This post is all about natural hair care and will teach you how to take care of your curls. Learn everything you need to know about curly hair, the easy (and not so easy) tasks you have as a curly girl, and how to simplify your routine.
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I’m writing this post to share the tips I wish someone had shared with me when I started my curly hair journey seven years ago. Caring for curly hair is a labor of love. Anyone who tells you taking care of curly hair is easy probably isn’t familiar with the territory.
Finding a routine that works will take trial and error. When I started wearing my hair curly, I wasted time and money testing products that didn’t work for me.
It’s an investment in your health and it will pay off.
Natural Hair Care Tips for Beginners
If you are new to taking care of your curls, you need to know that there are several different types of products. These are meant to be applied on your hair in layers (aka product cocktailing) to define your curls. Don’t be afraid to mix products, but know that some types of products mix better than others.
Oils and creams mix well. Creams and gels also mix well. More on that in a minute…feel free to download the curly hair care checklist below so you won’t miss any steps
What you need:
- Hair Treatments: Deep conditioner
- Cleanser and Conditioner
- Styling brush and comb
- T-Shirt or Microfiber towel to prevent frizz
Natural Hair Care Routine at Home
To take care of your natural hair at home, there are a few things you need to know. First, having the right products for your hair is extremely important. The best way to do this is through trial and error. It’s important to pay attention to the ingredient labels very carefully to make sure you’re choosing products that meet your standards. It will take a little bit of time to find ingredients that work for you.
I highly recommend taking time to really research the ingredients in your products even if it’s frustrating at first to take the time.
It’s better to spend a little longer searching and make an informed purchase than to cross your fingers and hope that the formula works for you as well as it did for someone else because it has good reviews.
Natural Hair Care Salon
Although it might seem like a good idea to forgo hair cuts and grow your hair out when you decide to embrace your curls, there are a few reasons you’ll want to find someone who can cut your hair:
- The shape/cut of your hair changes the way your curls fall
- You’ll likely feel better if you regularly remove split ends
Getting your curls in shape isn’t just about treating your hair with masks and using the right hair tools. The way your hair is cut can actually accentuate your curl pattern and make your curls bouncier. If you cut your hair, you can work with your stylist to ensure you have the best cut for your curls and remove weight that is pulling on your curls and reducing volume.
In my experience, the more I get my hair cut, the faster is grows and the healthier it looks. However, it took me a really long time to find someone who could cut my hair. It’s worth the time it takes to find someone.
When you get your hair cut, use Pinterest to find photos of similar looks that you like. This will make it easier to communicate what you’re looking for to your hair stylist so you end up with the haircut you want. Here is a link to one of my curly hair inspiration boards to help you get started.
Natural Hair Care Routine
Your hair care routine will vary depending on your hair type. You will need to consistently deep condition your hair (usually once or twice every week). You will also need to layer products in a way that works for you. Here are a few methods to consider incorporating into your regimen:
You can download the curly girl routine checklist below for the steps you need to perfect your curly hair journey. First, I’ve created a super simple checklist to help you build a routine that actually works…
Best Natural Hair Care Products
There isn’t a one size fits all list for the best natural hair care products. You’ll hear a lot of people say you need to choose the best products for your hair type. While this is true, there are other things to consider.
I recommend thinking about your hair type and also choosing a styling method that fits your lifestyle (twists, wash and gos…what’s easier for you to do everyday that won’t take all of your time in the morning?).
If you prefer a wash and go with the LCO method, for example, you’ll need a leave-in, a cream, and an oil. If you prefer a twist out, maybe all you need is a curl cream to twist your hair and keep it moisturized.
If you haven’t already, download the curly hair checklist to help you start building a personalized routine that works for you. This just offers a starting framework to help simplify the process.
Here are a few key points to take with you on your hair journey…
Hair Tools Matter
Hair tools matter so much. If your tools are tearing at your ends or ripping out your hair, you are working against yourself. With the right hair tools, your curls will come alive, and your routine will be so much easier. For recommendations, see 11 Hair Wash Day Essentials.
It Takes Time
Your natural hair journey will take time. Don’t give up. Even though it may feel as though you’re not making any progress. You know what they say about watching a pot boil. The same is true of curly hair. Just trust the process, stick to a routine, and use healthy ingredients. Before you know it your curls will come alive.
Ingredients Are Everything: It’s All in The Recipe
Although harsh chemicals might seem like they will whip your curls into shape, they aren’t good for your hair in the long term.
Before you rush to the checkout isle, examine your ingredient labels. Clean, healthy ingredients will nourish your hair from the inside out. Remember to check product labels and to invest in quality products. See How To Tell if Your Beauty Products Are Clean for tips.
Also, make sure you know your oils. They make a huge difference in the health of your hair. There are different oils for different purposes. Heavier oils are great for sealing in moisture while lighter oils are nice for conditioning. The type of oil you need will depend on your curly hair type.
Don’t Underestimate Humidity
No matter what your hair type is, you will probably struggle with humidity at some point. Remember to moisturize your hair, check your protein moisture balance, and use products specifically designed to combat humidity for the best results.
Hair Cut/Shape Makes a World of Difference
Don’t forget your hair appointments. These make such a big difference. Showcase all that hard work and time spent with a good hair cut.
“Clean,” “green,” and “natural” may not mean what you think they mean. Many products that are marketed as clean or green have harsh chemicals. Question everything. Use google and clean beauty databases to find out how clean those products in your cart really are.
Multitask on Wash Day
Your hair wash days are ideal for running errands, doing homework, a day at home with your kids…Don’t forget that deep conditioning is valuable time. Run errands and do whatever your heart desires.
Don’t Rush Your Natural Hair Care Routine
Don’t rush hair styling. Even though you will spend two or three hours defining those curls (3C and 4A curlies will know what I mean), it is worth it to do it right the first time. You set yourself up for a week of good hair days by taking the time to do it right on wash day.
And when they ask if it’s natural…
…you’ll say yes!
It is a process. Don’t give up. For those of you who are already there, congrats! You get to enjoy the hard work you’ve put into your hair and you health. If you haven’t already, you can download the free curly hair checklist here.