Hair Care for waves and curls
Try A Little Tenderness
Despite it’s outwardly tough and wayward appearance you have to treat your curly, frizzy hair kindly. It may seem like it could replace those steel wires on suspension bridges, but curly and wavy hair really needs the soft touch, it is often dry to very dry and needs a lot of moisture from conditioners and treatments. The best way to achieve this is to follow the ‘curly girl’method. This basically involves removing silicone and sulphate based products from your haircare routine and replacing them with silicone free conditioners used to ‘co-wash' the hair and to condition, and gentler sulphate free shampoos. You should also pamper your hair further by using micro-fibre or soft cotton jersey (an old t shirt is perfect) to dry your hair with to avoid roughing it up with the usual rough, bobbly towel, which can cause curly hair to frizz. Hair should also only be de-tangled, with a wide toothed comb or brush with smooth, wide plastic bristles such as a . Only de-tangle and comb or brush through your hair when it’s covered in conditioner, this helps to avoid damaged hair and split ends as well as cutting out the pain of attempting to tease out tangles and knots on dry hair! Brushing curly hair when dry is never a good idea, if you have wavy hair you can get away with it sometimes if your hair is in good condition but brushing dry, curly hair often leads to big pile of fuzzy frizz! denman
You should regularly treat your hair further by using a deep conditioning treatment, ones designed for curly hair or dry hair are best, once a week or thereabouts. When hair needs an extra boost of moisture, as curly hair often does, or de-frizzing between washes don’t be afraid to add a little conditioner or hair oil to dry or slightly damp hair. Specialised leave in conditioners, and moisturisers especially designed for curly hair are brilliant too, I love Curl Junkie's Curl Fix as well as pure Aloe Vera Gel and coconut oil, both of which can be bought cheaply from health food shops and are good for the skin too! Kiehl's Argan Oil spray is excellent to perk up second day hair and adds shine as well as moisture and protection.
Drying hair naturally is best, it really does cut down on the frizz and spilt ends, but if like me your hair takes the best part of a day to dry, using a diffuser on your hair dryer is the next best thing. Using an old t shirt instead of a towel is another good tip, it is easier on the hair and cuts down on frizz caused by rubbing hair with a rough towel which can be damaging.
Style it! - Styling Curly Hair
Now your hair is pampered time to style it up a bit and define those waves and curls! It’s best to keep it simple and again avoid any silicone based products (like the famous frizz ease, which many swear by but has done nothing for me). A curl enhancer, gel or crème, such as Kinky Curly Curling Custard or Curl Junkie's Curls in a Bottle goes on to wet hair, which is then scrunched to enhance those waves and curls. For more hold and definition gel is good, I like Umberto Gianni’s Curl Friends Scrunching Gelle as I find it lacks that overly masculine ‘teenage boy overdoing the aftershave’ smell a lot of gels can have, pure Aloe Vera gel is also good for curly hair and can be used to de-frizz and re-define curls on second or third day hair. There are many other products you can use to style or refresh your curly hair such as moisturisers, pomades, oils, gels, you name it! I love the balms and pomade's from Cioccolatina, which use fair trade ingredients too.
It can be hard to find products that work well on curly hair sometimes, when most mainstream haircare brands are stuffed full of silicones and sulfates and are geared towards straight hair. Thankfully more haircare brands are starting to cater for the silicone/sulphate free nad natural curly hair markets and products are slowly becoming easier to find on the high street; the Body Shop, Tréseme and L'Oreal all do sulphate and silicone free shampoos and conditioners. Higher end manufacturers do some amazing products too, I especially love Kiehl’s Argan Oil range; their Superbly Smoothing Argan Hair Pak is a lovely indulgent treat!
Shopping online is an excellent of obtaining those must have ‘cult’ products; britishcurlies.co.uk is excellent for U.K based folks and offers a treasure trove of hard to find products whilst naturallycurly.com is a U.S based store of gargantuan proportions. There is also a wealth of information on line for curly hair; curly hair comes in many different types and what's good for one head of hair might not work for another so reading up on Curly Hair Types ,and guides such as Defining Natural Hair Curl Guide all help!