I know what you’re thinking…that we need to recreate this picture? Don’t worry, we did. Wish we could find those dresses.
I’m genuinely excited to be guest posting today, and to share my top 5 tips for curly-haired gals. And, if you don’t have curly hair, this can be an educational tool for you! I do not profess to be any curly haired expert, but I would like to share some knowledge that I have learned through trial and error, conversing with other curly girls, and a butt-load of reading.
My unruly hair has been the subject of many jokes in our family. Mainly because it took me a long time to learn how to manage and take care of it. I spent about 19 years in my bathroom with a straightener, because no one in my family had the knowledge or guidance to help me learn to love my au natural curls. Since being in college I have learned that my curly hair doesn’t have to look like a pyramid, or like an 80’s prom queen. It’s time that us curly girls got some more education and help! So here’s to learning, understanding, and loving our wily manes.
1. Invest in a curly haircut
How many of us curly girls have suffered from a horrible haircut? I’m sure that all of us are tearfully raising our hands. Some of us may even dread going to the hair salon for this very reason. The answer to all of these woes is to invest in a curly haircut. Did you know that there are hairdressers that specialize in cutting only curly hair? It’s about time, I say!
I’m sure many of you are wondering what a curly cut is. A curly cut is typically done with your hair dry while each curl is cut one by one – like a hedge. The hairdresser will analyze the pattern of your curls, and cut them in a way that promotes the growth of the curl. This ensures desired length, and shape. No more triangle head!
In a conventional cut they dampen your curls, comb them out (eek!) and then continue to cut straight lines into the length and layers. Conventional cuts do not take into account the growth of the curl, but rather they stunt it, and in return cause the dreaded triangular hair. The reason to avoid conventional haircuts is because they are made made for girls who have straight hair, or girls who want to spend more time with their straightener.
After receiving my curly cut, my curls were so much happier, bouncier, and easier to manage. Click here for reviews and a directory of curly hairdressers near you.
2. Prolong shampooing
Many may scoff, but shampooing your hair every day, curly or straight, can be extremely harsh and damaging. When we strip the hair shaft of natural oils, daily, the head overcompensates by producing more oil because of the lack thereof. Prolonging shampooing is a huge step towards happier curls; the reason being that because curls have so many twists and turns it takes even longer for the natural oils of the scalp to travel down the hair shaft. These natural oils are what give the girls with straight hair healthy shine and no frizz.
I used to wash my hair with shampoo every other day. I began prolonging the process by adding a day every other week, and while my hair seemed a little greasy for a week, my hair eventually acclimated to the new schedule, and now I wash my hair with shampoo about once every 4-5 days. In between shampooing, you can still wet your curls in the shower, but instead of using shampoo, gently scrub your scalp to loosen the dirt off of it, aiding the natural oils down the hair shaft, and finish with conditioner on the ends to detangle, and moisturize. Truth be told, conditioner itself is gentle enough to cleanse and moisturize the hair in between shampooing.
**There is quite a bit of buzz on the internet concerning sulfate free hair products and curls. I personally still own products containing sulfates, not because I don’t believe, but because I’m a poor college student and would like to finish off my current hair products before I invest in more. If you have tried sulfate free products I would like to hear from you whether you prefer them or not!
3. No more towel turbans
Terry cloth towel turbans have been my vice. It’s just something that you grow up doing, and it becomes habitual. The terry cloth towel is a breeding ground for frizz. Instead I recommend removing excess water from your curls with an old t-shirt, like this one:
4. Ditch the brush and comb.
I think everyone has learned the hard way to never brush out curls. The result is catastrophic. I might as well have auditioned for the role of orphan Annie. Instead, I don’t touch my curls, I let them do as they well please, because I’ve found that trying to control them never works. And quite frankly, this was completely frustrating for me to realize. It was probably the number one reason that I couldn’t learn to love my curls, but now, I’ve recognized that it is a bit of a blessing in disguise. Curly hair has little to no styling time. I personally let my curls air dry, and some may choose to dry them with a diffuser, but other than that you can twist your curls back into a pony, let them fall, or whatever; messy is perfectly uniform with curly hair. That is the thing that I have grown to love about my curls.
Even combs can be enemies to curly heads. Combing hair while wet, even with a wide tooth comb, will brush the curl towards the ends, and make the curls heavy, with little to no volume. I have completely banished my comb from my after shower ritual. The only time I “comb” through my hair is when I’m combing conditioner through my hair (with my hands) to detangle and condition, and when applying product while my hair is still dripping wet. After I apply my curl cream, I then gently scrunch my hair with the old t-shirt, and then let my hair air dry.
My choice of curl cream is Garnier Fructis Curl Calm Down. I found it here for the best price .
5. Coconut oil is a magic wonder.
Coconut oil is a big trend in food, skincare, and haircare at the moment, but for a good reason! I have found that it works wonders when used as a weekly hair mask. I will apply around 1 tbsp through the roots and to the ends, let sit for an hour or two, and finish with shampoo and conditioner. Sometimes I’ll even wrap my hair in saran wrap or a good ole shower cap and sleep in it over night. The finished product is soft, shiny, and rejuvenated curls.
I use the Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil, which can be found here. It also makes for a great cuticle oil, and lotion for dry hands.
I hope that these tips have been helpful. If you have any comments or questions please leave a comment! My goal is to help curly girls become more informed about how our curls tick. I would love to begin a discussion, or hear about any tricks that work for you!