Curly Girl 101: How To Take Care Of Curly & wavy Hair

how to take care of curly hair- curly hair care

Curly hair is a blessing especially when you learn the best practices for curly hair care. If you know how to take care of your curly hair and follow some good curly girl habits, you’ll love your curls! But if you don’t, your curls will start to look dry and frizzy.

So today, we’re going to teach you how to take care for curly hair.

What You Need To Know About Your Textured Hair

  • Your hair type
  • The porosity of your hair
  • Best Curly Girl Habits
  • Avoid products with harsh ingredients
  • Best products for your curls

1. Learn Your Hair Type

First things first, you need to know your curly hair type.

There are three types of curly hair: wavy, kinky, and coily.

Each type of hair has different characteristics and requires different products and methods of care. Hair types range from 1 to 4 c. Straight and wavy are classified between 1 and 2c. Curly hair types range from type 3a to 4c. 

Wavy hair (2a, 2b, or 2c hair) is usually not very curly, kinky or coily and is often easy to manage. Wavy hair can be either fine or thick, but it is usually somewhere in between.

Curly hair (3a, 3b or 3c hair) is curly and forms ringlets easily. Curly strands can be fine or coarse and tends to be on the drier side.

Read more about type 3 hair.

Coils hair (4a 4b or 4c) is the curliest of all the hair types. It tend to be coarse and is also prone to being dry.

Most of us have a combination, with sections of our hair being different.

A quick google search can help you find your hair type or try this link.

Now that you know your curly hair type, it’s time to learn about hair porosity.

2. Know Your Curly Hair Porosity 

Now that you know your hair type, it’s time to learn about porosity.

Understanding the importance of knowing your hair porosity can be the biggest game-changer as it helps you to choose the best products for your hair.

Hair porosity is the amount of moisture your hair can absorb.

There are three types of porosity: low, medium, and high.

Low porosity curly hair has a hard time absorbing moisture. This type of hair is often dry, frizzy, and difficult to style.

  • Low porosity- cuticles are flat and closed and are resistant to moisture – this type of hair doesn’t have good absorption of  products

Tips – wash with warm water, deep condition with heat, style on damp (not soaking wet) hair. Use protein-free products and less curl butter. 

  • Medium porosity absorbs moisture easily, but can also lose moisture quickly.

High porosity curly hair is porous and absorbs a lot of moisture, but it also loses moisture quickly.

  • High porosity – cuticles are open and dry quickly. It also sucks up moisture very quickly. Tips – Wash with cold water to seal in moisture. Use creams and butters with protein. Style on wet hair. 

If you’re not sure what your porosity is, there are tests you can do to find out. One way to test your hair’s porosity is the float test. To do the float test, put a few drops of water on your hair.

If the water beads up and does not soak into your hair, you have low porosity hair. If the water slowly soaks into your hair, your strands are medium porosity.

If the water quickly absorbs into your hair and leaves your scalp wet, you have high porosity curly hair.

Now that you know your hair type and porosity, it’s time to learn about some good curly girl habits.

3. How To Take Care Of Curly Hair & wavy Hair

Before creating a good curly hair routine for yourself, it’s helpful to know the basic curly hair do’s and don’ts. Knowing curly girl best practices will also help you to stay on track by making it easier to create good hair care habits.

20 Wavy & Curly Girl Do’s:

  1. Use a gentle cleanser once per week
  2. Deep condition at least once per week
  3. Detangle using fingers or wide tooth comb
  4. Squish to condish 
  5. Don’t wash out all of the conditioner 
  6. Use a microfiber towel or T-shirt to dry
  7. Style with curly friendly products
  8. Use stylers for your hair type and porosity
  9. Apply enough styling product 
  10. Apply product to wet or damp hair
  11. Style using Denman brush 
  12. Scrunch your curls
  13. Follow a good weekly styling routine 
  14. Maintain a good hair sleep routine
  15. Have a good daily curl refresh routine
  16. Use as little heat as possible
  17. Experiment with hair products
  18. Trim as needed
  19. Maintain a healthy diet
  20. Drink enough water
how to take care of curly hair - curly hair care

