Whether you have been embracing your natural hair texture your whole life or just started, I understand it can be difficult to know which habits are helping or hurting your cause. If you are looking to get the best curl your hair is capable of, experiment with removing these practices from your routine.
1. Quit silicones and sulfates
"Stop using products with silicone,” says Melanie Nickels founder of Raw Hair Organics Products & Salon. Silicones are ingredients that are found in many different hair and beauty products--they work by covering the hair with a thin waterproof coating. For this reason, many of us in the curly hair community feel that the coating causes build-up. In order to remove the silicones from your hair, you must use a sulfate shampoo, which can strip your hair of natural oils and cause dryness and frizz. Are you currently using this harmful silicone?
2. Quit brushing your hair
While many couldn’t imagine life without their brush at their side, it could be the thing that is ruining your curl formation. By brushing your hair once it is dry you will separate the curl clumps that you may have formed, which can result in very poofy or frizzy hair. If you brush your hair outside of the shower it could cause your hair to pull straight and make your curls less defined. Finger detangling is the safest way to remove knots, but if that is out the question for you, your next best choice is a wide tooth comb while you are conditioning your hair in the shower.
3. Quit using towels
Ask yourself: "How do I treat my hair when it's wet?" You may not have thought about it before, but the way you dry your hair once you get out of the shower makes a difference in the health of your curls. Using a classic towel to dry your hair can cause split ends and frizz. Its texture can roughen up the cuticle layer. A microfiber towel or a cotton t-shirt is gentler on your hair and can result in more uniform curl formation. You can also use these nifty hair drying gloves.
4. Quit skipping haircuts
When picking out your salon you may just assume that every stylist will know how to deal with your curls, but this is unfortunately not true. Melanie Nickels also states that “getting the wrong haircut” can set you back in your curl journey. If your haircut is intended for straight hair, it will not look as it should if it were cut specifically for curly styling. Invest your time and money in finding a properly-trained curly specialist near you.
5. Quit blow-drying
Blow dryers can cause curly hair to dry out and frizz up, not to mention the heat damage they can cause over time. If air drying is not an option for you because of time, a quality diffuser might be worth the investment. While any type of heat can cause some damage to the strand, a diffuser on the cool setting adds a barrier so there is no direct heat being applied to your curls. A diffuser pumps up the volume of your hair and enhances its natural curl pattern. These 5 diffusers won't let wavy and curly girls down.
6. Quit neglecting your hair at night
With curly hair, going straight to bed without a nighttime routine in place could ruin your curl definition. You don't want to redo your wash day every day, do you? Instead, protect your hair to make sure it retains moisture and doesn’t become frizzy by morning. There are many different methods to protect your hair at night, but one of the most popular is to pineapple your hair before bed and sleep on a satin pillowcase. Ensuring your hair is protected at night can make for a much simpler morning routine.
Learning to care for your curls can be overwhelming for many, but if you slow down and eliminate the small things that are included on this list you will start to see your hair thanking you for it.
Pictured: NaturallyCurly reader Caitlin, if you'd like to see the products and steps she took to achieve this look, she shared it here.