While all curls are different, they all have one thing they need: maintenance. Maintaining curly hair is not as easy as it seems and can be time consuming. Some people think it is as simple as washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner and letting it air dry. Wrong. Things like washing your hair with shampoo more than twice a week can dry it out and using a regular towel to dry your hair makes it frizzy and removes moisture. There’s never too much to know about the tips and tricks to curly hair maintenance and you’ll find yourself conducting your own research or asking those around you. Check out these seven tips on how to keep your curls intact:
1. Use a microfiber towel or T-shirt to dry your hair
Drying your hair with a regular towel roughens up the outer layer of your hair, making it prone to damage. Microfiber towels, on the other hand, are made of a softer fabric which is more gentle on wet hair. Cotton T-shirts also have the same effect of microfiber towels as they both absorb the water better than regular towels. This means less friction when drying your hair, resulting in less split ends and breakage.
2. Do not wash with hot water, use lukewarm or cold water instead
While we all love hot showers, washing your hair with hot water opens up the cuticle of your hair shaft. This results in overly porous, dry, and brittle hair. Stick to lukewarm or cold water as the temperature will seal the moisture in your hair. Colder water closes the pores in your hair while not allowing any dirt to enter the scalp. You will also notice less frizz when using this method religiously.
3. Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair
No one likes hair breakage and using a thin-toothed comb won’t put an end to that problem. When washing your hair, always make sure to use a lot of conditioner. Using conditioner makes detangling a much easier process and if done with a wide-toothed comb, it will make it much easier. There is also less risk of hair loss when using one of these combs as their structure allows more hair to slide through each tooth.
4. Use a satin pillowcase
This is one of the simplest methods to protect your hair overnight and keep your face soft and fresh. Satin pillowcases are very smooth which means your hair won’t get frizzy or tangled while you sleep. If a satin pillowcase is not available, you can purchase a satin wrap and wrap it around your pillow- it’ll have the same effect. As you move in your sleep, your hair will glide through the satin and you’ll thank yourself when you wake up in the morning.
5. Rake and scrunch to ensure full product coverage
Lack of hair product distribution is one of the main causes of frizzy and undefined hair. Using a “rake” and “scrunch” method is an effective way to ensure full product coverage. To start off, flip your wet or damp hair to the front and put product on one hand. Rub the product on both hands and start using your fingers to run through your hair while still applying product. Once you’ve basically detangled your hair once again by using the “raking” method, begin to scrunch. Scrunching is done by clenching your hands onto your ends (while your hair is still towards the front of your face) and doing it repeatedly until you’ve reached every part of your hair. Scrunching ensures the sealing of the product, bounciness, and volume.
6.Use sulfate-free products
Using products with sulfate strip your hair color and dry your hair. For those with color in their hair, sulfate-free products are essential to your hair’s well being. If you use products with sulfate, your hair color will begin to fade and will become brassy. For those with virgin hair, sulfate products still affect your hair as it will remove the moisture and leave it undefined. There will also be a lack of shine in your hair and an abundance of frizz. Most curly hair product brands have been using the sulfate-free formula so searching for the right products is not as hard as it was a few years ago.
7. Deep condition at least once a week
Deep conditioning once a week is essential to the health of your hair. Deep conditioning is done by washing your hair as you regularly would and using a hair mask towards the end of the procedure. Every curly hair product brand (DevaCurl, Ouidad, etc.) has a hair mask of their own and it is your choice (and your hair texture’s) on which one has the ingredients you are looking for. For instance, coconut, jojoba, and Moroccan oils are all good for moisturizing and revitalizing the hair. Once the hair mask is in, wear a plastic shower cap for 30-45 minutes and go under the hair dryer for that time. The heat from the hair dryer will lock in the moisture and hydrate your hair even further. Rinse the hair mask (you can leave a little in your hair) after the hair dryer and allow your hair to air dry. Repeat this process in the upcoming week.