Last Updated on September 12, 2022 by Verna Meachum
One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was try to figure out how to properly care for my curly hair.
When I was younger, there was really no mentor, book, or salon, to teach me how to take care of my curls or to tell me what my curly hair needed; I needed someone to answer this question – what does curly hair need most?
As you’ve undoubtedly discovered, there are many blogs and videos on the internet dedicated to teaching you how to care for your curls, making it tough for a newcomer to figure out what your curls required basics are.
I was once in your position myself, so I created this blog I wish existed when I was first figuring out my curls.
Shampoo ingredients to look for
Curly hair is not easy to care for. With so many products on the market, it can be hard to know which ones will work for your specific needs.
With these four simple steps, you’ll find that caring for curly hair is easier than ever before!
Curls need moisture, so be sure to pick a shampoo with moisturizing properties. Most shampoos are formulated with roughly 10 to 30 different ingredients.
To sufficiently remove oil, dirt, sebum build-up, and odor from the scalp, all shampoos should include a detergent or cleaning solution, which works by lifting impurities from the scalp to be washed away by water.
Ammonium lauryl or laureth, sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate (SLS/SLES) are the most common cleaning ingredients found in shampoos, but these are harsh sulfates and can dry out your curls, cause skin irritation, and inflammation.
These surfactants work in conjunction with cosurfactants, such as cocamidopropyl betaine, which is a more gentle ingredient.
Natural ingredients in shampoos
Some shampoos have natural ingredients like;
- Coconut oil
- Essential oils, such as tea tree, lavender, thyme
- Fruit extracts
- Green tea
- Olive oil
- Plant oils, such as argan, jojoba, rosemary
- Root extracts, such as burdock root
Sulfate-free ingredients in shampoos
The shampoo ingredients that you want to look for are sulfate-free ingredients like the following below:
- Decyl glucoside
- Imidazolinium derivatives
- Lauryl glucoside
- Sulfosuccinates anionic
- Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
- Sodium cocoyl glutamate
- Sodium cocoyl glycinate
- Sodium lauroamphoacetate
- Sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate
- Sodium lauroyl taurate
How Often Should I Shampoo My Hair?
You should shampoo your hair as often as you need to. Curly hair tends to get build-up quickly, so you may need to shampoo it twice a week.
However, it’s also possible to shampoo your hair every other day or once a week.
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
Moisturizing conditioners can do wonders for dry, frizzy curls – but they also provide a lot of other benefits. Curly hair is more prone to breakage, so a good conditioner will help keep your locks healthy and strong.
As mentioned about shampoos above, look for a conditioner that is free of harsh sulfates – these ingredients can be very harsh on your hair and leave it dry and brittle.
You may also want to look for a conditioner that is silicone-free – silicones can weigh your hair down and make it greasy, so they are best to avoid if you have fine or curly hair.
However, the topic of silicones can get complex. Silicones are large molecules that coat the hair shaft and provide slip and shine. If manufactured poorly, certain silicone-rich formulations can leave build-up.
You might come across a number of positive and negative articles on silicones, but the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Silicones may be used effectively in a formula when used in conjunction with very tiny molecules that can readily absorb into the hair shaft to nourish before larger silicones come in to detangle, add shine, and slip.
How Often Should I Condition My Hair?
In your curly hair care regimen, you should condition your hair as often as you need to. Curly hair tends to get dry very quickly, so you may need to condition it every other day. However, it’s also possible to condition your hair once a week.
Styling products for curly hair should also have moisturizing properties. The trick with curly hair is not to use too much product, or it will end up looking greasy and weighed down.
To add some natural-looking shine to your curls, look for a lightweight leave-in conditioner.
If you’re looking for more definition, a curl cream or gel can do the trick. Just be sure to avoid any products with heavy ingredients, like petrolatum or mineral oil, since these are very heavy and can weigh down your curls.
Other great moisturizing ingredients you might want to look for are penetrating lightweight oils. Lightweight oils easily absorb into the hair and seal in moisture, reduces flyaways, and calms down frizz.
Some examples are jojoba oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, etc.
Shea butter is used for hair sealing because it’s a rich natural emollient with excellent moisture retention capabilities.
Shea butter’s anti-inflammatory effects are aided by a high level of vitamin E, which can aid with itchy scalp and general dryness.
Humectants, such as glycerin, are also great for moisturizing hair. Humectants attract moisture from the air and transport it to the hair and skin. The end result is healthier, shinier, and more defined curls.
Humectant-based products should be used with the climate in mind. They are great to use on normal to humid days but, keep in mind that on extremely dry days, the atmosphere can reabsorb any water it loses.
Before using a humectant-based product, you’ll need to understand your climate and your curls.
While the presence of humectants in a formula is beneficial, applying products with high amounts of humectants excessively can result in your hair having a sticky or tacky feeling residue.
One crucial thing to note, it is important to understand how a formula works as a whole. With any product you use, it all comes down to trial and error.
We can’t talk about hair without talking about the scalp. Taking care of the scalp is vital if you want healthy hair.
Avoid any hair care products that contain harsh chemicals, as this may cause damage to the hair shaft and scalp skin.
“If the scalp is healthy and the follicles have everything they need to function, then there’s a great chance your hair will grow healthy.”
How Can I Enhance My Curls
Curly hair can be enhanced by using the right products and techniques. Shampoo and condition your hair with products that are specifically designed for curly hair.
Use a styling product, such as a gel or mousse, to define your curls.
How Do You Define Your Curls
Defining your curls can be a little tricky. It’s important to find the right method that works for you. Some people like to define their curls while they are still wet, while others prefer to style them while they are damp.
You may also want to try a few different methods to see which one gives you the best results.
Other Ways to Keep Your Curls Moisturized and Shiny
In addition to using a moisturizing shampoo, conditioner, and styling products, you can also use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
You can also try spritzing your curls with water or a moisturizing spray throughout the day. If your hair is really dry, you may need to apply a deep conditioner once a week.
Besides moisture, you may need to add protein and strength to your hair. Curly hair tends to be more fragile than straight hair since it is curly and dry at the same time.
It is important that you use a clarifying shampoo as needed to remove product build-up. Also, make sure to use a good quality hair oil to help seal in the moisture and add shine like the Righteous Roots Oils.
What Else Should I Do?
This may sound cliche, but you should eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Eating a healthy diet will help your hair to stay healthy and look its best.
Drinking plenty of water will help prevent your hair from getting dry.
Any curly hair method you choose to follow won’t necessarily change your hair
Curly hair methods can help you improve the texture of your hair, but they won’t alter it. If you’ve been mistreating your hair for years, you may not see results for months, so don’t get discouraged.
And no matter which method you choose always remember to let your hair be your guide. In other words, listen to your hair. Pay attention to it.
Curly hair needs moisture to look healthy and defined. When it is dry, the curls will be frizzy and undefined.
To keep your curls looking their best, use a moisturizing shampoo, conditioner, and styling products.
You may also need to use a moisturizing serum or oil on your ends to seal in moisture and keep them hydrated.
If you’re struggling with an unruly head of curly hair that just won’t do what you want it too- give these tips a try!