
Anyone with curly hair can attest to the fact that it takes a lot of trial and error before you find a routine (and the right products) that works for you. That said, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind across the board. Here, the ten best for every type of curl.
Use Curl-Specific Shampoos
Many conventional formulas can strip curls of their natural moisture (and any curly girl knows you’ll take all the moisture you can get). Use a sulfate-free cleanser or co-wash instead (and the occasional clarifying shampoo to remove any product buildup on your scalp when needed).
Scale Back on Washing Altogether
Shampooing your hair every day might be the protocol for some, but for curls it’s overkill. In fact, it will just dry them out and make them less bouncy. If you need a refresh between washes, mist a little leave-in conditioner (some ladies also swear by good ol’ H2O in a spray bottle) and scrunch to coax your coils back to life.
Beware of the Brush
A wide-toothed comb is your best friend (and you should only use it when your hair is sopping wet with conditioner). On that note, always start combing from the bottom and work your way up to detangle strands.
Wash as usual, load on your favorite hair treatment (the one above has a cult following), comb it through and cover it up with a plastic cap. Let it absorb for at least the duration of an episode of Handmaid's Tale (or, you know, Friends) before rinsing it out.
Ditch Your Towel
Swap your terry cloth or cotton for a microfiber towel instead. And when drying your hair, blot or press any excess water out gently—never rough it up.
Let Your Hair Air-Dry
Wash it at night and let it dry completely before going to bed. (We cannot stress this enough. Sleeping on even slightly damp hair will make your curls flat and lifeless the next morning.) If you prefer the speed of a blow-dryer, get thee a diffuser to direct the air flow so you don’t end up disrupting your curls and put it on the cool setting to amp up shine.
Lay Off the Heat Entirely
The less you blow it out or iron it smooth, the better off your curls will be. Heat is super drying and can cause damage to already fragile strands. Over time, it can completely change your natural curl pattern (which will take a long grow-out period to get things back to normal).
Get a Silk or Satin Pillowcase
Tossing and turning throughout the night can seriously frizz up your curls. Minimize any friction by swapping out your cotton pillowcase for a silk or satin one instead. (Bonus: It feels pretty darn nice against your face, too.)
Keep Your Hands Off
Once your hair has been styled the way you want, try your best not to touch it. (Seriously, sit on your hands if you have to.) Touching is a surefire way to induce frizz.
Find a Stylist Who Knows Curls
There are salons (like DevaChan) that specialize entirely in curly hair. Taking the time to look for someone who knows your texture will make all the difference between getting that perfectly precise cut you want (every quarter inch counts, y'all) and having your hair hacked at mercilessly.