Curly hair can be a blessing or a curse whichever way you look at it. We always want what we haven’t got don’t we? Being someone who spent years pulling my curls straight, finally making that decision to give up the straighteners and learn how to style curly hair has saved me so much time and effort.
Curls take a LOT of looking after, there are so many theories on looking after curly hair. I follow the curly girl method, which in itself is a lot of work but very rewarding. READ HERE FOR TIPS on how to get started with curly girl method UK and more advice on how to manage curly hair.
However some people just want to embrace their curls but do their own thing which is great. And I wanted to create a guide on how to care for curly hair and get the best out of your curls. Whether you follow the curly girl method or not.
How to wash curly hair
Curly hair is delicate, when I say delicate I mean messing with curl formation can cause a whole lot of frizz and curl destruction. Believe it or not, curls have a memory. Its all about how the internal bonds are built and we need to work with our natural bonds to get our hair to curl how it wants to.
Which shampoo and conditioner should I use on my curly hair?
So many companies are working on sulphate free formulas. There is a lot of discussion if you are following the curly girl method on which you can use. However if you are not, then there is a whole lot of choice of sulphate free ranges. Joico offer a great range of sulphate free products, which is great for curly hair.
But to follow the Curly Girl UK Method you need to test the products through the curls bot. I have a list of Curly Girl UK approved products here.
What does sulphate free mean?
Sulphates are a kind of detergent that attracts dirt and grease, these were designed back in the 1930s and at the time were thought to be revolutionary. Especially as they lather up really well and make your hair squeaky clean.
We now know that is because they are removing ALL oil from the hair, which also means the hairs natural oils.
Sulphate free shampoos infuse moisture and natural oils into your hair. As a result they lather less which takes a bit of getting used to, but are better for the natural oil balance of your hair.
Only brush curly hair with a tangle teaser when it has conditioner on it.
Lightly brush through your hair when you have applied conditioner. Once tangle free turn you head upside down and really scrunch the conditioner into the hair to promote and push the curls into place before rinsing.
Don’t use a towel.
Squeeze and scrunch all the excess moisture out of your hair, do not towel dry (This just roughens the cuticle and causes frizz and curl separation) use a t-shirt or microfibre towel to plop the hair and remove excess moisture.
How to plop the hair with an old t-shirt or microfibre towel
What is plopping I hear you ask?
Lay a microfibre towel or t shirt onto your bed. Lean over it with your head upside down and scrunch in a small amount of leave in conditioner. Then scrunch in a stying/ scrunching gel.
I am currently loving Only Curls Styling Creme Gel and leave in conditioner they give a light feel to the hair but with great hold. These are also Curly Girl Method UK approved products so are amazing if you decide to strictly follow the curly girl method.
Be sure to only scrunch, do not run your fingers through your hair as this will separate the curls.
Once you have scrunched in your product plop your hair onto the t-shirt in a way that the curls are scrunched not flattened. Wrap and tie the t-shirt around your head and leave for 5 minutes.
How often should you wash curly hair?
As little as possible, the more you wash your hair the more chance you have of stripping the hairs natural oils. I aim for every 4-5 days. However some people can go longer it depends on your hair.
I find a little dry shampoo helps to make my hair last that extra day longer.
How to style curly hair?
How to style curly hair; air dry very curly hair.
If your hair is mega curly let it dry naturally and scrunch out the gel residue when its dry. As the gel is drying, your hair will feel crunchy, but scrunching in a tiny bit of serum to remove the crunch will remedy this.
If you have a slight curl, dry curly hair dry with a diffuser.
And if your curls are not very strong, scrunch with a diffuser. The key to great curls is to hold the diffuser still over one area until it’s dry. Do not faff as this creates frizz.
Your curls will look odd, very crunchy and tight but bear with it until it is dry. Allow to cool and then scrunch the crunch out with a little serum.
How to style curly hair in the morning ?
If you have long hair put it in a bobble or cap overnight. To refresh hair in the morning lightly spritz it with water and a little leave in conditioning spray. Just enough to slightly mist it, do not make it to damp or wet. Lightly diffuse to refresh your curls, I do this daily until I wash it and its refreshes my cults even time.
How should I get my curly hair cut?
As a hairstylist I was taught to thin or texturise curly hair. However after living with my curls and the Curly Girly Method UK; I would say keep it blunt, texturising makes my curls frizzier. Layers are fine and are great for adding definition and volume to a style.
And what if I want to straighten my hair the odd day?
Then do it, its your hair do what works for you. I love to swap and change and find that if I follow the about, then my hair goes straight back curly anyway. Its all about falling back in love with your hair and doing what works for you and you routine.
Disclaimer I was gifted the products for review and a competition but all opinions are my own.
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