Tips for Curly Hair: Cleaning, Styling, and General Care
It’s wild. It stays flat when wet for about 5 minutes, it frizzes at the sight of rain, it stands up in every direction, if someone so much as breathes on it, it gets upset. It has a mind of its own, what its owner wants usually doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t care . Those without curly hair will never understand. It’s as if a small furry animal has replaced what should be hair. Taming it has become one of the biggest challanges of life. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
A person with curly hair will always have curly hair. They may straighten it with irons, or chemicals, or blow dryers. But in the end, their hair will find a way around it. People go their entire lives regretting their genes because society loves China-doll straight hair. But if one learns to work with their curls, then they can change it all. Life gets that much easier, and better. People will compliment all the time, infact they will often assume the curls are from a salon. Apparently nobody with naturally curly hair is allowed to have,’pretty’ curls.
Hair Washing It may be a hard idea, but try to consider it. Washing hair everyday isn’t the best thing to do. Of course there are those people who have absolutely greasy hair naturally, who need to wash it once (or twice) a day; but for the majority of people, every other day or less is perfectly fine. Shampoo strips the hair, and with curly hair this can cause more problems then it helps. Infact, it is common practice with some curly-haired people, to not use shampoo, period. The writer of this article, for example, does not use shampoo anymore and their curls have never been better.
The key with this less shampoo (or no shampoo) system is to still clean the hair, but in different ways. Instead of shampooing everyday, try every other day. And the inbetween days, only use conditioner. A little conditioner, and a good scrub with fingers under running water will get hair plenty clean. And it doesn’t strip the moisture from the hair, meaning curls come back to life.
If hair is too greasy, or drandruff is a problem then perhaps shampooing is needed daily. The key is to experiement to find a shampooing system that works for one’s own hair.
Hair Styling That brush? Put it aside, it is needed no longer. Instead use a tiny bit of leave-in conditioner (regular conditioner can be too heavy and greasy) and use fingers to comb through hair. Brushes damage curly hair, creating frizz. Along with that the way the hair curls naturally when drying is how it is suppose to curl. Brushing it disturbs these curls and creates more fluff and frizz than desired. Try a bit of gel and simply scrunch the hair.
When drying hair, try not to rub with the towel (again damage and frizz). Instead try to squeeze the water out and pat dry, or squeeze hair with the towel. And use the blow dryer as little as possible. Heat damage from blow dryers is murder on hair. It damages the hair, causing it to split and fry.
As for styling products, less is more. Use as much as needed but no more. The more product in the hair, the heavier it is, and the less life and bounce it has. How fast can a person move and how well can they stand up if buried in gel? Hair is the same way. The term gel is being repeated because usually it works better for curls. Hairspray keeps hair stiff and doesn’t allow movement. Get will keep curls together, without the crunchiness.
Curl Tips Add a little gel and scrunch hair right after a shower, then let dry. When hair is half-dried, scrunch again lightly to add a bit of body. Then when dry touch up any frizzy or flat spots.
To avoid the, “mushroom hair,” look try to zig-zag the part. Start with a straight part. Grab a tiny curl at the front of the part, and one matching on the opposite side. Crisscross them. Continue this all the way back. This helps to prevent the flat-top look, and adds volume to the top of the hair as well.
Add layers. If all the hair is the same length, then it curls together and has no volume. Try having a few layers added, this allows curls to form at different levels which adds volume and bounce and, again, prevents, “mushroom hair.”
Treat your hair with care. Heat, chemicals, products, they all add damage which can (and does) affect hair.
If worried about dirty hair from not using shampoo, have a friend sniff-test it. Chances are it’s fine, just wash it everyday with conditioner to prevent tangles. Another idea is to create natural shampoo, recipes for which can be found online.