Get solutions for ten common curly conundrums every natural gal faces.
Founder of CURLS · www.curls.biz
Frizz is the number one complaint I hear from all curlies. Here are my top ten tips for preventing frizz and tackling other curly hair challenges.
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Frizz is a curly girl’s “public enemy #1." Our goal is to experience frizz free curls, everyday. Here are few tips to help you eliminate the frizz and revive your curls.
- Dry, moisture deprived curls are prone to frizz. Start off with the on the right foot by using the right products. Cleanse with non-drying, sulfate-free cleansers, no more than twice a week.
- Follow up with a moisture packed rinse off conditioner (vs. a protein based conditioner), to lock in the moisture.
- Use cool water to rinse out your conditioner, doing so will seal the cuticle and reduce frizz and increase sheen.
- Seal in the moisture by applying a small amount of a natural oil to your hair and ends, before applying your styler of choice. Doing so will pump up your moisture level and prevent dryness and frizz.
- Blot dry your curls with a microfiber towel. Do not use terry cloth towels, as they create frizz.
- Make sure to add a daily leave in moisturizer into your curly hair care regime. Look for a product loaded with natural moisturizers and oils.
MORE: Get your Frizz Forecast!
2. Slow growing hair
Contrary to the wide spread myth, curly hair does not grow slower than straight hair…the only difference is the amount of damage and styling faux pas we indulge in. All hair grows on average ½" per month.
- To retain growth, treat your hair like a fine, silk blouse — gently and with great care and attention. Moisturize daily, deep condition weekly, use quality, naturally formulated products, avoid heat styling and trim damaged ends every three months.
- Take a multi-vitamin full of rich minerals and drink eight glasses of water a day.
- Use products formulated with proven growth enhancing ingredients (e.g. MSM, Silica and Lecithin)
- Give yourself a weekly scalp massage to provide stimulation to the hair follicles.
MORE: Curly Hair Growth Chart
3. Dry, brittle hair and ends
- Ditch drying shampoos. Use sulfate-free cleansers. Sulfates are harsh detergents that cause the suds factor in your cleanser and results in dry hair. Creamy, sulfate free cleansers will gently cleanse and lightly condition your hair at the same time.
- Stop heat styling altogether. The excess heat further exacerbates the problem.
- Deep treat your hair with a super hydrating, natural deep conditioner. Add heat to the mix so that the conditioner actually penetrates the hair shaft.
- Moisturize daily. Remember, this is key to healthy hair! Seek out liquid moisturizers packed with humectants and natural oils.
- Mix a natural oil of your choice (e.g. pomegranate seed, olive, jojoba, or sunflower oil) to your styling products for extra moisture. You can purchase natural oils at your local health food store.
OR Dry, itchy scalp
With all of our focus on creating frizz free hair, we tend to ignore the health of our scalp. Over shampooing, excessive styling and products can irritate the scalp and cause dryness. My favorite solution for this is to mix three parts of a natural oil (olive oil works great) with one part pure tea tree oil and apply it directly to your scalp. The freshness of the oils and antiseptic properties go to work immediately. Allow it to stay on your hair overnight, then shampoo and condition the hair the next morning.
4. Excessive Breakage
- Moisturize daily! This is a very important step you cannot afford to miss. Dry hair leads to breakage, so the way to avoid breakage is to keep your hair moisturized and hydrated. Opt for liquid moisturizers that are formulated with natural oils and ingredients. Ditch products with mineral and/or petrolatum oil in them. Both of these synthetic oils coat the hair and therefore blocks moisture out.
- Restore your hair’s lost keratin. 90% of human hair is made up of a natural protein, keratin which is responsible for the hair’s strength, resistance to wear and tear, elasticity, flexibility and shine. Hair keratin is damaged by straighteners, colors, perms, blow-drying, the sun, pollution, pool chemicals and even everyday brushing. Seek out products that are keratin based to restore strength and elasticity.
