Curly hair has a life of its own; changing seasons, care routines and product types heavily influence the appearance and health of your curls. Humidity levels, dryness and tangling may negatively affect your precious ringlets, but luckily there are several preventative methods to address your hair’s needs. Here are five essential tips on what hair products and routines to start as the colder months begin to seep in.
- What’s Your Hair Type?
Knowing your specific hair type might be the best place to start. There are four different hair types and there are even subcategories within those types. If your curl type is 3a, the products you use and how you maintain your hair is different than someone with type 3b hair. Knowing where your hair falls on this spectrum will help you decide where to start your hair care routine.
- Washing Curls
Hair maintenance begins and ends in the shower. When you wash and condition your hair, it’s a chance to refresh the follicles and put some love into your curls. According to matrix.com, there are many factors to consider when washing your hair.
For one, try not to wash your hair every day. Too much shampoo can dry out your curls, stripping them of their natural oils. Using colder water while washing your hair is another great recommendation, as colder water helps lock in your hair’s moisture, leaving it less frizzy as it dries.
Another important tip is to section your hair for tangle-free washing. When you clump your curls together and swish them around with your shampoo, a lot of natural breakage can occur. Try sectioning your hair off and washing each section individually. This will allow for less movement and therefore less breakage while you shampoo.
- Curl-Friendly Fabrics
Curly hair loves silk. Given the well-documented benefits of silk, it’s no wonder that the switch to silk pillowcases and sheet sets will help to lock in the moisture of your curls. Silk also helps to prevent breakage, reduces frizz and keeps your curls in their natural shape.
Microfiber is another lesser known fabric that is great for curls. Even drying with something as common as a soft cotton t-shirt is preferable to a standard terrycloth towel. Using a microfiber towel or soft shirt when drying your hair will lock in moisture and help your curls keep their shape, with less frizz.
- Hair Trims
Some people go months without touching up their hair, but for curl lovers, this just won’t do. According to The Oprah Magazine, curly hair should be trimmed every six to eight weeks! Yes, that is pretty often, so at least shoot for every four months.
Avoiding split ends is essential for maintaining curly hair’s moisture. Occasional trimming prevents tangles, breakage and damage to your curls. If you keep your hair in good shape, getting a trim is a quick affair. While straight hair doesn’t show split ends as quickly, curly frizz might be a sign of a much needed haircut.
- Hair Products
We can not stress this enough: DEEP conditioner. A lot of it. Often. While washing your hair less often may be the best thing for your curls, you can never use too much conditioner. A hair mask or deep conditioning treatment can help add and lock in moisture. The benefits of these treatments can be seen in your curl shape with just one use.
Be generous with your hair products. Don’t be afraid to use your fingers and comb the product through your hair, since missing spots when applying will affect the shape and style of your curls. Using more product actually promotes bounciness and good shape.
Be sure to choose hair products based on your hair type, but be confident enough to use trial and error when sampling products. Mixing products to create custom “cocktails” and frequently trying new combinations will only benefit your hair. Find good products and you’ll love your curls even more.
The aim of this curl care manual is to reinforce the idea that loving your curls will only make them better. Taking the time to learn you hair type, choosing better products for you curls and mastering curl care techniques will allow your hair to flourish. Changing seasons means changing curl shapes, but maintaining a strong curl care routine will make your hair happy all year long.