Curly Hair Care

Over the Christmas holiday, one of our hair lines – DevaCurl – bundled a book called Curly Girl: The Handbook (by Lorraine Massey) with one of their products. A few of us took one and passed it around. So, this month’s newsletter is dedicated to those of you with curly hair.

The Straight on the Curly

Curly hair can range from wavy to kinky. Curly hair, in general, tends to be drier than straight hair, and it tends to have less shine by nature (straight hair has a flat surface and reflects more light). As a result, it is really important to keep curly hair moisturized. Sulfate-free products have less harsh ingredients, allowing the hair to hold on to its moisture better. The book recommends botanical conditioners – ones that contain high concentrations of plant-based ingredients, which Massey says maintain a protective shield around the hair shaft. Many conditioners contain petroleum-based products, which not only robs the hair of moisture but prevents it from absorbing moisture. Good conditioning emollients are shea butter, vegetable oils, olive oil, walnut oil, jojoba oil, cetyl esters, and wheat germ. Avoid products that contain sulfates or silicone. Silicone adds shine, but it also is waterproof, preventing the absorption of moisture from the air and from conditioners. Massey recommends avoiding shampoo altogether if you have super curly or kinky hair – a thought that seems counter-intuitive, but she ends up making a really strong argument. Using only conditioner and your fingers, dirt will simply wash out with the water, but oils will stay in.

Massey recommends that all curly hair be “combed” in the shower with your fingers. Avoiding using a brush at all costs, and comb or pick the hair as little as possible (really curly hair should never be combed or picked). She also suggests avoiding regular towels and instead switching to an old cotton t-shirt or other soft cloth to avoid aggravating the curls and causing more frizz. Leaving conditioner in the hair is a good way to eliminate frizzy halos. Air drying is best, but if you have to, use a diffuser when you blow hair dry. Curly girls should not wash their hair every day, and watered-down gel is a great way to touch up between washes. Gels are great for curly hair, helping the curls hold their shape. Massey says to avoid gels with alcohol, silicone, parabens, and phthalates in them.

Curly and Chemicals

If you want to color treat curly hair, Massey recommends having the color applied while the hair is curly, and to avoid using foils. Ask for the minimum amount of ammonia and peroxide used. If you are currently using chemical treatments to straighten your curly hair, getting it colored is robbing it of even more moisture, and can be really damaging.

Curly Cues

To avoid frizz, try giving hair a shot of cool water at the end of a shower. This seals the cuticle, which opens up in high humidity (like a steamy bathroom). If hair seems to be in a perpetual state of frizz, it is likely that it needs more moisture. Use more conditioner, and rinse out less. More conditioner can also compensate for wet weather. If you are pool bound, use extra virgin olive oil in a spray bottle or with your hands to coat the hair before getting it wet. It repels the water, and it nourishes the hair. Don’t use purifying or clarifying shampoos on curly hair, it will dry it out more, and will not help the frizz factor.

There are some good videos on the Deva website. They are promoting the Deva products, but the information is really good. There are many good curly products on the market. If you need help with your curls, we’re glad to make some suggestions.

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This newsletter is a compilation of many voices and is not necessarily a single person. We have done our best to represent the subject matter as thoroughly as possible, but we make no guarantees. Please use this newsletter as only one of several sources, as it contains both facts and opinions.