I hope your weekend is kicking off to a great start! We’re getting our faucet replaced this morning and it feels a little like Christmas…just with new appliances.
As a Curly Girl I have been trying to work with my hair over the past year to figure out what the best combination of products and techniques works the best for my hair. Through a lot of trial and error, I think I’ve been able to develop my own version of the Curly Girl routine. Now, how many of you have heard of a book called “Curly Girl: The Handbook?” This was a book that came out several years ago, specifically designed and created for women with curly hair. Lorraine Massey gives very thorough descriptions on how to categorize your type of curl and then how to take care of said type of curl. I’ve honestly scoffed at the book in the past. Not because I didn’t think it would work, but because I felt like it was too complicated of a process. Thus being said, my hair definitely was punished because of that mindset. I looked like Shirley Temple when I was little because of how tightly curly my hair was. It was great until my dad decided to chop it all off when I was 6. After that, it was take care of my hair or dad would chop it off again. “Take care” meaning I could run a brush/comb through it and there weren’t any knots. Forget the frizz, all that mattered was that it wasn’t knotty. But as any curly girl knows, curly hair is seriously prone to knots.
Anyway, fast forward to when I was 18, my hair was to my waist, I had more bad days than good, and it never really curled. I was great at putting my hair up into twists and getting it out of my face, but beyond that, I really truly didn’t know how to take care of my hair! Fast forward another 7 years, and now I can say that I’ve got a pretty good handle on how to take care of my curly hair. It’s back to my waist again (I chopped it off up to the tops of my shoulders right after I got married) and it has some gorgeous curl to it now!
And this is when I’m going to tell you the tips and tricks I have learned over the past year.
This is vitally important – Get a haircut that allows for your curls to breathe properly. Whether this means going to a curl specialist (look up curl specialist on the Ouidad website or Devacurl website for your area.) or finding someone who have experience with cutting curly hair. I have yet to find someone who can cut my curls here in Denver that doesn’t cost an arm and leg. I do cut my own hair, but that’s a risk I don’t suggest you taking unless you feel confident that you can do it and leave big holes in the layers. Layers are some of your best friends when it comes to curly hair, but it has to be well blended and sometime sporadically placed layers depending on your curl type.
STOP combing your hair when dry. If you absolutely have to, finger comb and gently gently pick out the knots. Touching your hair excessively when it’s dry (and even when it’s wet) means you’re asking for double doses of frizz. As a curly girl, frizz is one of the biggest problems we face. When you disturb the natural flow of your hair, it only roughs up the delicate cuticles and causes frizz. The other side of this coin though is not giving your hair enough moisture. This is where one of my all time favorite products comes in.
Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil. (you can find it on Amazon – just click on the picture above. Also, I believe you can find it at Walgreens.com as well) The number of oils I have tried over the past decade is too many to count. And yet, not one of those oils, with the exception of the argan oil pictured above, did I try more than once or buy more than once. Every other oil was too heavy, too greasy, didn’t absorb into my hair, or actually increased the amount of frizz. The Marc Anthony oil is light, smells amazing, and never ever has made my hair feel greasy. I thought maybe I could find another similar oil, but honestly, nothing else compares to this stuff, and the ridiculous thing is that you can only get it online!
Okay, so how to I use it? I will apply 4-5 pumps (keep in mind my hair is quite long, you’ll need less for shorter hair) to my hair when it’s almost dripping wet. Once I make sure I have completely covered my hair, I apply my curl gel/cream. But next I want to talk about shampoos, conditioners, co-washes, and the like.
How you wash and take care of your hair in the shower plays a lot into how you hair looks out of the shower and when it’s dry. When I’m trying to find a new shampoo, I look at the ingredients first and foremost. Curly hair does best when you use a shampoo (and conditioner) that doesn’t have sulfates, phthalates, alcohol, parabans, and other such damaging ingredients in it. Honestly, I switch between three different shampoo, one shampoo with all of those things I’m supposed to avoid, one without all of those extra chemicals, and a co-wash. The reason I use a regular shampoo is because the one good thing about those chemicals, is they really do get rid of build up on your hair. This is something I have to do once a week to once every other week, depending on what I’ve been putting on my hair. I’ll cover co-washes in my next post, but for starters here are some of the shampoos I like the best and have found the easiest to work with.
Shea Moisture Curl and Shine Shampoo – roughly $10 at Target or Amazon
Clairol Hair Food Kiwi Shampoo – $9.99 at Target (this is what I use to get rid of buildup)
Hask Argan Oil Shampoo – $5.99 at Target
Alright, so those are some of my favorites right now. I actually will wash my hair twice with shampoo before I apply conditioner and let that sit for 5 minutes. Next post I will talk about conditioners and co-washes! I think I need to cut this post off because it’s long enough now!
Until next time!