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Curly Hair 101: How to Care for your Curly Hair

Is it just me or have you once had a love-hate relationship with your curly hair? Don’t get me wrong, I love my curls but boy were they difficult to tame before I started learning about how to maintain healthy curly hair. In the past two years I have probably tried a million different mousses and curl creams to try and find the right one that works for me. I found mousses that crunch and stiffen my hair, ones that dry my hair out and some curl creams that flat out do not even work. As frustrating as that was, finding what works for your curls definitely requires a good amount of trial and error. Realizing that we are not waking up with red carpet ready to go hair is something we are just going to have to accept.  


Prior to my curly hair journey, I used to just shower and head out the door
without putting any product in my hair and hoping it will turn out perfectly curly and shiny.
Don’t get me wrong, doing that is definitely okay, but for my hair it did not work. 
First I slowly started experimenting with shampoos and conditioners meant for curly hair, then I tried using curl creams over mousses, and finally I tried diffusing my hair instead of air drying. Trial and error
are definitely going to happen and that is okay, but in your process of all this buying and trying I want to share some curly girl tips with you and some of my favourite products that work for me!  


Ingredients to Avoid 

As consumers, when we buy it is common to pick products with the nicest packaging or choose the brand with the biggest name because we might think it is the best. Unfortunately, in most cases this can be dangerous because as we all know it is never good to judge a book by its cover. A simple look on the ingredients list can really show what kind of product you are choosing to use. For us curly haired girls you are going to want to look out for three products to avoid: Sodium Laureth, Myreth and Lauryl Sulfate. You also are going to want to avoid all Sulfates, Silicones and Drying Alcohols. These products are villains and always a bad idea as they will not only strip your hair of its natural oils but also dry your hair out extensively. Products that include ingredients that are mild like coconut oil, shea butter, honey and argan oil are healers for our curly hair.  


Products that work for me   

One of the biggest tips I can give to save you and your wallet some money is to do research on products before you buy. Going through this process of trial and error can be expensive at times, so thanks to the internet I always read reviews, google ingredient lists and watch YouTube reviews before I invest in a new product. This gives me a chance to hear from others who used them and get some expectations for what I am buying. In my experience, these are the products I have found and loved: Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie with Silk Protein and Neem Oil. This is a product that is newer to my collection but one that I have been loving. It is a curl cream, so I find that it adds a lot of moisture and shine to my curls without weighing them down. I use this product on days that I want to diffuse my hair as I find that it eliminates more of my frizz because of how moisturizing it is. Another plus is that it is paraben free, cruelty free and sulfate free. Another product I love is the Kenra Medium Hold Mousse. This is a product that I use when I am running out the door and don’t have time to diffuse. It gives my curls a stronger hold than a curl cream as a mousse generally does that for me, but it stills holds moisture and leaves me with a shine. Finally, the Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream is an argan oil cream that works so well with my curls as it tames my frizz while providing so much moisture and shine. It not only smells amazing, but also gives my hair such defined and manageable curls.  


Some Tips to Remember 

It is important to remember to try and not wash your hair everyday as it can be very drying for your scalp and curls. You want to keep your natural oils intact and your hair moisturized, so try washing every couple of days if possible. Temperature really affects your hair so try to wash your hair with warm water instead of hot. Very hot water can affect your scalp and strength of your hair so keep the temperature warm or try shocking your hair with cold water at the end of the shower to close the cuticles of your hair. Always use a heat protectant when styling with heat or diffusing, try to use a conditioning treatment once a week or try a leave-in conditioner when possible as this will help with holding shine and keeping your curls hydrated. Use a microfiber hair towel when you get out of the shower to help with taming frizz and defining curls without disrupting your curl pattern. Finally, have fun! Take time to learn about the products you are using on your hair, learn what your curl pattern is and products that work for you. No curly hair journey will be the same, so experiment and find what you love.  



Renee Alkass

Guelph '21

My name is Renee and I go to the University of Guelph! I am a third-year English major with a love for reading, writing, listening to music and cooking!
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