Learn how to perfect your routine for natural 3c hair and how to achieve smooth curls. These curly hair tips will extend your time between wash days and allow you to rock confident styles without frizz.
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How to Care for Natural Hair 3C
How you care for your natural hair will depend on the porosity of your hair as well as the structure of your curls. If you have coiler hair, you’ll need to create a different routine than someone with looser curls.
However, there are a few products that everyone with curly hair should have to make their lives easier:
- Detangling brush
- Styling brush
- Comb (for parting the hair)
- Conditioning mask
- Protein mask
- Spray bottle for product or water
In addition, you’ll need to think about what you desire in a curly hair product. Do you want to use organic ingredients? Are cruelty-free products important to you? Do you prefer mousse or gel? Answering questions like this will make the search process much easier.
1. Perfect Your Wash & Go
Wash and go styles offer a lot of freedom because you don’t need to spend time twisting or braiding your hair.
Most wash and go methods incorporate aspects of the Curly Girl Method or LOC method (layering a leave-in conditioner, an oil, and a cream followed by air drying or heat styling).
However, you do not need to follow the curly girl method to achieve results.
Building the perfect hair care routine will depend on the strength of your hair, the weather/humidity, the products you prefer, and the season.
Related post: 11 Hair Wash Day Essentials for 3C Curly Hair
2. Use Twist Outs and Protective Styles to Your Advantage
Twists and protective styles are perfect for elongating your curl pattern, especially if you want to french braid your hair or you’re going on a long trip where you know you’ll be wearing a lot of up dos.
Although it can seem counter intuitive to twist of braid your hair just so you can braid it later, but if you have a very coily pattern that is difficult to pull back into a bun or to braid, twisting your hair elongates your curl pattern which allows you to easily pull your hair into different up dos with less tension on your scalp.
Natural protective styles for 3C hair are also perfect at night to prevent frizz. Wrap your hair in satin or silk at night to preserve your twists. Choosing between a pillowcase and a wrap will depend on your lifestyle. If you’re traveling you might not feel like wrapping your curls.
My hair which is right on the border of 3C/4A. A satin or silk pillow case has made a huge difference. I don’t spend as much time in the morning getting ready, and my wash and go styles last longer.
Experiment with Overnight Styles
Protective styles are perfect for preserving your curls overnight, but be careful not to use overly tight protective styles that will stretch your hair too much. If you stretch out your curls, it will be difficult to refresh them in the morning, and you may case frizz.
Twist your hair at night, and wrap it with a hair scarf. This will allow your hair to absorb your products and dry naturally without using heat. If your hair is still wet in the morning, use a diffuser to dry the twists completely before untwisting them. Pro natural hair tip: If you unravel wet twists, you will cause frizz and your curls will not be defined. They also won’t last as long.
If you don’t want to do a protective style at night, use a satin pillowcase or a bonnet. You can put your hair in a loose pineapple ponytail or a loose high bun to keep it out of your face.
Twists and Protective Styles
If you decide to try twists, it’s best to spend the time to set your twists correctly. After you’re done, you can relax and enjoy an amazing twist out that will last until the next wash day.
When you start a twist out, be sure to do so after cleansing and conditioning your hair. Begin with a leave-in conditioner and follow with a heavy sealing oil. If you have very course hair, I recommend using the LOC method on a section of your hair before twisting.
Separate your hair into clearly defined sections with a comb, complete the LOC method for each section, and then twist that section tightly. Your hair should be coated in product, but not visibly so. You should not see a white film. If you do, don’t panic. You will achieve the right balance with practice. Use a microfiber towel or a t-shirt to blot away the extra product.
When you finish the twist, use your finger to coil the bottom into its own mini curl. This will make your ends look smooth with you unravel your twists in the morning. You don’t want to spend time twisting your hair only to have uneven, frizzy ends when you untwist your hair in the morning.
When you are ready to take apart your twists, coat your fingers with oil to prevent friction and frizz. Make sure you fluff your hair: pull apart the twists slightly and use your fingers to shake the roots of your hair. If you don’t fluff, your hair will look stiff. The purpose of twists is to have a protective style that can easily be taken down and worn for several days after.
3. Learn the Signs of Moisture & Protein Imbalance
Moisturizing your hair with quality products is so important to maintaining healthy hair. Although some may tell you to pile on the moisturizing products, too much moisture can affect the quality of your curly hair. If you over moisturize, you may find your hair becomes frizzy and difficult to style. For more information about how to maintain the proper protein-moisture balance, see A Complete Guide to Protein Moisture Balance|Natural 3C Hair.
Wash- and-go styles, protective twists, and proper moisture are essential tips for smooth curls if you have natural 3c hair. I hope these tips help you.