Caring for curly hair is truly a journey to understanding what works for your hair needs. How to tame puffy, frizzy, curly coily hair? There are about 12 known and distinct hair types, all needing different benefits from their hair care routine. If you have hair types from 2a/2b onward (aka curlier and coilier hair) then this guide is for you! If you are unsure what kind of hair type you have, we recommend checking out a strand of hair independent from your head to see what shape it has. (Source)
Finding your hair type is key to understanding your hair needs! There are 4 hair types with 3 subsections a, b, and c. Type 1: straight hair, type 2: wavy hair, type 3: curly/s-shaped hair, and type 4: coily/zigzag hair. What this means is that the tighter your hair curls, the harder it is for scalp oils to lubricate your hair. Meaning type 4 hair is the most fragile, dry, and damage-prone of all hair types, and will benefit from a super nourishing hair routine! (Source)
Another key to the puzzle that is your dream hair routine is finding your hair porosity. If you are unaware, there are 3 different kinds of hair porosity-- low, medium, and high porosity. The lower your hair porosity, the less your strands can absorb the products you apply. This can cause buildup that weighs your hair down. On the other hand, if you have high porosity hair then your hair quickly absorbs whatever is put on it, so you need to constantly reapply products to keep that healthy shine. You can have different hair porosities on your head, so find out more about hair porosity in our blog post here.
Things to Avoid
Before we start breaking down your new hair routine, let’s talk about what NOT to do. Avoid using damaging things like heating tools and products with sulfates on your hair. In addition, you should not be using any hair products that have silicones, waxes, or mineral oils. Avoid any and all alcohols on your hair (like in hair sprays or dry shampoos), and do not use a non-cotton or microfiber towel on your hair (we talk more about drying hair later on).
A key point to the method detailed below is staying away from sulfates. The last time you are “allowed” to use a traditional shampoo is at the beginning to “reset” your hair to remove built-up waxes and silicones from hair products. Once that is done though, you are to never use sulfate shampoos unless absolutely needed.
Curly Girl Method. What are the best curly hair products?
If you’ve been on the internet lately, you might have come across this method called “the Curly Girl Method” or CGM for short. This method, created by hair care expert Lorraine Massey, will guide you to getting excellent hair while using and avoiding specific products for your hair type. Remember, these methods are known to only work for curly hair types 2a/2b and onwards (all type 3 hair, and all type 4)
This method emphasizes using no sulfates, which are in many traditional shampoos. So instead, it is recommended you use a sulfate-free shampoo (called a “no-poo” in the Curly Girl world) like WOW Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo to detox your scalp, and remove build-up for a clean slate. Alternatively, you can use a co-wash, which is a cleansing conditioner that helps to clean without stripping all your oils away. If you have a lot of scalp build-up from styling products, dirt, oil, dandruff, pollution, etc, then using shampoo will be more effective as your first step. If you have type 2 hair, you will want to cleanse your hair a couple of times a week. How do you deal with Coily hair? The curlier and coilier your hair is, the less often you have to cleanse the hair for hydration purposes.
How do you keep curly and coily hair moisturized? The second step is to replenish your hair’s moisture with a conditioner! We recommend using the WOW Skin Science Coconut Milk Conditioner for this step. If your hair is wavy or curly, you can leave the conditioner in for the length of your shower routine before rinsing. If your hair is coilier, it is recommended to wrap your hair and apply low heat with a hairdryer for 15 minutes to help open up the hair cuticles and allow for the hydration to properly penetrate. If you need an even bigger boost of hydration, add a few sprays of WOW Skin Science Hair Revitalizer Spray to replenish moisture and boost shine.
How do you get Coily curls? Next, apply gel or curl cream to wet hair, distribute through your hair while hanging your head upside down, and scrunch your hair towards the scalp to define your curls. Use a cotton towel or shirt, or WOW Skin Science Microfiber Towel to dry your hair with the same scrunching motion. You can use your hairdryer with a diffuser attachment, but we like the no-heat option to protect your hair health.
Coily Girl ‘LOC’ Method. What are the best coily hair products?
There is a specific acronym for the hair care steps taken for coilier hair. The LOC method is very popular for people with type 4 hair as this hair tends to be high porosity, meaning any hydration easily passes through the hair shaft. That means the order in which you apply products is extra important. If you apply a thick product at the beginning, it will “plug up” the hair shaft and not allow for other products to penetrate and hydrate the hair. LOC stands for Leave-in conditioner, Oil, and Cream. This is the recommended order for the products, but most experts say to try out switching up the oil and cream orders and see what your hair prefers, so you might use the LCO method instead of LOC.
Your coily hair routine starts with the WOW Skin Science Hair Revitalizer Spray as a leave-in conditioner or a diluted WOW Skin Science Coconut Milk Conditioner. Then, apply the WOW Skin Science Onion Black Seed Hair Oil or the 10-In-1 Hair Oil. Lastly, use a curl defining cream to seal in moisture for gorgeous, bouncy coils!
How Often To Wash
Now that you know what to use on your hair, let’s focus on how often you should be washing your hair. If you have type 2 hair, it is recommended you wash your hair a couple of times a week with a sulfate-free shampoo. If you have type 3 hair (curly hair) then you should be cleansing your hair once a week with a “no-poo” and immediately following up with a conditioner. If you have type 4 hair, then you should only go for using a cleansing conditioner or a “co-wash.” This cowash helps to remove built-up oil and grime, while still allowing deep hydration and penetration to the high porosity hair. It is also recommended to wrap up type 4 hair after conditioner and applying low heat to really lock in the moisture.
How to Dry Hair
When drying wavy/curly/coily hair, you have to be wary of friction in order to keep the integrity of the curls still alive. That means no brushing or pulling wet hair (more on this later), and no rubbing a towel against the hair to avoid creating static, or frizz. Instead, use a cotton t-shirt or a Microfiber Towel to scrunch dry the hair (after applying gel to the wet hair), or use a diffuser on low heat to dry wet hair quicker. We loving wearing silk wraps or bonnets when going to sleep to prevent friction against your pillowcase, and keep those natural oils on your head. And lastly, it is recommended to never use a traditional brush when your hair is wet, but using a wide toothed comb and working from the ends, upwards to prevent breakage.
Not Impossible, Just Intentional
While curly hair does not come with a manual for how to care for it, there are a lot of experts out there that have figured out what works and doesn’t work for curly hair. It might feel impossible at first, but it shows how little education is given to hair types that don’t fit into traditional standards of beauty. Now, so many people are on journeys to transform their broken curly hair into a healthy head of soft and pillowy ringlets. As long as you keep in mind to not use sulfates, waxes, silicones, alcohols, and excess heat on your already vulnerable hair, you will see a huge change in your hair health. Good luck!
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