Corkscrew ringlets, or loose waves, curls come in all shapes. That’s why it’s hard to find the right fix – what works for one curl may not work for another. Luckily, there are many of us curly-haired princesses out there, so there are now plenty of tips available on how to care for your unruly hair. Here are our top eight for you to try, which should work for most types:
1. Shun the shampoo
Textured hair is naturally more dry because the scalp’s moisturising oils don’t adequately quench the thirsty curls, says author of Curly Girl: The Handbook, Lorraine Massey. Shampooing too regularly can strip the hair even more thanks to harsh chemicals (namely, sulphates). If you can, try using a conditioner that has a small amount of gentle cleansers rather than moisture-zapping shampoo.
2. Ditch the towel for a T-shirt
Super absorbent towels will take all the moisture from your hair, which we’ve already learnt is death to curls. So instead, learn how to “plop” with a cotton t-shirt. This is a technique of wrapping your hair up after the shower, and will greatly reduce frizz and potential breakage after you’ve washed it. The t-shirt won’t be as absorbent as a towel, so gently squeeze excess water out of your hair first, but don’t wring your hair! Then plop your hair with the t-shirt and it should just absorb some of the remaining water while allowing the essential moisture to remain in place.
3. Satin sheets
You can lose a lot of moisture from your hair while you sleep if you’re sleeping on a cotton pillowcase. This is agreed upon by hair experts all over the world! They recommend sleeping on a satin pillow instead, which will allow your hair to keep its moisture, reducing hair breakage. You’ll start the day with soft and supple curls instead of dry and frizzy hair.
4. Curls hate brushes
Throw out that brush right now. It is not helping your hair at all, it’s just going to damage already delicate hair. Use a wide-toothed comb to untangle your curls, but gently detangle any knots with a detangler or oil first. When it comes to combing, separate your hair into manageable sections – it will make the process easier and distribute oils from your scalp to tips evenly. When your hair is ready for the comb, start with the back sections at the nape of your neck moving to the top of your head, combing from root to tip.
5. Dry air is not your friend
It’s a pretty simple equation: Dry air + curls = FRIZZ! And while there’s not much you can do about the humidity in the air, you can make sure you add extra moisture to your hair on dry days, to protect it from drying out further. You can also try to humidify the air at home with a humidifier or just a pot of distilled water on the stove, set to a low boil.
6. Hands off!
Playing with your hair will separate your curls and lead to unwanted frizz, so try to keep your hands firmly in your pockets! Of course, it’s not just your hands that you need to be wary of. People love soft, bouncy curls and sometimes think that gives them reason enough to invade your personal space and stroke, scrunch or pat your hair. Sure, it’s often done in admiration but how does one avoid sweaty stranger’s hands from unnecessarily frizzing up your mane? Unfortunately we don’t have answer for that, short of a duck-and-dodge or yelling “NO TOUCHING” as soon as you see that hand rising… that may come across as a bit rude though.
7. Diffuse the situation
As we’ve said time and time again, your hair is already naturally dry, so blowing blowing hot air on it will dry it even more and make it frizz something terrible. On those occasions when you can’t wait around all day for your hair to dry naturally, there is a solution – the diffuser attachment. A diffuser on a hair dryer minimises the frizz by evenly distributing the heat, without disturbing your curls. When using a diffuser, you should always set your hair dryer on a medium and keep it moving so that the air distributes evenly through your hair.
8. Natural is best
When you let something be, it will often thrive. So forget expensive straightening treatments, bleaches, dryers etc. and love your curls in their natural form – they will love you back. Once you allow your curls to grow out and recover from the heat-destroying hair care techniques and harsh chemicals, your natural shine will be restored and your curls will be healthy! Listen to your body and nurture your curls in the most natural way you can.