I have naturally curly hair. My hair stylist says it’s off-the-charts curly. She told me that after I asked her why all the “curly” hairstyles in the magazines were more wavy than curly.
When I was younger, I hated my hair. I tried everything to make it straight instead of curly but I never succeeded. It just looked dumb. See what I mean:
Then one day, I’m not sure how it happened, I figured out that if I left it alone, it curled really nicely and looked much better than when I tried to straighten it. From then on I never looked back. I let my curls have their freedom!
And the truth is, I’m one of the laziest people alive when it comes to hair. I’ve always joked that God gave me curly hair because he knew I hated messing with my hair.
My son and daughter have naturally curly hair, too. My son keeps his really short so it doesn’t have much opportunity to curl. My daughter has long, gorgeous, spiral curls. I taught her from an early age to love her curly hair and she always has. It’s part of who she is.
After dealing with curly hair my whole life, I’ve learned a few things that might help others who have naturally curly hair:
1. Don’t brush it. I don’t own a brush or comb. For a while I had a pick but I don’t even have one of those anymore. I just use my fingers. They do a fine job.
2. Don’t blow dry it. If you must, you must. But if you have a choice, don’t. Curly hair lacks moisture and drying it with a dryer makes it drier and brittle. After I get my hair trimmed in the winter, the stylist always wants to dry it but I never let her. I’d rather go out with it wet than put it through that.
3. Don’t touch it after it’s dry. When it’s almost dry, you can give it a little fluff but after that, don’t touch it again. Curly hair does not like to be messed with after it’s dry. Just leave it alone.
4. Get it trimmed regularly. When I was younger, I made the mistake of not getting regular trims. My hair looked pretty wild most of the time. I think if I had gotten those trims it would have looked a lot better.
5. Use an appropriate styling product. There are lots of products out there designed for curly hair. Some of them work and some of them don’t. It also depends on what type of curly hair you have. My daughter uses gel. I was using foam but now I’m trying a cream. The gel doesn’t work well for me but the cream and foam don’t work well for her. So try different things until you find something that works. And don’t be surprised if it suddenly stops working. They do that sometimes. When that happens, look for something new.
6. Don’t wash your hair too often. Again, everyone is different but I wash mine twice a week and that’s plenty. Too much washing makes it even drier.
7. Use conditioner. I don’t do this but my daughter does. If she had to choose between shampoo and conditioner, she would go for conditioner. In fact, she tells me that she doesn’t use shampoo – only conditioner.
8. Don’t be surprised when humid weather wrecks your hairstyle. It does that. But what I’ve noticed is that when I think my hair looks horrible, no one else even notices. Curly hair is wild anyway so a little humidity doesn’t really change it all that much – at least in the eyes of others.
9. Wet your hair daily. This may not be necessary for everyone with curly hair, but I wet my hair every day. I would never think of leaving the house without wetting it first. Finger combing it doesn’t work when it’s dry. And using a brush on it would make it look like a lion’s mane. So I wet it every morning when I shower. Then I towel dry it, put cream on it, and shape it with my fingers. It’s like getting a fresh start every morning.
10. Touch it up with a curling iron if you need to. For a while, I had one section of curls that was misbehaving badly. I think it was while it was growing out. My daughter-in-law told me to touch-it up with the curling iron. I tried. I really did. But remember – I’m lazy when it comes to working with my hair. I don’t really know how to use a curling iron. So I gave up. But for other people, a touch-it might make the difference between feeling good about your hair and hating it.
11. Don’t expect it to look the same every day. You can do the exact same thing every day and it still won’t look the same. It just doesn’t.
12. And finally, be prepared for changes when your hair starts to gray. I wasn’t prepared and it caught me by surprise. I noticed that the strands of hair that are gray tend to be bendy instead of curly. And the texture is different. I’ve also noticed the side hair is a little straighter. So far it hasn’t affected the overall look of my hair and I don’t think it will. My mom has naturally curly hair, too, and hers is all gray now. It looks very pretty so I’m expecting (and hoping) that mine will, too.
So if you have naturally curly hair and you haven’t given it its freedom yet, maybe now’s the time. Let it curl and you’ll be surprised at how much better it looks.
Do you have naturally curly hair? Do you have any tips to add to the ones above?
Other style articles are available in the style index.
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