If you’ve got curly hair, you know the drill: curls do what they want, when they want, and where they want – regardless of our opinion on the matter. Naturally curly hair has a reputation and one that’s well-deserved.
Whether you’ve got loose ringlets or energetic springs, you’re all too familiar with the endless struggle to control them. Yet, those who wear the crown of curls know that at the moment you’re least expecting it, curly hair can surprise, delight, and even stun onlookers with their innate glory. There are those days where your curls look so amazing that it makes up for everything and then some.
Naturally curly hair is in a class of its own, and that means many of the conventional beauty tips don’t apply. What’s the trick to achieving perfect curls? Taking care of them. Curls don’t like being fussed over or controlled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t coax them into looking their best every day. Here’s how.
How to Care For Your Curls Like a Queen
In stylist speak, curly hair is known as Type 3 hair, and it ranges from playful spirals (3A) to tightly packed corkscrew curls more frequently described as coily (3C). Wherever you fall on the spectrum, these five tips will help you keep that crown looking on point every day.
1. Pick Fewer, High-Quality Styling Products.
People love buying things for their hair. The global haircare market is worth a whopping $69,786.3 million. For curly hair especially, the pull is strong to spend more money on your hair than you do on your utility bills. It seems every week some celebrity stylist or hair care specialist has come out with the latest and best product guaranteed to deliver perfect curls every day with zero hassle. If you’re struggling to maintain a perfect mane, you’ve bought into the hype at least once or twice.
It’s true – curly hair does need special products. You’ll want a good conditioner that locks in moisture and doesn’t leave a dull coat on your curls. A clarifying shampoo will help eliminate buildup from product or hard water. Occasionally, you might even want a hair mask or another moisturizing, de-frizzing product.
What you don’t need? To torture your curls with a chemical cocktail crafted from an excessive number of products. Choose products that nourish your hair, not ones that promise to give you control over every inch of your ringlets.
2. Rethink Your Brushes and Combs.
That brushes are a no-no is curly hair care 101, but it’s always good to remain mindful of what you use to comb your hair. The best implement? Your fingers. Run your hands through your hair to detangle it without causing your locks to split. Anything more than that is an invitation for a frizz fiesta.
3. Get Savvy About the Myths of Water Temperature
Wearers of the crown of curls have heard from day one to always wash your hair with cool water. Doing so helps close the cuticles, thereby reducing frizz and helping to seal in moisture from your special curly hair conditioner.
This isn’t true – but not for the reason you think.
Hot water does dry out your hair and contributes to hygral fatigue. Both the steam and the water itself help to open up the pores on your scalp while causing your hair strands to swell. It encourages your hair to release dirt, buildup, and oil – but your hair doesn’t discriminate against good oils and bad.
As a result, washing your hair with hot water means you’re losing your hair’s natural oil as well as any product that might be beneficial for your hair. You’ll find your hair dryer, coarser, and duller after a hot shower. In contrast, cold water simply doesn’t have this mechanism, which is why it’s associated with frizz reduction and shiny curls.
What can we take from this? Turn up the water temperature when you’re shampooing your hair to get the most out of its clarifying abilities. Apply your conditioner while your hair is swollen, then turn down the water temperature when you rinse to help lock in the moisture.
4. Use Hair Towels and Satin Pillowcases.
If there’s one thing curly hair absolutely abhors – and will punish you mercilessly for with a full-blown frizz fest – is being towel-dried. Of course, when we mean towel dried, we mean the upside-down rubbing and squeezing with one of those terry cloth bath towels that ravages your tips while leaving your roots waterlogged.
Sure, blow drying is a step up from that – but do you have time for applying yet more products and mastering a twelve-step process to safely blow dry your curls? (If you do, then more power to you.)
In contrast, a hair towel is a gentle, efficient, must-have for anyone with curly hair. Specifically designed for hair, hair towels don’t visit violence upon your curls with rough textures or unnecessary rubbing. Simply wrap your hair up into a lightweight turban and go about the rest of your morning while your curls dry in peace.
Likewise, switch out that old cotton pillowcase for a satin one. A cotton pillowcase does the same thing to your hair as a bath towel. Trust us, you’ll notice a difference in the quality of your bedhead.
5. Your Stylist Matters. Choose Wisely.
Finally, there’s a lot out there about caring for your curls but little about choosing your hairstylist. In general, the curlier your hair, the more important that you shop around for someone who specializes in curly hair. Look for someone who:
- Knows the difference between cutting curls wet and dry.
- Uses curly hair lingo.
- Advertises cutting curly hair as a specialty.
- Displays a thorough knowledge of curly hair products.
- Listens to you as you describe your challenges or desires with your hair.
Perfect Your Crown of Naturally Curly Hair
Caring for naturally curly hair isn’t always difficult, but it can seem mystifying. Seemingly defiant towards any form of control, curls need to be coaxed and lured into their full glory. By using the correct products, a quality hair towel, and a satin pillowcase, you can be sure to keep your curls nourished, happy, and looking their best no matter how out of control they decide to remain.
Tired of taking too long to do your hair? Upgrade your curl game with a satin pillowcase and a high-quality, microfiber hair towel for effortless beauty.