If you are blessed with curly or wavy hair just like me, you probably went through the same struggles I experieces over the years. I’d like to share some tips and my favorite products which helped me to maintain my mane.
My personal hair story
I was not born with luscious curls but thick and straight hair. However, already in elementary school my hair started to get its first waves and over the years it become more and more curly. I wouldn’t say I have the same bouncy curls as the girl in the illustration but rather smooth waves. Yet, depending on what I do with my hair, I can wear it straight, wavy or curly. Luckily, it has grown to be very versatile alongside my advancing skills and knowledge. However, at first I hated my hairstyle and as every girl in highschool I’d dream of a long, straight version of what was growing on my head. You know, everything you don’t have, you desperately want to make your own. But back then I had no experience with styling or treating my hair, so I was never satisfied. Today, I love mine and I can honestly say I’m always little bit down on the days it does not go the way I want it too.
So, here are my 5 tips on how to manage curly hair:
1. Embrace the curls
Don’t try to hide what you have on your head, whether it is just wavy, curly or coily. I see many girls and women, who only straighten their wonderful hair, who don’t do it properly and on top of that constantly damage it. These days there’re so many great products to style your hair with and most hairdressers know how to give you an appropriate hair cut regardless of whether you want to wear it short or long. Been there and done that!
If you always played with the thought to let your curls run free but you were overwhelmed by the amount of products out there, I can recommend some essential basics: A weightless & moisturizing shampoo, good hair oil, a hair mask & diffuser. Other optional items are a hair straightener, a styling cream and a conditioner.
2. Moisture, moisture & moisture
Curly hair is often dry and damaged from constantly dying it, treating it with aggressive products or hot heat styling tools. The results are lifeless curls, frizzy hair and split ends. So, get a good haircut to start off with and begin hydrating regularly without weighing your curls down. I’m no big fan of conditioners as they often make my hair flat and heavy but I like to put some into the lengths of my hair for protection before shampooing it. Once a week I do a hair mask, which leaves my hair nurtured and moisturized. My favorites are the Wella Care Enrich Mask and the Original & Mineral The Protein Power Base Mask. If you have time you could also leave it in overnight. A cheap and natural alternative is coconut oil, which you can apply as a mask or simply add to the tips of your hair. Hair oils, such as the Moroccanoil Treatment, have been a lifesaver for my hair in general. After every hair wash I always add some drops to the tips and the lengths of my hair to prevent split ends and create defined curls.
3. Don’t overdo it with the cleansing
As I described before, curly hair is often dry and washing it daily just adds up to it. I used to wash my hair everyday before I discovered the magic abilities of hair straighteners, which are not only useful for making your hair straight but creating curls with it too. Today, I wash my hair every 2-3 days, since it does not get greasy anyways and I can style it better on the second and third day. If I need to freshen up, I just add some dry shampoo to the roots, rub it in and I can go another day without shampoo. Forget those old dry shampoos which leave residues or a white layer on your head. I’ve been using the Batiste range for more than a year and I’m absolutely in love. Since I started this routine my hair has thanked me with less frizz, more shine and strength. If you are used to washing everyday, try to prolong it slowly to see the difference.
4. Don’t just blow-dry. Diffuse
On of the earliest steps I included into my hair routine as a 15 year old was using a diffuser when drying my hair. A diffuser helps to keep the natural curls intact and bouncy for an overall even look. Although a proper air-dry is better to prevent heat damage, I have to admit I prefer the voluminous look I get from blow-drying my hair. However, to limit the damage I give my curls some time to dry on their own (ca. 30 min) before. Also, if I start with soaking wet hair, it takes me forever to get done. Therefore, after applying some defining styling cream and letting it air dry for a while, I start putting parts of my hair on the diffuser. My rule of thumb: The less you move, the less you disrupt your curl pattern and the more defined your curls will be.
5. Don’t brush it. Detangle
Every person who tried to brush out their curls enjoyed a frizzy mess on their head. I know, you can get knots in your hair over time but if you maintain a regular haircut and moisturize properly, your tips won’t fasten up so quickly. After every hair wash I properly brush my wet hair with a Tangle Teezer, which basically made me forget the pain I used to experience as a child. In between my hair washing days, I only use combs or my fingers to detangle my mane. Thereby, my curl structure remains intact and is ready for any hairstyle I want to have.
Overall I want to raise awareness for curly hair, embrace it, wear it naturally and start loving it the way I do. At first it may require more work than other hair structures but once you found your perfect routine, you’ll discover how easy it is to maintain.