Curly hair tips for common hair disasters from our favorite curl girls.
The Flat Iron Fiasco
You decided to try something new—a straight style! But come wash day, you noticed your hair hasn't rebounded back to its tight, springy coils. You shake your head in disbelief, fighting back some of the most painful words in your natural hair journey: heat damage. Put the hair shears away! It might not be permanent.Solution: Deep condition! Heat clamps down the cuticle of the hair, not allowing any moisture in. It may take a while for the moisture to reach your hair and revert. Use a moisturizing deep conditioner and let your hair sit under a steamer or shower cap for 30 minutes. You may even have to do this over several days to train it back into its natural curl pattern.
To prevent this in the future, make sure you do protein treatments to strengthen your hair. They can be natural treatments like an egg deep conditioner or store bought like Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery.
What a Tangled 'Fro We Weave
For me, it's midterms, student organizations and internships. For you, it might be a big project at work and chauffeuring the kids to football practice. Either way, after a month or two of loose hairstyles and NO combing, your hair is crying to be free! Free-form dreadlocks are cool...only if that's the look you're going for! Detangling at this point seems like an impossible task, but we can get through it...Solution: Wet your hair, divide in big sections with no-snag elastics. Slather on a super slippery conditioner. Let sit under a shower cap for 15 minutes to let the hair soften. Take one section, divide in to 3 smaller sections, and detangle with a wide-toothed comb. Start at the ends of the hair and work your way up. Follow with a Denman brush to ensure all the shed hair is removed. Two-strand twist that small section and move on. Take your time! Rinse out the conditioner with cool water.
This problem usually happens to those of us who don't like protective styling and just never get around to sleeping with a satin scarf. To prevent this from happening in the future, use a light gel or serum (like Kinky Curly Curling Custard) and rake through small sections of your hair. Even while wearing your hair in a 'fro, defined curls take longer to tangle and get fuzzy.
Dry Hair Disaster
You've tried all the hair creams, greases, and conditioners imaginable, and your hair still feels rough! There has to be a way to get soft natural hair, right? Yes. Here's how...Solution: The cuticles or layers of a hair strands are overlapping. When they are raised, it gives the hair a rough feeling to it. Human hair is slightly acidic with a pH of 4.5-5.5. You can close the cuticles and smooth down the strands by using acidic ingredients. Aloe vera gel is a great ingredient for this! Also, warm water opens the cuticle, while cold water closes it up. Rinse the conditioner out of your hair with cold water. Also manually smooth down your hair when you moisturize it. The act of smoothing down product downward from root to tip will push the cuticles down. When the cuticles are closed, moisture stays locked in the hair. Remember that afro-textured hair won't have a "silky" feeling to it. When properly moisturized, highly textured hair may feel light and airy, like cotton!