Calling all you beautiful curly-haired creatures, your hair may be a little hard to handle at times, but we have some tips to help. Here’s some easy-to-follow advice on how to look after curly hair and fall back in love with those bouncy tresses.
1. Less (shampoo) is more
Most of us wash our hair too often, putting its natural oil production into turmoil and leaving some of us with excessively greasy hair and some of us with hair so dry it could start a bush fire. Curly hair is not exempt either, in fact overuse of shampoo can be even more damaging for you curly queens out there.
Why? Curly hair tends to be more porous than straight hair, meaning it absorbs more of what we put onto it. Most shampoo you find in shops will contain surfactants and sulphates that can steal moisture from our hair. And curly hair with less moisture = frizzy and sometimes out of control hair.
What should I do instead? Try to gradually reduce the frequency of your hair washing and choose a shampoo that is free from sulphates, silicones and other nasties. If you’re feeling ambitious, another option is trying to cut out shampoo altogether with the ‘No Poo’ method – read more about that here.
2. Turn down the heat
We get it, the temptation to try and tame your curls with hair straighteners is strong. However, using heat too often can cause permanent damage to your hair, destroying your natural curl patterns and causing your hair to break excessively.
Using too much heat can be destructive for all hair types, but it can completely destroy your beautiful and natural curls. This is because hair is made of a protein called keratin. Keratin has a natural twist in it called an alpha helix, present in both straight and curly hair. If you heat keratin to 215°C -235°C the alpha helix stats to melt and this physical change is irreversible. This means that your hair will keep the shape of the melted keratin at a molecular level – and you may have to say goodbye to your curls until new hair grows, boo!
Does that mean I have to stop using heat altogether? Not necessarily, you just need to be smart about it. Here’s some tips:
- Don’t let your heat tools reach a temperature higher than 200°C
- Use a heat-protection spray or serum
- Condition your hair regularly, using an intensive treatment every few washes
3. Arm yourself with curl-friendly combs and brushes
You need the right tools to succeed in any task, and this goes for looking after your curly hair too.
When choosing a brush, its detangling capability should be first on the list. Denman brushes are one of the most popular choices for curly hair as they have been seen to remove tangles efficiently and help style those curls without harming them.
Go for a wide-toothed comb or a wet brush when your hair is wet to minimise snagging. If you’re going to leave your hair to dry naturally, using a wide-toothed comb is advisable as it can mimic finger combing – just a more efficient way. It will gently detangle your hair while keeping the shape of your curls intact.
Please note: while these tips may be effective for informing some people how to look after their curly hair, everyone’s hair is unique so you need to find what works for you.
Last updated: 29 April 2020