Having curly hair can feel like a curse, one day your curls are ‘to die for’, and the next it’s a bird’s nest. As curly hair is often thought of as beautiful, many try to create these ‘perfect’ curls with curling irons or wands, but there are ways to unleash your curl potential without having to break the bank or spending hours with heated products.
These are a few handpicked tips from having read Lorraine Massey’s book, Curly Girl the Handbook and from having a hairdresser who understands curly hair. These tips have strengthened and enhanced my curls after over a decade of harming them with heat and hair dye.
1 – Change your shampoo and conditioner immediately! The harmful silicones and sulphates within your current shampoo and conditioner can seriously damage your hair, no matter how much the advert claims it’ll improve your curls. Throw them out now and start using curly hair-safe products. Superdrug’s Extracts Shampoos and Extracts Conditioners are a godsend! They’ll leave your hair feeling super soft and unlock the curls you have been missing.
The Extracts Shampoo and Conditioner are available in Raspberry & Macadamia Nut, Coconut & Almond, Grapefruit & Papaya, and Aloe Vera & Mango. My favourite is the Raspberry & Macadamia Nut.
(These shampoo and conditioners are available at Superdrug for £1.99 each)
2 – Stop drying your hair with a towel! Using a towel to dry your hair takes the moisture out of your hair and leaves it dry and more likely to have split ends and less likely to curl. Instead, swap your towel for a microfibre towel or a microfibre t-shirt.
Or alternatively, dry your hair with a diffuser on low heat. By using the hairdryer at a low temperature, you keep the heat damage at bay.
(Primark has microfibre t-shirts for less than £3.)
3 – Stop brushing your hair! This tip may sound strange, but hair brushes can damage your hair as they rip through your knots and pull harshly on your hair. Instead, use a comb only when necessary, i.e. to separate your parting when your hair’s wet or to gently separate knots. Try to refrain from using it all the time, your hair needs to keep its volume to have bouncy curls.
4 – Use a hair moisturiser. A hair moisturiser might sound crazy, but I promise its necessary. Your hair loses a lot of moisture when it’s drying, during high humidity and in cold weather, so your curls will be crying out for moisture. Try Cantu’s Natural Hair Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream, you’ll only need one squirt.
(You can get Cantu’s Natural Hair Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream at Superdrug or Boots for £7.99)
5 – Stop tying your hair up. Tying your hair harms your curls so if you need to tie your hair back, use a loose or stretched out scrunchie and ‘tie’ your hair very loosely, or pin your hair back with grips. This might take some getting used to, but the results will speak for themselves.
6 – Refresh your hair with lavender water, not dry shampoo. As lavender has cleansing properties, this spray will cleanse your hair and your scalp.
To make the lavender water you will need:
2 quarts water,
5 drops of pure (not synthetic) lavender essential oil.
*And a spray bottle.
- Fill a large pot with the water.
- cover the pot, bring the water to a boil on high heat, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 hour to get rid of impurities. (Check occasionally to make sure the water isn’t boiling away.)
- Remove the water from the heart, add the lavender oil, stir to blend, and replace the lid.
- Let the lavender water steep until cool, then pour it into spray bottles.
- Store extra lavender spray in a cool place.
(From Curly Girl the Handbook by Lorraine Massey and Michele Bender)
7 – Use curly hair friendly serums to keep your hair from getting too frizzy or windswept, I recommend ORS Essentials – Nourish & Seal Argan Oil. You’ll only need about a five pence size drop.
(You can get ORS Essentials – Nourish & Seal Argan Oil at Superdrug for £4.49)
8 – Get a hairdresser that understands how to cut curly hair. This tip may seem obvious but it’s vital to keeping your hair healthy and vibrant. A bad cut keeps your curls from forming properly.
For more tips on how to keep your curls healthy, read Curly Girl the Handbook by Lorraine Massey and Michele Bender, Lorraine invented the curly girl method. Or join the Curly Girls UK (The Original – Following the Curly Girl Method) Facebook group.