Curly hair can be a challenge to style and many people make the mistake of trying to work against their own hair type to try to create a more slick and straight style. If you treat your curls as a pleasing rather than a curse you will find that you will not only improve the condition of your hair but also create stunning hairstyles that embrace your curly locks. The process of styling your curls starts long before you venture into the bathroom to style your hair for the day.
Here are 15 easy to follow methods that will make styling curly hair a breeze:
1. Trim Your Ends
It’s important to maintain hair ends that won’t frizz and knot as quickly. Split ends are the enemy of all hair types but they are particularly treacherous for curly hair. Curly splits will tangle and know throughout the day leaving you with a painful knotty mess.
Trimming the ends of your hair regularly will make it easier to comb and much easier to style. It may seem counterintuitive if you are trying to grow your hair longer to cut it often but you only need to take off an inch and it will absolutely be worth it. Making time to see a hairdresser is a great idea but you can do this yourself at home with a little practice.
2. Apply Oils
Dry curls can be a nightmare to control, particularly on humid days. Dried out curls are also incredibly difficult to manage. To avoid your curls getting dry, crunchy and knotted regular application of oils can improve the health and vitality of your hair exponentially. There are a few different hair oils on the market that you can choose from.
Typically, the higher the quality of oil the better the result. Check out online reviews for oils before you buy. Another great way to oil your curls if with coconut oil which is less expensive and is available at most stores. Apply a little oil to the ends of your locks throughout the day to avoid dry unruly frizz.
3. DIY Cleansing Conditioner
For many people with curly hair, the biggest mistake they can make is washing with overly harsh shampoos. Curly hair is more susceptible to drying out so it’s important to maintain moisture levels and shampoo strips that moisture from the hair while to cleanses. Some people try co-washing and simply washing with conditioner, but there is an option that will give you the cleansing qualities of shampoo without removing the moisture from your hair.
Mix your own gentle shampoo conditioner hybrid to make a cleansing conditioner perfectly suited to your hair. This can be a process of trial and error, but with a little practice, you can make a cocktail that will achieve great results.
4. Pre-Shower Conditioning
Soak your locks before you hop in the shower with a moisturizing conditioner. Whenever you are about to put your hair in a situation where it is likely to lose moisture it’s important to prep your hair with a moisturizing mask or with conditioner left in for 10 minutes or so. Use a shower cap to prevent the moisturizer from rubbing off and damaging things in your house as well as compromising conditioning of your hair. This process is optional and won’t work for everybody but for days when you aren’t washing your hair, this mask can prevent dryness.
5. Leave in Conditioner
When you finish washing your hair don’t rinse off all of the conditioner. There is no reason to remove all of the residue from your conditioner as it will help minimise frizziness and dryness throughout the day. However, it is important to remove all shampoo or cleansing conditioner residue from your hair because that will damage and dry out your hair. It is also important not to leave too much conditioner in because it can damage your clothes or give your curls a damp oily appearance. A leave-in conditioner is another way to achieve this effect.
6. Don’t Use a Towel
If you are wrapping your hair in a towel you might be stripping away some of that moisture that you have applied. The absorbency of a towel is great for drying skin but it draws away the moisture from the hair in the same way that it draws water away. Rather than using a towel designed to strip moisture, why not use a t-shirt or other less absorbent fabrics.
Containing wet hair with an old t-shirt allows your hair to gently draw without sucking the conditioner and oils from your hair. The t-shirt fabric is much less harsh on your hair whilst still stopping your hair from dripping all over the place.
7. Sleep in a Top Bun
Pineappling is the practice of gathering all your hair up at the top of your hair and tying it into a bun. The reason that this is a great practice for curly hair is that it minimizing the damage done to the form of your hair including hair structure and volume. Leaving your hair out while you sleep can damage the structure and form of your curls as your head squashes them throughout the night.
As most people sleep on one side of their head this makes the volume and structure of your curls flatter on one side of your head. Pineappling can also prevent knotting from tossing and turning all night.
8. Curling Iron
Another potentially counter-intuitive hint for curly hair is to use a curling iron. Whilst you may have naturally curly hair there are many reasons that your curls fall flat go frizzy or just aren’t holding the form that you want them to. Refreshing and reshaping your curls with a curling iron is a great way to tame and enhance your curls to create the look and feel that you want without destroying and going against your natural hair type. Make sure you are moisturizing and oiling your hair to ensure that the heat doesn’t do too much damage.
