On television, curly hair always seems stunning. It’s wild and bouncy and sexy, and all the things hair should be. Many of us with curly hair are sitting at home wondering what we’re doing wrong, why our hair doesn’t seem to be able to act presentable without an absurd amount of prep time. It turns out that most hair care tips online and in magazines are actually for straighter hair, and when it comes to hair, one-size-fits-all isn’t how it works. The following will explore some of the basic information you need to know when it comes to caring for curly hair.
It Starts And Ends With Diet
All the fiddling with products and styling tips in the world isn’t going to make up for a poor diet. Your hair, just like the rest of you, needs nutrients, minerals, proteins, and fats. Foods high in antioxidants, proteins, and healthy fats are crucial for your hair’s health, shine, and texture. This means avocados, berries, and leafy greens are your best friends. This means more olive oil, more nuts, and seeds, more high-quality animal products. You can’t skip this step.
Would you expect your skin to look good if you constantly burnt it into shape? What about your fingernails? Again, your hair is part of your body. Broken strands, dead ends, and brittle, always-breaking hair isn’t a good look on anyone. When blow-drying, keep the setting on cold and think about the attachments you use. Don’t forget that for wavy and curly hair, you want to find a hairdryer with an excellent diffuser nozzle. This will help support the shape and hold of natural curls without increasing frizz.
Brushes Are For Straight Hair
That’s right. Hair Brushes are for straight hair. Combs are for curly hair. Wide toothed combs in particular. While we’re talking about detangling options, give this a try: comb your hair before you wash it. Wash it gently and carefully. Condition gently and carefully, doing your best not to tangle your hair up. Let it dry without combing it. This technique works quite well for many types of curly hair. You might be surprised to realize the combing/brushing you’ve been doing is what’s responsible for your curls misbehaving.
Think About Pollution
You know what else removes luster and makes your curls look dull and lifeless? Pollution. Recent studies have even linked air pollution to hair loss (as well as half a dozen very serious chronic illnesses and diseases). Learn how to protect yourself from pollution (hint, those antioxidants mentioned above are part of the process) and avoid heavily polluted areas when possible.
It is worth noting that the air in your home is often as much as three times more polluted than the air outside. You might want to look into houseplants, charcoal bags, or an air filter to help keep the air at home clean. This is also fantastic for your overall health.
Understand That Hair Grows Slowly
Unlike most other lifestyle and self-care changes, the effects of changing things up for your hair won’t be seen for quite some time. On average, hair grows about six inches per year. This means that what you’re doing now isn’t going to have immediate results. If you want to know if a change you’re making or a new product you’re using is working, pay attention to the half an inch of hair closest to your scalp. This hair will reveal how well your last month’s worth of effort is working. If that hair seems dull, thin, or otherwise damaged, this is a good indication that you need to switch things up.
Avoid Products With Sulfates
Sulfates strip and dehydrate hair. They’re not necessary for a good clean or condition but have become popular in hygiene products because they create that foamy, lather feeling. It turns out that lather doesn’t actually impact how effective a product is. Hygiene product companies began using the lather as a selling feature in advertising, and the idea has stuck despite it having nothing to do with cleanliness. While you’re at it, avoid parabens, BPA, triclosan, and benzophenone-3. Yes, this means you’re going to have to do some digging. Especially because parabens are one of the most popular ingredients in all beauty products today; they are absorbed by the body comically easily and are associated with cancer, infertility, endocrine disruption (which impacts how fast your hair grows), and psychological difficulties.
The above information should help you take better care of your curls. Healthy curls are curls that are thick, shiny, and vibrant.