Curly hair can be a blessing and a curse. People without it want it, and people with it tend to hate it.
Even if you love your natural curls, you may struggle with frizz and twists that make styling your hair difficult – not to mention all the styles you just can’t pull off with curly hair.
People might tell you how lucky you are to have naturally curly or wavy hair, but maintaining a polished look with this hair type is much harder than it looks. Below, we cover how to take care of curly hair naturally – including what products and tools you should use and what treatments you should get at the salon.
Managing curly hair: natural treatments and home remedies
Curly hair gets its shape from the shape of the hair follicle. A twisted hair follicle will produce curly hair. Below, we cover three curly hair “home remedies” that will help you control curls and minimize frizz while avoiding the chemicals in many store-bought products and saving money.
Beer can actually help replenish moisture and make hair shinier, softer, and more bouncy. Dark, non-alcoholic beer works best for curly hair.
- Start by shampooing and rinsing your hair like you normally would
- Slowly pour beer over your hair until every strand is coated
- Let the beer stay in your hair for 5 minutes
- Repeat once every two weeks for best results
Eggs contain high amounts of fat and protein, which help restore moisture and health to your hair.
- In a bowl, combine 2 tsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp. mayo, and 1 egg
- Whisk until smooth
- Apply mixture to hair
- Let sit for 30 minutes
- Rinse with cold water
- Repeat once per week for best results
3. Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek seeds contain lots of lecithin, an emulsifying agent that locks in moisture. This will help block humidity (which will decrease frizz) and make your hair more flexible (which will add body and volume).
- Soak 3-5 tbsp. seeds in water for 10 hours
- Grind the wet seeds to make a paste
- Mix ground seeds with 3 tbsp. plain yogurt and 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Massage the mixture into your hair and scalp
- Let sit for 60 minutes
- Rinse and shampoo
- Repeat once every two weeks for best results
Managing curly hair: shampoo & conditioner
Maintain good shampooing habits. Pick products designed for your hair type. Shampoo every other day. If you prefer washing your hair every day, skip the shampoo every other day and just use conditioner.
Shampoo your scalp vigorously to clean your hair of oils and debris, but wash gently on the ends to prevent damage.
Curly hair is prone to dryness, so it’s really important that you always use conditioner. Conditioner does wonders to keep curls healthy and hydrated. Our recommendation is Pantene Pro-V: Curl Perfection, which you can get for less than $5.
For very dry curly hair, try using a leave-in conditioner (recommendation below).
To maintain curly hair after a shower, don’t rub your hair dry with a towel. Instead, squeeze out excess water with your hands and pat your hair dry with a towel. This will help reduce knots and frizz.
If possible, avoid using heat. If you must use a blow dryer or flat iron, use a protective product on your hair and keep heat settings low to minimize damage and prevent frizz.
Tip: sleeping on a satin pillowcase can minimize frizz and can prolong your hairstyle for a second day.
Managing curly hair: tools & products
Throw out the brush and choose a wide tooth comb instead. For best results, comb your hair just after showering, while it is still wet. This will allow you to get the tangles out before it dries and becomes impossible to comb.
If you try to comb your hair while it’s dry, it will mess up the shape of your curls and create frizz.
Curly hair sometimes needs a little help to look its best, and it’s important that you use products that are designed to be used on your hair type. We recommend MoroccanOil Intense Curl Cream, which you can purchase online for $34 (you can also find the MoroccanOil brand in salons and at Walmart).
MoroccanOil Intense Curl Cream is a leave-in conditioner that utilizes argan oil and vitamins to hydrate curls and fight frizz.
Managing curly hair: at the salon
Getting the right hair cut can make all the difference for people with curly hair. If you’re looking to minimize poof, choose a longer style that will weigh down the curls.
Ask your stylist for recommendations based on your hair type and face shape to get the most flattering look. Have your hair trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks to keep your hair healthy.
Treatments we recommend for curly hair:
- Keratin treatment: a variety of ingredients are used to smooth away waves and curls; effects are locked in using a flat iron
- Deep conditioning treatment: repairs damage and hydrates
Salons also offer treatments for curly hair to make it straight. These treatments are expensive and they utilize chemicals that permanently change the structure of your hair. They are typically not appropriate for colored or damaged hair.
If you’re looking for a “permanent” treatment, try thermal reconditioning (AKA Japanese straightening). Other treatments, like Brazilian straightening, last for up to four months.
Managing curly hair: tips and tricks
Having a bad hair day? Try a headband. One of the best things about curly hair is the built-in volume, which means you can rock a headband even when you’re having a bad day.
- When you comb your hair, start with the bottom sections and work your way up
- Get regular trims to avoid split ends
- Mix products together to meet your unique styling needs (like serum and mousse)
- Sleep with your hair tied in a loose bun at the highest point of your head to maintain natural shape overnight
- If you use a hair dyer, use a diffuser
Click here to learn more about diffusers and how to use them.
Click here to learn more about the stigma some ethnicities face for wearing their curly hair in its natural state.