Tuesday, November 29, 2011

curly hair care 101

learning to care for and love my curly hair has been a lifelong battle wrought with more frizz, hot ironing and awful haircuts than you can imagine. when i was younger, i would constantly straighten it in an effort to magically have the hair of  my dreams. really, all i managed to do was destroy it. later, in my frustration, i would end up just pulling my hair back most of the time which caused even more broken ends, damage & frizz, and ultimately made me hate my hair even more. 

over the past decade, i've been searching endlessly for the simplest, quickest way to have the healthiest, most beautiful, hassle-free hair possible. in essence, the goal was to essential do nothing to my hair (or next to nothing) and just have it be naturally amazing because i knew if the entire process took too much time and effort, i  probably wouldn't stick with it. over the years, these are the tricks & tips i've picked up and the things i've changed about my routine that have had a long-lasting effect on the health, shine and manageability of my hair. i hope some of these tips help to demystify the confusing & sometimes frustrating process of caring for curly locks!

  curly hair care 101  

1. use a non-toxic shampoo & conditioner w/out sodium lauryl salfate or sodium laureth sulfate - 
these chemicals dry out your hair & scalp and contribute to frizz, unmanageability and a lackluster appearance. i have been using jason 84% aloe vera shampoo & conditioner for a while now and absolutely love it. 

2. use paper towels to dry your hair instead of terry cloth towels; 
dry from the bottom up, scrunching curls up in the process - 
i got this tip from a salon academy student who explained that terry cloth is like velcro to curly hair and adds to frizz. i use viva paper towels to dry my hair since they're so thick & durable and hang them to dry after each use so i can use them more than once, like normal towels.

3. do yourself a favor and go to a hair salon that specializes in curly hair
the wisdom, enthusiasm and knowledge you will find there is priceless. you'll also find the best curl enhancing & defining products at a place like this. i've been going to ashley at above ground hair in ann arbor for almost a year now and have learned so much about caring for & styling my curly locks. 

4. shampoo 1-2 times a month AT MOST; use conditioner to "wash" hair every 2-3 days; 
optional: leave in conditioner - 
this is a hair industry trade secret and probably the best piece of advice i can give you & the one thing that will make the most difference in controlling frizz. it is a myth/misconception that you should be shampooing so often - this strips away all the natural oils that help to control frizz, which is basically your hair trying to suck moisture out of the air because it's so dry. to prevent dryness you need to keep all those natural oils. 

conditioner has enough astringent to "wash" your scalp & hair and rid it of excessive oils, hair products, dust, etc. every stylist has a huge 5lb tub of conditioner they go through on a monthly basis and one bottle of shampoo that lasts them a year - go ahead, just ask! i also leave a bit of the conditioner in my hair all day for added frizz control & manageability - work conditioner through hair and rinse for a moment until hair feels soft, then stop; dry & style as normal (add curl enhancing/defining cream when wet & work through hair, twirl curls w/ fingers to shape, then scrunch curls up.) 

5. never pull your hair back with bobby pins, barrettes or even hair clips to prevent 
broken flyaways and frizz -
 now that my hair is to a healthy point i enjoy the occasional straight look or pinning my hair back for a pompadour. but overall, i leave my hair completely alone and wear it down to let it breathe. i didn't put any pins or clips in it at all for a good 2-3 years while it was growing out and healing from all the damage i had done. leave your hair alone (don't touch it at all after it's styled) and give it plenty of conditioning and you'll see - your hair will never be happier!

 c. emilia 

No comments:

Post a Comment