8 tips for taming curly hair
From wavy, loose, tight to kinky, curls can come in a whole range of shapes and sizes. And while each type of curl comes with its own unique advantages and challenges, you can take heart in the fact that there are many others out there who share your curly joys and grievances on a daily basis.
Which is why there is a wealth of information out there from other curly-haired cuties who are happy to share their hair care tips with you. Here are eight savvy tips and tricks on how to care for your curls:
1. No ‘poo for you!
Avoid shampooing hair too regularly. Why? Because typical shampoo contains harsh chemicals (sulphates, in particular) that can strip hair of its natural oils and moisture. And dry hair can mean split ends and other hair damage! According to the author of Curly Girl: The Handbook, Lorraine Massey, textured hair has a natural tendency to be drier than straighter hair types because the naturally moisturising oils created by the scalp don’t adequately quench thirsty curls. So using conditioner, which has a small amount of gentle cleansers, rather than moisture-zapping shampoo, can give curly hair back its vitality.
2. Humidify your life
It’s a pretty simple equation: Dry air + curls = FRIZZ! And while there’s not much you can do while you’re out and about but to endure the weather’s wrath on your hair, you can at least control your environment at home by humidifying the environment. This works to combat the dryness of the air, which ensures that your hair remains moisturised and frizz-free! You can invest in a humidifier for your home or just place a pot of distilled water on the stove and set to a low boil and let the magic happen!
3. Ditch the towel for a T-shirt
If you use a towel to dry your hair, you’re going to lose moisture. Which is the last thing your thirsty curls want or need! So swap the super absorbent towel for a cotton T-shirt, which will greatly reduce frizz and potential breakage after you’ve washed it. Since T-shirts aren’t as absorbent as towels, gently squeeze your hair out before drying – but don’t twist it as it may cause damage to already sensitive curls. Instead the T-shirt should just remove the excess water – and the nurturing and essential moisture required for healthy hair will remain in place, thus avoiding THE FRIZZ!
4. Sleep on satin
Seriously, satin is where it’s at when it comes to curls. Hair experts the world over reckon that a cotton pillowcase will zap the moisture and natural oils out of your hair due to its absorbency. Wake up with dry hair and you’re going to suffer from frizzy untamed curls for the remainder of the day. Sleeping on a satin pillowcase, however, allows your hair to retain its moisture, thus reduce hair breakage and look and feel much better in the morning.
5. Brush be gone
Brushes to curls are like salt to cupcakes. Ugh. DO NOT USE A BRUSH ON YOUR CURLS! Not only will the bristles on the brush damage already delicate and damaged hair, it will do absolutely nothing to untangle the mess that is your curls. Instead try a wide-toothed comb or your fingers and go gently. But before you do that, be sure to detangle any knots. To do this, you could use a little detangler or oil to prevent breakage. Then part your hair into manageable sections, which will make the brushing process easier and distribute oils from your scalp to tips evenly. When your hair is ready for the comb, brush from the nape of your neck to the top of your head from root to tip.
6. Do not touch!
Avoid touching your hair as much as possible. Why? Because this can separate your curls and lead to unwanted frizz. And while you probably already know that, your straight-haired admirers may not and will try to touch your curls without warning. Sure, it’s often done in admiration but it’s actually an infringement on your personal space. And it’s just … ew. How does one avoid sweaty stranger’s hands from unnecessarily frizzing up your mane or ruining your ‘do? I actually don’t have answer for that, although a blazoned tattoo plastered across your forehead saying LOOK BUT DO NOT TOUCH may do the trick. Because let’s be honest here – nothing else will.
7. Diffuse the situation
You shouldn’t use a hairdryer regularly because blowing hot air on your hair makes it frizz something terrible. It also dries what is commonly already very dry hair. But on those occasions when you can’t wait around all day for your hair to dry naturally, there is a solution – the diffuser attachment. The great thing about a diffuser on a hair dryer is that it minimises the frizz by evenly distributing the heat. In other words, it lets you dry your curls quickly without disturbing their natural shape. When using a diffuser, you should always set your hair dryer on a medium and keep it moving so that the air distributes evenly through your hair.
8. Go au naturel
Love your curls in their natural form, and they will love you back. Do away with expensive treatments, straighteners, bleaches, hair dryers and styles and instead let your hair be what it was always meant to be – curly. Once you allow your curls to grow out and start to avoid heat-destroying hair care techniques and harsh chemicals, your natural shine will be restored and your curls will be healthy! Listen to your body and nurture your curls in the most natural way you can.
This article was written by Kylie Matthews and adapted for Kidspot NZ.