For those of you with ‘the struggle’ – you know about it, heard about it, try to forget about it – you just can’t avoid it. It invades your life and routine. Every. Single. Morning. Day. And. Night. You’ve tried everything on this earth, and have even tried simply doing absolutely nothing. But you just can’t seem to get a grip on managing that curly, frizzy, untamed monster on top of your head!
With 365 days in a year, maybe (just maybe) give or take 50 of those days you have a ‘good, decent hair day’. But even then, that was because you spent HOURS on it – for it to look good for a couple HOURS.
Ladies, I’m here to tell you the things you haven’t heard before.
‘You need to use more product…’,
‘Use less product, or none at all…’,
‘Never wash your hair…’,
‘Never brush your hair…’,
‘Condition, condition, condition…’,
‘Curly hair is oily, don’t over-condition it…’
‘You’re not getting enough good sleep…’,
‘Eat better for healthier hair – its science…’
All of the things you’ve heard and tried, and yes maybe worked for some time, but over time its as if your hair turns around and says ‘Thanks, but nice try.’ Or maybe it’s worse. Every head of curly hair is different. If some of those things worked for you – awesome! Stick with it. But your hair has memory, and sometimes the same memory over and over will make your hair become complacent.
Let me just start off by saying this: Your curly hair is genetic, and it is hereditary. Curls are derived from the oval shape of its follicle and by the keratin that runs through those follicles. Keratin and water absorption can be broken up within the follicle, which is what creates the ‘spiral’ of your hair.
So, yes there are treatments (such as the keratin we’ve all heard of) for straightening your hair, but there’s also Keratin treatments for simply creating healthy curly hair. I have had them, and they work wonders on blocking humidity, taming frizz, shortening blow dry time, holding style, adding volume, and giving hair a natural shine that lasts roughly a couple months. I’m not trying to make this sound like the ideal solution, because these treatments are costly and you have to continuous get them done. And, I’m digging way deep down when I say I like my curly hair, but some of those who have tried Keratin have stories where they have completely ruined their curly hair and it never being the same again.
But if you want to know the truth – who REALLY has time and money for doing it all? I will give you the low down on the main important things you can easily be able to establish in your daily life on better taking care of your curly hair.
Care For Naturally Curly Unruly Hair
1 | Trim your hair often
Once a week even, just a TRIM. Your hair grows fast without you even knowing it. And if you color treat your hair (which we all do, or most), or bake it under that flat iron and blow dryer daily, split ends are inevitable – whether you see them or not. If you walk out of the shower and your ends are already dry and brittle, they’re split or becoming split.
Now, I cut my own hair. I have never physically stepped into a salon for color or cut in YEARS. Not just because of the money, but cutting your own hair can be so easy if you’re not doing anything drastic. In another upcoming blog post I will give you a tutorial on how to trim and cut your own hair.
2 | Turn down the heat on those straighteners & blow dryers
Don’t crack those babies up to the highest setting! No one realizes what that high heat does to your hair, especially your fragile ends. The root of your hair can probably handle it, but only for so long. You really shouldn’t be seeing smoke come out of your hair when you’re blow drying or flat ironing. It may be a longer process with a lower setting, but your hair will thank you. And over time you will start to notice a difference in texture, density and having less frizzy hair.
3 | Use thermal protection EVERY TIME
Thermal protection blocks the heat from damaging your hair further. If you’re straightening curly hair, you’re only straightening for the amount of time you’re wearing that style. Don’t make your curly style days reap the consequences of a good straight hair day.
4 | TWO WORDS: Satin Pillowcase
This is by far your hair’s LIFELINE – for ALL hair types. I never realized this until I actually had to get one after having slept on one while I was living at home years ago! When I moved out I was using just a regular cotton pillowcase – my hair was a DISASTER each morning. My ends were bent in ways I never thought was possible! And my hair, even at the roots were so frizzy. Within days of purchasing that satin pillowcase, I swear my hair looked the happiest I’d seen it in years. I don’t have to put any product in my hair before going to bed anymore!
