The Rules Every Curly Girl Should Follow to Ensure a Good Hair Day
Curly hair comes with its own set of rules. Really, every head of coils or ringlets should come with a "handle with care" notice just like your favorite cashmere sweater. This textured hair type tends to be drier, duller, and frizzier than the others. But you can have the best hair day of your life every day with the right techniques. After a decade of styling my Afro hair into silky-straight submission, I decided to embrace my God-given kinks. Since then I've learned a lot of things about curly hair, including the 10 commandments ahead. Warning: these are not like your Summer bikini diet rules — there's no cheating allowed!
Thou Shalt Give Up Shampoo
We're not saying you shouldn't shampoo, but lathering up less often is the key to bouncy curls. Reduce your shampoo schedule to once a week or less. As an alternative, cleanse your hair and scalp with a co-wash product. Rinsing your hair with conditioner still provides a clean feeling without drying out your strands, so it's OK to do it every day.
Thou Shalt Sleep on Silk
Cotton can steal moisture from your hair (and skin) while you sleep. Outfit your pillows in a silk or satin pillowcase to protect your hair from the knots and tangles that come with tossing and turning.
Thou Shalt Hoard Conditioner
Deep conditioner, leave-in cream, and preshampoo treatments should all be lined up in your shower. Curly hair is naturally drier than straight locks because the natural oils have a harder time reaching the end of strands. These products will help restore moisture to your dry hair and make detangling supereasy.
Thou Shalt Trade Your Towel For a T-shirt
Remember those days when you used to rub your curls into a frizz ball with a towel? No more! Use a T-shirt or microfiber cloth to squeeze the water out of your hair without messing up the coil pattern.
Thou Shalt Never Brush Hair Dry
Brushing your hair dry is a surefire way to cause breakage and waste time. Instead, take your wide-tooth comb into the shower to tame tangles when hair is soaking wet and saturated with conditioner. This technique will cut your detangling time in half and minimize the amount of hair left in the comb.
Thou Shalt Use Oils Over Serums
One curly-girl complaint we hear often is that the hair just doesn't shine. That's because with all the twists and turns, it's hard for light to bounce off it. Incorporating oils into your beauty routine will help nourish the hair and create shine. Olive, coconut, and castor oils are all good alternative to silicones.
Thou Shalt Use Heat With Care
Using flatirons and blow dryers directly on twists can cause them to go limp — permanently. The best way to avoid heat damage is to use indirect methods of drying. A hood dryer or diffuser will help dry your curls without singeing them. If you do plan to blow out your hair, use a heat protectant to protect your strands like SheaMoisture Zanzibar Marine Complex Heat Shield Cream ($11).
Thou Shalt Get a Trim (Often)
Curly girls need trims, too! Just because your split ends are hidden under mounds of waves and coils doesn't mean they aren't there. Ratty tips can stunt your hair growth and increase the amount of time you spend detangling. When you get to the stylist, make sure your mane is cut while dry. This will maintain the integrity of your texture. Also, curls and thinning shears are mortal enemies.
Thou Shalt Experiment
It takes time to determine what product combination and styling routine works best for your unique curl type. Have patience and never settle! There are so many new products on the market to test until you find a regimen that gives you the best hair days ever.
Thou Shalt Not Covet Another Girl's Curls
We know it's hard with all the gorgeous selfies on Instagram and videos on YouTube, but respect the mane that you were born with! There is beauty in every hair type, and we think you look damn good.