Suddenly finding myself back in curly hair has involved a massive learning curve. After 12 years or so of daily dependence on hair straighteners and other - more chemical - aids, learning to live with curls has been ... interesting, to say the least.
Surprisingly, I've found that the best thing for my hair is to do as little as possible to it. After years of daily styling, the concept of "leaving it alone" is a scary one! But, I think it's necessary. Whether your hair is naturally curly, or ... ahem ... chemically enhanced, here's some tips I've picked up along the way, and I'd love to hear yours too!
1) Leave it alone: excess touching, combing and brushing will make your curls fuzzy, frizzy and bushy. The less you play with your hair, the better it will look. I'm a hair-twirler, so this is surprisingly tough! Still, hopefully it'll stop me getting my fingers stuck in it now ...
1a) Allied to that, I don't brush or comb my hair at all inbetween washings, now I only comb (wide-toothed, naturally) when my hair is wet and coated in conditioner - it's all my hair needs.
2) Curly hair is less shiny than straight hair because the curved surface of the hair doesn't reflect light in the same way. It's also less shiny because the oils from your scalp find it more difficult to travel down the hair shaft, which means that the ends can be drier than the scalp. To combat this, I find I want to use a hair mask more often, but only on the lengths, I'm avoiding putting them on the scalp at all costs!
3) Don't rub: when shampooing and drying, try not to rub your hair in too many different directions, it roughs up the cuticles on the surface of the hair, and makes it frizzy.
4) Apply serums, hair oils etc when your hair is sopping wet. I squeeze excess moisture out of my hair then apply a squeeze (or two) of hair oil - currently using Paul Mitchell Awapuhi - then squeeze out more moisture, and only then dab gently at my hair with a towel. I usually add a bit more oil once I've dabbed. I no longer wander around the house for an hour with a towel wrapped around it before adding styling product, this leads to fuzzy, undefined curls.
5) Hair does get tangled up a bit between washes, so if there is a big knot that I need to deal with, I break out the wide toothed comb, spray on a bit of detangling spray (Mark Hill and Lee Stafford both do good ones) and gently work away at the knot, from the bottom. Spray on a bit more detangler after, and your curl should pop back.
6) Don't wash your hair every day - it can be stripping to the drier ends, and it can overstimulate your scalp leading to the dreaded flat (greasy) roots and straw-like ends. Not a good look. I was mine every two days, and every three if I can get away with it.
7) To "reactivate" your curls between washes, styling sprays are your friends. Personally, I'm currently addicted to this:
Label M Protein Spray, which is a conditioning treatment, and also one of the nicest smelling hair products I've ever come across. Full of wheat proteins, and scented with jasmine and sweetpea, it helps refresh curls that have gone a bit limp, and also has excellent conditioning properties. Lovely stuff!
What are your top tips for dealing with curly hair?
This post: A Curly Girl Survival Guide. Sorta ... with Label M Protein Spray originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper