touching hair too much
PHOTO COURTESY OF YOLANDA RENEE
Every curly knows that over manipulation of our tresses is a serious no-no. We have had this golden rule crammed into our curly brains for some time now as we become better educated on healthy curly hair. Our hair isn’t like straight hair and our fragile strands don’t like being touched a lot or manipulated into too many intricate styles. 

Have no fear, a natural expert is here! Ok, not really but I do know a few tricks to lower your manipulation in each step of your regimen. Even the wash and go girlies (Hey boo, that’s me too!) can find a few ways to knock out some steps in our daily routines. We all have our own unique curls, coils, and waves, but most of us share similar routines for basic upkeep.

touching hair
PHOTO COURTESY OF NATURALLY CURIOUS

Cleansing

Cleansing is a big deal in hair care, as dirty hair is not healthy hair and no matter what you do, you have to manipulate your strands. Here’s a secret…in order to loosen the dirt, product, and tangles, allow the water run on your hair for about 2-3 minutes. You can even gently massage your scalp to help! It really works. Now, what I’m not saying is that the dirt and tangles will miraculously dissolve, but you will be allowing your hair to become fully saturated and more manageable.

Wash your hair in sections. I cannot say this enough! Sectioning your hair in at least four sections will give you less hair to work with for tangles and that means less manipulation. Some things cannot be eliminated so working in sections will allow you to concentrate your efforts and save much heartache and hairs!

Try pre-pooing if your detangling sessions on washdays are nerve-racking. It may seem like pre-pooing is increasing manipulation, but in all actuality you are allowing your hair to maintain the oils it needs even after it’s been cleansed, and that is much easier to comb through than a dry tangled mess.

over hair manipulation
PHOTO COURTESY OF BIANCA ALEXA

Conditioning

Most curlies use generous amounts of conditioner, as it helps with hydrating your curls and can make detangling easier, but if you want to decrease manipulation then try putting down the wide tooth comb. Gasp, yes, I said it! Use your fingers and actually feel your hair as your detangle and shingle conditioner through it. This is more about being gentler to your hair than less manipulation, but the end result is the same.

Sectioning your hair during the conditioning process works the same way as in the cleansing process with the same amazing results. Less tension on less hair yields big benefits in the hair saving category.

Splurge on the deep conditioner. I’m not saying buy the most expensive, but buy the one that works the best and many times it’s the more expensive one. It’s so worth it as a great deep conditioner can shape how your hair will act during the week or until you wash again. Your best deep conditioner will fortify your strands with moisture and gives your hair life. As it infuses your hair strands with nutrients, it temporarily repairs your hair and makes it shiny. All of these reasons will lead to less manipulation because your hair will be in better shape and need less work from you.

hair manipulation
PHOTO COURTESY OF ASKPROY

Styling

Protective styling is top of the list on ways to lower your manipulation during the styling phase. Such styles like braids, weaves, twists, and buns all fall under protective styles. If it’s protected, it’s not being manipulated and many protective styles can be created to last days and even weeks. Now, don’t think by solely protective styling you are safe. You will still have to cleanse and deep condition your tresses, so never neglect your hair whether under a wig, in a sew-in, or any other protective style.

Don’t fret my wash and go curlies! We can have less manipulation as well. You can yield second or third day hair by putting your hair in a pineapple at night.

Know your hair! If you know waiting two weeks until washday is going to give you a detangling session from hell, then don’t wait two weeks! Avoiding your hair duties will create more manipulation, aggravation, and yanked out hairs on the floor. Stay ahead of your hair routine game, because when you start slipping is when you start losing hairs, and no one wants that to happen!