Hey Curlies! My name’s Sara and I was fortunate enough to be born with curly red hair! And if you were born lucky like me, you know that curly hair is both a blessing and a curse, but mostly the latter in the winter months.
Well don’t you worry! I’m here to help you have more good hair days and curl goals during those dreaded cold and dry winter days.
So here’s 10 Curly Girl Tips to help you out!
1.) Find out your curl pattern!
Finding your curl pattern will help you learn what products you can and can’t put in your hair. Your curl pattern can definitely change overtime and your curls can become more defined overtime with consistent good care to it, but finding out your curl pattern is a great place to start! If you need help finding yours, check out the chart below! For an example, I have mostly 3a curls with some 2c waves thrown in and sometimes on a really good hair day I can get some 3b curls!
2.) Cut out the Sulfates and Silicones!
One of the first ingredients in most shampoos are sulfates. For deep cleansing, sulfates are great! But if used all the time, they can make your hair really damaged. Sulfates strip your hair of all of it’s natural oils and make curls less defined and into a frizzy mess.
Most conditioners contain silicones. They are used to create a fake sheen in your hair that the sulfates in shampoo stripped away. They also leave a residue on your hair that only something as strong as sulfates can get out.
Sounds gross, right?!
So next time you go shopping for new hair products, look at the ingredients on the back! If you see something ending in “sulfate” or “-cone,” put it back and get something with more natural ingredients for your hair!
If you’re totally lost in trying to find natural products, try Shea Moisture! I use their coconut and hibiscus line. You can find them in really any place that sells hair products or online
3.) NO Heat!
Everyone knows that using heat tools is bad for your hair, but this is especially true for curly girls. So even though it’s cold during the winter months, try not to put super hot water, any heat styling tool, or a hot blow dryer on your hair. If your hair is still wet and you need to go outside without it freezing, try diffusing your hair with warm or cool air.
Here’s me back in 2014 when I used to heat style my hair almost everyday to re-curl my curls because of how self-conscious I was. My curls somehow survived, but I ended up having to cut off over 8 inches last year because of how damaged my hair was from all that heat.
4.) Co-wash as much as possible
What’s co-washing? In basic terms, it means to just wash your hair with water and a silicone free conditioner. By not shampooing it, it helps keep the natural oils in your hair, therefore making your curls more defined. It may feel gross the first few times you don’t use shampoo, but trust me, your hair will get used to it pretty quick and love you for it!
5.) Squish to condish
“Squish to condish” is a way of rinsing your conditioner out and at the same time enhancing your curls
Here’s the basics of it:
- Add enough conditioner in your hair to make it slippery and a “seaweed” texture
- Comb through your hair with your fingers to get all of the knots out
- Place your hair in a bun or under a shower cap while you finish up your shower to give the conditioner time to soak in
- When your ready, put your hair under the water for just a few seconds, allowing it to get soaking wet
- Flip your head over and out of the stream of water, and squish your hair few times, getting the conditioner out
- Repeat the rinse and squish a few times until you get the desired amount of conditioner out
- You want to leave a bit of the conditioner in your hair
If you’re confused and want a visual tutorial on how to “squish to condish,” just look up “squish to condish curly hair” on YouTube and you’ll find lots of great demos
6.) Don’t dry your hair with a plain ol’ towel
Regular bath towels create loads of frizz, and of course curly girls don’t want that!
Instead, try a t-shirt or a microfiber towel to scrunch your hair dry
7.) Find out what your hair likes!
Curly hair in the winter is a constant struggle to get a perfect balance of protein and moisture in order to obtain those perfect curls. My hair loves protein, but definitely craves moisture in the winter months. I use hair masques, deep conditioning, and oil treatments to help trap the moisture in.
Some curls also hate glycerin like mine, so experiment with different ingredients until you find something that’ll make your hair the bomb!
This masque is especially good for those with damaged or dry hair like me!
8.) Finger-Coil the heck out of your curls!
Finger-coiling is a way of styling your hair after applying product and detangling your hair in order to get the most defined curls.
I recently learned the magic ways of finger-coiling, and look at those curls go!
9.) Find a routine and stick with it!
Your curls are your baby and just like kids, they can sometimes be resistant to change. So if find something that works and makes your curls look popping, stick with it!
I co-wash every 2-3 days, shampoo every 2-4 washes, and deep condition or do an oil treatment about every two weeks.
Here’s my routine on deep conditioning days:
- Wet hair
- Apply hair masque (enough so it feels like seaweed!) to soaking wet hair and comb through all knots with fingers or wide tooth comb
- Plop in shower cap or microfiber hair turban for 1-2 hours (Usually about two episodes of a TV show)
- Rinse out masque and shampoo with sulfate free shampoo
- Squish to condish
- Keep head upside down and apply hair mousse with praying hands to soaking wet hair
- Apply a pea-size amount of hair gel with praying hands to soaking wet hair
- Flip right-side-up and divide hair into three sections (crown, and divide remaining hair in a middle part)
- Apply a pea-sized amount of gel to each section
- Distribute product with Denman brush
- Scrunch partly dry with t-shirt
- Plop in microfiber hair turban for about 20 minutes
- Scrunch dry again with t-shirt of micro-fiber towel
- Air dry and fluff hair when completely dry
- Partly blow dry with warm air if needed
Here’s my products:
From left to right: Aussie Instant Freeze gel, DevaCurl One Condition Original, Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus shampoo and conditioner, Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus hair mousse, 7 row Denman Brush with three rows taken out, wide toothed shower comb, Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
10.) Love your curls for what they are!!
Sometimes even with all the hard work curly girls put in, curls don’t want to cooperate. And that’s okay! That’s part of the fun of having curly hair! So even on the rough days, be your own curly inspo 😘
Here’s some that I’ll leave you with:
For more inspo, join the “Curly Girl (Method) Support Group International” on Facebook! There’s over 100,000 members!
Catch ya later, curlies!!
— Sara ❤💖