If you have naturally curly hair, you have two options: apply heat treatments to style it or let it do its own thing. If you’re tired of damaging your hair and taking extra time getting ready every morning, it may be time to let your curly hair know its true potential.
There are several things to remember when letting your natural curl thrive, including:
- Avoiding heat treatment as much as possible
- Using a microfiber towel
- Plopping your hair to dry rather than rubbing the strands
- Leaving it alone once it’s styled
- Using the right shampoo and conditioner
- Conditioning thoroughly, using a leave-in conditioner daily, and deep conditioning regularly
Most importantly, you need to use the right products. It’s somewhat of an investment to let your beautiful curls shine, but you’ll be glad you spent the time and money researching and buying the right products. Here are the best and worst products for your curls:
1. Best: Hair Oils
Hair curls best when your scalp’s natural oils can do their work, but sometimes, they need a little help. Hair oils not only improve your curl, but they also leave a sleek, attractive finish that make your curls look oh-so soft.
Some recommended oils include:
You can often find oil-gel combos that are great for a sleek finish.
2. Worst: Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo’s job is to remove oils from your hair so that it looks cleaner. However, as pointed out previously, your hair needs its oils to maintain that gorgeous curl and finish. So, curly-headed girls should use dry shampoo sparingly.
If you must use a dry shampoo, choose a natural product that won’t strip moisture from your hair or weigh down your curls. Also, be sure it’s non-toxic. Many dry shampoos contain talc powder, a substance that has been linked to cancer, and there have been several lawsuits.
3. Best: Clarifying Shampoo
A clarifying shampoo uses stronger formulas that offer a deeper clean than a regular shampoo. It removes residue left from your many styling products. Everyone should use a good clarifying shampoo occasionally, as it strips away product build-up that makes your hair look dull.
This shampoo is optional for straight hair, but non-negotiable for curly heads. Product build-up weighs down hair, challenging your hair’s natural bounce.
Pay close attention to the formulas used in your clarifying shampoo, as some can strip away moisture from hair strands as well as product build up. Some formulas can strip away color. Avoid sulfates, parabens, and silicones in any clarifying shampoo.
4. Worst: Shampoos with Parabens, Sulfates, and Silicones
Parabens, sulfates, and silicones are common in drug store hair products, but they’re not good for your hair. Let’s look at each ingredient and why you should avoid it:
- Parabens: This is a type of preservative that prevents bacteria and mold on your scalp. It also increases the efficacy of a product. However, it often causes curly hair to dry and frizz, the opposite of what you want with your curls.
- Sulfates: This is the chemical that causes your shampoo to bubble when you lather. It’s certainly satisfying to work up a good lather with your shampoo, but it also strips hair of natural oils and dries out your hair. You don’t really need the lather to get a clean head, so avoid it for your best curls.
- Silicones: This ingredients group creates faux moisturization for your hair. It coats the strands of your hair to make it feel soft, but it’s preventing natural oils from moisturizing your hair. Your curls will be weighed down with the silicones and be frizzy because it’s dry.
5. Best: Curl Defining Creams and Gels
Very few individuals can maintain gorgeous, long-lasting curls without the use of a curl-defining gel or cream. Of course, these products should be of the highest quality to create a long-lasting, healthy curl.
Most importantly, choose products that are rich in moisturizers and natural oils. Additionally, choose creams and gels that are formulated for your hair. For example, those with wavy locks will use a different product than those with kinky, coiled hair.
6. Worst: Harsh Color Treatments
Your curls will thrive if they’ve never been color treated. However, that’s not a realistic expectation for most people, and you shouldn’t have to avoid getting your hair colored just because you don’t want to lose your curl.
So, make sure you use hair dyes that aren’t harsh. For example, quickly bleaching your hair instead of coloring it in stages will remove much of the moisture from your hair and challenge your curls.
Additionally, always deep condition your hair a few days after coloring it. This will help to lock in moisture and revitalize your curls post color.