"The struggle of having curly hair is doing the same hair routine every time and getting different results every single time." -Every Curly Head Ever
This used to be the case for me. This was also one of the main reasons I did not trust my curls which led to me not wearing my curls. I never knew how they were going to turn out and for someone with major trust issues that was not a risk I was willing to take, but that's all in the past now.
Wash and Go
My curly hair routine these days mostly consists of doing 'wash and gos'. Wash and go means wearing your hair it in its natural curl pattern without manipulating it. Manipulating it would be using tools to alter the pattern, stretching your curls, braids, twists, bantu knots, etc.
Although wash and gos work for me, they may not work for everyone. If you have really loose curls, or more wavy hair you may find that manipulating your hair is needed to achieve the perfect curls. And if your curls are really tight and you have a lot of shrinkage, again you may prefer to manipulate the hair to stretch it out more.
Washing My Hair
I try to deep condition on a weekly basis. So I will usually deep condition or do a hair mask the day before I know I'm going to wash my hair and I actually leave it in my hair for an entire day. That's right, I do not rinse my deep conditioner out right away. Although everyone says that leaving a deep conditioner or hair mask on your hair past the recommended twenty minutes is bad for your hair, no one has ever been able to explain or prove to me why that is. Personally, it does my hair much good and so I do what most say not to. I leave it in my hair overnight. And when I'm really feeling rebellious, I'll use it as a styling product instead and not wash it out for a few days. Once I proceed to washing my hair I will do so by co-washing and other times I shampoo and condition. Which of the two I do (shampoo vs. co-washing) depends on how dirty my hair feels to me.
How you detangle your hair believe it or not can also affect how your curls will turn out. I use a detangler while the conditioner is in my hair and detangle most of my hair in the same way and in the same direction one would normally brush it. However, when I get to the top part of my hair (the crown) I detangle that section brushing it forward to ensure I have volume and am not forcing a part on my hair. I prefer for my hair to part naturally. This will make it easier if I want to change my style up in the middle of the week.
I always apply 3 things to style my hair:
- Leave-In Conditioner
- Curl Cream/Custard/Pudding
I consider the leave-in conditioner to be the base coat, or the primer. While applying it, I section my hair into small sections; the smaller, the better. This allows me to make sure no part of my hair is left without product, or as I always say: "No Curl Left Behind!". The more porous your hair is, the more product you tend to need. (My next blog will address porosity, what it is, and why knowing it is so important). I personally am right in the middle when it comes to porosity level so I am generous with my product application, but I don't overdo it. I apply both the leave-in and curl cream as I go through each section. I apply the gel at the end of my styling routine focusing on the ends. My ends tend to frizz up after a day or two so by applying gel I "seal" my ends making sure they stay intact by creating a cast over them.
When applying the styling products, the #1 rule is to make sure that your hair is soaking wet. Not damp, but wet. My hair dries rather quickly so I have to constantly spray my hair with water as I go through each section. I like to do this by spraying it with my continuous mister which is honestly a game changer when it comes to spray bottles. I always throw some leave-in conditioner in there because you can always use this to touch-up your hair at any point throughout the week.
Depending on your hair type (curl pattern and hair density) some of these products might now work for you. We'll talk more about curl patterns and hair density in my next blog.
Drying the Hair
For the most part, I air-dry because I'm always on-the-go and rushing. If my hair is not completely dry, then I do not touch it. Don't fluff it, don't tie it, don't move it. Sometimes I might do a few hair flips when no one is watching to make sure I get some volume in there, but even then I will only do it a few times if I feel that the top of my hair is looking flat. Messing with your hair while it is still wet or damp is a huge no-no. Your patience will pay off. Trust me.
However, if you're not in a rush and permanently tired like me, then diffusing may be the way to go. Diffusing with a blow dryer also activates your curls more. Make sure to flip your head around frequently to ensure your hair has all-around volume. Also, if you have a cooling button on the blow dryer, use it! After all, the less heat you apply to your hair the better.
Once it is completely dry you can take your hair pick (every curly head should have one) and fluff your hair out giving it volume and shape. This is the cherry on top. I can never achieve the perfect shape if I don't use my hair pick. I prefer picks with metal teeth because the plastic ones tend to frizz my hair more and make it look puffy at the roots.
Making Good Hair Days Last
One word: CurlCase. This is how I keep my wash and go going for 5-7 days without having to retouch it, or re-style my hair. I encase my hair each night and protect the style with a CurlCase. I remove the CurlCase every morning right before I walk out the door (or sometimes in my car), shake my hair out, fluff it some more with the pick if I want to add more volume, and that's it.
If you're more of a visual person like me, and need to see this in order to understand my hair routine better, watch my review of Honey Baby Naturals.
What's your curly hair routine like? Let me know in the comments below