As recently promised, I am here to share the bits and tips I have gathered over the years about how best to manage your curly hair and how to care for it. Currently I have no structure in mind for this so…go with it. Tip 1: Do NOT dry your hair without a diffuser. If you use a hair dryer on your curly hair then please please make sure you use a diffuser to distribute the air because one powerful jet of air is just going to blow your curls out and leave you with frizz. I feel I’m probably preaching to the choir here but there may be one or two of you floating around out there who hasn’t yet come across this tip.
Tip 2: Curly hair needs moisture. Oh boy, does it need moisture. This is where I’ve been going wrong for a very long time in that I very rarely used any treatments on my hair but after forcing myself to remember to take a hair mask to the shower with me more often my hair is a lot less coarse and as a result, breaks less. General advice is that a curly-haired girl should buy 3 bottles of conditioner to every 1 bottle of shampoo.
Tip 3: Shampoo dries out curly hair and leaves it coarse. This is because of the sulphates in most shampoos which are pretty much the same thing you’ll find in most detergents. They strip the hair of all of the chemicals and product, which is great, but they also strip it of all the oils and nutrients it needs which, for curly hair which will frizz and break if it dries out, is really bad news. A lot of curly-haired girls follow the Curly Girl No-Poo Method which involves not using any shampoo at all and washing your hair with conditioner but I’m not ready to go there yet –I use a lot of products that need washing out. This is something of a difficult issue to overcome, and one which I am currently battling myself. The crux of the problem is that most styling products, and conditioners, contain silicones which make the hair shiny but aren’t removed from the hair unless you wash them out with sulphate. If the silicones are left in your hair they weigh it down and will damage it. So, if you can find silicone-free styling products and sulphate & silicone-free shampoo and conditioner then you’re golden but that is far easier said than done. Currently I’m not ready to fork out for silicone-free products so am using sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners and once a week I try to use a shampoo with sulphates to remove all of the product. The products I’m using are from L’Oreal’s EverSleek range. The shampoo which is both silicone & sulphate free is the Smoothing & Moisture version; the conditioner which is also silicone & sulphate free is the Smoothing & Intensely Nourishing version. They also do an intensely nourishing mask which I’m loving. To check which ingredients to avoid go here for the Curly Girl guide to hair products. I’m yet to find an affordable range of styling products which are silicone free so let me know if you track one down!
Tip 4: PLOP! I’m not imitating toilets, this is the styling-saviour method for curls that need a boost. I’m not going to post a picture of me in my plop unless there is popular demand but basically this is the method of tying a cotton t-shirt or pillowcase around your hair when it is wet to gently draw moisture away from the hair without pulling out the curls which will happen if you wrap your hair in a towel-turban. This YouTube video is quite informative, but the girl does annoy me so you have been warned.
Tip 5: Watch out for hormone changes. Here is where I complain and whine about how several years ago my curls were tight, strong and shiny. Now, they are limp, frizzy, breakable and dull. After begging the women of http://www.reddit.com/r/curlyhair/ for help, many suggested that the cause of my changing hair could be hormone changes. Through the kind of help of old pictures it seems to be that my curls began to droop around the time I went on the contraceptive pill. As we all know, the pill mimics pregnancy and, when pregnant, many women suffer hair loss and thinning which is essentially what has happened to me. For several years. This morning I made a bold move and threw my pill packet in the bin to see how it goes but the reason I’ve relied on it so long is so that I don’t spend one week a month in a dark room, in the foetal position, grey in the face and vomiting. So we’ll see how that goes.
There’s probably a lot more detail about curly hair such as products, styling, haircuts etc. so hopefully they’ll be up on here someday.
Has anyone else suffered any curly hair woes? How have you solved them?