Curly Hair Commandments
1. Understand Your Hair Type
This is the foundation to having the curly hair of your dreams. Just like understanding your body type and what silhouettes compliment it, or knowing what shades of lipstick looks best on your skin tone, there are so many unique types of curly hair. Understanding the chemistry and characteristics of your unique curls will change your curly lifestyle. The most important traits to know are your hair texture/type, porosity, density.
I wear my curly texture like a badge of honor: 3a/3b, high porosity, low density sistas...whose with me?!
2. Throw Out The Rule Book
Yes, there are definitely certain things one with curly locks should not do; we'll get to some of those later. But overall, IN GENERAL, do what you like, wear your hair how you want, and use methods you like. The curly and natural hair community online can be super rigid in it's rules sometimes, even a little judgmental. There are plenty of tips you can find on every "Tips for Curly Hair" list out there, but don't feel like somethings wrong with your hair if one of these "tips" doesn't work for you.
For example, so many articles out there recommend using coconut oil (or any oil) on curly hair to help seal the cuticle and add a layer of moisture. And it's true! Plant based oils are a great way to add moisture and protect your hair if it's coarser thicker texture. But it does NOT work for me! My hair texture is way too fine to use any oil, so I don't!
Every time you need to restock your cleanser, whether that be a sulfate-free shampoo, or co-wash, buy two bottles of your favorite conditioner. Our hair texture tends to be dryer than straighter textures, and us curlies often go through conditioner extra fast. Super normal. The better conditioned and moisturized your hair is in the shower, the easier it will be to style and manage out of the shower.
4. Use a Sulfate-Free Cleanser
It's important to keep the scalp clean, balanced, and build-up free to ensure proper and healthy hair growth. Traditional shampoos have a cleansing agents in them called sulfates. Sulfates produce a high foam factor, and can be irritating to many people. They cause extreme dryness, redness, and itching. Sulfate-free shampoos and co-washes, a conditioner-like cleanser, are made with botanicals and gentle ingredients to clean the hair and scalp without stripping away the natural moisture your curls need.
5. No Touching
Once you've styled your damp hair, do not touch it while it's drying! For real. People who know me (hi mom, hi dad, hi boyfriend) don't even attempt a hug if I have wet hair, because they know I'll pull away in a second! Touching damp curls while they're drying causes instant frizz. Your fingers separate the strands that have naturally clumped together, and they will ruin your perfect ringlets.
6. Handle Your Hair Like Antique Lace
Gentle, my dear, gentle. Whether you choose to finger detangle, use a comb, or a brush, gently detangle your hair to not snag, break, or tear through your coils. Always detangle from the ends to the root, working through difficult tangles slowly.
Consider using a cotton t-shirt to gently blot your curls dry instead of rubbing them with a terry cloth towel. The smooth, flat fibers of the cotton t-shirt don't disrupt your curl pattern like the rough, raised fibers of terry-cloth.
7. Trim Those Dead Ends
Don't believe the marketing and "split-end mender" products--split ends do not recover. Trimming split ends prevents them from splitting further up to the root, and it helps to maintain length in the long run.
8. Deeeeeeep Condition
Once every week or two, treat your self to a glass of wine, a face mask, and a deep conditioning treatment. Letting a moisture-rich conditioner sit in your hair for 20-30 minutes offers intense hydration, lustrous shine, and overall curl protection. Healthy, moisturized curls are less prone to breakage and heat damage, and are easier to maintain.
9. Use Styling Products
Find me a curly girl who can literally wash n' go with no product, and I will name my first born after you. There is no denying that curly hair requires time, attention, and maintenance. Using leave-in treatments and styling products to style your hair can extend your style for more days of wear! Products help with moisture, curl definition, shine, and hold. I encourage you to find a cocktail of formulas that work best for you, and stick to it!
Beware though; it's easy to fall down the product-junkie rabbit hole. There are so many products out their for naturally curly girls, it's hard not to try them all! If something doesn't work for you, give it to a friend! Encourage them to do the same for you ;)
10. Brush Off the Haters
HEY YOU! YEA, YOU! Do not let ANYONE make you feel bad about the way your hair naturally grows out of your head. If they laugh at a new style you're trying out, comment on your frizz, stick their fingers in your hair like it's a box of popcorn, or say "Is that really how you're gonna wear your hair today?"---KEEP IT POPPIN' BOO.
Your curls are freakin' stunning, and literally suite you perfectly.