Do those Beyoncé and Shakira curls leave you in awe? If yes, then you need to gather all your willpower and change your hair care routine to one that doesn’t involve some common mistakes and curly hair bad habits many of us get, um, tangled up in!
To be fair, curly hair is high-maintenance, and caring for it can sometimes be pretty tiring. However, once we start noticing the change in the quality of our curls, it becomes worth every single second of extra care.
From making our own natural DIY hair masks to choosing the right hairstyle to rock this spring, we want to treat our curls right and get the most out of our natural crown. To do so, avoid these five curly hair bad habits like the plague!
Healthy, bouncy, shiny curls, here we come!
5.) Blindly Choosing Random Shampoos From The Aisle
Pay attention to this one descriptor on your hair care labels, and your curl quality will change forever: 100% sulfate-free and silicone-free.
Once you try sulfate- and silicone-free shampoo, you will wonder how you lived your life without it! Sodium lauryl sulfate is a key ingredient in many regular traditional shampoos, and although it’s an effective cleanser, it’s too harsh for curls. You may be extra sensitive to sulfate if you havenaturally coarse dry hair or sensitive skin, especially in case you’re suffering from eczema.
Most shampoos also contain silicones, chemicals that give the hair that smooth, silky feel we all love. However, they could be damaging in the long-term. They may give the hair that synthetic shine, but they can also prevent moisture and essential oils from getting to the hair shaft.
In addition to going sulfate- and silicone-free, You might also want to consider “co-washing,” short for conditioner washing. As the name suggests, it means washing your hair with your conditioner instead of shampoo.
In our curly hair bad habits purge, always remember: Shampoo and condition without sulfate or silicones!
4.) Frying Your Curly Hair with Heat Styling Tools
Hands off that straightener for a second! Are you sure you’re using the right temperature setting?
We tend to choose the highest settings when we’re in a hurry or want to get the best result faster, however, this can be extremely damaging to the hair.
The texture and thickness of your hair should determine the temperature of your heat styling tool. For thin and fine hair, a lower heat setting is preferred, to avoid burning it. For thick hair, a higher heat setting is acceptable. However, always start with a lower heat setting and work your way up the temperature scale to get the best temperature for your hair.
Rule of thumb, no matter how busy you are, never use a flat iron or a straightener if your hair is wet! Wait until it’s completely dry to style it. Otherwise, you can damage your hair permanently.
If you notice that your curls are losing their bounce, it’s better to abstain from using heat styling tools for a while until you regenerate it with appropriate masks.
3.) The Sin of Brushing Curly Hair
One brush down and your curly hair becomes a frizzy puffball? I feel you, sis! To avoid this catastrophe, toss away your brush and pick a wide-toothed comb.
Many beauty gurus also advise brushing hair only before going to the shower. You can finger-comb your hair first if it’s too tangled, then section it into as many manageable parts as you’d like, and start working it from the ends one section at a time. Resist the urge to spray your hair with water if you meet a knot while brushing your hair, it creates a tighter knot that needs to be pulled aggressively – ouch!
And, lastly, opt for products made of natural animal bristles, they tend to give better results.
2.) Drying Your Hair with a Towel
Yes, you heard it right, towels aren’t good for your curls. They cause a ton of friction, and by the laws of the curls, we now know that friction = frizz.
Choose a 100% cotton fabric to dry your hair instead. Your nearest cotton T-shirt will do the job just fine!
Just make sure you don’t leave it on your hair for too long, especially when you’re sleeping. If you have a cotton pillowcase, then it might soak up the moisture of your hair and break your hair strands due to cotton fibers tugging on them. Switch to a silk pillowcase instead, as it causes less friction and less frizz and gives better curlsin the morning!
It is believed that many of these commandments are actually part of a bigger movement initiated by Lorraine Massey in her book Curly Girl: The Handbook. According to the feedback of many curlies across the internet, this book has improved the quality of many curls out there, and after reading a bit about it, it is now No. 1 on my reading list!
1.) Switching Hair Care Routines Frequently
Confession: I have been on and off hair care routines so frequently that I have almost never bought the same shampoo twice in a row! And you can guess it, it was a bad decision. Sticking to one (good and curls-appropriate) hair care routine is actually the only way to notice any change in the quality and health of your hair.
First, figure out your specific hair type, then choose the right shampoos, conditioners, hair masks and hairstyles according to it. We generally use the word “curly” to include any non-straight hair, whereas there is more to it than that. Your hair can, for example, be a Type 2A if you have slightly S-shaped waves that are fine in density and stick close to your head. See? This is way more precise!
There are three big categories: Wavy (Type 2), Curly (Type 3), and Coily (Type 4). Each is subcategorized into A, B or C sections, for better hair recognition and thus treatment.
You can learn more about yours here!
It is also important to understand the science behind the hair, the curls and the scalp. Thin curls are different from thick ones, and a dry scalp requires a different treatment than an oily one, so pick your hair products accordingly and stick to them!
Remember: the key to success is consistency, and the key to healthy and bouncy curls is a regular hair care routine that steers clear of curly hair bad habits!
Do you have curly hair? How do you care for it? Are there any of these curly hair bad habits that you used to have? Let us know in the comments, and click Next Story to discover five amazing curly hairstyles to rock this spring!