Chances are you bounce back and forth between a love/hate relationship with your curls, wherein you shift between a loving partnership with your ringlets and vengeful hatred of all things frizz. Believe us, we get it. When curly hair is working in your favor, there’s almost nothing better in the world. But when your curls are putting on a clinic in rebellion, well, those are the days you are tempted to grab the hair straightener and smooth out your strands…please don’t do that. If you really want a silk press, book a hair appointment online. However, there are other options.
StyleSeat is here to remind you that there’s a better way to deal with your curly hair, and it starts with this list of natural Black hair care tips to maintain healthy curls. Most of the time, it’s not the styles or hairdos that make your curls so frustrating to deal with; it’s the lack of a consistent hair care routine. When you have frizzy or dry hair, it seems nearly impossible to do anything productive with your hairdo. But how do you ensure that those days of frizzy mayhem are so few and far between that you actually learn to appreciate your curls? For starters, consistency.
Ensuring your curls are ready to go each and every morning begins with a consistent hair care routine that is dedicated to keeping your naturally curly hair healthy, protected, and strong. Here are StyleSeat’s top five hair care tips to maintain healthy curls so you can have fewer days dedicated to hating your hair and more moments of loving the curls that make you so unique:
Combs Are Better Than Brushes
If you’re constantly finding split ends, then it may be time to split ties with your brush. Brushes can be potentially harmful to curly hair as they pull the hair apart strand by strand, which can lead to damaged hair. Even wet brushes, which are advertised as being “gently on hair,” can still strip follicles away from one another while detangling, putting more air in between each standard of hair. More space between hair leads to (you guessed it) frizz.
Alternately, combs keep the hair in smaller sections without stripping individual strands apart. This is especially true of wide-toothed combs. The bigger and thicker the teeth on a comb, and the more space between each tooth, the better it is for your naturally curly hair.
Hopefully, you didn’t just read the headline of this section and move on because small-toothed combs can be just as bad as brushes. When using a comb for curly hair, it is best to use a wet hair comb to avoid hair breakage.
For optimal results, use the wet hair comb right after you get out of the shower. Pat your hair dry (never towel dry!) and use the comb while your hair is still damp. This will help you detangle your curls while preventing frizz, so when your hair dries, it will form into the perfect bouncy curls you love, without the messy frizz you hate!
Stop Shampooing So Often
You see it on the back of every shampoo bottle: “Lather. Rinse. Repeat.” Sure shampoo certainly has its place in your natural hair regimen, but if we’re being frank, shampooing is not a one size fits all situation.
A natural hair expert will likely advise a woman with curly, natural hair to shampoo differently than someone with straighter, more oily hair. You may have heard that shampooing hair dries it out. Don’t let that scare you away. Someone with curly hair should absolutely shampoo, as oftentimes conditioners will add more layers of product onto hair follicles and cause buildup. Co-washing alone simply doesn’t remove sweat, product buildup, or truly cleanse hair.
Cold Water Only
We know there’s nothing like a hot shower to help start the day (or to help you get to that ideal state of comfort before bed). No one likes a cold shower…well, maybe some people, but they’re definitely few and far between. If your curly hair were a person, they would be one of those cold shower loving people.
In all seriousness, your curly hair hates the heat. We’ll get to how and why heat is bad for your natural curls a little later on but for now, let’s focus on the hot vs. cold water conundrum.
Why can’t you wash your hair in hot water? It’s sort of the same reason you’re not supposed to wash your delicates in hot water. Hot water causes rapid expansion of hair follicles, and when this happens, your scalp lets more of the water in. As your hair and scalp begin to dry, the moisture from the water begins to evaporate, actually leaving your hair dryer and more brittle than it was before you stepped into the shower.
Conversely, cold water tightens the hair follicles preventing water from actually being absorbed. Instead of being absorbed by the hair and scalp like with warm water, cold water doesn’t penetrate the hair any further than the surface. This ensures that any dirt or excess shampoo, conditioner, dirt, etc., is washed off each hair follicle without the hair absorbing any excess water.
Using cold water helps prevent further dehydration. And when it comes to a head of naturally curly hair, you need all the moisture retention you can get. Moisture helps prevent frizz and promote healthy hair growth, but the moisture you’re looking for doesn’t come out of the showerhead.
Hair Masks Are A Must!
While it may seem counterintuitive that tap water (especially hot water) dries out your hair, the reality is that wetting and washing your hair actually strips moisture away. That revelation may leave you wondering: if water strips my hair of much-needed moisture, how do I properly moisturize and promote healthy hair? The answer is simply – hair masks.
Even with a new appropriate distrust of all things shampoo-related, your hair still needs a boost to help rejuvenate the natural oils. Hair masks are an amazing way to keep your curls voluminous and luscious while also helping your scalp stay healthy. Using a hair mask can also help answer your question of how to transition to natural hair without cutting it. There are many different types of hair masks from all different brands, but ideally, you are looking for a mask that you can use pre-shower. Look for a mask that is nutrient-rich and oil-based — specifically jojoba as it is a natural lubricant and offers a hydrating boost to your hair!
Beat The Heat
As discussed in our “cold water, only” rant, curly hair hates the heat. Basically, heat damages hair by literally cooking it. Not only does heat cause irreparable damage to the strands themselves, but it also can contribute to dry scalps, split ends, and permanent frizz that can only be fixed by cutting away the damaged hair and getting on a hyper-active moisturizing routine. Rather than having to cut your hair and spend the next few months wondering how to grow natural hair, skip the heat.
We know, blow-drying your hair to get that voluminous curly look is super fun from time to time. By the same token, who doesn’t love straightening their hair for a fun change? After all, the grass is always greener on the other side of the curls. As fun as heat-related hairstyles can be, don’t paint yourself into a corner where you end up doing more harm than good. It’s much easier and far healthier for your curls to just stay away from heat altogether. Consider trying some natural curly hairstyles rather than using heat.
At the very least, you should be limiting your exposure to heat-related styling tactics. Never, ever use a flat iron on curly hair. If you want your hair straightener, please see a professional stylist. You can book an appointment with a StyleSeat professional in your area in just a couple of clicks. Your naturally curly hair will thank you.
Establish A Professional Level Routine
Establishing a hair care routine is one of the most important things you can do to keep your naturally curly hair happy and healthy. While these tips are a great starting point for properly caring for your curls, caring for your curls takes dedication, practice, and a little trial and error.
Your curls are unique, and the consistency of your hair may require a specific care regimen. A StyleSeat Pro in your area is the perfect person to consult if you’re looking for a deeper dive on how to really care for your naturally curly hair or if you need transitioning from relaxed to natural hair care tips. While there are lots of tricks and tips to help your curls maintain their healthy volume, having a professional from StyleSeat look at your hair is the best way to establish a hair care routine specific to your needs.
Caring for naturally curly hair will always be a little tricky, but it doesn’t have to be difficult! The StyleSeat Pros in your area are here to help you better understand how to care for natural Black hair, making it easier than it’s ever been. With a couple of clicks, you can book an appointment with a hairstylist in your area who specializes in curly hair. Whether you’re interested in taking better care of your curls, getting a cut to help with maintenance, or looking for new hairstyle ideas, the pros on StyleSeat are the perfect resource for keeping your curls bouncy, bold, and beautiful.