Posted on May 25 2017
From sexy beach waves to vibrant corkscrews, curly hair is definitely having its moment. But while curls are gorgeously textured and loaded with body, any curly-headed person will tell you it's not all it's cracked up to be. Trying to make your curls soft, but not frizzy, and smooth, but not crunchy, is a curly girl's life goal. Even when you feel like you've mastered your styling game, some days you just can't escape fluffy, frizzy hair. Or can you? In this tutorial, you'll learn the simple steps to care for your tresses and make the most of your natural, beautiful curls.
Cleanse and Moisturize
You've been shampooing and conditioning your hair since you were a kid, so this is an easy one, right? Not so fast! Yes, washing your hair is a basic step, but curly hair has special cleansing and moisturizing needs.
First of all, the lovely coils that give your hair great texture actually make it harder for your scalp's natural oils to travel down the hair shaft. It's common for curly-headed people to see dry, frizzy hair, even if their scalp is oily. To make matters worse, traditional shampoos often contain sulfates - harsh cleaning agents that strip hair of its natural oils and make curls even thirstier.
So, what should you do to make sure your hair is getting (and keeping) enough moisture? Some curly girls simply forgo shampoo altogether. Try a DIY cleansing method, such as apple cider vinegar or baking soda. Or, wash your hair with a light conditioner, massaging your scalp with your fingertips or a scalp brush to help break up oils. If going completely no-poo (no-shampoo) is too intimidating, look for gentle shampoos that don't contain sulfates.
When it comes to conditioners, curls need highly moisturizing formulas. Look for ingredients like shea butter, argan oil, and coconut oil. Stay away from conditioners that contain silicone, however. Although this ingredient helps keep frizz at bay, it won't wash out of your hair with gentle cleansers, leading to build-up and limp, dull hair. Using a heavy-duty hair treatment can also give your hair an intense boost of moisture.
Apply Styling Product
Styling product options are as diverse as the curls they're meant to enhance, and it will take some experimenting to find the best ones for your hair. Wavy hair may only need a bit of leave-in conditioner or styling cream, while kinky curls might require strong-hold gel. Many people find success with a combination of products. No matter what you choose, like conditioner, look for silicone-free styling products.
In most cases, you'll apply styling products while your hair is wet, immediately after washing and conditioning. After showering, lightly wrap your hair in an old t-shirt or microfiber towel. Regular terry cloth soaks up water too quickly, removing all that moisture you've just added to your curls.
To encourage your curls' natural shape, gently scrunch product from the ends of your hair up to the scalp. This helps define curls while providing volume. If your hair is frizz-prone, applying product while your hair is quite wet helps the curls stick together.
Time to Dry
If your hair is still really wet after applying product, scrunch your curls again with the t-shirt, microfiber towel, or hair drying gloves to absorb excess water without removing product.
Curly hair benefits from air drying, but that's not always an option in your busy day. If you need to blow-dry your hair, make sure to use a diffuser attachment, which slows the dryer's airflow, thereby reducing frizz. Use the bowl of the diffuser to scoop your hair up toward the scalp for volume and shape.
Whether you air-dry or blow-dry your curls, try not to touch them too much! Touching your hair breaks the cast you've created around the curl with your styling product and leads to frizz. If the product leaves your hair feeling crispy, gently scrunch with your hands to loosen the cast.
If desired, once your hair is completely dry, use a curling wand to perfect any wayward spirals. Wands create a more natural-looking curl than traditional curling irons.
While everyone's curls are unique, these three steps provide the foundation for healthy, weather-resistant locks. Play around with cleansing, moisturizing, and styling products to find the best formula for your specific hair type, and get ready to rock your luscious curls. Contact us for the tools and products that make the most of your hair!