- Lubricate your hair and ends, with a natural oil. Pure Monoi de Tahiti oil is my personal favorite. This rare and exotic oil has excellent moisturizing and nourishing properties and is rich in lipids and essential nutrients.
5. Different curl patterns on one head
Most curly girls experience MCP (multiple curl personalities) — loose, perfect curls in one spot, tight and dry tresses in another. The best way to create one seamless head of curls is to use styling techniques to create one curl pattern. My favorite option for this is to do a braid out.
MORE: I Have 3 Different Curl Patterns
How to do a braid out
- Apply your styler of choice to clean, conditioned hair.
- Divide the hair into four sections. Create four braids in each of the four sections.
- Wrap the hair in a silk scarf, and allow your hair to air dry overnight.
- Remove the braids, apply a smoothing cream to the edges, shake and go!
6. Curly hair style rut
Curly hair is the most beautiful texture. With that said, styling curly hair can become routine and boring. Tis the season to shake things up! Create a new look for the season. Research curly hair styles on the internet for inspiration, and try a new do for the New Year.
MORE: Curly Hairstyle Gallery
7. Limp, lifeless curls
The only thing worse than limp, lifeless curls are FRIZZY, limp, lifeless curls. Here are a few tips to help you avoid this curly girl conundrum.
- Check your styling product ingredients. Ditch products loaded with synthetic oils, as they coat the hair shaft and weigh down curls. Look for products formulated with natural oils.
- Don’t over-condition. While curly girls intuitively get the need to condition, over-conditioning will yield the opposite results than desired.
- Choose styling products created for your hair type. Fine curlies should avoid heavy creams. Light lotions and gels are the best styling options for this hair type.
Simplify your morning routine by waking up to tangle free hair. Make sure your hair is fully dry, before going to bed, to avoid waking up to a matted, tangled mess. Cotton pillowcases can also create dry, matted hair, so opt for a satin pillowcase instead.
9. Selecting a Curly Hair Stylist
Selecting a stylist to cut and care for your curly hair can be a daunting experience. Make sure to ask get 2-3 referrals from friends and ask the right questions of your potential stylist. Most importantly, make sure your stylist asks you the right questions before he or she begins.
MORE: Salon Finder Tool
5 Important Questions Stylists Should Ask Their Curly Clients
- Is your hair natural? If your hair has been color treated and/or if the texture has been relaxed, you must tell your stylist. Natural hair is much stronger and resilient. Chemically altered hair requires more intensive care.
- How much do you want to cut off? As curly hair dries, it shrinks. One inch cut off of curly hair becomes 2” with shrinkage. The last thing you want is to leave the salon with a cut significantly shorter than desired. Any stylist with experience cutting textured tresses will know this.
- How much time do you want to spend styling your hair daily? A stylist that understands your busy lifestyle will not send you home with a style that requires a full beauty team to recreate!
- What products do you use to cleanse, condition and style your curly hair? If you use silicone-based stylers, the stylist should begin with using a clarifying cleanser followed up with a deep treatment.
- Do you primarily wear your hair curly or straight? Your hair cut and style options should be based solely on this information.
10. Select the right products for your hair type
With all of the new curly hair products that that have entered the market, selecting the right products for your hair type can seem overwhelming. How do you find the right products for your specific hair type without breaking the bank?
- Research brands online that match your hair care philosophy. If natural and organic hair care is most important, find companies that align with your natural hair regime.
- Get a basic understanding of what your hair type is…wavy, curly, or kinky coily. Once you find curly hair brands that interest you visit their website and social marketing sites to see what hair type they mostly cater to.
- Ask questions: Email the customer service representatives of each company and send them questions you have and pictures of your hair for assistance.
- Last but not least, try freebies first! After you narrow down your search, request free samples of each of the products that meet your hair care needs. Trial before purchasing always makes for a satisfied curly girl.