Imagine you’re looking at yourself in the mirror. How would you say your hair looks today? Does it seem frizzy? Slightly uneven in texture? Maybe a mixture of waves and straight pieces? If you think that’s you, you may have unmoistened curls, or you may know you have frizzy curls and are looking for ways to tame them! When I was around 3 or 4, I was the only one in my family who had ringlets for hair. That all changed around 5th grade, when my curls randomly died down to just frizzy waves. But then, once I started high school, my curls randomly started to come back (and in a very uneven way as a matter a fact). When looking at my curls now, I find that I have a very wavy layer of hair as my bottom layer, with a curlier layer on the top. In technical curl terms, I probably have a mixture of 2B and 3A curls, which means that my hair has a mixture of wavy and curly texture. While it can be challenging, I have found that throughout my curl experience I’ve come up with some advice on how to not only keep your curly hair intact, but also how to make it look better than ever before!
- Wash Your Hair Less
When reading this article, you may find me giving some very weird and unexpected tips, but trust me, they work! According to the brand Head and Shoulders, our scalps product sebum and natural oils every single day. However, with curly hair, the follicles are slightly different because the oils don’t travel down your scalp like it does with straighter hair. Therefore, if you were to not wash your hair for a short period of time, you would notice that because the oils do not travel as fast, your hair doesn’t look dirty. As well, when you wash your hair, you may notice that it looks flatter the day you wash it, but the following day there’s more volume! When you combine these two ideas, it shows that curly hair can go much longer without being washed! For me, I only need to wash my hair once a week (Crazy right!?). Then, for the rest of the week, you just add some water to your hair and a little bit of product depending on what your hair needs. Needs some moisture? Adding leave-in conditioner will help! Needs more hold? A styling cream will do the trick! Depending on your hair, washing once a week may not work for you, and if you don’t already wash your hair less, it may take a little bit to transition washing once per week. So, if you have lighter curls or more of a wavy texture, or if you have a very oily scalp, or if you are more active, washing your hair just 2-3 times a week will also be good for you! The point is, you DO NOT need to wash your hair everyday or every other day to achieve gorgeous curls!
- No Sulfates, No Silicones, and No Paraben Products
When you look at your hair care bottles, you probably notice that along with the natural stuff, hair products sometimes add some fancier ingredients to the products. Some of these ingredients are sulfates, silicones, and parabens, which are your curls worst enemy! Let me break down the facts. Starting with Sulfates, you have likely seen these ingredients in your shampoos. Sulfates are what give your shampoo that bubbly lather. While you may think this bubbly lather is cleaning your curls, it actually strips your hair of its natural moisture, causing your curls to look dehydrated, which can lead to breakage (Devacurl). According to Devacurl, “silicones are widely used in hair products to give that feeling of a moisturized slip but in reality, it’s just coating the strands and acting as a filler.” Using these types of ingredients often can cause buildup and way down your curls. Finally, Parabens are an ingredient that seems like a good thing to have in your products, but it really isn’t. Parabens are ingredients that help keep bacteria and mold away from your products. “While parabens allow products to last super long, they can also enter your body through your scalp” (Devacurl). These products are also one of the main reasons for frizz, as they make your hair dry out! When looking for these ingredients in your hair care products, sulfate ingredients always end in “-ate” or include the word sulfate, silicones end in ways like “-xane, -cone, and -col” and parabens normally include the work paraben! While these are common in a lot of products, never fear, as I have a list of curly free brands!
Devacurl – This brand is my personal go to, however, they can be pricey, and there is a little controversy going on behind the scenes, but they are a top brand so if you’re willing to splurge do it!
Maui Moisture – This is another favourite brand for me but it’s on the cheaper side!
Shea Moisture - This is another budget friendly curl brand with lots of great products!
Not Your Mothers - I have not personally tried them yet but people rave about their products!
Curlsmith - I also have not tried them but once again I have heard great things!
- Ditch the Brush
You heard that right! While sulfates, silicones, and parabens are your worst chemical enemies, the hairbrush can be your curl’s worst physical enemy, and can be a popular source of creating frizz! This is because curls are very delicate so brushing a dry head of hair can lead to breakage and loads of frizz, which you may have seen from your own experiences! The best method to detangle curly hair without a brush for me is finger detangling. I do this when my hair is damp or wet with a mixture of water and conditioner. By spraying on the mixture and raking my fingers through, I find the curls detangle easily! They also have special combs on Amazon that can do this same raking effect! However, if you are not ready to sacrifice your hairbrush just yet, consider switching to a WetBrush, which works amazing with the water-conditioner mixture and causes much less frizz than a normal brush.
- Invest in a Curly Cut
Did you know that there is a specific way to cut curly hair? When you get your haircut at a regular salon, their typical routine is normally wash, cut, and dry. While this is good for people who have straight and even textured hair, this routine isn’t the proper way curly hair should be cut! According to experts, curly hair should actually be cut dry! This is because when curly hair dries it goes through shrinkage! When you wet your curls, they tend to stretch out and then later shrink when it's dry. However, when you get your hair washed, and then cut, your hair follicles are not at its normal curl length. This means that when your hair is cut while wet, once your hair dries and shrinks up it may appear uneven, and if you have uneven curls or uneven layers like me, this is NOT a look, which is why I started investing in curly cuts! When I get a curly cut, I go to the store with dry hair and no product in it. Then, the curly certified hair stylists will cut my hair based on my curl pattern. After that, my hair will be washed and then either air dried or diffused, showcasing a gorgeous, even looking curly cut once I leave the salon! Windsor Ontario is blessed to have Bounce Hair Boutique – A curly hair certified salon right on Wyandotte! By getting a curly cut, the salon experts at Bounce suggest getting your haircut every 6-8 weeks, however, I can normally get away with waiting 4-6 months for my hair, as that’s when I notice it starts to get uneven. However, as I praise curly cuts, there are reasons why I curly cut may not be for you, the main reason being if you like to wear your hair straight sometimes, as a curly cut may make your straight hair appear uneven. But other than that, I find it to be a great investment.
- Silk and Satin are Your Friend
I’ve mentioned a lot of enemies in the article, but if there’s something that I know your curly hair would love, it’s silk and satin! “According to Bustle, most people have pillowcases made from cotton, which is one of the most absorbent materials,” and if you’ve learned anything about curls in this article, you know that curls need their moisture! While cotton is a moisture absorbing material, silk pillowcases help with retaining moisture, allowing your hair to stay moisturized while you roll around at night. Silk can also help with retaining frizz and making your hair feel less dry in the morning. But don’t limit your imagination as to how much silk you need in your life! You can combine silk pillowcases with silk bonnets when you go to sleep, style your hair with silk scrunchies or silk headscarves; there are even special silk lined winter hats that you can get that will keep your head warm and your curls frizz free (I personally purchased mine from Bounce)!
I feel like I have loads more advice that I could give (in which a part two may be coming in the next little while) but for now, that is my basic advice to living the proper and bouncy curly haired lifestyle! For more info on what I discussed, check out some of my sources below, and until next time, keep loving your curls!