NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Curly hair is unique and beautiful with all of its bends, curves and coils. Because of its curvy nature, the natural oils produced by the scalp to soften and protect strands have a harder time traveling from top to bottom. As a result, curly girls often experience low levels of moisture. In essence, curly hair is thirsty hair.
For women with naturally curly hair, the hair care regimen is different from the typical lather-rinse-repeat routine. Here are smart curly hair care tips from the pros at Matrix, for caring for all kinds of natural curls.
1. Embrace the Pre-Shampoo Treatment for Curly Hair
Many curly girls with delicate locks swear by the pre-shampoo routine. Pre-shampooing is exactly what it says—a step performed before shampooing. Pre-shampooing is an oil treatment that softens, conditions and detangles the hair prior to shampooing. It prevents unnecessary roughness and damage during the shampooing process, especially if hair is extremely tangled or snarled.
This may seem like a time-consuming extra step, but this step may actually save you time in the long run because your hair will be much easier to detangle post-shampoo.
2. Skip Daily Shampoos
Curly hair doesn’t need to be shampooed as frequently as straight hair. Frequent shampooing can stretch and stress out fragile strands and dry out thirsty curls. However, don’t be afraid to use a conditioner for curly hair frequently. You can use conditioner even if you don’t shampoo your hair.
3. Choose Your Shampoo for Curly Hair Wisely
You shouldn’t cleanse your curls with a harsh shampoo. Use a mild shampoo for curly hair or a low-lather cleansing conditioner that will refresh your hair and scalp without stripping away too much of its natural moisture and oils.
When cleansing your hair, be sure to focus your shampoo mainly on your scalp to avoid potentially drying out your ends.
4. Section Your Hair for Tangle-Free Washing
Rubbing, scrubbing, swirling or piling your hair on top of your head while shampooing can be disastrous for curls. This type of manipulation leads to the type of tangles you don’t even want to think about. Instead, break it down. Divide your hair into four sections.
Twist or clip away all but the first section. Apply a small amount of shampoo or cleansing conditioner to your scalp and work it in thoroughly. Then gently squeeze it down along the lengths. Repeat on each of the sections. Then rinse in the same sequence—section by section, starting at the scalp and squeezing the suds out of the lengths from top to bottom.
5. Turn Down the Hot Water
Yes, a cold-water shampoo and/or rinse doesn’t make for the most luxurious hair washing experience. But cold water will snap those cuticles shut, which in turn will lock in moisture, make your hair shinier and reduce frizz.
6. Use Deep Hair Conditioner
After shampooing, apply a deep conditioner to help lock in moisture.
As with your shampoo and pre-shampoo formulas, work this formula into your hair in sections to be sure it’s applied thoroughly. Avoid the scalp—that’s not where you typically need moisture. Use a wide tooth comb to distribute the conditioner evenly. Then let the conditioner go to work. Place your hair under a plastic cap or hood dryer for 10 minutes or cover it with a towel for 20 minutes and let your body heat do the work. If you’re using a moisturizing conditioner and your hair has absorbed most of it, you may not want or need to rinse.
7. Plop Your Hair for Frizz-Free Locks
Most regular towels will rough up the cuticle, which leads to frizz and general curl catastrophe. To keep curls intact and avoid frizz, opt for micro-fiber towels or a soft cotton t-shirt to blot excess moisture. Then plop!
Lay the t-shirt or micro-fiber towel flat. Flip your head over and gently place your curls in the shirt or towel. Grab the ends of the towel and start twisting, creating towel twists on each side. When your curls are secure, pull the twists back and tie them or clip them together. Wait at least 30 minutes (or just go to bed) before removing the shirt or towel. Excess moisture will be absorbed, and your curls will remain defined and frizz-free.
8. Use A Satin Pillowcase
Speaking of bed, that’s another spot that can make or break your curls. Rough cotton pillowcases can cause your coils to tangle and frizz. Outfit your bed (or at least your pillows) with smooth satin pillowcases. Or wrap your hair in a satin scarf or bonnet to keep curls sleek and intact.
9. Comb Correctly
Comb with care and use seamless, snag-free combs. Invest in the best possible quality comb. Don’t pull or rake. When detangling your hair after shampooing, use a very wide-tooth comb and detangle gently, section by section. Always detangle your hair when it’s wet, preferably when it’s protected with a coat of conditioner.
As far as brushing goes, just don’t. It will wreak havoc on your curl pattern by breaking up the hair strands and creating a frothy, frizzy mess. You also risk yanking the hair out at the root or breaking it mid-shaft or creating split ends with a brush.
10. Lay Off the Heat
Blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons—all these thermal tools lead to breakage. If you’re a hot tool addict, try to wean yourself off of the heat. Opt for air drying hair on the weekends or at night. Set your hair in twists or on foam rollers and let it dry naturally.
When you do use tools, invest in the highest quality you can afford. Look for tools containing ionic properties, made with tourmaline or ceramic. Always apply a heat protection product prior to styling.
If you must style with heat, consider switching to a diffuser. It minimizes frizz by evenly distributing heat, and it’s much gentler than direct heat from a blow dryer. To diffuse, start at the roots using circular motions, moving in the same direction. Continue drying, keeping the dryer at a 90-degree angle to your scalp. Finally diffuse the ends. Finally, when your hair is just about dry, hit the cool button on your dryer to lock in shine.
About Matrix Professional
MATRIX, the leading professional hair care and hair color company in the United States, is part of Loreal USA's Professional Products Division. Founded in 1980, MATRIX is committed to the development of the salon professional and offers a wide range of products including: Biolage, SOCOLOR, Color Sync, Logics, Light Master, Total Results, Style Link, Oil Wonders and Vavoom (MATRIX professional products are available only in salons and can be guaranteed authentic when purchased from authorized retailers). Visit Matrix.com for hairstyle and hair color inspiration as well as MATRIX trends and tips! Professionals visit www.matrixprofessional.com for techniques, formulas, salon resources and much more!