9. Choose the Right Hair Dryer
Hair dryers can be difficult to use naturally curly hair. Heat dries out hair and dryness is the natural enemy of curly hair. But if you select the right hair dryer with the right attachments a hair dryer can actually reduce frizziness that occurs through air drying. A diffuser is one of the key attachments that you need if you are going to be using a hair dryer on curly locks.
It’s important to check out reviews before you buy and you can avoid buying the wrong hair dryer by comparing professional hair dryers here. To use a diffuser first you need to wash your hair, dry out the excess water, apply mouse as a bit of extra protection for your hair. Then you need to twist your hair into the shape you want your curls to form and put them into the diffuser. Repeat until you achieve the desired look.
10. DIY Moisturizing and Shaping Gel
Shaping your curls with some kind of gel is a great way to enhance and control your curls without the day. You can create your own specially balanced moisturizing hair gel easily with two simple ingredients. Similar to the cleansing conditioner you will be combining two easy to procure and inexpensive bathroom products to create an effective conditioning gel.
Simply combine hair gel and conditioner to create a gel that will keep your curls fresh and hydrated all day. There are shop bought alternatives to making this yourself but they are likely to be much more expensive and may not suit your hair type. Some people do use other shaping products but gel seems to be the most versatile and will not destroy the form of curls.
11. Use a Comb
Don’t make the mistake of brushing your curls! Not only will you destroy the form and structure of the curl but you will also create instant frizz that can be hard to reverse no matter how much gel, oil or conditioner you apply. If you have curly hair the best way to detangle it is with a comb. Specifically, you are going to need a wide tooth comb that can pass through your curls with minimum damage. Wide tooth combs are pretty easy to get hold of and they won’t create the same frizziness as a brush or a fine tooth comb. Consider buying a bamboo comb as they are stronger than cheap plastic combs and they are far more environmentally sustainable.
12. Start at the Ends
If you are combing your hair from the roots to the tip you are doing it wrong. The easiest way to comb through those knots with minimal pain is by starting closer to the end of the hair and working up. This way you are detangling the ends first rather than getting stuck somewhere in the middle of your hair because you have just combed a series of small knots into one impenetrable large knot.
Starting with the lower knots is also a great way to minimise the damage done to curls through combing. Every time you pull and your hair and break individual hairs you are causing damage. Using this technique you are far less likely to cause irreparable damage to your hair ends and this will reduce frizziness.
13. Twist and Tie Before Bed
An alternative to pineappling is the Twist and Tie. This is the process of separating your hair into sections and twisting and tying them to avoid squashing and tangling curls. This method is more useful for those with looser curls rather than tight, small curls. Pineappling is still the best option for those who have tight curls, but the twist and tie is a great option for those who want to extend the life of their diffuser blow dry.
This method won’t necessarily preserve your curls but may result in waves. Make sure that the twists are relatively secure or you may still end up with weird kinks in your hair.
No many hairstyles are more suited to curls than braids. Curly hair will hold braids much better than straight hair and braids will contain curls for those days when you want to tame your curls. There are a huge number of braids to choose from. A braided top knot adds a special touch to a simple top knot bun by wrapping a brain around it creating a more dressed up look. With dutch braids, you can sleep in two simple braids and then pull them out and braid again to make a gorgeous pattern and braids that will stay put all day.
There are so many ways to style a simple braid including creating an updo by layering and pinning up three braids to the back of the head creating a look that can be both formal or casual. Braids are not the only style available to those with curly hair but they are perhaps the most versatile and practical.
15. Swap out your Pillow Cases
Rather than sleeping on a cotton pillowcase that will create matting and knots in your hair why not swap it out for a silk pillowcase. The smooth surface will create far fewer problems with your curly lock and you’ll be able to get up in the morning and style your hair with minimal fuss. Satin or silk pillowcases aren’t for everyone but why not give it a try. You can find a satin or silk alternative at most bedding stores otherwise, there are, of course, many options available online.
There are so many different kinds of curls from loose curls that are almost waves to tight curls that have a stunning volume. Whatever kind of curls you have there are some simple steps that you can take to embrace your curly locks and keep your hair healthy, manageable and beautiful. The important thing to remember is to keep your hair moisturizes and prevent drying out. With a routine of oiling, conditioning and combing your hair will not only look amazing but be easier to comb and style.