Curly hair gets unnecessary hate for being too difficult to tame. In actuality, voluminous hair is a gift. Anyone with lanky, fine hair would trade places with you in a jiffy! Although, we must admit that taking care of it involves a bit of hard work. While curls can be your best friend when the weather is nice, it can turn into a humongous bloated mess when it’s humid or into a shapeless droopy mop when your scalp is dirty. Audrey D’Souza, Educator, TIGI, India says, “Curly hair gets a bad rap for being unmanageable, but it is versatile like any other hair texture. All it needs is regular care with the right products and some extra love on days when it gets a tad unruly.”
So, let’s jump right into the tips and products that can keep your curls in check.
CURLY HAIR CARE 101
Wash it right
“Washing your hair is the first and foremost step in any hair care routine, irrespective of the hair texture. Washing or cleansing ensures that there is no dust, excess oil, dead skin cells and product build-up on your scalp,” explains D’Souza. It’s important to choose a shampoo that suits your hair texture—one that gently cleanses it without stripping your hair’s natural oils and keeps your curls soft. Most curly-hair shampoos are extra-nourishing and add large amounts of moisture to the ends of your curls—since it is difficult for your scalp’s natural oils to make their way to those curled-up tips. Dry shampoos are great for a greasy scalp on days you don’t want to wash your hair!
Make sure to always use cold water. Hot-water showers remove the natural oils or sebum from your scalp and hair. It can also open the cuticle, making the hair strands prone to frizz and breakage. “Coldwater rinses are your safest bet, whether you are shampooing or conditioning your hair.”
Always use a conditioner
D’Souza recommends conditioning your curls to keep them happy and healthy. “Curly hair tends to become dry easily, so avoid excessively shampooing it, as that will strip it of its natural moisture. Instead, ensure you condition your hair after every wash and look for a moisturising conditioner. Conditioning also makes sure that your hair cuticle is sealed and protected against environmental damage.” If your hair is really dry or frizzy, you can also do a hair-mask treatment once a week after the shower to deep-condition. Apply it to clean, wet hair and rinse it out after some 15 minutes.
Never brush your curls after a wash
“Resist the urge to brush the curly hair, guys,” says D’Souza. “Use a wide-toothed comb before shampooing your hair instead. After washing your hair, simply run your fingers through your hair. Never brush your wet hair, as it is more prone to breakage and damage then.”
Always style with moderate heat
This is for men with those sexy, alluringly long soft curls. You do need a little help setting the hair unless you’re going for the wild, out-of-bed look. While using heat-induced styling tools such as a blow-dryer or iron, always make sure to use moderate heat and a diffuser to protect your natural curls.
“The high temperature from styling tools can remove the natural texture of your curls, making them dull and lifeless,” explains D’Souza. A leave-in serum like the TIGI Bedhead Control Freak is a great way to protect your hair from heat damage. Apply a few drops of this light, non-greasy serum before styling. “It’s humidity-resistant formula delivers a straight-up glossy finish while fighting the frizz and helping define your curls making them manageable.” Perfect for Indian weather! A leave-in conditioner can be used to the style, as well as an anti-frizz oil or cream.
Use a wide-toothed comb
“A hairbrush can mess with your natural hair texture and can cause damage to your hair,” warns D’Souza. Use a wide-toothed comb to remove the tangles in your curly hair. Comb from the bottom up to remove knots, if any. Each curl can be considered as a potential breaking point, so handle them gently.
Trim to avoid split ends
D’Souza advises getting your hair trimmed every six to eight weeks to get rid of split ends and damaged hair. “In case you’ve been loving your longer hair, we recommend you use a split-end-mender/leave-in conditioner, which mends and protects dry, damaged hair from environmental elements, chemical treatments and brushing.”
A good rule to follow is swapping products as the seasons change. For cold wintry months, choose products with extra hydrating ingredients. During summer, it’s best to go for lightweight, anti-frizz and anti-humidity formulas to keep those curls under control.
There you have it, guys. A little extra care will give you great looking curls that warrant attention!
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