Curls are beautiful! In a world where straight hair is often admired and curly hair is seen as “nappy”, “messy”, “unruly”, etc. Whether you have coils or waves, here are 7 tips to taking care of your curls.
You’ve probably heard this plenty of times before, but I must admit (from experience) less heat, equates less damage. I say “less heat” because I know realistically how hard it is to go “cold turkey” and cut out the flat iron and blow-dryer from your routine. However with time, you will find that there is no need to apply heat as much (or at all). Think of it this way, less is more. The less heat you apply the healthier hair you’ll have.
You have two options to start your heat-free journey:
1. Air dry
2. A Diffuser
Using a diffuser on a low heat setting and then alternating with the cool setting, will give you beautiful curls. Cutting out anything from your usual routine is never easy. My advice is to gradually cut back on the heat. Instead of straightening your hair with a flat iron 4 days a week, make it two times a week. Once you’re able to straighten your hair twice a week, you will find it easier to reduce to once a week. Then you can switch to blow drying and touching up with a straightener (obviously, using a heat protectant spray). And before you know it, you will find yourself trading the flat head on your blow dryer for the diffuser head.
2. WATER TEMPERATURE
Speaking of heat…If you’re anything like me and love your steaming hot showers, you might have a problem. For those of us that live in countries with colder weather conditions (winter), we are prone to dry skin, dry scalp and dead ends – and as much as a hot shower is needed in the cold weather it’s also the cause to all that damage. When it comes to healthy curls, it’s all about moisture and using conditioner. Although hot water (warm water) opens the cuticles of the hair to allow the shampoo and conditioner to work effectively, cold water seals the moisture and closes the cuticle. So, next time you decide to take a nice hot, steamy shower, do a quick cold-water rinse.
Your hair is no different than the rest of your body. If you feed yourself the right food to ensure you have a healthy body and mind, make sure to also feed your hair healthy ingredients. Try your best to avoid products that have drying alcohols, sulphates, silicones, and for some of you curly heads, proteins. If you would like to know how to identify what ingredients fall under each of these bad ingredients, please read this wonderful post.
Speaking of chemicals, I’ve been applying colour in my hair since the age of 10. I used to get bored and loved a constant change and in order for me to satisfy that boredom, I used to dye my hair all the time. If you’re starting a healthy, curly hair journey, try to avoid dying your hair for at least a year. Yes, the growing out process is not always “pretty”, but sometimes in life, we have to make sacrifices in order to get what we want. And if you are gradually avoiding hair dye, try not to go for black or bleach blond colours. There are natural ways to dyeing your hair. Some natural ways include: coffee, tea, herbs (hibiscus, rosehips, marigold, rosemary, nettle, sage), beets, carrot juice, pomegranate, henna, lemon juice + chamomile tea and walnut shells.
It’s time for you to toss out your brush and use a wide tooth comb. Instead of ripping your hair , causing breakage, split ends and all kinds of damage, use a wide tooth comb instead. Comb from the bottom and gradually move upward to the root. The benefits of a wide tooth comb are : gentle on the scalp and less hair breakage. The teeth on the wide tooth comb make it easier to detangle the hair and therefore, creates less friction in comparison to the bristles on a brush. It’s gentle on the scalp and can be used to massage the scalp. Therefore, improving the blood circulation, which is never a bad thing to have.
Yes, pineapples are yummy, but it’s also the name of a hairdo that maintain your curls throughout the night- so I guess you can say, yummy looking curls? The pineapple is a ponytail that you create on the very top of your head. It help prevents the frizz throughout the night since your curls won’t be rubbing on your pillow case all night. With the pineapple, your hair will typically fall to the front of your face, therefore, no knots and no flattened curls the next day. Make sure the high ponytail, which is also known as the pineapple, is loose and not too tight.
Steps to a pineapple:
- Bend your entire body forward
- Gather all your hair to the top of your head
- Tie the high ponytail you’ve now created with a with a scrunchie, elastic (loosely), if you want to avoid an indent the next morning you can use a scarf
- If you want to ensure no curls are frizzy (if you toss and turn a lot throughout the night), put on a bonnet
We all want less frizz, more volume, tighter, smoother, shinier curls. There is definitely a way you can attain that. You can use microfiber towels. If you don’t want to go out of your way and purchase a microfiber towel, you can use an old shirt (which I do and works wonders). I find that old shirts without screen prints are the most effective. You can use a satin pillow case at night, as opposed to cotton. However, I personally found that the satin material made my hair look flat the next morning (boo!). At the end of the day, the less harsh friction you can manage to create, the less frizz you’ll have.
7. START FRESH
Start from scratch. Contrary to popular belief, if you have curly hair, you CAN go short. Find a salon that specializes in curly hair. Let them study what kind of curls you have. Let the hairdresser get rid of all those dead ends and go short. It takes a lot of guts, especially if you have curly hair that you’ve grown a certain length and it’s taken you years. I promise you, hair grows back. Express to the hairdresser how nervous you are and more often than not, they will understand and be patient. And as always, if you are too nervous or scared to take that leap, start with a trim at a curly hair salon. They are professionals that specialize in curly hair so they know that it can be nerve wracking and it’s a big leap to take.