With the natural hair movement on an uptrend, more women are ditching straightening treatments for natural and sustainable methods that will nourish and enhance their curls.
But let’s face it—curly hair can be challenging as every head of curls is unique. The secret to knowing what kind of care your curly head needs is to know your curl type.
There are several curly hair classifications, but many people refer to the Andre Walker hair typing system due to its simplicity. Walker is best known for being Oprah Winfrey’s personal stylist and the person behind Halle Berry’s pixie cut. He classifies curly hair into four types: straight hair (type 1), wavy hair (type 2), curly hair (type 3), and kinky or coily hair (type 4). He further breaks down the types to A, B, and C, with A forming the loosest curls while C forms the most tightly wound curls.
Style your curly hair easily with these basic care tips:
When you shampoo, use gentle motions instead of vigorously rubbing your hair strands. The friction may damage your hair as it’s more vulnerable when wet. It can also lead to unsightly frizz.
Experts recommend not washing your curly hair daily. Those with wavy hair and medium curls can shampoo once a week. If you have tight curls or coarse and thick hair, you can shampoo every two to three weeks if your hair doesn’t feel dirty as daily washing would dry out your hair. You can refresh your hair with a water spray (which can contain some conditioner) after your shampoo day. However, if you have fine curly hair, you’ll need to shampoo your hair more often—about twice a week as oil buildup and dirt can easily weigh down your strands.
To effectively cleanse and moisturize your hair, avoid products with the following:
Lauryl sulfate or laureth sulfate causes products to be sudsy, but they can strip your hair of natural oils and proteins.
Silicones can make your hair shiny and smooth. But they can prevent nutrients from entering your follicles and cause excess frizz.
Parabens can extend the shelf life of products. However, they can make hair brittle and dry by removing the protective cuticle layer of your hair shaft. They can also trigger irritation.
Curly Girl: The Handbook author Lorraine Massey popularized the Curly Girl Method (CGM) and advocates washing hair with a conditioning cleanser (co-washing) instead of shampooing hair. Ensure your curls are thoroughly wet so that you can spread the co-wash all over your scalp. But if you have seborrheic dermatitis, consult your doctor first before trying co-washing. Co-washing also isn’t recommended for oily hair types and fine hair due to resulting product buildup.
Deep conditioning is recommended once a week. Compared to regular conditioners that you leave on your hair for two to three minutes, deep conditioners have to stay on your hair for 20 to 30 minutes. Apply it after shampooing or co-washing your hair. Then cover your head with a shower cap or grocery bag during the waiting period. The resulting heat inside the cap will help your strands absorb the conditioner better.
Tight curls and coils can dry out much faster than wavy hair. So make sure to apply moisturizing agents while your strands are still damp or before you step out of the shower. The curlier your hair is, the more moisture it needs as its absorption and retention levels are low. But reduce the amount of conditioner if you have thin and fine hair, so it won’t look weighed down.
Curly hair is fragile by nature. To detangle strands without causing breakage, you can use your fingers, working from the bottom up. You can separate your hair into sections if it’s thick. Do the same thing when using a wide-toothed comb or a soft-bristled brush.
Also, start sleeping on a silk pillowcase. Cotton pillowcases tend to absorb the natural oil produced by your hair follicles, which are supposed to moisturize your hair. Dry hair can tangle your hair more easily.
Doing the “pineapple technique” can also help keep your hair tangle-free. Flip your head over and gather all your hair on top before tying it loosely with a scrunchie.
Wrap your hair in a T-shirt as jersey fabric can preserve your curls better than a towel due to the harsh, hook-like surface of terry cloth. Gently press or blot your hair and cup curls with the cloth instead of rubbing strands. Experts also advise air-drying as long as possible to avoid puffy hair.
For styling fine hair, use lightweight natural hair products with little to no oil. Or use only a little oil-based product on the ends of your hair for taming flyaways and split ends. Meanwhile, curlier hair will benefit from scrunching and gel, curl-defining cream, or leave-in conditioner while hair is still wet.
The CGM doesn’t approve of blow-drying hair and other forms of heat styling. But if you attach a diffuser to your hairdryer, the hot air will spread more evenly on your hair, allowing your curls to hold their shape. Diffuse your hair in medium heat from the roots to lift the strands off your scalp for voluminous-looking hair.
Getting a regular trim is another important way to care for curly hair. It gets rid of dry ends, allowing your curls to return to life more quickly.
Choose Dapper and Divine’s Ladies Hair Studio when you need to go for a trim or a new haircut. We’re experts at creating hairstyles for curly hair that will suit your face shape. You can also book an appointment with us if you need a “hair stylist near me” in Boca Raton for your updo or braid when attending that meeting or special occasion.