When you have curly hair, you live for those days when you wake up with perfect, defined, frizz-free curls. You know, that one time in your life that it happens.
Curly hair can look voluminous, natural, and gorgeous, but it can be high maintenance. If you’re looking for easy ways to maintain your curly hair, try the steps below.
Know Your Hair Type and Porosity
Not all curls, kinks, and coils built the same. Knowing your hair type can help you make better decisions regarding how you style your hair and what products you use. For example, while Type 4C hair loves oil, Types 4A and 4B often do better with cream-based nourishment. Of course, your hair might be a combination of types and require a unique approach to care.
Knowing the porosity of your hair can also help you manage your curls. Your porosity refers to how well your hair can absorb products and hold moisture. If you have low porosity, it can be challenging for your hair to absorb the nourishment and hydration from your products. Lighter products will help you avoid build up and maintain curl definition.
If you have high porosity, your absorption is higher, which can also lead to more frizz. You’ll need products that effectively seal your hair to protect it from humidity.
To test your porosity, pull a strand of clean hair from your head and drop it in water. If it sinks, your hair is porous. If it floats, it is not.
Buy Curl-Friendly Products
When you have curly hair, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t using curl-friendly products. Look for shampoo and conditioner that has added nourishment, but won’t weigh your hair down. If you have to use a general hair product, dilute it with water to make it curl-friendly. You’ll also want to avoid products with sulfates and parabens to keep your curls healthy.
To keep your curls defined and shiny, you’ll also want a leave-in conditioner or curl defining cream. Talk to your stylist for recommendations based on your hair type.
Time Your Product Application
You may have heard that the best time to apply curl cream and defining products is when your hair is soaking wet. However, that could also depend on the porosity of your hair.
If your hair isn’t very porous, applying a product when it’s wet will help improve the absorption. However, if your hair is porous, it might not make a difference. The coarseness of your hair also plays a role. If you have coarse hair, that extra hydration can be helpful when applying products.
Experiment with different application habits and find what works best to nourish your curls.
Avoid Heat and Bleach
Heat is one of the worst sources of damage to hair. As curly hair tends to be drier and more susceptible to damage, keeping heat away whenever possible is essential. When you wash your hair, use lukewarm water to avoid frizzing over time. If you’re heading to the beach, use a protectant spray with SPF. When drying your hair, always use a diffuser.
It’s important to note that bleach is another source of heat that can cause a lot of damage over time. If you want to go platinum blonde, channel your inner celebrity, and grab a wig from EvaWigs to protect your natural hair. When adding color to your hair, it should be a long, slow process that allows your hair to heal between treatments.
Ditch the Brush
If your hair has any curl to it, you’ll want to ditch the brush permanently. While there are a lot of brushes that say they’re curl-friendly, most of them cause more harm than good.
Instead, opt for a wide-tooth comb while in the shower, then leave your curls alone. You can detangle and define with a pick as needed, but the best curls come from giving your hair space to do its thing.
Add Oil and Nourishment to the Ends
The reason that curly hair tends to be dry is because of the shape of your strands. The curls make it harder for the natural, moisturizing oil from your scalp to distribute down toward your ends. As you can’t brush your hair to distribute the fat without causing chaos, you’ll need to give your purposes some TLC.
Use a quick-absorbing oil that won’t weigh your hair down— argan oil is an excellent option for this purpose. Focus on the ends when applying and avoid your roots. You should additionally spend in a deep conditioning hair mask to apply to your terms once per week.
Give Yourself a Fingertip Massage
Healthy curls start at the root. Giving your scalp a fingertip massage every few days feels fabulous and stimulates blood flow to the scalp. As a decision, your hair follicles will prepare excited, and your scalp will ramp up natural oil production.
When cleansing your scalp, it’s essential to resist the urge to scratch. Apply pressure with your fingertips and work them in a circular motion. Using your fingernails can cause damage to the scalp that will impact the much-needed oil production to maintain your curls.
Plop and Pineapple
Protecting your hair at night is vital when you have natural curls. There are a few methods by which you can do this. The first called plopping and consists of wrapping your wet curls in a soft t-shirt or wrap. You should avoid terrycloth as the friction can cause frizz and breakage. Lay the fabric out on your bed or a flat surface, and bend over to plop your hair into the center. Wrap the fabric around and secure it on your head for the evening.
The pineapple follows a similar process, but without using a wrap. Instead, tilt your head over and gather your hair loosely at the top of your head. Secure it with a ribbon or coil hair tie. It’s also worth investing in a silk pillowcase to reduce friction as you move at night.
With these simple steps, you can maintain your natural curls and avoid frizz and damage.