Curly hair is having a moment in Hollywood right now. From Jennifer Lawrence to Amanda Seyfried to Blake Lively, the red carpet is suddenly curly!
If these red carpet curly moments are inspiring you to let your own curls run free, make sure to follow these golden rules for caring for your curly tresses.
Pick the Right Shampoo
Curly hair is inherently prone to dryness, so what shampoo you use on your hair is very important. Go for a mild shampoo. That means steering clear of ANY shampoo containing sulfates, which are hard on the hair. What to look for (to avoid) on ingredients labels: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
(SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Shampoo Less Often
Because of the textured nature of curly hair, natural oils from the scalp take longer to travel down the hair shaft. That said, since curly hair doesn’t tend to get oily fast, you do not need to shampoo often. That said, how often you do lather up is entirely personal, but use this as a guide:
Curly Hair: 1-2 times per week
Stay Away from Silicone
Very Curly to Kinky Hair: Every 7 to 10 days
Despite the widespread use of this ingredient among hair care manufacturers, hair products made with silicone are not good for long term use on curly hair. Silicones cover the hair shaft with a plastic-like coating to make hair smooth in the short term, but in the long run that coating prevents the hair from absorbing essential moisture or nutrients from conditioners or natural oils.
You see, many silicones do not easily wash away. Over time this can lead to a silicone build up on the hair, causing the hair to be continually robbed of moisture. And, because silicone can be layered on your hair as you use multiple products (shampoo, conditioner, anti-frizz serum, etc.), it is easy for this pattern of buildup to occur.
That all said, read product ingredients labels and avoid the common silicones below:
Make Conditioner Your Best Friend
Since curly hair tends to be dry, always use a rich rinse-out conditioner after every wash and (at least once a month) deep condition your hair with an ultra-rich hair mask.
Avoid Hot Water
Despite how great a hot shower may feel, hot water dries the hair out. Instead, wash/rinse your hair with lukewarm water, followed by a final cool (to even cold) water rinse. Why? Cold water will close the hair cuticle to add shine and prevent frizz.
Smooth Curls with Natural Oils
Your best route to frizz-free curls is natural oils like coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil or argan oil. Whether you mix a bit of oil with a styling product or use directly on ends, natural oils reduce frizz and enhance curl definition.
Always Use a Diffuser
Using a diffuser attachment on your blow dryer is the only way to go when you heat style your curls. Why? Diffusers encourage curl formation and cut down on frizz. In contrast, a regular dryer nozzle actually reduces curl definition and creates frizz.
Use Your Fingers
The best way to style curly hair to maintain curl definition is to use your fingers! Brushes just flatten curls and create frizz. Stash that brush away for the days you decide to go for a sleek blowout.
Tangles are just a fact of life for those with curly hair. To gently remove tangles and knots without damaging your hair, always start at the bottom of your hair and work your way up the hair shaft using a wide-toothed comb. Why? Removing tangles by brushing from root to tip actually tightens those pesky knots!
Go for Trims Regularly
Curly hair is more prone to split ends, so don’t neglect those ends even if you are trying to grow your hair. Just a light "dusting" will do every six to eight weeks.
Seek Out a Curly Hair Specialist
Cutting curly hair is an art form, so seek out a professional who specializes in curly hair. How do you find one? Next time you happen to see a curly girl with great hair, just ask her who her stylist is. It may be a bit embarrassing, but she will love the compliment! When you do find a stylist, make sure you ask for a dry cut for proper curl sculpting.
Looking for a bouncy head of curls? Ask your stylist to add long layers for nice face-framing dimension.
Invest in a Humidifier
Anytime the heat is on in your home, the air (and your hair) is being robbed of moisture. The best way to avoid this issue is to invest in a humidifier to replace the lost moisture. The best place for the humidifier: your bedroom. A place you likely spend 6-8 hours in every day!