If you have a beautiful head of curly hair but you are tired of slathering on expensive products that promise results but don’t deliver, don’t fret; Mother Nature has the answers you have been looking for.
Let’s start by busting a few beauty myths. First of all, curly hair doesn’t actually tangle up more than straight hair.
A study on curly vs straight hair published in the American Journal of Physics actually found that curly hair averages just three tangles per head, while straight hair averages five! As noted by researchers, curly strands may ‘meet each other’ more often than straight ones, yet it’s all in the angle – and straight-haired individuals have less desirable ones from a mathematical perspective.
Sourcing beauty from nature
The one thing that can lead curly hair to pose a bit of a challenge, is lack of moisture. When hair frizzes up or curls lose definition, think of it as your hair’s way of telling you it needs to drink up moisture of a natural kind. Curly hair is usually high- or low-porosity and that means that deeper hydration is required. High porosity hair absorbs moisture well; the only problem is that it has difficulty retaining it. Natural oils help this type of hair by sealing the cuticle and keeping moisture trapped. Low porosity hair has the opposite problem: it has difficulty absorbing the products you apply.
While there are many products aimed at multi-ethnic and curly hair, have a look at their ingredients list – most will contain either jojoba, argan, or coconut oil. If you have high porosity hair, feel free to use any of these oils, or even extra virgin olive oil. Always opt for cold-pressed extra-virgin varieties, to ensure your hair is obtaining maximum benefits.
You need to be a little more careful with low porosity hair. Because it has poor absorption power, when you apply an oil like coconut, the product can build up on your strands, thus weighing curls down and lowering their bounce factor. Low porosity hair takes well to a plethora of oils aside from argan and jojoba, though – think grapeseed, hemp seed, apricot, pomegranate, or sweet almond oils. Panthenol is another interesting ingredient; comprising a complex of Vitamin B vitamins, it adds body to hair by filling in cracks in the hair shaft.
A beauty routine for curls
If you have curls, shampoo them just once a week using a sulfate-free shampoo. Follow with a conditioner and a dollop of natural oils for extra moisture, combing your hair out while it’s wet. You can also add a bit more oil once your hair is dry for some extra shine; ultimately, you need to experiment to find the perfect dosage for your hair, which should look radiant (feel free to add more oil if you are after a wet look, which is stunning in the summer months).
Leave curls to dry naturally or air dry, and style with a diffuser, which distributes heat gently and which will therefore not damage your locks. Bend your head forward, working on around a quarter of your head at a time. Push your curls into the diffusing cap and push the dryer towards your scalp gently. Work on smaller areas as your curls begin to take form. You can also use specific hair creams developed specifically for various curl types. If you do, opt for natural products made with certified organic oils and natural ingredients like aloe vera leaf juice, shea butter, and the like.
Styling curly hair should revolve around one crucial ingredient: a good natural oil. Experiment with pour-on and spray oils, which you can apply before and after combing wet hair. For truly beautiful curls, take your love for nature further by consuming a healthy organic diet, using gentle products on your hair, and steering clear of permanent and relaxing treatments that expose hair to intense heat. If you ever doubted that natural is best, follow the above tips for a few weeks, then take a look in the mirror!