How to Care for Curly Hair - Curlies, Start Here

When you have curly hair it seems like those with less textured locks stay green with envy, and if you're like me you have no idea why. How can those around us admire our hair so much, when they don't know how difficult, how time consuming, how disappointing, how embarrassing our curls have been? 

While the beauty of curly hair really boils down to opinion, that doesn't mean you can't learn to care for and nurse your curly hair into something you love! When I began my hair journey I HATED my hair. I don't just have curly hair, I have fine, thin curly hair. Not only does my hair frizz, it tangles and rats up once it begins to frizz. ("Ratting up" means that the tangles become so bad so quickly they start to resemble a rodent's nest, possibly a rat, in case people in other places aren't familiar with the term.) So, I started learning everything I possibly could about curly hair.

Chances Are, You Have Damage

IF you are like me, (I know you are, because you are still reading.) then that means right around, say, middle school? Right around middle school you learned that HEAT styling would tame your locks, at least for the most part, into those perfect, silky, board straight tresses being sported by other girls. And IF you're like me, you disregarded all the advice you received unwarranted from older, more experienced women. (What did they know anyway?) IF you are like me, I need you to put the straightener down. 

Heat styling (straightening, blow drying, blow outs, etc.) SEVERELY damage hair, and if you have textured hair then you are twice as likely to be susceptible to damage. Curly hair doesn't distribute the scalp's natural oils as efficiently as straighter hair, causing it to be dryer, and more brittle the farther the hair grows away from the scalp. This causes the hair to be easier to damage the longer it is. But, don't worry. We can fix it, and i will help you.

Chemicals are also insanely damaging to hair. Chemicals such as bleach, ammonia in dyes, and even most shampoo's cause the hair to become brittle and damaged, with split ends. If you're still not sure, ask yourself this. Does you totally natural hair have a consistent curl pattern? Meaning, does all or at least most of your hair curl in the same way? Are bits of your hair straight or less/more curly than others? This is damage. 

Most of the time damage can't be repaired. More than likely, to remove damage you will have to get a hair cut, but you may not have to cut a large amount off.

These are the things I did to my hair, and I've only had to trim it. My hair is longer and healthier (and curlier) than it is ever been. Let me tell you how:

1. STOP USING HEAT - I told you how heat is damaging, so if at all possible stop using it. I know you think that your hair will become unruly and awful, but trust me. Your hair will thank you.

2. STOP USING CHEMICALS (EVEN SHAMPOO) - Shampoo? No Shampoo? No, I haven't lost my mind. If you're not comfortable giving up shampoo, no one will blame you. If you're ready to try anything, throw that old poo away! Instead try co-washing. Co-washing is part of The Curly Girl Method.

 The Curly Girl Method, or the No-Poo Method, is about using cleansing conditioner instead of harsh shampoo and giving hair a break, while nourishing it and hydrating it.

3. LEAVE IN CONDITIONER IS BAE - In addition to using the CGM or the NPM, the best advice I can give anyone with any hair type is to find a leave-in conditioner that works for you. You wouldn't go to bed without moisturising your face (If you do, you shouldn't. You shouldn't sleep in make-up, either. Im telling you life changing advice right now.) Some leave-ins can weigh hair down and make roots greasy. It will take some experimenting to find the right one. 

4. USE HAIR MASKS MONTHLY - My FAVORITE hair repair mask is ORS Olive Oil Replenishing Pak. This stuff literally brought my hair back from the dead. I will never stop using them. But there are plenty of others to choose from, just be sure and read the destructions.

5. STOP BRUSHING - Again, I'm not crazy. When I get out of the shower, I apply my leave-in on still wet hair and finger-comb it out. I then open hand scrunch with a t shirt or pillowcase. You can also use a microfiber towel.. You should never pull, yank, tug, or rip your hair. God, please, don't do that. Detangling with your fingers, and then leaving it to air dry, and keeping you hands OFF will make such a huge difference. 

If you try all of these, I know you will be pleased. It only get's better from here, too. In the end, you'll probably have to get a trim at least, but once your hair becomes healthy you will never look back.

Do you have a special tip to share? What is your favorite product? Leave a comment and let's make some conversation!


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