If you have curly hair, you know the struggle of not knowing what your curls are going to look like on wash day. It can be challenging to keep curly hair happy, with so many factors going into it, including your stylers, the weather, the quality of the water, or build-up on your hair strands – the list goes on and on. Keep reading for the best tips to give your curls what they need to thrive.
1. Wash Day Routine
A solid wash day is absolutely critical for a good outcome and nice curls for days. A good wash day starts with a proper cleanse. Cleanse your scalp well with a good shampoo (pH 6-7) using a scalp massager to remove any build-up that can cause itching or inflammation.
If you suffer from frizzy hair, even after washing, you may need to clarify to remove sticky build-up. You can try an ACV rinse and/or a clarifying shampoo. The frizz may also be caused by hard water. Read these articles to explain why.
2. Detangling Troubles
Sometimes there are a lot of fairy (tiny) knots that are difficult to get out. Be sure to use a conditioner with a lot of SLIP. You can also mix your favorite conditioners together. Let them sit on the hair for a few minutes before you begin detangling from the ends up. You can use a brush to distribute the conditioner but be very careful as wet hair is in a weakened state. Finger detangling or using a wide-toothed comb are best to avoid ripping the knots out of the hair leading to breakage. Add more water rather than more product to detangle.
Another excellent option if your hair has a lot of knots on wash day, is to pre-poo your hair the night before using a specially formulated pre-poo mask or conditioner.
3. Hair Not Clumping
Use a brush to create curl clumps. The Denman and Tangle Teezer brushes are two curly girl favorites. The rows on the brushes help to group the hair together in clumps. Misting the hair with water during styling also encourages hair clumps. Moisture (i.e., water) is always your friend.
4. Stringy Curls
Curls often look stringy when lacking moisture. It is very important to style your hair when it is wet. Some people need to apply the product to soaking wet hair. Others do better on damp hair. You have to try both ways to figure out what works best for your curls. If you wait too long and try to style dry or damp hair, your curls may end up stringy. If you hear the squishy sounds, your hair is wet enough. Spritz or mist the hair with water while applying styling products, such as a cream, gel, and/or mousse.
5. Flat or Dry Hair
If the curls on the top of your head are flat or dry-looking, you may need to change your styling product or application technique. Do not put the product close to the roots to avoid flattening. Instead, start about an inch lower. The product may be too heavy for your hair or not hydrating enough. In general, creams are good for hydration and elongation. Gels are great for definition and hold. If your hair is often dry, and depending on your hair density, apply a leave-in conditioner and curl cream first, and then layer on a gel to lock in the moisture and use a brush to define your curls. If they don’t cause frizz, use clips to lift up the curls in front. If you want more voluminous curls, instead of a cream or a gel, use foam or mousse to boost curl volume and body. Another styling option is mousse-gel-mousse.
If you are not sure about your hair density or characteristics, take our Curly Hair quiz.
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