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Caring for Curly Hair: Tips and Tricks

Unlike straight hair, curly hair tends to lack moisture and dry out easily, making it more difficult to care for. 

The amount of curl in your hair is influenced by your hair follicles. People with curly hair tend to have more oval or asymmetrical follicles. This, of course, is determined by your genetics.

If you’re looking to add more bounce and shine to your natural curls, we break down the tips and tricks you need for keeping your hair healthy.

How to take care of naturally curly hair:

With curly hair, you’ll always want to focus on products that help add moisture to the hair and avoid any hair product that’s going to dry out or weigh hair down.

Choose the right shampoo and conditioner

Look for a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for curly hair.

In general, look for products that include:

  • natural or essential oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, and avocado oil
  • aloe vera
  • keratin
  • shea butter
  • hydrolyzed silk and animal proteins
  • panthenol and provitamins
  • plant extracts
  • While you may not want to wash your hair every day, when you do, use a mild shampoo which contains gentler cleansing agents as well as added conditioning agents.

If your hair is oily or dirty, you should still use a stronger clarifying shampoo once every 1 or 2 weeks. Always follow shampooing with a conditioner to help lock in moisture.

Pre-shampoo treatment

If you have very coarse or curly hair, you may want to try using a pre-shampoo treatment.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to condition only after cleansing. You can use a conditioner both before and after you shampoo.

Coarse, curly hair tends to lose moisture very quickly. Using a conditioner before shampooing in theory helps to protect the hair strand so that the shampoo won’t strip the hair of its natural oils.

Hot or cold water?

Hot water tends to strip moisture from hair and leave it dry. Washing hair with cold water and avoiding hot water will help you retain moisture and strength.

Rinsing your hair with cool water also helps seal the hair cuticle.

Avoid over-shampooing

Shampooing every day isn’t a good idea for people with curly hair. Shampooing can strip the hair of its much-needed natural oils.

You may need to experiment with a cleansing schedule to see what works best for you. In general, try shampooing every other day or every 3 days.

Choose the right brush or comb

Curly hair is often dry and brittle and can break easily when combed or brushed. Try brushing or combing curly hair in the shower to avoid breakage.

Start with a wide-tooth comb to break up any knots. You can also comb while the conditioner is still in your hair to make it easier and to ensure the conditioner coats all your strands.

When choosing a hairbrush, invest in a high quality brush with natural bristles instead of plastic. A boar bristle brush can help spread natural oils from the scalp through the ends of the hair.

Another option is to not use a brush or comb at all. If you have particularly springy curls, try applying a leave-in conditioner and then raking through wet hair with your fingertips.

Heat styling curly hair

Most stylists will recommend that you let curly hair air dry because using a blow-dryer can make it frizzy and damage it.

If you want to use a blow-dryer or straighten it every once in a while with a straightening iron, it’s important to use some sort of heat protecting spray or treatment before you do so. Look for a spray containing silicone or keratin to seal the cuticle and make it more resistant to heat damage.

When blow-drying, researchers suggest that you keep your hair dryer 6 inches or moreTrusted Source from the surface of your hair.

You can add a diffuser attachment onto your blow-dryer to help limit how much direct heat hits your hair.


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