Tips and tricks for naturally curly hair

Finding the right products and techniques can make all the difference in achieving healthy, gorgeous curls. In this blog post I will share some of the different ways you can care for your curls. I will also share my best tips, tricks, and favorite products. 

Curly hair is beautiful and unique. The best and the worst. I have had the tightest curly hair all of my life and bring all of my 30+ years of experience with curls to this blog post. Through the years I have tried a variety of things to tame the frizz and define my curls. 

Kinky curls, beach waves, corkscrew curls -there are many different curl types. Some curls are tighter, courser curls while others are looser. It’s important to understand what type of curl you have so that you know how to care for your curls. You may have to do some experimenting with your hair care routine to find what works best for you. There is no one perfect rhythm. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and try something different if what you are doing just isn’t producing the results you want.

What is curly hair?

Curly hair is a genetically inherited, dominate trait. This means that a person is more likely to have curly hair if one of their parents does. Let’s say that you get one gene for straight hair and one for curly hair, your hair will be curly because that is the dominant trait. The shape of the hair follicles is what determines whether hair will be straight or curly. A straight hair shaft produces straight hair. A curved hair shaft creates curly hair. Less common than straight hair, curly hair is often desired among women who have straight.

Are there advantages to having curly hair?

Naturally curly hair has a very unique texture and often has more volume than straight hair. Curly hair doesn’t need as much product or styling as straight hair does. Often times, those with curly hair can go longer in between hair wash days. Curly hair loves humidity and moisture and does well in warm and humid climates. 

How do I keep my natural curls from becoming frizzy?

One of the most challenging things about curly air is learning to keep the frizz under control. On the one hand, the humidity can make your curls tight and silky. Hydration is really important when it comes to keeping curls soft and frizz-free. The best products are those that contain some amount of leave in conditioning or products that contain avocado oil or coconut oil. Because of the shape of the hair follicle, natural oils have a more difficult time distributing throughout curly hair. Adding moisture back in will help to prevent frizz. 

​How do I comb out my curly hair?

Curly hair is almost impossible to comb or brush through when it is wet. It will almost certainly tangle and become frizzy. For this reason, curls should only be combed through when wet. A wide-toothed comb is the best way to I work through curls. Sometimes I even just use my fingers to comb through my wet hair. 

How often should I wash my curly hair?

Unlike straight hair, curls often do not need to be washed as frequently. Washing hair too frequently can strip the hair of its natural oils and cause dryness. Some people like to use specific curly hair shampoos. I have never found this to make much difference for me. I do, however, look for a shampoo, that is sulfate and paraben free, as well as something that will moisturize and repair split ends. Look for products that contain avocado oil, coconut oil, and shea butter to help retain moisture.

What is the best way to wash my curly hair?

Personally, I wash my hair in the shower, about every 2-3 days. I use a regular paraben/sulfate free shampoo and conditioner. Hot water can dry out the hair strands and cause them to become frizzy. One thing I have found to make a big difference, however, is to rinse my hair with cold water. This closes the hair follicle and helps to seal in the moisture. Since beginning to rinse my hair this way, I have seen a huge difference in the amount of frizz that I have. 

I have not noticed any benefit to dry shampoo. If you have curly hair and use it, I would love to know. It never seemed to actually make my hair look or feel cleaner and just became gunky in my hair. 

Do I need to use conditioner with curly hair?

Yes, always use conditioner. Because of the curved shape of the hair follicle, natural oils do not travel from the roots to the ends very easily. This is why curly hair may seem greasier at the scalp and dry at the ends. It is important to keep the hair well-moisturized to prevent breakage and split ends. Always use conditioner after washing. Some curly girls like to use a leave-in conditioner to help with moisture.

Why do I experience hair loss after washing my hair?

I have found that I lose a decent amount of hair after I shower. I have come to learn that it the normal process of old hair falling out. I just gets trapped in with the other curls and so I only notice it when I comb through my hair. If hair loss is something you struggle with, try adding a liquid collagen to your routine to see if it doesn’t help thicken and prevent hair loss. More on that later. 

What do I do with my hair now that its washed?

After I wash my hair and comb through it, I use a curl cream to define my curls and prevent frizz. With my head upside down, I put a small amount of cream in my hands and gently work it in from root to end. Then I allow it to dry. When I style my hair I will use a hairspray to hold in flyaways. 

What is the best way to dry my curly hair?

There are several ways that you can dry your curly hair. My favorite method is to let my hair air dry. When I get out of the shower I will wrap my hair in a cotton T-shirt or microfiber towel. Both of these are less damaging to the hair that a regular cotton towel and are helpful in reducing frizz. Since I shower at night, I will just let my hair air dry overnight. If I do need to wash and dry it immediately, I will use a blow dryer and turn my head upside down while blowing. This allows the curls to fall into their natural shape, rather than flattening them. Some curly haired girls like to use a diffuser attachment on their hair dryer to help protect the curls from heat. 

How do I sleep with my curly hair?

Many curly-haired girls use silk pillow cases or sleep caps to keep their curls soft and defined. The silk pillowcase causes less friction than a cotton fabric does. I typically just fan my hair out above my head when I lay down and let it dry. There will be a few places that need touched up in the morning, but overall it works great. 

What is your curly hair routine?

My current curly hair routine is to wash every 2-3 days. Sometimes I can stretch this a little longer, but I prefer to do it more frequently. I wash and condition in the shower, letting the conditioner set for a few minutes. I rinse my hair with cold water and wrap a micro-fiber towel around my hair. Turning my head upside down, I use a wide-tooth comb to comb through my hair. With a small amount of curl cream, I gently work it in from top to bottom. Air drying my hair is the best method I have found to prevent frizzy hair. I shower at night and allow my hair to dry overnight while sleeping. A few curls will need touched up with a little water or additional curl cream as I style the next morning. I will use a little hairspray to hold things in place and trap flyaway hairs. 

Favorite curly hair products

Many of these things will also be beneficial for straight hair, but these are products that have worked well for my curls. I avoid products with harsh chemicals and toxins and prefer to use products with natural ingredients. The length of your hair and the texture of your hair will make a difference in the exact method and products you use to care for your hair. Play around with different things and see what works best for you.

1. Shampoo and conditioner – I do not have a ride or die on these products. I use a generic, cleaner product for my regular shampoo and conditioner. For a real treat to my hair, on occasion, I will use this shampoo and conditioner. It does wonders for my hair. The formula is proven to strengthen hair bonds and prevent spilt ends and breakage. My hair has never been fuller, thicker, or softer. It is even great for color treated hair!

2. Curl cream is my staple hair product. I do not use mousse or gel, they are too heavy for my curls and end up weighing them down. They can also leave your hair feeling crunchy. I use this coconut curl cream.

3. Hair spray – I use this one, but I am really not particular about hairspray. I only prefer that it be something that is not a super strong hold or it leaves my hair gunky and heavy.

4. Anti-oxidant hair serum is another special treat for my hair and goodness do I love it. It supports hair hydration, seals, smooths, and promotes shine, and it is just the best on curls.

5. Liquid collagen – One last magic product for hair. This stuff has given me the strongest, fullest hair I have ever had. In just a few weeks of taking it I was noticing a difference. It is the best. This is my favorite one here. 

Curly hair is so different from straight hair and it often takes some practice and experimenting to take care of your curls well. Hopefully this blog post has been helpful in give you some tips and tricks to caring for your curls. I would love to know if this is helpful. Be sure and leave a comment with something you learned. 

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