Curly hair is envied by many but is all too often scorned by those who were born with it. Curly girls frequently go to great lengths to smooth and straighten their tresses, while those born with pin-straight locks spend a lot of money trying to get those gorgeous curls.
Healthy, bouncing curls without a hint of frizz -- few hairstyles can compete with curls done right. Proper maintenance for your curly hair will bring out the best in it; just keep in mind a few basics as we show you how to create your crowning glory:
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! The single biggest problem with curly hair is its tendency to be dry. Always use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, preferably one that is formulated especially for curly hair.
- Wash hair only every other day -- condition every day.
- Deep condition your curls at least once a week. You can use a moisturizing deep conditioner, but if you'd prefer, you can simply apply a generous amount of your everyday conditioner, cover your head with a shower cap and leave on for 20-30 minutes.
- A good haircut is vital to maximizing curl. A cut with long layers will allow curls to fall nicely without creating too much bulk. Get a trim every 8-10 weeks to keep your hair looking its best.
- Experiment with curly hair care products. Depending on the texture of your hair and the level of natural curl, using gel, mousse, serum or even a relaxing cream can make all the difference. Start with a little; too much product can leave hair feeling stiff or greasy.
- Whenever possible, allow hair to air dry. Giving your hair a break from heat styling will keep it healthier.
- When you do blow dry your hair, use a diffuser.
- Before drying your hair, scrunch a little styling gel into your curls and then do not touch your hair until it is completely dry. Once dry, run your fingers gently through your hair to separate curls. If needed, use a small barreled curling iron to touch up a curl here and there.
- Style curly hair using a wide tooth comb or your fingers -- no brushes! This is one of the best tips for healthy hair.
- Invest in an ionic hair dryer if you choose to smooth your curls into a straight style now and then. Ionic hairdryers leave hair shiny and silky -- and can cut drying time in half!
- Try to find a stylist who specializes in curly hair tips. If you see someone with fabulous curls, ask her who does her hair. She'll be flattered and you'll have taken an important step toward loving your curly hair!