The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I have very curly hair. Like, really curly hair. Unfortunately, I have not always known how to take care of said curly hair, and there have been a variety of phases with my hair—including brushing it out to a frizzy mess, constantly straightening it and having it up in a ponytail or bun all the time. It was actually just in the last year that I learned to love my luscious curls and started learning how to take care of them, and now I am going to share all the tips and tricks that I have learned with you!
Get a Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Let me start this by saying that sulfates are not dangerous to your hair. The only issue with sulfates is that they are a strong cleansing agent. Now, this is totally fine for straight hair, but curly hair tends to be naturally drier and it tends to have less oil than straight hair, so sulfates can end up stripping the scalp and hair of natural and healthy oils, which leads to more frizz. Another point is that sulfate-free shampoo does not have to be expensive. Many sulfate-free shampoos can be found at drugstores and big-name retailers . My personal favorite is the Native Coconut & Vanilla moisturizing shampoo, which can be found at Target or Walmart.
Get a Curl-Specific Conditioner, and Don’t Skimp on the Product
I cannot stress enough that curly hair craves moisture, and not all conditioners are created equal. A conditioner that is specifically formulated for curly hair will usually provide more moisture for your hair than a regular conditioner. Once again, there is absolutely no need to break the bank on this, any of the conditioners from Shea Moisture are excellent, and can be found at your local Target or Walmart!
When you use your conditioner, make sure you use a little more than you think you’ll need. Since this is a wash-out product, don’t skimp on the conditioner! Curly hair absorbs products like nobody’s business due to its coiled texture, so it can take a lot of your conditioner in! Just make sure you wash out all the product before you hop out of the shower.
Grab Yourself a Leave-In, a Gel and a Mousse/Cream
I understand that if you are not used to putting product in hair, this seems like a ton of product, but everything does serve its own purpose in making your hair the best it can be! Leave-in conditioner is great for sealing in moisture since it is not a wash-off product like regular conditioner. It leaves your hair feeling soft and silky, and it can extend the time between washes since it keeps your hair from drying out and getting frizzy. I use the Tgin Rose Water Smoothing Leave In Conditioner. Gel helps with holding the curls in place and holding in the products you put in the hair. It can help curls gather together and also prevent curls from falling or separating. Mousses and creams are great for helping your curls develop and get bouncy. It just gives an extra boost to your curls and encourages them to work the way you want them to! The Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk gel and mousse are what I use to give my hair an extra boost and can be found at Target!
Don’t Wash Your Hair Every Day
You do not need to wash your curly hair every day! It can damage your scalp and hair, strip essential oils from your hair and increase the risk for breakage and split ends. According to NaturallyCurly, curly hair should be washed 2-3 times a week, and coils can be washed once a week. Now, I teach kids how to swim back home, so I understand that some people have to wash their hair everyday. If you are one of those people, my recommendation is to just use a conditioner in between washes, since the shampoo is the stripping part of your shower routine.
Refrain From Towel-Drying Your Hair
Because of the texture and fabric of normal towels, using them to dry your hair can increase breakage and make your hair more frizzy. Now, if you want to, you can go buy a microfiber towel for your hair, which will help prevent frizz, and honestly has a luxurious feel. If you don’t want to use the money though, you can also use an old t-shirt and have the same effect! Just make sure that the shirt is 100% cotton.
Use The Internet and Your Stylist!
I’m a skeptic about “experts” on the internet, but in this case, the internet can be really helpful! There are several awesome women on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok trying to help young women and girls embrace their curly hair, and they can be great resources in starting your journey and finding products that suit your hair type. On top of that, your hairstylist can be a great source of tips to add to your routine and potentially higher-end products to add to your hair, since they have both education and experience! Some important things to think about when taking advice from the internet:
- Avoid people trying to sell you a specific brand/sponsorships
- Avoid sources and videos from actual brands themselves
- Look for individuals with actual curly hair or people with hairstyling experience
- Use all of your other instincts when consciously consuming content on the internet
I hope this information helps you on your curly hair journey!