It's hard to guess what your natural curls will look like in the morning, much less how they will behave on a day to day basis. However, if you can develop some tips and tricks to create your own personal curl care regime, you'll be on your day to great curls every day. We've provided you with a schedule of things to do to take your curls from blah to wow in 7 days or less. Check them out below, or read more here.
1. Quit your shampoo: Toss any shampoos that contain harmful parabens and sulfates. This week you'll be using apple cider vinegar (ACV) and baking soda. To create a cleanser, mix 1/2 cup filtered water with 1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar, with a dime sized amount of baking soda.
Use this mixture to cleanse your scalp to get a fresh start. From here on out, you'll want to use this mixture monthly to get rid of buildup. For regular cleansing, you'll want to use the ACV or a store bought cleansing conditioner.
2. Use an overnight hair mask: In order to be their healthiest, your curls need moisture. About half an hour before you hit the hay, apply a deep conditioning mask to your curls. Work the product through the mid-shaft down through the ends, in either wet or dry hair. You can section your curls and use your fingers to get even distribution. Gently tie your hair up on top of your head with a loose, cloth hair tie and put a t-shirt or microfiber towel on your pillowcase to avoid mess. In the morning, rinse the conditioner out and style.
3. Toss the terrycloth: If you're still using a terrycloth towel, ditch it in favor of an old, soft t-shirt or a microfiber towel. Avoid roughing up your hair to dry it, which damages the cuticle and creates frizz. Instead, try blotting excess moisture from your curls.
4. Use the right diffuser: Using a blow dryer without a diffuser will blow your curls out, and create excess frizz. To get your best curls with a diffuser, set it to the lowest heat setting. Place the diffuser at the end of your curls and blow upwards, lifting the curls while on the diffuser. This will scrunch the curls and maintain your curl pattern. Keep your fingers out of your curls, as this will create frizz.
5. Avoid heat for styling: One of the best ways to preserve your curls is to avoid using heat while styling them. Pick a couple of styles that are cute and also work well for you. Before you have to leave the house, practice a couple of times to make sure you've mastered them.
6. Stop touching your curls: It's time to be more mindful of how many times you touch your curls, and then tell yourself to stop. Every time you run your fingers through your curls, the curl pattern is disrupted. Your fingers leave behind natural oils, which can weigh your curls down.
7. Find a great stylist: Look through Yelp reviews, ask around or make some phone calls to find a stylist who is well versed in managing curls. A well trained stylist will understand the ins and outs of cutting and styling curly hair, and will also be able to educate you on how to best care for your curls. When vetting a stylist, ask how long they're been practicing and what advanced trainings they've had in curl care. If you're not feeling it, feel free to move on.
Once you've made it through all the steps, feel free to show us your gorgeous curls! Take a before and after and share it with us in the comments.