Curly hair can be a little bit needy—it's okay, she's sensitive. Ask any celebrity stylist and they'll tell you that curls require so much extra care because of their dry nature. I can personally attest to this having 3C curls that get drier than the Sahara desert after one day if I don't use some kind of curl cream, hair oil, or conditioner.
If you can relate, you've come to the right place. I decided it was time to get a foolproof curly hair guide from a professional. Celebrity hairstylist, curl expert, and founder of Curl Queen, Nai'vasha, was happy to help. She shared her best curly hair tips with me that are also refreshingly simple. For all her insight, keep reading below.
1. Silk-Protect Your Curls
Nai'vasha's number one tip for keeping your curls healthy involves silk (or satin) protection. "Every day, anyone with curly hair should silk-protect to retain moisture," she says. "It could be a bonnet, scarf, or pillowcase." What most don't realize is that sleeping on harsher fabrics like cotton can do more harm than good for your curls. When your strands rub up against cotton, it can cause friction, static, frizz, and make them dry. This is a no no for curls especially because curls are already naturally on the drier side. Wearing a silk or satin bonnet at night can help keep curls from getting frizzy and dry.
I personally sleep with an adjustable Yanibest satin bonnet on at night that I got on Amazon. It really does help my hair retain moisture. I apply a hair oil before throwing on the bonnet and wake up with softer, more manageable hair.
2. Regularly Deep Condition
This may seem like an obvious one, but a lot of people still aren't doing it. Nai'vasha recommends treating your curls to a deep conditioning mask at least once a week. Depending on how dry your hair is and your curl pattern, you may want to even do two or three times a week.
3. Avoid Too Much Heat Styling
We all know that heat-styling isn't the best for curls, so if you can avoid doing it too often, that would be best for your natural hair texture. If you absolutely must heat style, though, Nai'vasha stresses this one key thing. "When heat styling your curls it’s ultra important to use a heat protectant to prevent over styling and burn out," she shares. "This is the biggest thing to keep in mind."
4. If Blow-Drying, Use a Diffuser
If you must blow dry, those with curls should use a diffuser attachment. A diffuser disperses the hot air from your dryer more evenly to reduce frizz and help curls maintain their natural form. This way, your hair less likely to become overly heat-damaged and your style looks a lot more defined. There are a ton of universal diffuser attachments out there that you can buy that clip onto your own hair dryer, but there are also some top notch dryers out there that come with their own custom attachments. Either way you decide to go, it's worth the investment.
5. Avoid Overwashing Your Curls
Another common mistake curlies make? Washing their hair too much. I'll admit, I used to be one of these folks until my stylist set me straight. Curls are naturally drier in nature, so washing them more than two to three times a week can cause—you bet—more dryness. I had to learn this the hard way. And after years of washing my hair four to five times a week, my stylist finally advised me to do just two or three times a week. It made a world of a difference for my strands. My scalp became less dry and I even switched to an ultra gentle hair cleanser that didn't strip my strands of their natural moisture.
More Curly Hair Products We Love
Because I love Bread's shampoo and conditioner so much, I knew I had to try this leave-in styling cream. Let me tell you, it didn't disappoint. Quinoa protein and mango butter help strengthen and revitalize your hair to give it extra bounce.