You have tried every mousse, gel, hairspray, conditioner, and treatment as possible! And yet, you still cannot get your curls to maintain the look you have so long desired! Naturally curly hair, no matter what type you may sport, can be difficult to manage on a daily, weekly, and sometimes even a monthly basis. However, everyone knows the key to ensuring your locks are as bouncy and beautiful as ever before is to provide them with the utmost TLC. What does that consist of? Let me explain:
Shampoos and Conditioners that contain sulfate, or salt, are the opposite of what curls are looking for, especially in the summer. Sulfates tend to dry out the curls and leave you with the frizzy, curled look by the time your curly hair routine is complete. Although, they may be more expensive, check your local beauty supply stores for more natural shampoos and conditioners, with limited chemicals added. I usually try and buy the largest, industrial-sized bottles considering the amount of hair that I have, and the amount of conditioner curly-haired girls typically use. Shampoos are also particularly important during beach vacations. Replenishing your hair with the moisture it lost from pools or salt water is essential to reviving your flawless curls!
Detangle, Detangle, Detangle!
Detangling your hair is perhaps the most important part in curl management, and it does take some time. The ease of the detangle depends on your hair type. If you choose not to detangle while in the shower, you may have a more difficult time combing through your curls when your hair is only damp. Try using a detangling comb or your fingers, and run through your hair while the conditioner is still in. I like to use a detangling comb both in and out of the shower depending on how knotty my hair is. Also, if there appears to be a lot of hair coming out during your detangling routine, fear not! That is all a part of the process.
Rinse with cold water
Rinsing with cold water will aid in holding in the moisture for your curls. Remember, it’s only a rinse, so please don’t take an entirely cold shower. If you have a conditioner that you like to leave in, you can skip the entire rinsing process.
Drying your hair with a t-shirt as soon as your hop out of the shower, will soak up the water without drying out your curls. Using a larger, old shirt will do the trick! Simply wrap the shirt around your head, and curl into a wrap until you are ready for styling. I typically leave the towel on for a maximum of 10 minutes to avoid drying out my hair completely.
Applying a leave-in conditioner will not only keep your curls soft and smooth, but it will protect your hair from any damage that you may encounter during the day. Apply spoon-sized amounts throughout all of your hair, and pay close attention to your “needy” areas that may dry out or become frizzy more quickly. On a typical curly day, I will use approximately three tablespoons worth of leave-in.
Styling Cream (optional)
Styling creams can be very helpful in defining your curls and adding the final touch on how you would like them to look. Be sure not to apply too much product, or you will end up weighing down your hair. One way to apply a styling cream is to section out your hair, and apply dime-sized amounts of cream. The easiest way is to section your hair into four large areas and run quarter-sized amounts of styling cream through each section.
Twirling, scrunching, or twisting are often the preferred methods to style curls, but go with whatever works well with your hair and what you are comfortable with executing. When I finish applying the styling cream to each section, I usually scrunch 3-4 times to create an extra bounce. However, I also twirl strands around my finger to create more spiral curls when time allows.
Diffuse or air-dry
Investing in a hair dryer with a diffuser can speed up the drying time for your curls. When diffusing, absolutely do not touch your hair, or you will create more frizz. Just let the diffuser do its job, OK? Air-drying is also another solution if you have the time.
1) Deep conditioning with a heat cap between 5-30 minutes in the shower, once per week can aid in the care of your curls.
2) Once your curls are dry, separate the curls individually by hand to create a bigger curly look.
3) Hair spray can create hard, crunchy curls. Try combining some of your leave-in conditioner and water in a spray bottle, and spray for extra hold.
4) To volumize the flat spots near your scalp, use a comb, pen or pencil to lift your hair at the roots. Do not use your fingers.