When the heat damage demons caught up to my curls, I swore it was the end of the world. There was no turning back! I thought dramatically. I would pay the ultimate price for visiting the beauty salon one too many times for one too many blow dry’s – damaged hair that refused to curl again.
Soon, I stopped straightening my mane, embraced my roots and developed an interest in all things natural hair. If you’re wondering how to bring life to your curls, these tips and tricks will save your life. I mean, hair.
Know your curl type
The L.O.C Method
The L.O.C. Method is the holy grail for most curlies. That’s leave-in or lotion, oil, and cream. Follow the letters in that specific order and you will have defined and shiny curls. If it doesn’t work for you, switch up the order.
Get a diffuser
A diffuser is a blow dryer attachment. It’s hand-like shape helps distribute the air evenly throughout the hair without disrupting the curl pattern. It also adds a lot of volume.
Use an afro pick
An afro pick does an amazing job at lifting the hair from the roots. Avoid raking the pick through the hair.
If you prefer to air dry, DO NOT (I repeat, do not) manipulate your hair after you’ve applied products. This will only ruin the shape of your hair and create a lot of frizz. Resist the temptation.
Less is MORE
Applying too many hair products can weigh your hair down. Washing day may arrive sooner than you’d like. If you want to lessen volume, don’t focus too much on the roots when applying product. Contrary to popular belief, you can use a diffuser, just don’t flip your hair. Simply diffuse in a downward motion. And don’t forget to use gel-cream based products as they reduce volume significantly. The microfiber towel/ T-shirt tip I mentioned also helps minimize frizz and that unfortunate big hair.
Deep condition is a must
Once a week put on deep conditioner and place a shower cap over your head while taking a steamy shower. This locks in all the moisture, which then prevents breakage. Just make sure to apply lots on your ends.
Know what’s going in your hair
Avoid sulfates, parabens and silicons. These chemicals strip the natural oils from your hair leaving it brittle and dry. They can be found in most traditional shampoos. So make sure to invest in a sulfate, silicone and paraben free brand, like one of my favorites Shea Moisture. Some curlies also love co-washing. This is when you don’t use shampoo at all, just conditioner. Go with what works best for your hair type!
Toss the towel
Try these bedtime routines
The pineapple method helps preserve curls while you sleep. Simply create a loose ponytail at the very top of your head. This will make your curls lay flat while you sleep and maintain the curl pattern. When it’s time to wake up, simply shake your hair off and refresh with some water or product. Style as desired.
A satin pillowcase should also be your best friend as it prevents friction between your hair and the pillow. This avoids frizz, doesn’t disturb your curl pattern, and creates shine.
Awesome hair brands
- Shea Moisture has over 150 hair products that work for different hair types (Wavy, Curly, Kinky/ Coily ). My personal favorite is their Jamaican Black Castor Oil line as it focuses on repairing hair due to chemical and heat damage. It also promotes hair growth.
- Miss Jessie’s products create a lot of definition without leaving hair crunchy and flakey. Their Pillow Soft Curls ($13.00) defines curls while maintaining a soft look.
- Mixed Chicks hair products leave hair as bouncy as ever. They tame frizz and define curls. My go-to product is their Leave-In Conditioner ($16.99)
- Cantu Shea Butter products are more on the affordable side, which is great because maintaining natural hair can get expensive! Their products also define curls and minimize frizz. And they smell great! Try the Argan Oil Leave In Repair Cream ($5.99).
- Carol’s Daughter leaves my hair extremely moisturized and shiny. Check out their Black Vanilla line. Average price for one product is $10-14.
These tips and tricks help me overcome my natural hair obstacles. (They still taunt me!) Hopefully they do the same for you and your natural do.