Naturally curly hair… it’s an entity all its own. Right? Those of you who have naturally curly hair know exactly what I am talking about. There is no telling what your hair may do from day to day. There is no rhyme or reason as to what your hair will look like even if you do the exact same thing to it every day.
I have had naturally curly hair all my life. When I was a toddler, I had such tight curly hair that my pediatrician said to my mom, “Jennifer has the curliest hair I’ve ever seen on a child.” I now have longer, curly hair but not as tight as it once was. My son inherited my curly hair and has tight, curly hair. I love it and think it is so cute! My daughter is the lucky one with long, beautiful straight hair. I love brushing it! If you are a curly, you know we cannot brush our hair! Unless of course you want to look like a lion with a huge, frizzy mane!
I used to hate my curly hair. I think everyone with naturally curly hair goes through this at some point in their life because it really is such fickle hair. About six or so years ago, I decided to embrace my locks and find a way to love them. I figured if I was given a head of curls, I may as well love them and learn how to manage them. They still sometimes manage me but for the most part, I love my hair now. I feel confident and good about my pretty locks.
My first step in the “learn to love my curly hair” process was to google “naturally curly hair.” I did this and a lot of different information came up. The top website that I consistently found was www.naturallycurly.com. This website was truly the turning point from me hating my curls to me loving them. I have learned so many things from this website about naturally curly hair. I used to visit this site almost daily years ago. Now, I go on there to read about a product I may be interested in.
The First Things I Learned About Naturally Curly Hair
- You can not use shampoo that contains surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl ethel sulfate. These are all very harsh cleansing agents in shampoos and can really damage curly hair. They are too drying for curly hair which is already moisture-deprived because of its shape and structure. Curly hair is typically not very oily so when you use a shampoo with a drying surfactant, it dries those locks out even more stripping all oils from your hair.
- You should not shampoo curly hair everyday. I used to do this because doesn’t everyone was their hair daily? No, they don’t. And especially not curlies. This strips hair of natural oils and moisture which then raises the cuticles of the hair making the surface very rough, which leads to tangling and breakage. I wash my hair every three days and often only use conditioner to wash. I especially only wash with conditioner in the winter since my hair and scalp are so dry at that time of the year.
- Another thing I learned was not to touch curly hair once it is dry. Every time you touch, scrunch, twirl, and run your fingers through your curly hair once it is dry, you are robbing your hair of essential oils by touching it. This can cause frizz, tangling and breakage.
- I also learned not to use products that have a high alcohol content. Alcohol will dry out curly hair and cause damage. As with all of our food, I learned to check the labels on hair products as well. If alcohol is near the top of that list, do not use it on your curly hair. A lot of gels and hairspray contain alcohol.
- At the time I was learning about taking care of naturally curly hair, I was blowing my locks straight with a round brush and hair dryer. I immediately stopped doing this to let my hair repair itself from all the damage I had done by pulling on my hair with a brush and drying it every day with high heat.
- The way someone cuts your curly hair really does matter. By this I mean that curly hair should only be cut when dry so the hairdresser can see the curl formation. They should also know about cutting curly hair as it is very different to cut than straight hair. I have had many a bad hair cut in my day and have finally found a great hair stylist. She is the only one certified as a “Devachan trained stylist” in the state of Michigan. Her name is Marni and she is at Salon Spargo in Farmington Hills. If you go their, please tell her I sent you!
Armed with this new knowledge, I set out to find some new hair products. I thought I was doing my hair a favor by using all of the popular and expensive salon products. I used to only use Redken, Paul Mitchell, Matrix, etc. Once I knew to read the labels on hair care products, I saw sodium lauryl sulfate or one of the harsh surfactants in all of them. I turned to www.naturallycurly.com to search their product line. I kept reading about the Deva Curl line and how great it was for us curlies.
What I found out was that Lorraine Massey, founder of Deva Curl and bestselling author of, Curly Girl: The Handbook, began creating curl-friendly formulas for her own curls. Lorraine worked with a team of curl care consultants and Deva Curl was born.
I have had Lorraine’s book for a few years now and refer to it quite often. It is a great resource for us curlies.
I read reviews on www.naturallycurly.com on the Deva Curl products. I learned that the Deva Care line, part of Deva Curl, would be more suited for my Type 3 curly hair (you can find out your hair type on www.naturallycurly.com).
Curly Hair Products I Use
Deva Care Low-Poo – This shampoo is amazing! It was the first one I tried years ago and I still use today! It is a no-fade, mild lathering, sulfate-free cleanser. It does not lather up like a shampoo with a surfactant. I got used to this in no time since I saw results right away. My hair started to shine and my curls came to life! I had been using harsh products for so long on my locks that they forgot how to be free and healthy. I only use this once every three to four days in the warmer months and about once a month in the winter. The smell is amazing – like a very light citrus smell. I have asthma and this does not overwhelm me at all. I used about a half dollar size for my hair and I do not scrub my head as this can cause damage to curly hair. I massage this into my scalp and hair very gently before rinsing out.
Deva Care One Condition – This is by far my all-time favorite conditioner! It protects chemically or color treated hair while providing maximum hydration. I use only this often times to wash and condition and my hair just lets it soak in. If I had to pick only one cleansing/conditioning product for my hair, it would be this conditioner. We go through this twice as fast as the low-poo in my house since everyone (even the straight-haired members) uses this conditioner. There are no harmful ingredients and I cannot say enough about this product. I use about a half dollar size give or take, put it on my hair, comb through with a wide-tooth comb and then add about the same sized amount again and let it sit for about 5 – 10 minutes before rinsing.
Curly Hair Solutions – Curl Keeper – I really don’t know how I ever lived without this product. Seriously. It has made such a difference between me loving and hating my curls. It is a very light, almost watery consistency. It combats frizz and creates beautiful curl formation. If I don’t use this product after washing my hair, my hair looks like a frizzy mess. I use this right after the shower on soaking wet hair.
Deva Care Arc Angel – This is a great gel! Very light and moisturizing and really helps with curl formation. I have to use some type of gel or mousse and have been using this one for years. If I ever try something else, I always come back to this since it does the job and again, smells so good.
Steps After I Wash and/or Condition My Hair
- I gently squeeze any excess water out of my hair
- Turn my head upside down
- Comb my hair out very gently (it doesn’t take long and the wide-tooth comb goes through my hair very easily since the Deva Care One Condition makes it so silky soft)
- Pour a puddle the size of a half dollar in the palm of my hand, rub it into my other hand so now both hands are covered
- Run the Curl Keeper through my hair combing with my fingers as I go
- Pour another puddle the size of a half dollar in the palm of my hand, rub it into my other hand and then scrunch into my hair scrunching up as I go
- Squeeze a quarter size give or take of the Deva Care Arc Angel gel into my hand and rub into my other hand. Scrunch into my hair scrunching up as I go
- “Plop” http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-products/to-plop-or-not-to-plop with the special plopping towel I get from my hairdresser
- I let the towel stay on my head for about 10 – 15 minutes while doing my make up
- Take the towel off and let hair dry for about 30 – 40 minutes
- Diffuse hair to add a little volume for about 4 – 5 minutes
- Done! Do NOT touch the curls!!
Me and my curls! It’s all about the journey… even for your curls!
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