5 | Monthly/Bi-Weekly deep conditioning treatment
However you do this – just make sure it gets done. Write it on your calendar, alert it in your phone. Something! Or if you get your hair colored at the salon, make sure that’s one of the things you get done when you’re there for your coloring. I use Sally’s deep conditioning products sometimes for a deep conditioning. Because they’re INSANELY inexpensive for a one-time use. You can’t go wrong. They have so many different kinds, such as the charcoal detox, olive oil, and silk luxury just to name a few. I use one every time I color my hair as well.
Leave in your hair for about 30-45 minutes if possible, and better yet to even wrap your hair in a hot towel as it sits. Rinse off with luke warm, or cool water. Then do not put any product in your hair for the next 12 hours. Best time to do this is at night before bed.
6 | Avoid putting your hair in a tight bun
Scary, I know. Hair ties are my ultimate security. I must have one on my wrist AT ALL TIMES. I get it. But I will tell you through my bun test of 3 straight days: I had never seen more hair come off of my head in those three days than in my entire life.
In those three days I never washed my hair, and kept my hair in basically that same style (through the day and overnight), only to take it down in the morning for product re-application and re-styling before going to work. I won’t even go into the sadness that swept over me as I did take my hair down each morning to try and ‘re-style’ it. By the time the 3rd day came, and I finally washed my hair, I had to pull much of my hair out to get a giant tangle loose at the area where my hair tie nestled. So, for the sake of pain – don’t put yourself and your hair through that.
7 | Wash every other day or every 3rd day
I raise my hand when I say this: I’ve gone days without washing my hair, and then days in a row of washing my hair. I really, honestly don’t notice a difference from either way. The annoying part of not washing my hair for days is that I just keep building up product to the point where my hair feels and looks gross. I get that, gross in a way is good, as they say. Fine. But everything in moderation is what I say.
If I straighten my hair, then yes, I will go up to 4-5 days without washing it (truthfully). And from that I will say my hair feels healthier. But if I’m keeping my hair curly, I go every 2-3 max. I use a lot of product each day when I leave my hair naturally curly. That goes in saying…
8 | Shampoo only your roots
I know you’re thinking, ‘This lady is crazy!’ I know, I know. But seriously – this has made a world of a difference in my hair. I’ve been doing this for over 6 months now, and with constantly trimming my ends – they don’t break anymore. And now I trim less, if monthly. My hair strands are smoother yet my scalp feels clean still. Weird concept I investigated, but I think it works. I’ve also tried conditioning my entire hair root to end first, then shampooing only the roots after. I won’t lie when I say I’ve had pretty good hair days from this!
9 | Go sulfate free!
If you’re ever wondering why your hair is so dry and brittle, talk to your shampoo. Look at the back ingredients, and if you find sulfate anywhere in there, that answers your question. There are many shampoos that go sulfate-free you wouldn’t think of, yet there are brands out there that say they are but really aren’t.
I recently just purchased O2 by OGX, since their website states they are free of sulfates, but yet clearly on the back the 2nd ingredient is ammonium lauryl sulfate. Disappointment. But, I’m like the many who are on a budget and can’t afford $100+ in hair products a month, so I kept and actually use the OGX – once in a while.
As for sulfate free, they can be pricey, or a bit more expensive than the others. But really, it’s going about it the right way. Miracle 7 products are really good. Sally’s has specialized products (the bottles are different colors for that specialized product) for curly hair, color treated hair, fine hair, deep healing, Keratin, and many others. They’re sulfate free and reasonably priced.
Another great find is Mirabelle Plum. Intensely hydrates your hair, while also keeping it’s fullness, as it is also sulfate free.
Having naturally curly hair is TOUGH, and there are times I wish I didn’t have it. But just know you aren’t alone in the struggle, and it takes just finding the right products and not sticking with the ones that don’t make you happy in result. Curly hair is something special, and unfortunately at times, is in need of extra attention in comparison to other hair types. Do right by your locks, give them the love they deserve.