For many years, I used every heat styling tool imaginable to straighten my super curly hair. The fact of the matter is–straight hair is just easier. But then one day my 7-year-old daughter innocently asked me, “Why don’t you like your hair the way it is” and I was crushed. It never occurred to me that by straightening my hair I was sending her the message that hated my natural hair–the same hair, it turns out, that she has.
After that point, I made it my goal to wear my hair in its naturally curly state as often as possible. Of course, as any women with curly hair know, that’s not always an easy feat, especially when you’re not used to dealing with unruly curls on the regular.
So in an effort to best preserve the hair on my head, I went to a salon that specializes in curly hair to get the full download on how to best care for my hair. After the two hour appointment, I’d learned so much but the single most important tip I received? Women with curly hair should never–ever!–wash their hair with a sudsy shampoo. Turns out those suds that make you feel like you’re giving your hair a deep clean actually strip it of moisture and sebum that curly hair so desperately needs to fend off frizz and not look totally dried out.
Instead, my stylist recommended using a cream shampoo or even better, a cleansing conditioner. These will ensure all that product build-up is washed away so your curls aren’t weighed down without ridding your hair of the good oils it actually needs.
Here are a few other no-nos when it comes to washing curly hair:
1. Don’t towel dry. Much like sudsy shampoo, most terry cloth towels strip hair of much-need moisture. Even worse, they create frizz. If you simply can’t deal with sopping wet hair, invest in the DevaCurl Microfiber towel which was specially designed for curly hair.
2. Apply product at the right time. If you wait until after you step out of the shower to apply your moisturizing products, you’re doing it all wrong. In order to promote optimal absorption–and really get the most out of your hair products–you need to apply them when your hair is soaking wet so they dry right into your strands.
3. Keep your hands off. I’m guilty of this–scrunching my hair to see if it’s dry or twirling a ringlet while I wait for the train. Sadly, hands and curly hair only make for a frizzy mess, so after you’ve applied your styling products, don’t touch!
4. Sleep right. If you find that your curls are super dry when you wake up, that cotton pillow case you’re sleeping on probably has a lot to do with it. Switch to a silk or satin pillowcase, which causes much less friction on your hair. (Added benefit? They’re also good for your skin!)
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