Au Naturel: Love the Curls You’re in
Curly Girl Hair Maintenance Advice
Today, more and more women are embracing their naturally curly texture, but how to deal with those temperamental tresses is a different story. If you’re a curly-haired woman, the good news is that you can capitalize on your curls and work with your waves, and all it takes is a few simple tweaks to your hair care routine to ensure that the hair you were born with always looks and feels fabulous.
It all starts with the shampoo (and conditioner)
Curls can be tricky. Dry them out and frizz ensues. Over moisturize them and they fall flat. In order to help make sure your ‘do’ doesn’t fall victim to either of these unfortunate fates, it’s vital that you pay attention to what shampoo you use, how much of it you apply and how often you wash. First, start with sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. Not just for those with treated tresses, sulfate-free products are designed not to strip the hair; that means that they protect the cuticle, preventing dried out frizz. Don’t use more than a quarter size dollop when you wash unless you have super long hair, in which case, two quarters max for shampoo and a double-dime size drop for conditioner. And finally, don’t wash your hair more than two or three times weekly, at most; if you can get away with it, once a week is enough.
Comb while you condition.
Instead of waiting to comb your hair after you’re out of the shower and it’s drying, curls and waves benefit from early intervention, so bring a wide-tooth comb or pick into the shower with you. While the conditioner is working its magic, comb it through. Be sure to start at the ends and work your way up towards the scalp, then rinse. Distributing the product this way will not only give you even moisture, it will work through the knots without damaging the follicle, and on that note…
Skip the towel dry
Using a towel to rub, rub, rub, the excess water from your hair post-shower damages it. The friction creates frizz and can cause breakage, particularly for hair that’s anything but straight. Squeeze and blot your hair to get rid of excess moisture instead. If you blow dry, use a diffuser starting at the scalp/base of your head and working your way down to the ends. Otherwise, style and go. And remember, don’t use a brush – it’s just another way to damage the hair and drag down your natural volume. Wide tooth combs and picks are a curly girl’s best friends.
Humidity is the enemy
Combat humidity any time of year and seal in your style with frizz cream or serum (again, just a dime sized amount). This will also help hold your style for longer. Meanwhile, you can revive your curls between shampoos with a spritz of half water, half conditioner on the ends. Lastly, sleep with your hair in a bun or “pineapple” atop your head. It’s one last way to prevent friction from messing with your do by keeping your curls intact overnight!