Curls have dominated the hair scene over the past decade. The natural hair movement has inspired women, and men, of all cultures to embrace the hair that grows out of their heads naturally. As a result, the curly hair care market has exploded with products, tips and tricks to help curly girls live their best hair life.
Almost two years ago, I joined the movement. I big chopped. I wore my 4c fro with pride. I learned to care for my daughters hair all while learning to care for my own. I was fully invested in all things curly.
Then life got in the way. I no longer had the band width to twist every night or style every morning. I did not want to big chop again so I turned to weave – my favorite go-to protective style. All the while, I felt like I had betrayed my natural hair community. I felt I could no longer contribute to the natural hair movement. I could no longer speak on curly hair care so I stopped.
I was wrong. In my house, I care for three types of curls – my natural curls, my daughter’s curls, and my curly weave. I style curls daily. The first thing people notice about my daughter and me when we walk down the street are our crowns of curls…so I refuse to continue to stay quiet based on some prison I created for myself.
As April showers bring May flowers, here are some ways you can care for your curls this spring:
Your curls need water!!! One of the biggest mistakes we make in the curly community is to shy away from water. We do not want our curls to frizz or to dry out so we overuse products and under use water. Yet, most of us like our curl definition the best when the curls are soaking wet. We just cannot figure out how to keep it that way. We love the before and dread the after so we choose to stay away from water. Water is NOT the enemy. The loss of the water is the actual culprit. Once you wet the hair, find products that will retain the moisture. (I highly recommend the Love of People*.) Your curly hair care should include items that not only lock in moisture but also hold on to your hair’s naturally produced vitamins and minerals. Stay away from items that strip your hair of those same vitamins and minerals.
2. Take care of your hair in protective styles.
I wear weave. Some of us wear wigs, crochet braids, faux locs, senegal twists, low puffs, high puffs, regular twists, and the list goes on. Your hair still needs the same moisture and care in protective styles. While they require less day to day manipulation, they still require attention. Lows puffs and high puffs need daily checks and care to ensure that the hair is not breaking around the edges or in the middle. Sometimes we put so much time and energy into making sure the braids, twists, weaves, and wigs look great, that we forget to tend to our real hair. It still needs moisture. It still needs love. And most of all, protective styles are NOT meant to stay forever. When we leave them in too long, they actually stop protecting and start harming the hair.
3. No over manipulation
The reverse of over protecting is over manipulating. Let your curls live. I always wanted the perfect twist out or the perfect wash and go so I spent way too much time “touching up” daily. Your hair cannot take constant manipulation. A little frizz is ok. Imperfect curls and curl patterns are ok. Fly always are ok. Instagrammers and Youtubers have given us an unreal sense of what day to day hair really looks like. Instead of watching feeds and prerecorded videos, start watching stories and live videos. That is what day to day really looks like. As I was reminded recently – “you were born to be real not perfect.”
4. Update your curly hair care routine
As you learn more about what works and what does not work with you hair, change your curly hair routine accordingly. As the cold weather ends, and sunshine sets in, learn how that affects your hair. With more rain, learn how the humidity affects your hair. When your hair grows or you chop a few inches, learn how the new length affects your hair. You may need to modify wash days. You may need to modify your “go-to” styles. You may need to modify your “go-to” products and people. Whatever the case, keep learning; keep finding what works best for you. For example, my current staple product is XXIV*. With my spring schedule, my wash days have changed from Saturday to Sunday mornings or after church. I used to love wash and gos for me and twist outs for my daughter. I now prefer the opposite.
Life changes. Hair changes. Preference changes. It is completely okay for you to change. Part of curly hair care is accepting that what you do and love today may change tomorrow.
What are some things you do to care for your curls?
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Feel free to check out some of my other articles on natural hair growth and natural hair care:
- Natural Hair Growth: Tips and Tricks
- Curly Hair Styles – a Style Guide for All Winter Occasions
- Going Natural 101 – 5 Things No One Ever Told Me
- 5 Ways to Sassy Your Short Hair
- Love Yourself as Much as You Love Your Hair
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*I received $0 for talking about the the Love of People. I am sharing my honest opinion one curly girl to another.