The recent texture trend that we’ve been writing about has given a lot of curly girls much more freedom to go au naturel—at least when it comes to their tresses!
But with all those curls unfurled, home maintenance and care for this type of hair become that much more important. So, we’ve done some research and culled the best tips from the experts on how to care for curly and wavy hair. Here’s what to do and not to do during your daily routine:
When washing curly hair
First of all, since curly hair is naturally dry, it’s best not to shampoo every day. Using a dry shampoo like Volumizing Dry Shampoo Lift Powder between washes will refresh strands while helping retain the precious oils. You can also rinse your hair without a cleanser and just use a conditioner to nourish and moisturize.
When you DO shampoo, use shampoos without sulfates, such as Keratin Complex® Keratin Color Care, Blondeshell® or Timeless Color™, followed by a quality conditioner or even deep-conditioning masque like Vanilla Bean Deep Conditioner. To help preserve natural oils, make sure the top of your hair is the last place you cleanse and the last place you rinse the conditioner.
Before rinsing out conditioner, gently detangle curls with your fingers; this will make for easier styling and less breakage. And when you do rinse, use cool or cold water to help keep your hair shiny.
When drying your hair
Use a microfiber towel and blot your hair instead of rubbing. Gently rotate and squeeze curls in an upward motion toward the scalp to absorb extra moisture. This will help avoid frizz and encourage the natural curl pattern.
For best results, allow your hair to air-dry. You can scrunch up your curls and apply a styling gel or BB cream such as Kerabalm 3-in-1 Multi-Benefit Hair Balm first, and also clip the top layer at the roots to speed up drying … and then keep your hands off your hair until it dries!
When blow-drying and heat-styling curly hair
It’s best to avoid these styling methods for optimal curls and hair health, since exposure to high temperatures can damage your hair. However, as realists, the KeraGirls know that’s not always possible.
So, follow these tips for curly hair: When blow-drying, use a low/medium setting and a diffuser. As for heat-styling equipment such as flat or curling irons, use these only as necessary, and always make sure to apply a thermal protectant, such as Thermo-Shine Thermal Protectant Mist, before using such appliances.
When brushing curly hair
Avoid using brushes and narrow-toothed combs, and instead opt for wide-toothed combs for less frizz and breakage. When your hair is damp, use just your finger to gently pull apart the curls or snags.
When styling your hair
For a curlier look on dry or second-day hair, try the pin method. Starting at the crown, wrap a section of hair around your finger, slide the finger out, hold the coil with your other hand and insert a clip at a right angle. After you’re finished, gently remove the clips. Finish with a light spray of Flex Flow Flexible Shaping Hairspray, then loosen the curls and finger-style them into place.
Also, hair accessories are the curly girl’s friend! The texture and body in your hair will hold the biggest clips, ties and bands (whereas they’ll just slide off of smooth or straight hair). Wear these as much as you can. They’ll help control and hold your style, and also make you look more put-together!
When working out
Here’s a great tip we found for curly hair:Get a mini-hair treatment during a workout session! Before hitting the gym, run a hair serum like Infusion Keratin Replenisher or Kerabalm through your hair and twist up into a bun. The heat your body produces while exercising allows curls to soak up all the goodness from these products.
The conditioning-spray-and-bun technique also works well for getting perfect second-day curls—and a good night’s sleep! Just make sure to ball the bun high enough on your head that you don’t lay on it as you snooze. Next morning, once you’ve let your hair down, it will only take minimal styling for maximum impact!