Curly hair is beautiful, but comes with its challenges. Here are a few hair hacks to keep your hair healthy and strong!
1. Know your curl type.
Thank the heavens for whoever created the numbered hair-typing system. It makes it easy to understand the hair that’s growing out of your head and put label on it. Knowing your curl type is extremely important to hair-care. It determines what products you should use and what products to avoid. Types 3A through 3C are more loose curls while 3c through 4c include tight curls and curly textures. The wavy ladies fall into the 2A through 2C category. If you have tighter curls, you need to be extra careful when applying heat and combing through hair. Hair is also much easier to work through when wet or damp and highly moisturized for type 3 and 4.
2. Select the right products and know what you’re putting in your hair.
Curly hair is delicate, and the tighter the curls get, the more important moisture becomes.
With hair typing in mind, products are usually a matter of trial and error. My hair is a mixture of 4b and 4c hair with random bits of 4A hair towards the front. Since my hair tends to fall on the coily side, moisture is extremely important for me. My hair dries out faster than say 2 c hair. I buy hair products more than I should, but hey, I love keeping my hair healthy and looking fly. Here are a few products to look out for. A general rule of thumb: avoid parabens and sulfates.
Hello curlies (www.hellocurlies.com) designed it’s product line with hair-typing in mind. They’re straight to the point and make products specifically for the type 2, 3, and 4 ladies. This process helps you avoid losing money by trial and error and makes it easier to identify what kinds of products to buy. Their products are decently priced and smell delicious. They’re a new line I recently discovered and their products have no parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, and petroleum.
Shea Moisture (www.sheamoisture.com)is another product that’s increasing in popularity and can be found in several grocery stores, Walgreens, and Target. Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. If you’ve ever been to African fairs and expos, you’ll typically run into several booths with raw shea butter. It’s helpful for dry skin and dry hair. It’s perfect for curly hair because it’s a natural moisturizing agent. It also doesn’t get completely consumed in the depth of curly hair because as curly heads we all know “a dime size portion? yeah right”. Shea butter has endurance and goes a long way. The curl enhancing smoothie is heaven in a jar and helps control frizz. On the plus side, Shea Moisture has no parabens, phthalates, paraffin, formaldehyde, propylene oil, mineral oil, synthetic color, animal testing, or synthetic testing coloring. As a curly girl I reccomend you try any product with Shea butter and watch your hair transform beautifully.
I tend to avoid expensive products in general, but if you’re really on a budget Garnier Fructis makes amazing frizz control products and leave-in conditioners. Also check out Marshall’s and TJ Maxx to get discounted hair products! You can usually find a Chi heat protectant on the shelves every now and then.
3. Wear protective styles.
Protective styles are the kind you can wear for a few days without much manipulation. This will give your hair time to breathe and regain its natural oils.
curly bun or high-poof
headband tucked chignon
two strand twist
twist outs for the natural hair girls
flexi rods/bendy rollers are the perfect way to get luscious curls without using hot tools
4. Avoid too much heat.
If you want to straighten your hair, there are ways to do it without using too much heat and protecting your hair. Make sure you use a heat protectant when you do blow-dry and straighten your hair. ALWAYS. If you’re using heat tools try to limit to once or twice a week because you don’t want to destroy the curl pattern of your hair.
5. Be gentle with your brush. Your brush if your friend.
Curly girls don’t have the luxury of spending a small amount of time on combing and brushing hair. You need to take your time. Finger detangling first will help lessen the amount of time you spend with a brush and hair lost.
6. Hydrate enough, but not too much.
Curly hair needs moisture as we said before, however if you fall into the type 3 or 4 category too much water will strip your hair of it’s natural oils. Tightly curled hair takes extra time to coat the hair in natural oils and if you wash your hair every day. To balance out the oil loss, try argan oil and moroccan oil products to re-hydrate your hair on your non-washing days.
You don’t need to use shampoo all the time. Conditioner should be your go to. Co Washing is the act of only using hair Conditioners when washing hair and limiting the amount of shampoo used. This technique is a part of the “no-poo” movement in the natural hair blogosphere. This goes off the same trail of thought that curly hair is drier than straighter hair. If you suffer from severe hair conditions, then you can cowash occasionally.