Curly hair does seem to have a mind of its own. But all it takes to love your waves, ringlets or kinky curls and make them look gorgeous is a few simple curly hair tips and tricks. None of them take much time or energy, but all of them promise that you’ll fall head over heels with your hair!
Feed your curls
Despite its larger than life presence, curly hair tends to be more fragile than other hair types and it’s definitely drier. Healthy fats like omega-3 help make hair shiny and prevent a dry scalp. To hydrate from within, eat foods that contain these fats like avocados, ground flax seeds, flax seed oil, coconut oil, sardines, salmon, egg yolks and spinach.
Throw in the towel
A terry-cloth towel and your hair should never meet. “That’s because its harsh, bobbly fabric creates friction on curls that ruffle the cuticle of the hair and the result is frizz,” explains Lorraine Massey, co-owner of Devachan Salons and Spa and author of “Curly Girl: The Handbook.” Plus, terry-cloth tends to soak up too much moisture and conditioner from the hair – something your curls need to stay frizz free and healthy. Good alternatives for blotting hair dry include an old, cotton t-shirt, burp cloth or a micro-fiber towel.
Rinse the right way
Conditioner is a curly girl’s best weapon against frizz since it provides the hydration your curls are thirsty for. Leaving some conditioner in the hair is also key — especially if you tend to get a dry, frizzy halo on top of your head. To rinse hair without sending all your conditioner down the drain, do what Massey calls a “trickle rinse.” “After cleansing and then conditioning, stand away from the shower stream and cup your hands together under the water.”says Massey. “Then splash the water backwards over your hair a couple of times. This ensures that the top layer of hair, which tends to be very dry, can have the right amount of conditioner to keep it from being dry and, as a result, frizzing.”
Type 2 (Wavy) Wavy hair can get flat at the crown area – especially if hair is long. Give this area lift with a few metal clips (duckbill clips). On wet hair, lift a small section of hair from the crown and hold it perpendicular to your scalp (rather than forward or back). Next, open the clip and slide it onto the hair so it’s close to the scalp. Do this on a few others sections of hair that tend to get flat and remove clips carefully (using two hands) when hair is completely dry. “Clipping the hair while it’s wet releases the hair from it’s own weight during the drying process thus allowing it to dry with more body,” says Massey.
Type 3 (Curly) You’ve probably noticed that the curls hidden at the nape of your neck tend to tangle and knot easily. “This is caused by the natural movement of your head throughout the day,” says Massey. After cleansing hair, apply a dollop of conditioner about the size of a quarter to the hair near the nape of your neck. Then, use your fingers to gently unsnarl knots and tangles. “Just be patient and gentle since the hair here breaks easily,” says Massey. “Remove knots from the hair with the same care you would a tangled necklace.”
Type 4 (Kinky) This hair type is often extremely dense and tends to be dryer and thirstier for moisture. It will soak up as much conditioner as you will feed it, so be generous! A few nights a week, slather your dry hair with a deep conditioner starting at the ends and working it through your whole head. Then cover your pillow case with a towel and hit the sack. Talk about sleeping beauty! In the morning, you can rinse the conditioner out, though your hair may drink it up and you won’t need to. Decide then if you need a trickle rinse or not.
[Written by Michele Bender]