how to take care of curly hair

How To Take Care Of Curly Hair

If you’ve got straight hair and your child has curly hair, learning to take care of his or her hair can be a struggle; an education in a different hair type.

Curly hair is generally classified into four groups:

  • Wavy
  • Curly
  • Coily
  • Kinky

You also need to give consideration to the type of hair – all curls are not created equal. How thick are the strands? Is the hair dry (most curly hair is)? 

What’s the hair density like – is there a lot of hair on the head? 

All these factors come into play when taking care of the hair. We are here to help – keep reading for eight easy ways to look after your son or daughter’s curly or afro hair:

1. Unlike straight hair, curly/afro hair can go anything from five to 10 days before it needs a wash.

It takes the natural oils from the scalp a longer time to travel down those twists and spirals so curly hair stays cleaner for longer.

2. Before you wash, it’s essential to detangle.

This doesn’t need to result in tears; saturate the hair with water and use a conditioner with a lot of slip – meaning it glides easily through the hair.

Use a Tangle Teezer, wide tooth comb or paddle brush to help the process along.

Use a Tangle Tesser to detangle
Detangle with a wide-tooth comb.
Use a WetBrush to detangle curly hair.

3. Because it takes the naturals oils from the scalp longer to feed the strands of hair, when you do shampoo, try and use something without sulphates which are known to dry out the curls/coils.

Be gentle when washing; you aren’t trying to get a mud stain out of her school blouse! Try a co-wash – washing with a cleansing conditioner – for a gentle, curl friendly clean.

Always try and stick to brands and products that are specially formulated for this hair type.

Shea Moisture
Curl friendly Aveda be Curly shampoo

4. Get to know conditioner

When you have curls/coils, conditioner is your best friend. Cleansing conditioner, deep conditioner and leave-in conditioner need to be added to your arsenal.

Deep conditioner is a treatment masque that should be used weekly to nourish the hair and a little bit of leave-in conditioner added every day to refresh and moisturise.

Without a doubt, conditioner is the most important product in your curly hair arsenal.

hair needs weekly conditioning treatments
Use a deep treatment masque
Use a hair masque once a week

5. Throw away your brushes and combs for styling!

Curly/coily hair should not be brushed or combed when dry as all that does is disturb the natural curl and encourage frizz.

If the curls are looking a little droopy, mist them with water from a spray bottle, refresh with a dab of leave-in conditioner and twirl the curl around your finger.

Boucleme curly hair range

Bouclème contains all-natural ingredients that nourish and penetrate
to help hydrate and strengthen the hair cuticle from the inside.

Use the moisturising gel to smooth and define curls without flaking or stickiness. The gel dries hard, creating a cast around the curls. Scrunch to release the cast for shiny, soft and bouncy curls.

Frizz is just a curl waiting to happen!

6. Cotton pillowcases are a curl’s worst nightmare

Cotton sucks all the moisture out of the hair and coily and curly hair needs all the moisture it can get.

Invest in two satin/silk pillowcases so there’s always a clean one on hand. Great for the hair and the skin!

Instead of drying with a cotton towel, try microfiber or even an old t-shirt.

7. Never speak disparagingly about her hair

It may be different from yours but celebrate that difference and boost her self-esteem by always speaking of her hair in a positive light.

8. Research is key

There are lots of websites dedicated to kids and coily/curly hair and YouTube is your best friend.

There are (literally) hundreds of tutorials from parents that will give you step by step instructions on how to look after curly and afro hair.

If you don’t have a black hair shop near you, why not try a subscription service? Afrocenchix can post you everything you need, every month.

9. Dry The Hair Carefully

Try not to dry the hair with a cotton towel. That rough, thick cotton will suck all the moisture from the hair.

Instead, use a microfibre towel or simply wrap hair in an old T-shirt to suck up excess moisture.

What you do next depends on the look you’re trying to achieve. While it’s damp, you can apply some leave-in conditioner and put in plaits or twists.

Or, apply leave in conditioner and leave the curls to air dry.

If you’re going to use a hairdryer (to dry or to straighten) it’s essential to use one that’s gentle on curls and won’t get too hot.

We love the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer; for defined curls, we use the diffuser attachment or, if we want to gently straighten, we use the comb attachment (with Tresseme Heat Defence).

What are your must-use products on curly hair?

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