There’s a funny saying that goes “people with straight hair wish they had curly hair, and people with curly hair wish they had straight hair”.
For those with naturally straight hair, it’s easy to see why curly hair is so appealing, as curls and natural texture can allow for beautiful, unique hairstyles that are only possible with incredible amounts of styling on straight hair. However, those with curly or texture hair know all-too-well the difficulties of maintaining their hair, hence the saying.
As beautiful as these natural curls can look, curly hair is prone to dryness and breakage, and keeping them properly healthy and maintained can feel like a full-time job. Follow our nine rules below, and you’ll be well on your way to having complete control over your curly hair!
Rule #1: Embrace Your Natural Texture
First things first: unless you’re willing to undergo a professional hair straightening treatment, you need to come to terms with your natural hair texture. Trying to fight your hair’s direction and curl pattern requires a tremendous amount of heat styling and manipulation, which will only leave your hair dry and damaged. Embrace the natural beauty of your curls and use styling techniques and products that accentuate your hair’s natural pattern as opposed to reducing it.
Rule #2: Wash Your Hair Sparingly
Curly, textured hair is extra-sensitive when it comes to dryness and breakage, so it only makes sense to limit hair washing as much as possible. Excessive washing can damage the outer cuticle layer and prevent the hair from maintaining hydration levels, so aim to wash your hair two times a week at most. If your hair is feeling dirty or greasy and requires extra care outside of those two washing sessions, incorporate a dry shampoo to help absorb grease and oil without damaging the hair strand.
Rule #3: Infuse Hair with Moisturizing Products
To piggy-back off the previous rule, curly hair needs to take extra precautions in order to prevent dryness and damage. Make sure to use a rich, substantial conditioner after showering, and utilize a leave-in conditioner or mask at least once a week. Additionally, apply hair oils and/or serums to your hair after drying and on an as-needed basis.
Rule #4: Use Gentle Techniques to Dry the Hair
Let’s be honest: drying curly hair is a nightmare. It can take significantly longer to dry curly, textured hair, and it is all-to-easy to end up damaging the hair when trying to dry it. Make sure to improve your drying technique and make sure you aren’t subjecting your hair to high temperature heat styling. Ideally, you can allow the hair to air-dry after washing, but other methods include using a blow-dryer with infrared and ionic technology on a low dry setting to prevent dryness. If you must towel-dry, use a microfiber cloth or a hair turban designed to dry curly hair. Typical terry-cloth towels can be extremely damaging on the hair and can lead to breakage.
Rule #5: When Blow-Drying, Use a Diffuser
If blow-drying is the best option and you’re using a high-quality tool equipped with infrared and ionic technology, always make sure to use a diffuser attachment. These attachments are designed to disperse the airflow for as little direct heat application as possible, allowing the curly hair to be dried in a gentle, sensitive manner. These diffusers feature teeth that can lock into the curly hair without snagging, making them extremely effective for this particular hair type.
Rule #6: Get your Hair Regularly Trimmed
When it comes to seeing your hairstylist, you’ll want to ensure frequent trips for regular trimming of the tips of your hair. Curly hair is extremely prone to frizz and split ends, meaning that regular trims can keep the ends looking healthy and intact. Additionally, regular trims can help keep the hair manageable and easily workable, which is a tall task when it comes to working with a curly head of hair. Make sure your stylist cuts your hair when it is dry, as it is the best way to work with your hair’s natural curl patterns.
Rule #7: Ditch the Brush and Use a Wide-Tooth Comb
It may be difficult, but by all means you’ll need to resist the urge to use a fine-bristled, strong brush to untangle whatever wild mess your curls have arranged themselves in. A brush with fine bristles can easily snag and damage the hair strands, which will only make your tangled knots even worse than before, all while inflicting significant damage and breakage in the process. Instead, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality wide-tooth comb that is spaced close enough to properly detangle the hair while being rigid and soft enough to prevent tangling and snagging.
Rule #8: Comb the Hair When Wet
While you won’t want to ever brush the hair when its wet, you are certainly encouraged to brush it when wet. Curly hair is at its most manageable, organized state when it’s been washed, meaning that it is the perfect time to utilize a wide-tooth comb to help detangle the hair and make it easier to work with when dried. While it is a bit of extra work, you’ll be happy when your hair isn’t a tangled, knot-filled mess once you’ve dried off!
Rule #9: Use a Silk Pillowcase
You may not realize it, but all that tossing and turning that you do when sleeping can be incredibly damaging to your hair! The friction of your hair rubbing against the pillowcase at night can lead to breakage and a weakening of the outer cuticle layer, which can be incredibly frustrating if you’ve spent all your waking hours ensuring proper moisturization and care of your curly hair. Thankfully, silk pillowcases have become a popular option to combat this late-night hair damage, as they provide a surface for your hair that resists any sort of damaging friction that may occur while you rustle in your sleep.