Tips for treating your curls right

Three tips for treating your curls right and tricks to get you started on your journey 

Words Sally Writes. Image Getty Images.

In New Zealand, the shelves are overflowing with products aimed at people with curly hair recently. In 2016, each person in New Zealand spent approximately $1,362 on their personal grooming including hair care. However, the mystery around caring for our hair continues to go unanswered by many. For those of us that have been endowed with all kinds of curl patterns- whether spirals, waves or tight coils and even our straight haired women, we all know the all too familiar struggle of styling and caring for our hair types in different seasons. So what makes curly hair so different to care for?

It all comes down to the structure of your hair. Curly hair and especially ethnic hair has unique characteristics including varying diameters along the hair shaft. Because of this, curly hair is notorious for dryness, split ends and frizz. Add in the use of modern technology in the form of heat styling tools and you have a recipe for irreversible damage to your mane of pride. Many women turn to styling their hair straight in a bid to avoid the unanswered question of how to properly take care of their curly hair; with 15 percent of women choosing to style theirs straight each day. However, there are some great simple tips that can help you get your curls in tip-top condition. Take a look at these three great tips and step away from those straightening tools.

Embrace conditioning
Do not underestimate the value of conditioning to your curly tresses. Curly hair naturally seeks moisture. Adequate moisture is vital to maintaining your hair in good condition. Wash your hair 1-2 times a week and be sure to include a deep conditioning treatment once a week. If you are wondering what treatments would suit your hair, take a minute and first identify your hair type. Loosely curled tresses thrive under lightweight and sulphate-free treatment. Heavier conditioning treatments tend to weigh down your curls. For those with tight corkscrew curls, moisture in the form of a leave-in conditioner is often best.

At home hair masks are great alternatives to store-bought hair treatments. Regular ingredients such as honey, yogurt, and avocados are very beneficial in helping to restore moisture to your scalp and hair shafts. Honey is a humectant which also helps in strengthening your hair. Protein sources are also great ingredients to incorporate into your hair masks. Hydrolyzed protein has been shown to aid in the repair of damaged areas and the improvement of elasticity in curly hair.

Reject heat
Heat styling tools are tough on your hair. Thermal heat can lead to severe breakage and this concern is enhanced with curly tresses that can be particularly fragile. Stop reliance on heat tools and you can start with air drying your hair after washing and conditioning it. Using techniques such as braiding and twisting to preserve your curl structure while letting your hair dry naturally.

If you are finding it tough to completely give up your styling tools, there are a few things you can do to help delay the damage heat can cause to your curls. One of those things is the use of a suitable heat protectant before blow drying. When choosing, go for one that contains Cyclomethicone or Dimethicone which helps to avoid damaging hair and also replenishes the moisture. If you do choose to blow dry your hair, add a hair diffuser to your blow dryer. This handy attachment helps to encourage volume in your hair and avoid frizz. If you are unsure of what to look for in hair diffusers to suit your curls, use your natural hair texture as your guide.

Less is more
Finally, when choosing your styling products, be aware that less is more with curly hair. Avoid being heavy handed with your styling products. Too much product buildup can weigh your curls down, especially creamy styling products. While moisture is important to curly tresses, when applying your moisturising and styling cream be sure to take apply cautiously. A great tip to ensure optimal distribution is sectioning your hair beforehand.

Many women and even some men spend their lives thinking that nothing can be done about their curls except to straighten or cut it. However with these great tips and so much more, you can be well on your way to embracing your naturally curls and loving your hair.

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