After 30+ years of dealing with curly hair, I've finally figured some things out...hopefully, these help with your hair situation, whatever it may be!
Curly hair follicles are shaped differently than straight hair follicles, so one size does NOT fit all in terms of hair care. At it's most basic, curly hair needs more moisturizing than straight hair.
1) Don't shampoo more than once a week, even if you use daily hair products.
If your hair appears greasy between shampooing, wet it down and wash with conditioner instead of shampoo.
(you know that lather that happens with shampoo? That's Sodium Laureth Sulfate and specifically dries hair and scalp out. If possible, find a shampoo that does not contain it!)
2) Condition your hair at least twice a week. After shampooing, and in the meantime (only you can know, through trial and error, how many conditions it takes to keep your hair happy...this depends a lot on your scalp and your environment).
3) Go easy on clarifying products, avoid straightening products, stick to curly-hair-specific products (my favorite is DevaCurl, personally).
You can even skip the shampoo and use a gentle exfoliator (like a tiny amount of baking soda on the scalp only) once per week, and condition using diluted lavender oil in a spray bottle.
4) Use a silk or satin pillowcase. This reduces frizz and breakage from hair snagging on coarser fibers while you sleep.
5) To add body, dry your hair upside down, or use hair clips to raise the roots while drying. Shake it out gently with your fingers, from underneath your hair.
6) Combat frizz by gently finger-combing wet hands through frizzing-up curly hair as needed. This revitalizes a lot of hair products.
7) Let your curls air dry whenever possible. If you MUST use a hair dryer, use a diffuser with it!
8) Try to avoid brushing with a brush, or combing with a comb (unless it's a wide-toothed one). Anything you need to do with those you can do with your fingers, in a less-damaging way.
9) If scrunching anything into your hair, don't make a tight fist (keep it loose) and go from the ends up toward the roots.
10) Don't use a curling iron! Direct heat can be very damaging to the hair, and you want to give your locks the loving, moisturizing care they need to become the curls they naturally can be.
Most of all....enjoy your curls!
*Note: These images are not mine. Where possible, I have linked them to their original source, which includes a lot of great curly-hair articles.
Labels: curly hair, hair care