How To | Tips to Take Care of Curly Hair, pt. 1: The Basics

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March 17, 2015

As a California woman, I’ve become used to taking care of my curls on an irregular schedule. It all depends on the weather that day (or week), my look and goals for the day, and the amount of time and effort I want to put into it.

But what if you’re unsure of how to take care of your curls in any type of weather or cannot reach your hair goals?

Well, my fellow Mills students, I’m going to give basic tips and tricks on how to work with curly hair!

Step 1: Do your research.

When I say that, I mean “Learn your hair.” Learn what works for your hair and what doesn’t.  Experiment with different products and hair tutorials on YouTube. Do research on hair websites, i.e. NaturallyCurly.

What worked for me when I was doing this was NaturallyCurly. This website is a great resource, as it gives articles that cater to all types of curls, whether they’re loose waves or even tight coils. After reading so many articles on the website, it didn’t take me a while to learn that I had three different curl patterns in my hair: the front of my hair has kinky-curly coils, the back is ruled with very loose coils, while the middle is what I like to consider a very kinky curl pattern. That research was a catalyst for me to experiment with different hairstyles and products until I found a good routine.

It took me a very long while until I figured out my hair texture(s) and the products to use for it.  (Jen Ramos)

It took me a very long while until I figured out my hair texture(s) and the products to use for it.
(Jen Ramos)

Step 2: Find a solid hair routine.

Whether it’s one for wash days or just for styling, find something that works for you. I must warn you, it takes a lot of trial and error to get to something solid.

For me, I tried so many different things and products for my hair, from Shea Moisture products to Pantene’s natural line. I’ve even made oil sealants and hair washes with water and apple cider vinegar! Also, because of my obsession for YouTube vloggers that focus on natural/curly hair (i.e. HeyFranHey & NaturalNeiicey), I tried everything that I thought would work for fly curls like theirs.

Overall, the trial & error process has helped me learn that what may work for someone may not work for someone else. Not everyone has the same curl pattern!

So, if you’re like me when it comes to watching hair tutorials, take those ideas with a grain of salt. Or don’t be scared to try out those tutorials! They could work for you and become a part of your hair routine!

Step 3: Cleanse, Condition, & Moisturize on wash days.

I cannot stress the importance of these three steps for a successful wash day. It’ll bring great results in the future!

Cleansing your curls and scalp starts the foundation for good care, especially using methods without sulfates.

Cleansing your curls and scalp starts the foundation for good care, especially using methods without sulfates.

Cleanse your hair and scalp properly, whether it’s through a (sulfate-free) shampoo, cowash (conditioner wash), or just through apple cider vinegar and/or bentonite clay. But what do these have in common? *Hint: I gave it away in the first option!* They are all sulfate-free options for cleaning your hair. Shampoos (or products) with sulfates and other harsh chemicals you probably cannot pronounce do more harm than good with curls. So, find a healthier option to clean your hair.

Conditioners and deep conditioners are significant to taking care of one’s curls.

As for conditioning, it is important to do both conditioning and deep conditioning. Well, conditioning your hair period helps to improve your hair’s appearance, as well as strengthen your hair after a while of combing, brushing, or just experiencing the weather’s elements. Deep conditioning adds on that boost to strengthen your hair, especially deep conditioners with a combo of great ingredients!

These are the many products that I use to moisturize and protect my curls. (Dajanae Barrows)

These are the many products that I use to moisturize and protect my curls.

Moisturizing your hair is not exactly an easy concept to explain. When I say this, I want to express that you should find good products that help moisturize your curls, not dry them out. Which means no alcohol-based products, sulfates, parabens, or anything that contributes to breakage.  You can find all these things in the ingredients list of the product(s), so please read through it before you buy those products! 

With this step, please find a very good leave-in conditioner to moisturize your curls, as well as a cream or gel to both moisturize and style your hair! I tend to use three leave-in conditioners:

  • Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner and Detangler
  • Giovanni’s Tea Tree Leave In Conditioner
  • Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Extra-Moisture Detangler

As for creams and gels, I would suggest:

  • Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
  • Shea Moisture Curling Souffle
  • Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream for Natural Hair
  • EcoStyler Gel
  • Camille Rose Naturals Curlaide Moisture Butter

These products have worked for me, and I’m sure could be the start of helping take care of one’s curls!

I hope that these tips will be helpful for those who need them! Get ready for Part 2 of this blog on natural hair very soon!


How To | Tips to Take Care of Curly Hair, pt. 1: The Basics was published on March 17, 2015 in Blogs, Hair, Tutorial

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