Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Caring For Curly Hair


My hair has been a mane of curls since I was long enough to put in a barrette. I went through the awkward parting-hair-down-the-middle, brushing-the-life-out-of-it, pulled-into-a-ponytail stage during middle school, until I read a magical little book called Curly Girl  around age 13 that changed everything about how I cared for my hair.

I've since adapted my curly-hair routine to what it is today, and thought it would be fun to share it with all of you girls with curly hair as well. I'd love to hear any tips you ladies have for caring for your curly hair!

1. Avoid shampoo (if not nix it completely!) Before you say "ewwwwwwwwwww", I haven't shampooed in six years and my hair & scalp is actually very healthy. I never have problems with greasy hair, and only occasionally suffer from dandruff as a result of too much product build-up. Even "natural" shampoos are full of sulfates and chemicals that strip curly hair of its natural oils. Instead of shampoos, use a baking soda rinse every few days. You can learn more about this by doing a quick Google search.

2. Don't rinse your conditioner. If you can't bear to do that, at least use a leave-in conditioner afterward. If you're not rinsing, run it right through your curls from mid-shaft to end, detangling as you go along. Leave it in and don't rinse. This hydrates curly hair that is already prone to being too dry.

3. Use hair products! Taking a few minutes after your shower to style curly hair usually means the difference between flat/frizzy or styled and fabulous. I will usually use coconut oil or hair gel, and haven't found which works the best yet. Coconut oil adds extra moisture but has the potential to make your hair greasy, so only use an itty-bitty amount. It styles well and is lighter than hair gel. If I'm using gel, I use about a half-dollar sized dallop and scrunch it through my hair. I often finish with hair spray. You could also use a pomade, mousse, or spray gel.

4. Don't brush your hair. I haven't owned a hairbrush for years! Depending on your hair type, brushing curly hair will make you look like this:


I don't know about you, but I try to avoid the poofy-frizzy look whenever possible! Try detangling in the shower, and if you must - use a wide-toothed comb.

5. Make sure your hairdresser knows how to cut curly hair. I don't go to a hairdresser at all, & this is partly because I don't want to pay someone to do it for me, but I also don't trust anyone to do it right! Curly hair cannot be cut as if it was straight, and should never be trimmed while wet. Cutting your hair incorrectly runs the risk of you ending up with a pyramid on top of your head. I like my hair long, so to trimming the dead ends only takes 15 minutes or so. I grab locks one at a time...


and cut just the dead ends off...


6. Bobby pins are your best friend. You learn to hide them in your mess of hair, because there will almost always be wisps that are threatening to pop out of your head in the most unflattering way. (Oh, and you'll always find lost ones in the shower days later!)

7. The weather affects EVERYTHING. If it's rainy and cool, I will most likely have a fantastic hair day. If it's warm or humid, I should probably wear a hat. Cold winter weather usually requires blow-drying instead of drip drying.

8. Don't touch your hair. Your hands have oils that, when transferred to your hair, make it frizzy or cause it to lose its curl. I love it when Sean touches my hair, but wince if it's a good hair day and he's playing with a handful during church! ;) As hard as it may be, try to keep your hands off - especially when your curls are drying!


12 comments:

  1. I have always been jealous of curly hair people. I wish my hair was curly, but instead it flattens in like 10 seconds flat :).

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    1. The grass is always greener on the other side, right? :D

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  2. I used to hate my curly hair, but now that I know how to handle it, I absolutely love it. I can't use the baking soda method because I work out most days and sweat WAY too bad for baking soda to handle. So, I've started using Hair One at Sally's - it's a no-poo cleanser for your hair and it is MARVELOUS. It replaced my shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner and my curls are so much happier. And, I actually do own a hairbrush and brush my hair daily. I found my curls look better if I brush my hair right after I shower and then apply product. Also, my curly hair isn't so unruly that I can't easily straighten or give it a blow-out, so there's that.

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    1. I should try that cleanser from Sally's! Your curls seem much gentler than mine so brushing it makes sense. I have to go completely straight or completely wild - there's no middle ground with mine!

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  3. these are great tips!! :) i used to straighten my hair for years and have just recently (in the last year) bought the bullet and accepted that i have curly hair! and now i'm learning how to get my curls to look the best they can - these are some great tips!

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    1. I don't know that I've seen many photos of your curly hair, Robyn? It looks like you straighten it often. It's lovely either way! & thank you!

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  4. I use John Frieda for my curls and love it!

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    1. I've used that before! Too pricey for me on a regular basis :P It totally is worth it though

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  5. I have that book as well. My hair is no where near as curly as yours, but not brushing has seriously helped my frizzy days be much more limited. :)

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  6. Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I have curly hair and it's long on top of that. It was Shirley Temple curly when I was little and then I went through an awkward wavy/no curl stage throughout middle school. Thanks adolescence. Now, it has regained some of it's curliness and I think is back on it's way to normal/healthy.

    I've been considering doing the no-shampoo thing. I've read a lot about it, but didn't really find anyone with curly hair who had tried it. I just switched to a Sulfate Free shampoo, so in a way, I'm preparing myself for no poo. I rarely wash it now as it is. I also don't brush. I can't remember the last time I brushed my hair. I use a wide-tooth comb in the shower or else I have tangles for days. I do have a question about this conditioner thing. I've been thinking about switching to a leave-in. So, when you say don't rinse the conditioner. I would apply my normal conditioner like always, but treat it as a leave-in? I might have to try this, although it is going to take everything in me to not rinse it out! ha!

    Thank you again for the tips! I love my curly, long hair, except for the days where I look like Princess Mia. :)

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    1. Your hair looks like it's a little thicker than mine, but it's still beautiful :D Switching to a no-sulfate shampoo is probably a good choice if you're trying to make the switch to no-poo. Basically for the conditioner thing, I put a glob on my hand, run it through, and leave it be. I do wrap my hair in a towel when I come out, & that absorbs some of the conditioner (so it's not just caked on my hair). But yeah - it acts as a leave-in and I just scrunch a little gel or mousse or whatever I have, and I'm good to go!

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