The easiest way to deal with curls is to work with what nature gave you, not against it. Don’t go down Straight Street, it’s not where you belong, Curly Crescent is where you need to be & I can teach you how to love being home sweet home.
By the time next summer rolls around, you will have plenty of practice in what to do with your hair & hopefully be loving your curls by that time. So, this past summer was spent with your hair either looking like a matted Shih-Tzu, a Disney witch on a really bad day or thrown up on top of your head. Whichever look you ended up with, it still ended badly with lots of tangles, frizzy, distorted curls, cutting out hair ties or even tears.
It doesn’t have to be like that & ultimately will not take you a great deal more time while conditioning your hair. Hydration is the major factor in how your curls will behave & coupled with great products & your application method, you really can achieve beautiful curls.
Given that a lot of Australia has fairly semi-temperate winters, we aren’t generally concerned with the issues affecting the northern hemisphere – below freezing temperatures – so getting to know your hair & how to achieve the best from it can be done during this time of year. And right now, Autumn is a great time of year to get started.
First of all you want to use a shampoo (cleanser) that contains no sulphates, although there is one sulphate in particular that is acceptable & it is behentrimonium methosulfate. (See my blog post on 20/2/15 regarding good vs evil products for more information). When cleansing, it is important to give your scalp a good scrub to remove dead skin cells & any dirt with fingertips, not your fingernails. You can do this same step when co-washing as well. Make sure you gently move the cleanser down your hair shaft by scrunching it along the length of your hair without rubbing. Rinse well & always treat your curly hair carefully so as not to disrupt the patterns forming in it while wet.
The conditioner (hydration) you choose will make or break the way in which your hair is contained in its shape ( the degree of, or hopefully, lack of frizziness as well as curl pattern, or lack thereof) so it is imperative to choose one that is free of silicones & alcohols. Check out the list of ingredients deemed to be curl friendly from this site: to become a lot more aware of what you can look for as well as what to avoid. A conditioner with a lot of “slip” is best because you want to get that roping action happening when hydrating your curls in order to help form those big, juicy curls.
Adding a handful of water from time to time during your hydrating step is imperative to get the conditioner to hold that moisture, the water, in your hair to prepare for amazing curls. I believe this step is crucial to the outcome of your curls as hydration is what makes curls pop! Without proper hydration you will still have frizz. Check out a great blog by a fellow Curly Hair Artist, Melissa & especially the article “Squish to Condish” (Here’s the link to make it easy: )
The styling product you choose to use needs to be curl-friendly as well & should be one suited to your hair type, curl type & weather type believe it or not! What is working for me in Townsville may not work for you in Melbourne at all. It has a lot to do with the humectants in the product & where they lie on the ingredient list. Check out my humectant blog for more info on what they are & what they do. As a general rule, if it is nearer to the top of the list then there is more of that ingredient in the product than if t were closer to the bottom of the list. You don’t have to be a scientist to work it all out, but you can become a guru at what YOUR hair needs. Along the way there will be mistakes – products purchased that either don’t live up to the hype or just totally wrong for you. Don’t toss it all straight away though, look for other curly people to start a product swap a couple of times each year or so. It will also get a whole lot of curlistas together to discuss all things curls!! You can research in an online forum or on reputable curly hair product web pages. Read the ingredients of products you think might work for your hair type & look for products with similar ingredients that are available to you in Australia.
Until next time, Stay Curly!