There are as many types of hair as there are people on the planet. For those of us with curly hair, however, caring for our hair can sometimes be quite challenging. There are a million hair products that promise the moon to those of us who are blessed – or cursed – with curly hair, but all too often they don’t deliver. Here, then, are five tips to turn troubled tresses into comely coifs.
1. Moisturize: The key to keeping curly hair healthy and manageable is moisture – and lots of it. When shampooing, make sure that you use a moisturizing shampoo. It will add much-needed hydration to naturally curly hair, Afro-American hair, or curly kids hair. Next, use a deep conditioner that will reconstruct damaged hair, and follow with a leave in conditioner and styling cream. The right combination of moisturizing products tames frizzy hair and kinky hair, and makes hair soft to the touch.
2. Shampooing: One of the biggest mistakes people with curly hair make is shampooing too often. This is particularly true for white moms who aren’t familiar with caring for Afro-American or biracial hair. Ethnic hair care is as much an art as a science, but the rule of thumb is to shampoo about once a week. To keep hair fresh between shampoos, rinse it with warm water and apply a leave-in conditioner.
3. Styling Products: If you have frizzy hair or kinky hair, chances are that you’re using styling products that are dehydrating. Most mousses, hair sprays, and gels strip away moisture, which is essential to maintaining manageable tresses and keeping hair healthy. If your curly hair is too wild, tame it with moisturizers and styling products that contain high quality ingredients and natural oils.
4. Hair Dryers: Stay away from blow dryers unless you want your naturally curly hair to turn into frizzy hair or kinky hair. Blow dryers can damage your hair and strip it of its natural oils and the oils you apply through the conditioning process. To keep your natural curls beautiful, always allow your hair to air dry.
5. Combing and Brushing: Tangles and curls seem to go hand in hand. To bring out the best in your curls, a wide tooth comb or pick is a must-have. If you’re working with curly kids hair, separate it into sections. One section at a time, start at the bottom of the hair shaft and work your way up. Once you’ve completed a section, secure it a covered elastic hair band (not a rubber band!), and then move on to the next section. Remember that curly hair – particularly Afro-American hair – is very fragile, so take extra care when combing it. Avoid brushes, unless you use special detangling comb-brushes.
Naturally curly hair is gorgeous, and the trend in hairstyles is to let your natural curls shine through. Simply keep in mind that curly hair is as individual as its owner, and that the hair products you use can mean the difference between luxurious curls and kinky hair or frizzy hair. Once you find the hair products that are right for you, love and embrace your natural tresses.