I spent years with short, straight hair. I tugged, pulled and fought it into submission; and while I loved the pixie cuts I had, all of that did major damage to my hair. Now that I’m all about owning the craziness of my hair, I’m pretty passionate about curly hair and its care.
Six Ways You’re Ruining Your Curly Hair
Washing Too Often. Cleansing your hair daily, or even every other day, is too damaging for curly hair girls. While each person is different, most people can go three days without washing your hair. Others can go a week or more. I go about every three days, maybe two if there are some intense workouts involved. My sister, who has mush curlier hair, can go a week or more.
Shampooing At All. If you follow the Curly Girl Method, which I highly recommend, you don’t shampoo your hair at all. Ever. Most shampoos dry out your hair by stripping the natural oils and moisture. That’s bad news because curls need moisture and lots of it. (Some times a little soap is necessary but keep it to the crown area and never run it all the way through to the tips.) Check out my list of Curly Girl products.
Not Moisturizing Enough. You’d be surprised at how much conditioner your hair can handle. I use a lot of conditioner in the shower: a co-wash to cleanse and then a conditioner to bring even more moisture. After the shower I use a leave-in conditioner as well. When I scrunch the conditioner into my hair it sounds like squishing seaweed and that’s good! Honestly, I’ve never put too much conditioner into my hair, especially into the ends.
Applying Heat. Heat works to dehydrate your hair, which in turn ruins your curls. Whenever possible refrain from using a blow dryer, a flatiron, a curling iron, etc… When, and if, if you have to use one of those make sure the heat is on a low setting. Never turn the flatiron or blow dryer to the highest setting.
Straightening Your Hair. Beyond the fact that when you straighten your hair it means applying damaging heat, it also means destroying your curl memory. Your curls usually keep the same links, the same waves, but when you straighten it out you’re forcing your hair to forget its natural state. This means when you try to move back to your usual curly state it will be harder for your curls to recognize the way they should be.
Brushing Your Hair. The use of a brush on your curly hair, no matter the kind, causes two major issues. The first is that a brush tends to create frizz, which lets be honest for us curly girls this is the last thing we need more of. The second is that brushing your hair breaks up the curls, again losing that curl memory. I actually never use any kind of comb or brush on my hair, but if you need to go with a wide-tooth plastic comb.