Curls 101: How to Correctly Care for Your Curls

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As someone with curly hair, I’m well aware of the challenges that come with caring and styling curly tresses. And while at times I find myself envious of others’ sleek and smooth strands, I’ve learned that with the right products and techniques my curls can be one of my best assets.

Want to elevate the look of your waves and ringlets? Shelley Davis, creator of Kinky-Curly Organic Curl Care shares her tips for perfect curls:

What are the three most important products for curly hair?
1. A shampoo that cleans and removes buildup—clean hair is the foundation to beautiful healthy curls.
2. A conditioner that detangles. Detangling properly is important to reduce breakage.
3. A moisturizing styling product.

What products should women with tightly coiled curls look for?
Look for thick, rich, water-based styling products with aloe vera as a main ingredient. Aloe is extremely nourishing and moisturizing to the hair and scalp. Thick rich products will offer more control to tightly coiled hair that thinner products are unable to give. Using natural gels, since they are usually clear, will impart a wonderful shine to the finished look of the hair. 

How should wavy hair with a looser curly pattern be styled?
Use lightweight serums and spritzes. Women with wavy hair are usually looking more for frizz control while still maintaining volume so using heavy products with shea butter and waxes on wavy hair may cause it to look dull or weighed down. A better choice is products with panthenol/vitamin B-5 and vegetable glycerine. 

What ingredients should curly girls avoid?
All curly hair types should avoid drying alcohols such as SD alcohol 40, denatured alcohol and isopropyl alcohol (often found in hairsprays). Sodium lauryl Sslfate is also something that should be avoided which is a harsh surfactant found in shampoo. Keep in mind that all alcohols are not the same. Cetyl, stearyl and cetearyl alcohols are fatty alcohols that are moisturizing and found in many conditioners and styling products.

What is the best moisturizer for curly hair?
Water is the best moisturizer. The problem with water is that it will evaporate from the hair so we need styling and/or finishing products that will seal in that moisture to the hair shaft after shampooing and conditioning. For this purpose, look for styling products that contain humectants when wearing hair curly. Humectants attract and hold the moisture in our hair. Some great humectants are agave nectar, honey, vegetable glycerine and sodium PCA.

Natural oils used on damp hair and as a finishing aid are also great for sealing in moisture to the hair shaft. Some of my favorites are argan oil, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil and wheat germ oil. Any of these oils can be purchased and used alone or in an oil blend.

What’s your best tip for stying curly hair? 

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