I have had a life-long battle of patience and wits with my long, coarse, thick and super curly hair… and if you’re a curly girl, OMG do you feel me?? The ups and downs and ins and outs of taking care of curly hair is like your longest and WILDEST relationship… full of love and frustration, broken hair brushes, lots of tears, endless product testing, SO much $$$ spent on products, keratin treatments, Brazilian blowouts, and picking up every “curly girl” magazine, and reading every single article and watching every youtube video about how to fix our curly haired “situations…” WOW. It’s a lot, it really is.
That said, two important things that I’ve learned about taking care of super curly hair in my 31 years is that:
1. Not one thing works for everyone
2. It has really made me appreciate how different my hair is
So here are some curly hair tips and tricks that I have found to work for me. I’m not saying they will necessarily solve all of your curly hair troubles and woes, but they are definitely worth a try:
Curly Girl Tips & Tricks
1. HOW OFTEN YOU WASH: Your hair washing routine is important: I only wash my hair every 2 days, and I only use shampoo once a week. Every other time I wash my hair, it is only with conditioner. In the summer, when I’m running and sweating a lot, I wash my hair almost every day, but I still follow the once a week shampoo rule.
2. CONDITION: Don’t rinse out all your conditioner. I use the 90/10 rule, I rinse out about 90% of it, and leave 10% in. If I have mistakenly rinsed it all out, I reapply a squeeze of conditioner back in before I finish showering and don’t rinse it out. We need all the extra moisture we can get!
3. PRODUCT SWITCHING: The products didn’t actually matter for me- in terms of shampoo and conditioner. I can promise you, I have tried just about every product in the book over the years; from $4 a bottle to $40 a bottle (eek)! I have tried all-natural, sulfate-free, homemade, drugstore brands, top salon brands, European, Israeli, International- you name it. What I have found is this: not one single line of product has made my hair amazing. What I learned is that my hair needs many different products. Today, I have about 3 lines of product out in the shower and switch between them during washes. It’s like my hair would get sick of one thing, so I found out that constantly changing it up is what helps me.
4. COMBING: This seems pretty straightforward to me, but curly girls don’t need brushes, just wide tooth combs to get out our knots. Also, the only time we should comb, is in the shower, while conditioning. Work from the tips and up to the roots. If you comb your hair when dry, it will just result in 80s style frizzy fros… and no one wants that unless you’re going out for 80s night.
*Ready for the big secret?? I believe that the real key to maintaining your beautiful curls is actually in your post-shower routine*
5. NO TOWEL DRIED HAIR: When I am done washing my hair, I squeeze out as much excess water as I can, and immediately put it up in a hair clip. NO TOWEL DRIED HAIR! Towel-drying your hair, is one of the worst things you can do as a curly girl. It makes it frizzy and removes the much-needed moisture that you need to keep locked in for your curls to stay in-tact. Some people swear by T-shirt drying your hair (ie: wrapping it up in a T-shirt to remove excess water), but I just squeeze the water out and put it up.
6. COCONUT OIL: While my wet hair is up, I take care of other things: ie: moisturizing & getting dressed, and then I let my hair down, divide it in two parts, and apply about 2 tbs of raw coconut oil to one half, and the same to the other and work it through root to tip. Then I pile it into a loose bun on top of my head and either sleep on it, or go about my day. When it has dried a bit, I can let it down and voila, curls in tact and not frizzy!! Applying coconut oil when wet, helps lock in the moisture and keeps your curls defined as they were out of the shower.
These tips are what I can say have helped me over the years, but if you find something else that works for you, by all means, please share! I would love to hear other tips and tricks from fellow curly girls 😉
Cheers to curls!