If you have curly hair, you know that maintaining your curls is no easy feat. It takes time, patience, and a lot of experimentation to figure out what works best for your hair. However, with the right techniques, products, and routines, you can learn how to train your curls and master the perfect curl routine. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps you need to take to achieve beautiful, defined curls every day.
Understanding Your Curls
Before you can train your curls, you need to understand them. There are a few different types of curls, and each requires a specific approach to maintain them. Here are some things to consider when figuring out what type of curls you have:
- Curl Shape: Take a look at your hair’s curl pattern. Is it tightly coiled or loose and wavy? This will help determine the products and techniques you use to maintain your curls.
- Porosity: Porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb moisture. If your hair has low porosity, it’s harder to get moisture into the hair shaft. High porosity hair, on the other hand, tends to lose moisture quickly. Understanding your hair’s porosity can help you choose the right products and techniques to hydrate your curls.
- Density: Density refers to how much hair you have on your head. If you have fine hair, you’ll need lighter-weight products, while those with thick hair can go for heavier styling products.
- Texture: Texture refers to the diameter of each individual hair strand. If you have coarse hair, you may need stronger, more moisturizing products to tame frizz and define curls.
To test your hair’s porosity, take a small section of hair and drop it into a glass of water. Let it sit for a few minutes, then take it out. If the hair sinks to the bottom quickly, it has high porosity. If it floats for a while before sinking, your hair has low porosity. If it sinks slowly, your hair has normal porosity.
Cleanse Your Hair
Properly cleansing your hair is key to maintaining healthy, bouncy curls. Here’s what you need to know:
- Frequency: How often you wash your hair depends on your hair type and lifestyle. If you have very tight, coily curls, you may only need to wash every 7-10 days. Wavy hair may need to be washed every 2-3 days. Experiment to find the right frequency for your hair.
- Products: When choosing a cleanser, look for sulfate-free options that won’t strip your hair of natural oils. Consider co-washing, a method of using conditioner to cleanse your hair without using traditional shampoo. This can be a great option for those with dry, thick curls.
- Technique: When shampooing or co-washing, focus on massaging the scalp and let the product run down the length of your hair. Don’t pile your hair on top of your head, as this can cause tangling and breakage.
Condition Your Curls
After cleansing your hair, it’s time to condition. Here’s what you need to consider when conditioning:
- Frequency: You should condition your hair each time you wash it. Additionally, consider using a deep conditioner once a week to replenish your hair’s moisture.
- Products: Look for a conditioner that’s specifically formulated for curly hair. These will typically be thick, creamy, and hydrating. Consider using a leave-in conditioner to provide ongoing moisture throughout the day.
- Technique: Apply the conditioner from the mid-length of your hair to the ends. This is where your hair is most prone to dryness and damage. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair while the conditioner is still in your hair, then rinse thoroughly with cool water.
Style Your Curls
Once your hair is clean and conditioned, it’s time to style your curls. Here are some tips:
- Products: Choose products that work well for your hair type and curl pattern. Consider using a styling cream or gel to help define your curls and reduce frizz.
- Technique: Apply your styling products in sections, working from the bottom of your hair to the top. For tight, coily curls, use the “praying hands” method to smooth product into your hair. For looser curls, try raking the product through your hair with your fingers.
- Drying: While drying, avoid touching or scrunching your curls too much. This can cause frizz and break up your curl pattern. Consider using a diffuser attachment on your blow dryer to gently dry your curls without disrupting their shape.
Maintain Your Curls
Keeping your curls looking their best requires ongoing maintenance. Here’s what you need to know:
- Sleep: Consider sleeping on a satin pillowcase or wearing a satin bonnet to reduce friction and prevent frizz.
- Refresh: On days when you’re not washing your hair, you can refresh your curls with a spritz of water or a leave-in conditioner. Try flipping your hair upside down and scrunching the product in for extra volume.
- Trim: Keep your curls looking healthy by getting regular trims to remove split ends and prevent breakage.
Training your curls to look their best takes time, patience, and a willingness to experiment with different products and techniques. By understanding your hair type, cleansing and conditioning your hair properly, and styling your curls with care, you can achieve the perfect curl routine for your hair. Don’t be afraid to try new things and see what works best for you!
How often should I wash my curly hair?
This depends on your hair type and lifestyle. Tight, coiled curls can often go 7-10 days between washes, while wavy hair may need to be washed every 2-3 days. Experiment to find the right frequency for your hair.
What should I look for in a curl-defining product?
You’ll want a product that provides moisture, reduces frizz, and defines your curls without weighing them down. Look for ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and glycerin, which can all help hydrate your curls and keep them looking bouncy and defined.
How can I reduce frizz in my curls?
Frizz often occurs when your hair is dry or damaged. To combat frizz, be sure to use hydrating products, avoid touching your hair too much, and consider sleeping on a satin pillowcase or wearing a satin bonnet to reduce friction.
Is it bad to brush curly hair?
While brushing can be damaging to curly hair, using a wide-tooth comb to detangle your curls while the conditioner is still in your hair can help prevent breakage and keep your curls looking their best.
Can I train my hair to be more curly?
You can’t change your hair’s natural curl pattern, but you can take steps to enhance your curls and make them look their best. This includes using products specifically formulated for curly hair, avoiding heat styling tools, and maintaining a healthy haircare routine.
1. “The Curly Girl Method: A Complete Guide,” Healthline, June 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/curly-girl-method
2. “How To Train Your Curls to Spiral and Bounce,” Allure, March 2021. https://www.allure.com/story/how-to-train-your-curls
3. “The Ultimate Guide to Curl Types and Hair Texture,” Naturally Curly, Accessed August 2021. https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-typing/the-ultimate-guide-to-curl-texture-and-hair