5 Simple Tips to Get the Best Curl Definition
TIP #1: CONDITIONER WASH (Co-Wash) or use a SULFATE-FREE SHAMPOO.
Here’s why… Sulfates are what provide that sudsy lather, but are very harsh and drying to the hair, especially to CurlyKinkyCoily hair, as it strips out all moisture and natural oils. If you do use a sulfate shampoo, it is recommended that you first do a pre-poo (pre-shampoo) by way of a hot oil treatment with a natural oil to make up for the loss of oils during the shampoo process. If you're going to use the no-poo/co-wash/no-cone "Curly Girl" hair regimen, prior to starting the new regimen, you must first clarify hair of any build-up or cone-containing products using a sulfate shampoo. If using shampoo, only use shampoo to cleanse the scalp on the first wash, getting underneath the hair; rinse with warm water allowing the shampoo to cleanse the hair as it runs down the hair; then co-wash the hair on the 2nd or subsequent washes. When cleansing scalp, take advantage of that time to do a scalp massage which increases blood flow & stimulates follicles making hair grow faster; and strengthens follicles which strengthens hair shaft. Always wash & condition hair in a smoothing motion… Never mangle or be vigorous, as you will disturb your curl pattern, and make it harder to detangle. Let warm water run down hair to open hair cuticle before washing & conditioning, warm water to rinse out shampoo (if using shampoo), then do cold water rinse to close hair cuticle (after applying conditioner) resulting in better curl definition, less frizz & shinier hair. Try not to rinse out all of conditioner.
TIP #2: Fingers are the best DETANGLING tools.
Here’s why… Finger-detangling preserves the ends of the hair strands, which are the oldest and most fragile part of the hair strands. Excessive combing and brushing may cause damage and split ends. If finger-detangling is not sufficient, it is recommended that you use a Wide-tooth comb, Denman (or Denman-like) brush, or Paddle brush to detangle hair, and when detangling always start from the ends up making sure hair is wet & loaded with conditioner. When detangling hair, always be gentle as if you are handling a fine piece of lace. Hair should never be combed or brushed when it is dry, as that may cause breakage. Feeling or seeing white bulb is shed hair; Not feeling or seeing white bulb is hair breakage. (The Detangling tip does not apply to those with Locs)
TIP #3: Water is the best MOISTURIZER for CurlyKinkyCoily hair which is naturally dry & thirsty.
Here’s why… Natural Hair is naturally dry and thirsty, so natural hair absolutely loves water and craves it! Therefore, water-based moisturizers are best. There are 4 forms of moisturizers: liquid, cream, butter/pomade, and oil. Although some people moisturize their hair with a Butter/Pomade or Oil, they really should not be be put into the moisturizer category since neither contain a drop of water. Butter/Pomade and Oil can, on the other hand, be used to seal in moisture; to provide shine to the hair; to keep set styles and heat styled hair looking neat; and/or used as hot oil scalp & hair conditioning treatments. Moisturize hair at least once a day (if not twice a day, in the morning and before you go to bed). You can also try the "bagging method" - sleeping with a plastic cap or bag (after nighttime moisturizing) to keep hair moist while you sleep. It's only recommended that you use the "bagging method" if you have severe hair dryness and you're wearing a wet style the next day since your hair will be damp when you wake up.
TIP #4: SMOOTH hair strands when manipulating hair.
Here’s why… The hair cuticle is the outermost part of the hair shaft. The cuticle is the protective layer of the hair strand and has a scale-like appearance underneath a microscope. Imaging what a pine cone looks like when the pines are open versus when they are closed. Well, that it what the hair cuticle looks similar to when the cuticle is open versus when the cuticle is closed. When the hair cuticle is lifted (open pines), the hair looks frizzy, dull-looking, and creates more tangles. When the hair cuticle is laid down (closed pines), the hair looks less frizzy, shinier, and has less tangles. In Curly, Kinky, and Coily hair, the hair cuticle automatically lifts, especially at the bend of each Curly, Kinky, or Coily hair strand. To force the cuticle to lay down, it is suggested that you smooth the hair each time you manipulate it during cleansing, conditioning, styling, etc. Smoothing hair strands combats frizz, creates shinier hair, and reduces tangles.
TIP #5: Read your hair product INGREDIENTS!
Here’s why… When reading list of ingredients, always remember… First to Last means Most to Least. If you experience hair dryness, avoid products (particularly in conditioners, cream moisturizers, and gels) that have silicones a.k.a cones - ingredients that end with "cone", "conol", or "xane". Although silicones give the hair slick, smooth, shiny appearance, silicones coat the hair providing a barrier that blocks out moisture. Therefore, cone-containing products tend to cause dryness to hair with continued use. It is, however, recommended to use silicones as a heat protectant when heat styling. Avoid products (particularly in oils, cream moisturizers & pomades) that have mineral oil (aka pariffinum liquidum), petroleum, petrolatum, or lanolin. Known to be used as emollients, these ingredients may cause dryness & clog pores which may prevent the hair follicle from growing hair at normal rate. They do not penetrate the hair or scalp. They just sit on top of scalp & hair.
Now that you understand how easy it is to get super-defined, frizz-free curls, the next step is to put these tips put into action!
To learn more helpful tips on cleansing, conditioning, moisturizing, oiling, styling and much much more, CHECK OUT MY BOOK!
"101 Natural Hair Care Tips for Curly, Kinky & Coily Hair - Get ShidaNaturalized!"