If you have curly hair, you already know that caring for it can be a bit of a handful. Unlike straight and wavy hair types, curly hair often comes with its own unique set of challenges, among them, an increased likelihood of breakage, frizz, and dryness. Whether you have 3A or 3C curls then, chances are you’ve likely already encountered at least one or two of these concerns in your quest for bouncy, frizz-free, defined curls. Hey, the struggle is real—we get it. That’s why we caught up with our team of in-house hair care experts to get the scoop on the most common curly hair mistakes and what you can do to avoid them to help keep your curls smooth, shiny, and intact!
Mistake #1: Overcleansing Your Hair
While how often you wash your hair is entirely up to you and typically dependent upon on a number of factors—scalp moisture, sebum production, workout schedule among them—it’s recommended that curly hair types keep the shampooing to a minimum. In other words, you should probably refrain from shampooing your hair everyday. Textured hair needs its natural oils to stay healthy, and if shampooed too frequently, it may dry out, which can lead to damage and breakage. For the best results, try cleaning it just once or twice a week.
Mistake #2: Skipping Conditioner
Curly and textured hair types often lean more towards the dry, dull, and frizzy end of the spectrum, which is why it’s crucial for you to keep those delicate strands well hydrated. In other words: don’t skip out on conditioner! A hydrating conditioner that’s specially designed to work with your curly hair—like Function of Beauty’s customizable formulas—will help provide a healthy dose of hydration, nourishment, and protection that your hair isn’t able to get from shampoo alone. Just be sure to look for hair-healthy ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, avocado oil, and aloe vera.
Bonus tip: If your curls are flat on top, try rinsing your hair upside down. Rinsing your hair with your head back can flatten out your curls, causing them to lose volume.
Mistake #3: Waiting Too Long to Apply Styling Products
When it comes to curly hair, the sooner you can set your curls the better, which is why it’s recommended you apply styling products while your hair is still very damp and before your frizz has time to set in. If you wait too long, you may rough up the hair cuticle, causing your curls to become frizzy and undefined. When applying your products, be sure to also work them through with closed hands, taking care not to rake through your fragile curls, as this can also cause frizz and damage.
Mistake #4: Blow-Drying Your Hair the Wrong Way
Air-drying your hair whenever possible is typically the best choice for curly-haired girls. That said, if you are going to dry your hair, be sure to add a diffuser attachment onto your blow dryer to help limit the amount of direct heat and forceful air hitting your strands. By using a diffuser, you’ll be able to keep your hair from being tossed around too much while you dry, in turn, creating less friction and thus, less frizz.
Mistake #5: Not Using a Leave-In Conditioner
It’s not enough to just condition your hair in the shower. Textured hair needs long-lasting moisture and protection, which is why it’s highly recommended that you invest in a lightweight leave-in conditioner like our customizable leave-in treatment. In addition to providing your hair with a hefty dose of long-lasting moisture and nourishment, it also forms a protective barrier around your strands to help block out those things that can harm your curls, like frizz, breakage, and UV damage. Plus, like with all of our products, you’ll be able to choose the hair goals of your unique formula, which means you can add things like anti-frizz, shine, and curl definition, to your leave-in treatment to help give your hair an extra boost of their benefits all day long.
Mistake #6: Using a Brush to Detangle
If you take just one tidbit away from this post, let it be this: never brush or detangle your hair post-shower. Using a fine-tooth comb on textured hair is the easiest way to disrupt your curl pattern, causing your strands to turn into one giant, unruly mess. Instead, try gently combing and detangling your curls in the shower while you condition your hair. Using a wide-tooth comb, work the conditioner through the length of your hair, being sure to work your way from the ends to the roots until your curls are knot-free. Once your hair is completely rinsed, you should refrain from combing or detangling your hair (even with your fingers), as this will only break apart your curls and create more unnecessary frustration.
Mistake #7: Using Products With Sulfates
While we always make it a point to stay away from products containing sulfates (those cleansing agents responsible for the rich lather in shampoos), it’s especially important to do so when you’re dealing with curly hair. Sulfates strip and dehydrate your strands, causing them to become brittle and frizzy. When it comes to textured hair, you want to look for moisture-based products that gently nourish your strands without stripping them of their natural oils, which is where our customizable formulas come into play. In addition to being 100% sulfate-free, they also give you the option to add up to five curl-approved hair goals to your formula, including anti-frizz, deep condition, and curl definition, so your curls can stay smooth and bouncy all year-round.
Mistake #8: Not Protecting Your Hair While You Sleep
It might seem a little high maintenance, but protecting your hair while you sleep is actually a crucial step in caring for your textured hair. No matter how expensive your sheets may be, their cotton fabric is still far too harsh on your delicate strands. Cotton also soaks up your hair’s natural oils while you sleep, depleting your strands of their moisture. To combat this, try wrapping your hair in a silk scarf or sleeping on a silk pillowcase, which will help preserve your curl pattern and reduce the amount of friction they’re exposed to throughout the night. Come morning, your curls will be smooth, shiny, and full of life!