If you are pining away for sleek, straight locks, don’t read this! Behold, the curly-hair ten commandments.
from My Hair Doctor
Shampoo Less – or Not at All
The best way to wash curly hair is with a 100 percent sulfate-free shampoo .Try using My Hair Doctor Everyday Shampoo or Re-Hydrate Shampoo. Sodium lauryl sulfate, the key ingredient in most traditional shampoos, is both a salt and a detergent—an effective cleanser that’s too harsh for most curls. “Without enough conditioning agents, it can lift the hair’s cuticles,” leaving hair dry and frizzy, says Guy Parsons, founder of My Hair Doctor. For those looking for even more hydration, consider a so-called “co-wash” formula. Co-washing (the curly community’s term for washing hair with conditioner) has resulted in the rise of cleansing conditioners; Neither approach will produce a rich, satisfy- ing lather, but both will result in a mound of bouncier, glossier curls. For fine hair, cleanse every other day; those with thick strands can usually go three or more days without a wash.
Condition, Condition, Condition
Did we mention condition? The curlier the hair, the longer it takes for natural oils to travel from the scalp to the ends, causing the lower half to appear dry and frazzled. Start adding moisture in the shower with My Hair Doctor Everyday or Re- Hydrate Conditioner then protect and hydrate every inch with a styling product that doubles as a leave-in conditioner, such as My Curl Crème. Just be sure to pick the right formula to deliver moisture without weighing hair down. Hairstylist Guy Parsons, recommends sprays for soft curls mixed with a bit of curl crème. Try his Everyday DTangle & Style.
Style Your Hair When It’s Soaking Wet
Hands off your bath towel for just one more minute—you can stave off frizz and prevent a stiff, sticky feeling by applying products before you’ve even stepped out of the shower stall, says Guy. Use your fingers to rake products through from roots to ends, then scrunch and squeeze upward toward the scalp.
Styling products high in alcohol give curls a “crunchy, ramen-noodle” texture—they suck up every last bit of moisture, says Guy. Hair spray tends to contain the most alcohol, while gels and mousses—really anything that provides hold or lift—come in second. Guy recommends water-soluble cremes/gels that don’t feel sticky on your skin, and aerated mousses or foams that resemble beaten egg whites, to give hair fullness, control, and a nonbrittle feel add the My Hair Doctor Curl Crème.
Leave It Alone
The more you manhandle curly hair, the more you ruffle the cuticle, creating frizz. The key is to cut down on friction, so stop rubbing damp hair with a terry-cloth towel and instead gently blot it with a microfiber cloth (after you apply your product of choice). Also avoid contact with coarse winter scarves, sweaters, and coats, which can contribute to fuzziness as well, and look for satin-lined hats and hoods.
Don’t Blow-Dry Without a Diffuser
A regular nozzle disrupts the curl pattern and focuses hot air on one small section at a time, while a diffuser dries curls evenly for a full, uniform look. After applying a heatprotecting product, flip your head upside down and “diffuse right at the roots and midlength,” says Guy , making sure to dry the area completely to lock in volume. “Do the ends last,” and leave them only semidry, he says. “Because the ends tend to be more damaged, let them air-dry more.”
Throw Out Your Brush
“Bristles fray the hair, disturb curl formation, and create a cloud of frizz,” says Guy. Use your fingers to tousle curls, and refresh wilting ones with a spritz of curl crème but you can also make your own by combining one part of your regular conditioner with four parts tap water in a spray bottle.) Mist it all over and then gently scrunch, says Guy. Unsnag tangles with a wide-tooth pick.
Consider a Dry Cut
“Curly dry hair and curly wet hair are two absolutely different things,” says Guy. Curls retract significantly when dry; some pieces may coil tightly, while others hang a bit looser. A dry cut won’t spring any surprises—you’ll know exactly how every strand will fall.Of course you can also cut when wet but make sure your stylist understands your curls.
Take Down the Heat
“Excess heat alters the proteins that give curls their spiral shape,” says Guy. “Over time, curls become more limp.” Limit blow-drying to just twice a week, and if you use a flatiron, never go higher than 400 degrees. If you notice your curls have lost their bounce, abstain from heat-styling entirely and use a conditioning mask in the interim such as My Hair Doctor Re- Hydrate Mask Intense.”Once hair is exposed to moisture, new hydrogen bonds begin to form and restore the curl pattern,” says Guy.
Switch to a Silk Pillowcase
Cotton soaks up moisture from your hair, causing frizz. Cotton fibers also tug on hair as you toss and turn, which can lead to breakage, says Guy. A silk pillowcase cuts down on friction and keeps things smooth.