Folks with curly hair have probably heard it before, “Oh wow, I love your hair! Mine is always so flat and boring.”
Yes, there’s definitely a lot to be thankful for if you have curly hair, including volume, beautiful shape, and a style that is very hard to replicate if you weren’t born with the hair type.
However, what many people don’t think about much is the unique and sometimes very daunting challenges that come with a head full of curls, including the dreaded frizz. In fact, having curly hair can feel like a full-time job at times. If that’s you, or you just want to know what people with curly hair go through, keep reading about how to properly care for your curly hair.
Washing Curly Hair
Knowing how often to wash your hair depends on the moisture of your scalp and how sweaty you get throughout the week, but typically, people with curly hair should be careful not to wash and shampoo too often, at least not every day. If you shampoo every day, you may be at risk of stripping away too many of your scalp’s natural oils, causing damage to your hair. Instead, many recommend shampoo once or twice a week.
Blow-Dry the Right Way
More often than not, you may want to consider air-drying. If you want to use a hair-dryer, you should make sure you have the right attachment and diffuser to prevent your hair from turning into a frizzy mess. You will want to choose the best blow-dryer for your hair, and check out this in-depth guide to be sure. Believe it or not, there are blow-dryers for almost everyone – fine hair, thick hair, natural hair, as well as considerations like a quieter hair-dryer or a more compact model for travel.
When choosing one for curly hair, you should remember that curly hair is often deceivingly parched as the hair strands’ shape actually can prevent natural oils from getting down the scalp to moisturize the full length of the hair. Without the oils easily finding their way down the curl, your hair will be left in need of much-needed moisture.
Another thing to consider is that curly hair is actually more brittle and fragile, thanks again in part to a potential lack of moisture. The curls also add additional pressure to the hair and make it prone to breakage. As mentioned before, curly hair is prone to frizziness as it absorbs humidity and causes the strands to swell.
So when looking for the right blow-dryer, you want a model that considers all these things. Look then for an ionic hair dryer that helps seal in moisture while still drying it. Having a diffuser attachment is also a life-saver as they can direct the heat to just the right place.
Another staple in keeping moisture in your curly hair is using a conditioner. Looking for one that is specifically made for curly hair is key, especially one that adds healthy and natural ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, or coconut oil. You may also want to consider a leave-in conditioner that can provide longer-lasting moisture and even create a barrier around your hair to prevent it from swelling with humidity, breakage, and frizz. However, you should be wary of using products that have sulfates, which are very effective at cleansing but in the process, steal all your scalp’s natural oils and can cause your hair to become brittle. Instead, look for products that add oils and moisture and are sulfate-free.
Protect Your Hair While You Sleep
Taking care of your curls, unfortunately, doesn’t end when your head hits the pillow. In fact, that cotton pillow may actually be soaking up that hard-earned moisture and good, natural oils. Instead, consider wrapping your hair in a silk scarf to keep those curls shapely and shiny. You can also keep your hair in a loose bun after applying a leave-in conditioner, just make sure it’s dry before you fall asleep. You can also use the pineapple method; put your hair in a t-shirt or microfiber towel, helping lock in the leave-in conditioner and have full, well-defined hair in the morning. For those with tight or wavy curls, you may also consider twisting your hair into braids, and when you wake, you can unknot your hair. You can also try sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase to be extra certain you’ll wake up with silky hair.
In the end, curly hair doesn’t have to be a huge burden to maintain. Yes, it does require some extra tender, loving care, but instead of a curse, it should really be considered a blessing. Just don’t forget that adding and protecting your hair’s moisture is going to be a daily battle, but one that you can win with the right techniques.