Have you spent years wishing that you could trade in your naturally curly hair for sleek, straight hair? Do you find yourself struggling with knots and frizz?
Every woman with curly hair knows that the struggle is real. The American hair straightening market is worth almost $600 million and could reach $850 million in the next five years.
If you need new options for curly hair care, this article's for you. We'll teach you the ins and outs of taking care of difficult hair, and help you develop a new hair care routine.
Types of Curly Hair
If you're wondering how to care for curly hair, the first step is to figure out your hair type. Andre Walker, Oprah's hairstylist, was the first person to come up with a definitive guide to hair types:
- Straight. Falls straight down from the scalp to the shoulders and is prone to oily buildup.
- Wavy. Makes an S-shaped curve as it grows toward the shoulders. Also prone to oily buildup.
- Curly. Bouncy ringlets that are much longer when wet than dry. Tends to dry out quickly if not regularly moisturized.
- Kinky. Tight ringlets that may have a square shape in parts. Again, regular moisturizing is key.
What's great about this hair system is that each type has three subtypes.
If you have majorly curly hair that's not quite kinky, you're probably a 3B or 3C. If you've never found a comb that could handle your hair, you're probably a 4C.
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars trying to straighten and relax your hair, you might want to go the natural route and embrace your beautiful-yet-difficult curls.
Building a Natural Curly Hair Routine
Women who have curly hair know that their curls are absolute divas. If you use the wrong shampoo or conditioner, you're stuck with a flyaway, frizzy mess.
Too much leave-in conditioner and you've got flat, lifeless curls.
If you're wondering how to treat curly hair, the first step is the most important. Don't wash it every time you take a shower. Wet it every day, comb it through, and put in a leave-in conditioner, but save the full treatment for just a few times per week.
If you'd like to experiment with new shampoos and conditioners, try the travel size hair care products at your supermarket or drug store. Take your time and try a new product each week.
Pro tip: you should be using a wide-tooth comb or a pick to comb your hair. Otherwise, you could be damaging your hair without realizing it.
In general, a brush will give you split ends so fast you won't know what to do. If you struggle with knots, take the time to detangle your hair with your fingers before you try to comb it.
If you style your hair at night, you might want to start wearing a shower cap to bed to avoid frizzed-out hair in the morning.
Blow Dryer vs. Microfiber Towel
One of the top tips for caring for curly hair is to skip the blow dryer and use a microfiber towel instead. Blow drying is the perfect way to permanently damage delicate curls.
It's much worse than brushing your hair. When you blow-dry your hair, you're applying 140 degrees of heat to your scalp. What you may not know is that water scalds at 150 degrees.
So, whenever you use a blow dryer, you're risking permanent heat damage to your hair and scalp.
Microfiber towels, on the other hand, pose no risk to life and limb. They are:
- easy to use and inexpensive
- gentler on your scalp and hair than blow-drying
- attractive enough to wear to the beach or supermarket
The problem with regular towels is that they wick away moisture too quickly. You're left with frizzy hair that won't hold a style.
Microfiber towels allow air to circulate, taking moisture away from your hair more slowly. You might be surprised at the difference!
Renewing and Refreshing Damaged Hair
If caring for naturally curly hair seems like a chore, there are some easy ways to mend your damaged hair.
First, get a deep conditioner from your local beauty store. They are typically sold in small packets and cost less than $2 each. You should probably invest in a few tubes of hair oil as well.
Take an afternoon and wet your hair, then put in the conditioner. You may have to heat it up before you use it, so just hold it under hot running water for a minute or two.
Use the oil on the ends of your hair and on any dry parts of your scalp. When you're using hair oil, a little bit goes a long way. You don't want to weigh your hair down, just refresh the roots and tips.
You may have to repeat the deep conditioning treatment several times to notice a difference. There are special shampoos and conditioners for dry hair and for people who dye their hair.
Ideally, you'd stop dyeing your hair and let your hair's natural color show through. That's hard to do, but your hair will thank you for it. Don't hide those greys!
Finding the Best Hair Cuts for Curly Hair
Curly hair care doesn't have to be difficult. It's just about finding the right product and using gentler drying methods to avoid frizz.
Another way to care for curly hair is to get regular trims. You don't have to get a ton of hair taken off for it to look good. Just clip those ends every few months.
If you're wearing a shorter hairstyle, the danger is that it will be too short for your curls to show. If your hair is chin-length, keep in mind that it will curl up a few inches once the stylist is finished cutting.
Just talk to your stylist about the best way to showcase your beautiful curls.
Now that you know all about curly hair, check out our microfiber hair towels and hair bands. We offer more than 10 color options and love helping people embrace their natural, gorgeous hair.
Feel free to contact us with any questions!