The Mestiza Muse

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How to Keep Curly Hair Healthy: 15 Expert Tips

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Image of woman with healthy curly hair with her eyes closed.

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Navigating the realm of curly hair is like embarking on a fascinating adventure. As someone who has danced with countless curls in my healthy hair journey, covering all things textured, I’ve come to realize that each curl possesses a distinct personality.

One day, you’re graced with vivacious coils that seem to dance in delight, and the next, you’re left deciphering a riddle of frizz and unruliness.

Discover the art of nurturing your curls with precision, embracing moisture-rich products, mindful detangling, timely trims, gentle styling techniques, and a dash of patience. It’s all about embracing the nuances of your curls to truly understand how to keep curly hair healthy.

But here’s the secret sauce: understanding that curly hair thrives on its own set of rules, forever subject to change. As I always tell my audience, it’s a journey of discovery, and what you learn today might be different from what you embrace tomorrow.

The canvas of curls is intricate, deserving of an approach that’s both tender and tailored. This leads us to the treasure trove of guidelines that illuminate the path toward unleashing your curls’ true potential. Let’s get into it!

What Does Healthy Curly Hair Look Like?

Image of my hair showing how to keep curly hair healthy.

Here’s an image of my hair at it’s healthiest!

Healthy curly hair is a sight to behold – it’s vibrant, full of bounce, and exudes a natural shine. When you run your fingers through your curls, they should feel soft, supple, and free from excessive tangles or knots.

But achieving and maintaining this level of health requires a combination of care, proper techniques, and a little bit of TLC. Hair varies greatly, and not all conditions apply uniformly.

Here are some other tell-tale signs to gauge hair health:

• Look for sheen and luster.

• Minor breakage while brushing is okay.

• Shedding should be minimal.

• Hair should be moisturized, not dry.

• Healthy hair is elastic and detangles well.

• It reflects light.

• No split ends.

• Dandruff-free scalp indicates health.

15 Expert Tips for How to Keep Curly Hair Healthy

  1. Hydration is Key: Just like your body, your hair needs hydration. Use a sulfate-free, hydrating shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for curly hair to maintain moisture levels.
  2. Detangling: Invest in a wide-toothed comb, detangling brush, or use your fingers to gently detangle your hair, starting from the tips and working your way up to the roots.
  3. Regular Trims: Keep those ends in check! Regular trims – around every 8-12 weeks – prevent split ends from traveling up the hair shaft, preserving your hair’s overall health.
  4. Say No to Heat: Excessive heat can lead to dryness and damage. Embrace your natural curls and limit the use of heat styling tools.
  5. Condition/Deep Conditioning Ritual: Treat your curls to a deep conditioning treatment when needed. This helps restore moisture and enhances the elasticity of your hair. Note: Every curly head doesn’t need to deep condition on a weekly basis.
  6. Plop, Don’t Rub: After washing your hair, gently plop it into a microfiber towel, an old t-shirt, or t-shirt towel, to absorb excess moisture without causing frizz.
  7. Satin/Silk Pillowcase Love: Switch to a silk or satin pillowcase to reduce friction while you sleep, preventing tangles and frizz.
  8. Right Products, Right Technique: Experiment with different curl-enhancing products, like gels or creams, to find what works best for your hair. Apply them using the “praying hands” or “scrunching” method.
  9. Avoid Over-Washing: Curly hair tends to be drier, so you don’t need to wash it daily. Aim for 2-3 times a week to retain your hair’s natural oils.
  10. Cool Water Rinse: Finish your shower with a cool water rinse. This helps “seal” the hair cuticle, making your hair shinier and less prone to frizz.
  11. Protective Styles: Embrace protective hairstyles, like braids or twists to minimize manipulation and breakage.
  12. Healthy Diet, Healthy Hair: Nutrient-rich foods, particularly those containing biotin, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids, promote hair health from within.
  13. Nurture your scalp’s wellbeing. A healthy scalp equals healthy hair. Prolonged gaps between washes can trigger dandruff from excessive oil build-up. But beware, some dandruff shampoos can parch your strands. Focus the anti-dandruff shampoo solely on your scalp, leaving it on for approximately 2-10 minutes (or per label instructions) before rinsing. For the rest of your hair, opt for a conditioning shampoo. In case dandruff persists, a certified dermatologist can offer scalp-soothing remedies.
  14. Shield those beautiful curls from the sun’s embrace. The sizzling heat and the sun’s UV rays have a knack for sapping the moisture from your hair. To preserve your curls’ vitality, wear a stylish wide-brimmed hat for added protection and ensure your hair stays moisturized.
  15. Elevate your hair game with a pre-shampoo ritual: The pre-shampoo treatment becomes a shield, preemptively guarding those delicate strands from the impending shampoo action. This strategic approach ensures the retention of your hair’s natural oils, allowing you to protect against dry, dehydrated curls.

What to Avoid

Image of curly hair showing x with hands.

To truly keep your curly hair healthy, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Over-brushing: Excessive brushing disrupts your curl pattern and leads to frizz.
  • Towel Turban: Rubbing your hair vigorously with a towel can cause breakage and frizz. Opt for gentle blotting instead.
  • Wrong Hair Ties: Avoid tight elastics or hair ties with metal parts. Opt for satin scrunchies or hair ties specifically designed for curls.

Hair Washing Frequency

Image of woman washing her hair.

Finding the right hair washing frequency is crucial. As mentioned earlier, 2-3 times a week is usually sufficient. Over-washing can strip away natural oils, while under-washing can lead to product build-up and scalp issues.

Ingredients to Keep Curly Hair Healthy

Image of hair ingredients for curly hair.

Maintaining the vitality of your curly hair is a fusion of art and science. Imagine your hair as a delicate ecosystem, each curl a distinct entity with its own moisture needs.

To keep those vibrant coils at their healthiest, consider introducing some hair superheroes into your regimen such as:

  • Oils, like coconut, argan, grapeseed, safflower, sunflower, or jojoba, create a protective seal on the hair shaft, preventing moisture loss.
  • Butters, such as shea or mango, act as emollients, locking in the hair’s moisture and smoothing the cuticle.
  • Proteins for curly hair, like keratin, and hydrolyzed wheat lend strength and structure to each curl, combating breakage.
  • And let’s not forget plant extracts, rich in antioxidants and nutrients, invigorating your curls with a burst of natural goodness.

Sleep Routine for Healthy Curls

Image of Black woman with satin hair bonnet on polka dotted yellow background.

Safeguarding your curls during your slumber is a key move to preserve your hard-earned styling endeavors.

A hair buff or the tried-and-true pineapple technique with a silk/satin scarf is a go-to for many. To do this:

  • Simply, turn your hair upside down.
  • Lightly gather it at the crown (think pineapple top), securing it with a loose scrunchie. No need for a tight grip – just a soft hold.
  • Wrap a silk scarf around this hair pouf to prevent root disruption and maintain those well-defined curls.

As a bonus, elevate your nighttime routine with a switch to a satin or silk pillowcase. The gentle glide minimizes friction and frizz, making these pillowcases and bonnets the ultimate bedtime companions.


I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

My mission? To empower others with the tools to restore, and maintain healthy hair, and celebrate the hair they were born with!

My Favourite Things

Great hair goes beyond using shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. Shop my favorite must-haves.

After years of requests, I’m finally sharing my go-to skincare products.

Give your space a quick refresh with these ultimate home decor ideas.

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure and make sure to pack these essential items to take with you on your journey.


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One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted.
Do it now.

- Paulo Coelho