4 wavy & Curly Girl Dont’s

  1. Don’t wash your hair every day
  2. Avoid brushing or detangling dry hair
  3. Do not dry your hair with a regular towel – use a microfiber towel or cotton T-shirt
  4. Don’t sleep on just any pillowcase- put hair up in a pineapple using a satin hair tie and sleep on a satin pillowcase or wear a satin bonnet

5. Avoid Products with Damaging Ingredients

There are resources available that provide a comprehensive list of both good and bad ingredients but they’re filled with words I can’t pronounce or spell, far less remember when I’m out shopping (but it’s a good list to have handy).  

I encourage you to do as much research as you can. Whenever I do have some time, I research a particular product I’ve been wanting to try.

This is a great video by two of my fave curly girl youtubers, explaining curly hair ingredients and how to shop for good quality products.

Here are two websites where you can input the ingredients (copy and paste from the brand’s website) to know if they are safe for curly hair: CurlyScan, Is It CG? and Curlsbot.

Basically, you want to look for products that are silicone, paraben, and sulfate FREE. 

Silicones

These prevent moisture from getting into the hair and tend to build up in the hair leaving it looking limp and blah. To remove product build-up harsh sulfates may be necessary, which can then damage the hair shafts.

These ingredients are easy enough to spot as they usually end in ‘cone’, ‘conol’, or ‘xane’. 

There are however, a couple of exceptions to this, as you can see in the alternatives.

Alternatives: choose silicone products that are water-soluble as these are removable with water only. Look for Dimethicone Copolyol, Lauryl Methicone Copolyol or silicones with PEG as a prefix

Like me, some curly girls are okay with using products with silicones as they don’t damage our hair. If you choose to use silicones, from time to time, use a clarifying shampoo to cleanse your hair.

Parabens

These are used as preservatives. They work to increase the shelf life of products but have been linked to some health issues, including hormonal imbalances and breast cancer – look out for ingredients such as methyl, propyl, butyl or ethyl.

Sulfates 

These are harsh chemicals found in household cleaners that are effective in making hair (and surfaces) clean but will strip the natural oils from your hair, thereby causing damage. You can easily spot these ingredients with “ate” at the end.

Alternatives: Look for gentler surfactants

The most popular gentle surfactants: Sodium Lauriminodipropionate, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, or Cocamido propyl betaine (most popular).

Other noteworthy ingredients:

Phthalates 

These chemicals are used to preserve color and scents but may be linked to health issues.

Alcohols

It’s common knowledge that alcohol is drying and therefore will damage hair, so it’s wise to avoid products made with alcohols like ethanol, ethyl or isopropyl.

Alternatives: Some alcohols are actually beneficial to our hair. These ingredients help to hydrate the hair – Cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, myristyl alcohol, lauryl alcohol, and behenyl alcohol

6. Choose The Best Curly Hair Products

Choosing a curly hair care product really doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Just keep these 3 tips in mind:

  1. It’s helpful to know that the first ingredients listed are higher in concentration in the product. The ones lower on the list are typically in smaller amounts – if a product says on the label that it contains coconut oil but that’s listed near the end of the ingredients, it may only be a small or insignificant amount.
  1. Select mild cleansers to avoid drying out and damaging your hair. Harsh sulfates strip product build-up, but also your natural oils.
  1. Use conditioners and stylers that contain water-soluble silicone ingredients as these provide slip without product build-up and can be easily and gently be removed with water.

Check these links for curly girl product recommendations:

Conclusion

So, now that you know a little more about wavy & curly hair care, how do you take care of it? Well, the best way is to follow some good curly hair habits. Make sure to avoid things that will damage your curls and choose products that are safe for curly hair.

And most importantly, don’t forget to embrace your curly hair! It’s unique and beautiful, just like you. Thanks for reading!

Before You Go, You Will Love These Other Posts For Curly Hair:

Product recommendations
Product Reviews
Important Information To Care For Curls & Waves
Dyeing Textured Hair At Home Without Damaging It
Wavy & Curly Hair Routines & hairstyles

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