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How to Care for All Types of Curls

Curly hair is a built-in statement. Curly hair is iconic. However, when you’re trying to detangle it after a windy day and it breaks every brush it touches, it might not feel worth it.

Trust me, though. Curly hair means you’re saying something even when you’re mouth isn’t open, you feel me? So many amazing, strong women have curls galore (including, but not limited to, Zendaya, Moana, SJP, Beyonce and Miss Frizzle).

Despite the fact that millions of people have twists and twirls to their locks, there’s a frustrating lack of knowledge about how to take care of it. For the longest time, I thought my curls needed very infrequent washing and tons of oil (spoiler: my curls are very fine, so this was a disaster). Lack of knowledge can leave little boys and girls hating their curly hair without even knowing how to care for it properly.

At first glance, curly hair routines seem like more work than the routines of people with stick-straight hair. To be honest, that’s because they are. Curly hair is, across the board, more fickle and more fragile. Washing and going does an injustice to curls and ends up creating dry, crunchy breakage.

All curls are literal perfection, but they’re also all completely different. First, go ahead and find out what kind of curl type you have! For me, I fluctuate between 2C and 3A depending on the length and health of my hair, as well as the environment.

To show how to care for curls at various different levels, we have 2 Her Campus writers giving you, wonderful curly-haired being that you are, detailed rundowns of how we care for our curls.

Sadie Collins (me): 2C/3A curl type, fine, normal



Products I use:

L-R: Hask Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo, Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo, Hask Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner, Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls, L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil Transforming Oil-In Cream and OGX Lavender Luminescent Platinum Penetrating Oil

– I wash my hair every 1 ½ days, alternating between a thicker moisturizing shampoo and a clear clarifying shampoo.

– I let the conditioner sit in a shower cap for at least 10 minutes while I shave my legs, pretend I’m in a YouTube video, whatever.

– Towel-dry my hair, careful to not disrupt the natural curl pattern (read: no brushes!)

– Run a small amount of the oil-in cream and lavender oil through my hair, then scrunch a bit of the Pillow Soft Curls through the ends.

– Let my hair air dry completely, then brush my curls through with my fingers till they’re big and soft!

– Note: For my hair color, I use Arctic Fox’s Purple Rain. I let my hair air dry with no conditioners in it, apply the color then let it sit for at least a couple hours. It doubles as a deep conditioning treatment!

Ardria Pugh: 4B/4C curl type, dry

Products she uses:

L-R: Shea Moisture: Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner, Deep Treatment Masque and Strengthen, Grow and Restore Styling Lotion. Bee Mine Bee Sensitive Oil-Free Serum.

1. I wash every two weeks because my scalp is dry and doesn’t produce oil.

2. I use a very moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.

3. The masque I only do once a month for some bonus moisture.

4. After washing, I use the leave-in styling lotion to add any moisture lost during the rinse out in the shower. 

5. After my hair is laid down, I use the oil-free serum to moisturize my scalp.

6. Then, I put on a wig. I do this until my precious humidity comes back to quench my hair’s thirst. Until then, it stays covered up because dry air is a no-no.

7. I moisturize with olive oil every morning to keep my hair moisturized until two weeks is up and I do it again.

If you take away just one thing from this article, even if you don’t have curls, it’s that you have to tailor your hair routine to your hair’s individual needs. Don’t pay attention to guides that say all curly hair needs to be cared for the same way, or that all straight hair is wash and go. Pick up on the vibes your hair’s throwing out, get in tune with what it needs, and have a good hair day every day!


CC for Mizzou's chapter of Her Campus! I am currently a senior at the Missouri School of Journalism, specializing in magazine editing. Have a wonderful day, you! 
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