10 things not to do with curly hair – in this blog post, our objective is to go back to basic’s with info that applies no matter what stage of the curly game you are at. Whether you are new to accepting your curls and searching for answers, or if you are a long-time curl advocate who really only needs a kind reminder – the fundamentals apply to everyone, and are non-negotiable.
You will find information galore online about Curly Hair. The problem is sorting through it all. It can be overwhelming and frustrating to seek information on what applies to you and your curl type, what works, and what doesn’t. You may come across contradictory information which just adds to the confusion.
However, there are a few universal rules that apply to everyone and that is what we are going to go over today.
10 THINGS NOT TO DO WITH CURLY HAIR
1. Do not skip hydration
Curly hairs coily shape means that moisture can’t just slide down the hair shaft like it would with straight hair. Natural oils from your scalp have a longer journey to take, thanks to the way curly hair wraps around and around on itself. In addition, the cuticle on curly hair does not lay flat like straight hair and is more open – causing it to absorb moisture fast, but also lose moisture fast. Therefore, conditioning your hair frequently will help you to keep on top of much needed moisture levels and prevent dry hair and frizz.
2. Do not cleanse too often
This is a recipe for disaster because washing even with the most gentle shampoo can still strip natural oils and moisture from your hair. Avoid washing every day and instead opt to adopt a wash routine once or twice a week (or only as needed) and be sure to always replace lost moisture after a cleanse with a mask or conditioner.
3. Do not use a shampoo with sulfates
Sulfates are harsh detergents which deplete moisture, and strip away natural oils. This means that your hair is going to feel brittle and dry, and left vulnerable to breakage. Instead, choose a gentle shampoo that is sulfate free.
4. Avoid touching hair before it is completely dry
If you’ve styled damp or wet hair with a definition gel and want to see defined curls, then hands off until your hair is completely dry! Touching and fussing your curls before the gel has a chance to cocoon means that you won’t achieve your desired look. Hair really needs the opportunity to dry before applying the finishing touches.
5. Do not use products with silicone’s
Silicone’s are the enemy. (Silicone free products are your friend!) Silicones are unfriendly to curls, because they act like a moisture barrier between your hair and much needed hydration. Yes, your hair might temporarily look and feel better with silicones floating around on the hair surface, because they give the illusion of shine and provide slip for de-tangling. But the ugly truth is that behind the scenes, your hair is choking for air and hydration. The great debate on the curly hair scene at the moment seems to be ”not all silicone’s are created equal.” While it might be true that some silicone’s are more curl friendly than others because they take longer to build up on the hair, the fact is there is no such thing as a water soluble silicone. It’s best to stay on the safe side and avoid all products with silicone’s in them.
6. Avoid heat damage
Air drying your hair whenever possible is the best way to go. However, if you want your curls dried faster you do have options. A hooded-dryer like those you see in our salon work well, or a blow-dryer with an attachment called a diffuser. These help circulate warm air and soften airflow without disrupting your curls with direct heat or blasts of uncontrolled air.
7. Be careful of the material that comes in contact with your curls
Normal pillow cases can wreck your hair because of the friction created between your hair and the pillow case. The friction can cause hair to be extremely dry, brittle and prone to breakage. Instead, opt for a silk pillow case so your hair can glide.
By the same token, pay special attention to the towel used to remove excess water from your hair. We suggest using a microfiber towel.
Any other materials or fabrics that are worn on or around the hair also need special attention.
8. Do not skip trims
Even a micro-trim (what we at Kozma Curl call ”Curl Dusting”) helps remove frayed bits and strengthen ends. Every few weeks is ideal if you can swing it.
9. Don’t neglect your health
Do not neglect your internal health! Focus on getting enough water and nutrients in so your body can build itself from the inside out. Reduce stress, get enough sleep and exercise daily. If you smoke, consider stopping. Of course, this should actually be in spot number 1 of our list of 10 things not to do with curly hair, because your health should come first before beauty!
10. Do not take your curls for granted
And last but not least, in spot 10 in our “10 things not to do with curly hair” list, we leave you with this:
Celebrate your curls and show them appreciation by leveling up your awareness of how they are treated.
For example, do not put your handbag shoulder strap over your curls- it rips them and can cause split ends. You don’t know how many times we see this! Sometimes clients come to our salon and only one side of their hair has damage. They are puzzled and come to us saying ”I just don’t get it! Look how dry this side is, and the other side is in much better condition!” We ask them to pick up their hand bag and wear it like they normally do. And 10 times out of 10 it goes on the side where we are seeing a lot more damage.
It all adds up!
Pay attention to what kind of brush you are using. Even if the teeth are far apart on your wide tooth comb, take a closer look- are the bristled frayed from years of use? If so, time to toss it in the bin and replace it. Those frayed bristles are pulling at the cuticle and causing frizz or worse, causing damage and split ends.
Not protecting your hair from the elements is another no-no, especially if you love to swim or frequent the beach. The combo of sun, salt water, chlorine, and wind can leave you with gnarley tangles, dryness and breakage. Spritz some leave-in conditioner through your hair, concentrating on ends before you hit the water or expose your hair to wind.
Ok, we’ve gone over the 10 things not to do with curly hair list, plus a few bonus tips… and we could keep going. However – you get the idea!
Small things add up over time to the overall health and condition of your hair. It’s never too late to start treating your curls right and the pay back for all the love you invest are stunning, happy, healthy curls.
Which one of the points we made do you think is most important? Did we miss an important thing to avoid? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!