Natural curls are sweeping the nation. Women of every ethnicity are washing their hair, and leaving their curls free from blow drying and straightening. There are wavy curls, curly curls, and kinky curls spread out on every woman’s head. Curls turns heads, but there is a lot of research and facts that come along with curly hair. Before you can make the transition, you have to know the basics.
So…What is Curly Hair?
Curly hair is what comes natural to you, it is in your genes. It starts at the hair follicle which determines the shape of the hair shaft. If you hair is curly, the follicle will appear oval. The easiest way to start out with you natural curls is answering this question; when your hair is wet does it curl up? Some of us are born with curls. As we grow older we form a love-hate relationship with our curls. Some days they turn out amazing, and other days they are a frizzy mess. It’s important to know the proper way to maintain your curls as well as the proper products that need to be used. Even with all the facts about maintaing hair, you should know the benefits of having curly hair.
The Good Parts About Your Curls
First and foremost, curly hair will give you more confidence. It may take a while to start to gain this confidence with a new look but you would be surprised on how curls make you feel. When your curls are healthy, thick, and shiny, you feel great about yourself. You know that you are no longer damaging your hair and your helping to improve its health. Natural girls stand out because you have you head up high while everyone takes notice at your curls. Plus the style is a fun look, and if you enjoy wearing your curls, people will take notice.
Since curly hair is all natural you know longer have to spend time “doing your hair”. Some curls form easily and you can come out of the shower with your hair pretty much done. Even if your curls require a little bit more attention, it won’t take you quite as long to get them done in the morning.
After making the transition to your curls, you will no longer have to straighten your hair. This is good because not only do you no longer have to stand for minutes going through your hair bit by bit, but you are also no longer damaging your hair. Straighteners damage the hair by drying the hair shaft out. This can also cause it to become thinner. Any heat that you use on your hair can damage it. Once you take out the heat, you can start repairing your hair shaft.
Curls can help you to start eating better than you already do. The health of your hair can be directly linked to your diet. Make sure you are getting your protein daily, which will help the growth of your hair. Eating healthily fats will help the shine and thickness in your curls. These also keep the scalp hydrated. If your hair is thinning, minerals such as zinc, magnesium, and selenium can improve the thickness of your hair.
What Not To Do!
Starting out to wear your curls seems easy enough. Wash in the shower, style and let air dry. It’s simple and quick. However, since your hair is using moisture to survive, it is important to always keep the curls hydrated.
- Let’s start with the very first step; shampooing. As of right now how often you wash your hair depends on the type of hair you have. However, you might not have to shampoo every day. The more you wash your hair, the worse it can become. Curls generally just need a quick refill of water in the shower, and you can wash maybe every other day.
- Stay away from all shampoos that use sulfate. Sulfates can be very harsh on the hair, and can cause more damage to the hair shaft. While it can be fun to wash hair with all of the bubbles, these bubbles are not getting the hair completely clean. As your hair becomes healthier and more hydrated, you will not have to cleanse your hair quite as much. Until then, stick with your normal schedule while you work on the health of your hair.
- Your curls need to be conditioned and moisturized. In order to keep them hydrated stay clear from condition ions that have silicones in them. Silicones can repeal water and is not biodegradable. These block the cuticle and moisture, weigh down curls, and prevent their natural shape from emerging.
- This is going to be a harder thing not to do…stop combing your hair. Yes, I said stop combing your hair. By brushing or combing your curls it interferes with their formation and causes frizz. All you need to do is finger comb your hair while its soaking wet and drenched with conditioner.
- Now, you have your hair washed, conditioned and detangled. Think your all good now? Not quite. This one is easy, never dry your curls with a conventional towel. They can absorb to much moisture and the fabric can cause frizz. Instead try using a paper towel, an old cotton t-shirt, or a microfiber towel. Pretty much anything smooth and absorbent to dry your hair.
It seems like a lot of things that you should not be doing. However, they are easy to make the switch and stop doing them. Lets recap on what not to do and ways to fix them.
- Cut down how much you wash your hair to maybe three to four times a week. (If that)
- Next time you buy shampoo and conditioner check the ingredients to make sure your staying about from sulfates and silicones.
- Hide your combs and brushes then run your fingers through your hair before you get out of the shower.
- Grab an old t-shirt or a micro-fiber towel to dry your hair.
Let’s Get Started
Now that you know what not to do with your curls, we can focus on the products that you should be using, the steps to style your curls and maintaining the health of your hair. Let’s start off looking at the process to style your curls.
- Define what type of curls you have. There are multiple types of curls out there so understanding the type you have is important.
- Once you know what type of curls you have, each type has it’s very own process for cleansing and styling.
- After you are familiar with how to cleanse and style your hair, go out and buy the right products for your hair.
- All sulfate-free products, plain and simple.
- Botanical conditioners that have high concentrations of plant based ingredients such as mint, lemongrass, and rosemary.
- Emollients which helps soften hair and reduces frizz by smoothing the cuticle. A few goods ones to look for are shea butter, vegetable oils, olive oil, walnut oil, jojoba oil, cetyl esters, and wheat germ.
- Humectants that allows the hair to absorb water and hang on to it. Look for panthenol, vegetable glycerin, and sorbitol
- Moisturizers that adds softness and control to curly hair. Amino acids, aloe vera, olive oil, balm mint extracts, and propylene glycol and some to look for.
- Avoid products that are “styling creams” or “waxes”.
- Also stay clear of gels that have alcohol, silicone, paragons, and phthalates.