No matter how difficult it may seem, all hair types can be styled and maintained properly. If you have natural hair, while it is without a doubt gorgeous, you might find that it’s not exactly easy to keep the bounce and shine that your hair has all the time. While everyone has their own routine that works best for them, there are some general tips that can help you style and maintain curly hair properly.
1. Regular Trims
Because curly hair tends to be on the drier side, it can get frizzy. Using shears on curly hair – in a professional setting, by a stylist that has experience with this hair type – is a great way to keep your curls looking fresh and bouncy. Of course, you shouldn’t trim your hair every time it gets dry. However, going to a stylist every three months or so will ensure that there’s no breakage in your lovely locks. That said, it’s important to find a hairdresser that has experience with your specific hair type. For example, curly hair shouldn’t be thinned out, and it’s always better to cut it while dry. This is due to the fact that curly hair has a significant spring factor to it, meaning that, unlike straight hair, it doesn’t look or hold nearly the same while it’s wet. Because of that, a dry cut is the best way to ensure an even and symmetric end result for your locks.
2. Avoid Using Too Much Heat
This is one of the most important tips when it comes to styling natural hair. Curly hair tends to be more fragile than straighter strands, so you have to make sure that you don’t subject it to stress. Letting it air dry is the best way to go, however, if you don’t have time for that, setting your drier to the lowest setting possible can be a good alternative. After you’ve washed your hair, it’s always a good idea to provide some definition to your locks, but try not to do it with any tools that might introduce a lot of heat or straining. Going through your hair with your fingers, and twirling separate strands around your index finger is a gentle way to go about it.
Establishing a good moisturizing routine for your hair is always recommended. For natural hair, it’s best to use deep conditioning treatments at least once a month, and use coconut oil as a pre-wash treatment. It’s incredibly good for locks, and it gives them the nourishment they need to stay clean and soft. You can also use shea butter or almond oil as a post-shampoo treatment that will leave your strands shiny and fresh. When you’re deep conditioning, you can use coconut oil, or pre-made packages specifically designed for curly hair. In order to ensure that your hair absorbs the treatment more effectively is to use warmer water before applying the treatment, and then rinse it out with colder water which closes up the cuticles of your strands and leaves them smooth and silky.
4. Style Wet Hair
If there’s one thing hairstylists agree on, it’s that you shouldn’t mess with dry curly hair. Styling and manipulating it can cause breakage and frizziness, which you should always try to avoid. For starters, you’ll want to avoid using brushes and combs that are too tightly packed, as they can tangle your wet locks. It’s best to use a wide-tooth comb or fingers when you’re working with freshly-washed hair. This will help prevent knots and make the day-to-day styling process much easier. Use a curl cream or mousse with hair curlers that give your hair the body and bounce it needs.
5. Be Picky About Products
With curly hair, it’s always best to be picky about the products you use. Just because so-called ‘curly’ hair products are in high demand, does not necessarily mean that they’ll help your specific needs. Using a shampoo and conditioner with silicone in them will only leave your locks feeling greasy over time, which can cause buildup, which will attract dirt and dust that can be difficult to rinse out. You can either pick specifically formulated products for curly hair or use natural ingredients that are known to have the same effect. You can DIY your shampoo and conditioner with ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, vegetable glycerin, and honey.
6. Only Use Light Cotton Towels
Styling natural hair can cause a lot of frizz and tangles, which is why you’ll want to avoid rubbing locks with anything but light cotton towels. You can even use a cotton t-shirt to pat your hair dry if you want to avoid the additional shedding that comes from rubbing your locks too hard with a towel. In any case, it’s always better to avoid rubbing at all and simply wrap your hair in a towel, and then pat it dry. Besides that, regular towels tend to suck the moisture out of your hair, which is the last thing you want when you’re trying to keep curls healthy and happy.
You can avoid a lot of problems associated with curly hair if you maintain it properly. Using a deep conditioner once a month, getting regular trims, and taking care not to damage your locks while washing and drying them are the top things that come highly recommended by hairstylists.