The earliest memories I have of my childhood are throwing tantrums about my hair. Why did my hair look like a lion’s mane while the other girls in my kindergarten class had pretty shiny straight hair? My mom always said I was blessed to have natural curls, but it felt more like a curse. For years I’ve been blow drying, flat ironing, and getting multiple treatments to make it straight, but this summer that all ends. I’m slowly learning how to embrace my curls and you should too. Here are 8 tips for managing, and loving, your curly locks.
Image via NaturallyCurly.com
1. Embrace your curls
Accept them, love them, and rock them with confidence. Unfortunately Luckily you’ll be stuck with curly hair forever, and learning how to take care of your curls will help you make peace with that.
2. Do your research
You’re reading this article so, so far, so good! You’ve got curly hair, but just what kind of curl is it? Spiral, corkscrew, kinky, wavy? Different curls require different attention and care. Do some reseach in order to figure out what type of routine is best for your hair.
3. Know your products
There’s so many brands and products to choose from and sometimes it can be overwhelming. Curly hair is naturally dry, so pick moisturizing products that will help quench the thirst of your curls. Leave-in conditioners are always a good idea. Gels, creams, and mousses will all give your curls a different look, so decide which one is right for you. If you can’t decide, try them all until you achieve your desired look.
Gel: Pro: Gel is perfect for frizz, flyaways, and for thick curls. It has a better hold than mousse which means your curls will stay in place all day. Con: Gel tends to flake more than mousse and can leave your curls feeling crunchy and stiff.
Mousse: Pro: Mousse is lightweight and will make your curls look bouncy and feel soft. It will also give you some added volume, which makes it ideal for girls with thinner hair. Con: It doesn’t hold curls as well as gel.
Cream: Pro: Cream products are my favorite because they weigh my curls down giving them a nice beachy look. Creams fight frizz and leave your curls looking soft and shiny. Con:Curls are less defined and more wavy.
4. Ditch the towels
By ditching your towel to dry your hair, you’ll also be ditching frizz. Instead of a towel use a 100% cotton t-shirt or paper towel. Rubbing your hair dry will rough up the cuticles, so gently squeeze of the excess water.
5. No more shampoo
Shampoo cleanses your hair by stripping it of it’s natural oils. We’ve already determined that curly hair is dry, so shampooing is counter-productive for you. Opt for a shampoo that is sulfate and alcohol free. I love these “no-poo” and “low-poo” products from DevaCurl.
6. Conditioner is your BFF
Just in case you needed another reminder to moisturize your hair, here it is. You should be using a heavy conditioner every time you wash your hair (and you should only be washing it a couple times per week). Ouidad’s Whipped Curls is a fabulous conditioner and can double as a leave-in conditioner too. Also invest in a good deep conditioner to use about once a week. It’s A 10 has a great deep conditioning product or if you’re looking for something cheap, Aussie’s 3 Minute Moisture is phenomenal.
7. Turn down the heat
Common sense tells you to put away your straightener and only use your blow dryer when absolutely necessary. But, you should also be turning the heat down in the shower. Using cold(er) water helps seal the cuticle, which results in less frizz.
8. Get the right cut
If you’ve followed all the above steps and your hair still isn’t looking up to par, consider getting a (cringe) haircut. Try to find someone that specializes in cutting curly hair. Adding a few layers or a simple trim can make all the difference.
How do you embrace your curly hair? Do you have any tips for managing natural curls?