9 Essential Curly Hair Care Tips

By Blair Golden

By Blair Golden

There is no getting around the fact that curly hair can be much more challenging to care for as it is inherently dry, usually corse, prone to frizz and generally has a mind of its own. The good new is that with the right tricks and routines, you can get the healthy, defined and soft curls you are after! Its time to stop the battle between you and your hair by learning how to properly maintain your curly stands with Celebrity Hairstylist and curly hair expert Mateo Jon’s tips for healthy, defined, and manageable curls

1. Absolutely Always Get a Dry Cut

Curly Hair should not be cut the same way as straight hair. If your stylist tries to cut your hair when wet- RUN! Curly hair is drastically shorter when dry and may be half way down your back when wet only to shrink a good 6-12 inches. What you see is what you get with dry cutting, and your stylist will get a good feel of the movement of the hair, where most of the weight is, and how much actually needs to be snipped off. This allows your cut to be 100% tailored to you and your distinctive wave patterns.

2. Shampoo Less

While it is important to thoroughly cleanse your hair to eliminate any product build up ever so often, Shampooing too much is actual detrimental to the health of your curls as it strips your hair of its natural oils. Limiting shampooing to once a week will help your hair maintain its moisture. Make sure that you are using a moisturizing shampoo for curly or dehydrated hair or better yet, opt for a Co-wash instead.

Co-wash is short for conditioner-only wash and Its basically the process of cleaning your hair with conditioner instead of moisture-stripping shampoo. The result is something in-between squeaky-clean and second day hair- meaning smoother, softer and more manageable. If you end up co-washing your hair regularly, we would recommend getting a small or travel size bottle of a clarifying shampoo, such as Davines Solu, to use every 3rd wash. This will help to rid your curls of excess product build up which can weigh down your hair.

If you do decide to go with a natural, organic shampoo, make sure that it is ‘mild’ and doesn’t contain sulfates, silicone or parabens. These chemicals block natural oils from penetrating your hair shaft which can result in hair damage and increased frizz.

3. Constantly Moisturize

Curly hair needs extra moisture, so be sure to use a good conditioner regularly. Cover each and every strand of hair with conditioner and let it sit for at least five or ten minutes before rinsing out. If you keep your hair well moisturized, you won’t get frizzy hair and your hair won’t be so easily affected by changes in humidity.

Using a super nourishing and moisturizing hair mask once a week will also help to keep your curly hair in its best condition. Apart from providing ample moisture, Masks work wonders in repairing your hair, preventing it from getting damaged, and maintaining your curl definition.

Last, but certainly not least, make sure you have a reliable, hyper-moisturizing leave-in conditioner in your cabinet. A no-frills leave-in is one of the quickest and easiest ways to give curls that are fried, frazzled and poufy a dramatic make-over. While the right in-shower shampoos, conditioners and co-washes have frizz fighting and reparative ingredients, at the end of your shower, they are all down the drain. Thats where your leave in will come in to pick up where you left off- nourishing your hair all day with steady, essential hydration.

4. Style Your Hair While It’s Wet

To help keep frizz at bay, opt for applying products right after you get out of the shower, while your hair is sopping wet. Why? When your curls are soaking wet, you have more control over them and it keeps the cuticles open to receive the moisturizers and styling products you are adding. Use your hands to gently rake product through your hair from root to tips, then scrunch and squeeze upward toward the scalp

5. Never Blow Dry Without A Diffuser

Though we always recommend air-drying your curly hair, if you MUST, make sure you are attaching a diffuser! A regular nozzle disrupts your natural curl pattern and can cause heat damage because of it focusing hot hair on on small section at a time. A diffuser, on the other hand, disperses the air flow and spreads it over a large area which doesn’t disturb the wave pattern and limits frizz.

After applying heat-protecting product, flip your hair upside down and diffuse you at the root and mid-length. Allowing those areas to dry completely will lock in the volume, curl pattern and styler. Limit any heat on your ends (the oldest parts of your hair) as they tend to be more damaged and therefore delicate and susceptible to splitting.

6. Turn Down the Heat

Beware! Excessive heat styling can alter the proteins in your hair that give them their distinctive curly shape and over time, they can become more limp and resistant to styling. Limit blowdrying to once or twice a week and flat ironing to once or twice a month. When you DO decide to flat iron, don’t go over 400 degrees. If you are starting to notice that your curls are more limp lately, stop using any heat entirely and use a conditioning mask in the shower to create new hydrogen bonds which may help in restoring your wave pattern.

7. Get Rid of Your Brushes

Brushes are not your friend. The bristles fray your hair, disturb the formation of your curls, and create a mass of frizz. Instead, use your fingers to create and define curls and refresh using a curl revitalizer. If you need to detangle, use a wide tooth comb or fingers in the shower with conditioner coating your hair.

8. Avoid Products with Alcohol

Styling products with alcohol give curls a “crunchy”, out dated texture (think Ramen Noodles) and they suck up your hair’s moisture which is a death sentence for your curls. We recommend opting for Water-soluble gels that aren’t overly sticky to the touch and airy mousses or foams to give the volume and control you are after.

9. Stop Touching It

We get it, curly, textured hair can become a bit addicting to play with but when you are too heavy handed with your curls, you ruffle the cuticle which creates frizz. You want to cut down on friction as much as possible so instead of using an abrasive bath towel to dry, try using a microfiber cloth to gently scrunch and press excess water out of your hair .

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