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Curly Nikki

5 Tips for Healthy and Lovely Curls

By January 27th, 202116 Comments

5 Tips for Healthy and Lovely Curls

By Dr. Phoenyx Austin

Growing and maintaining healthy, gorgeous natural hair is not hard. It just requires making a commitment to certain basic health and lifestyle choices. When some women ask me about my hair and styling regimen, it’s kinda funny because it sometimes feels like they want me to reveal some super duper top secret tip about what I do to keep my curls looking healthy and full. I always tell them the same basic things I’m about to tell you. Growing healthy and lovely curls is actually quite simple. And honestly there’s no big secret or magic pill. You just have to be patient and follow these 5 tips. Remember, if you love your hair, it will love you back.

1. Eat Healthy

Your hair is a reflection of your body’s internal state. So if you want good stuff on the outside, you can’t put junk on inside. We all know that eating healthy is often easier said than done. So it’s ok if you slip up occasionally. But if you want healthy and gorgeous natural hair, then you are going to have to make sure maintain a relatively healthy diet.

2. Take Vitamins

I wrote a post about this last week, so reference it if necessary. Ultimately, healthy hair needs several nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B12, iron, biotin, zinc, etc. And the easiest way to get most of these nutrients is by taking a good multivitamin.

3. Regularly Deep Condition
If you want healthy, gorgeous curls then deep conditioning should become like a religion. In addition to regular conditioning, I also deep condition once every 2 weeks. Daily conditioners can work great, but often they often don’t have the capability to really penetrate the hair shaft and repair damage like deep conditioners do.

4. Moisturize Daily
The curlier the hair pattern, the drier hair will be. This is why women, particularly Black women with natural hair should make sure we moisturize our hair daily. Moisturizing is very important because it combats dryness, which will ultimately prevent breakage and damage.

5. Keep Things Low Maintenance

Keep things simple with low maintenance and protective styling. All hair goes through normal wear and tear. But the less stress you put on hair by manipulating it with things like combing and heat styling, the less likely it will incur damage that will cause things like split ends and breakage.

And that’s all folks!

What are some other healthy habits naturalistas should adopt for obtaining and maintaining beautiful hair?
Want more hair advice from our writer Dr. Phoenyx Austin? You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Dr. Phoenyx has been featured in Essence for her gorgeous natural hair. And she is a physician, writer and media personality who discusses hair, love, and life.


  • Anonymous says:

    I love all yr tips. Thank you.

  • Anonymous says:

    Is there a thing as too much water on your natural hair? I like to take showers and just let the water run through my hair…is this too much? Does twisting and braiding help your hair grow? I transitioned for 7 months and then I did the BC. My hair have grown about 3 inches in the last four months. Is this slower than normal?

  • Anonymous says:

    I do not know what type of hair I have, could someone explain how you determine your hair type? My hair has coils in the back where it is longer and coils and wavey like in the top where it is shorter.

  • Anonymous says:

    @confused, I have fine hair as well and I transitioned for 19 months before I bc'd (if I did it over, I probably would have chopped it at 12 months though). I use Jessicurl's Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatment. It's not too heavy for my hair (both now that I'm fully naturally and when I was transitioning) and it made my hair really soft and manageable. HTH

  • The Natural Diva says:

    You may want to consider getting rid of the permed hair bc it seems that it might already be very damaged ie not worth dealing with the 2 textures. Furthermore you could be doing more harm to the new growth especially if you are using blowdryer/ flat iron on a regular basis. If you have never been completely natural before, feeling the "hump" will not determine your texture. The average growth are is about 1/2 inch per month. The DC may have been to much to mix! If u want to try the mask again add a little olive oil or avocado oil. Those are both penetrating oils. I DC with Giovanni Deep moisture with added EVOO or AO plus raw honey, and monthly henna conditioning treatment. Remember that whatever growing out of ur head is beautiful as long as it is healthy. I've never heard anyone say "that's some ugly healthy hair" but u do hear that's a jacked up perm! And moisturizing is simply giving ur hair/skin what it loves best, water or something water based…
    Me: curly kinky texture w/ corkscrews, med porosity, loves protein, hates glycerin

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm transitioning and I am struggling! Currently I have been transitioning for 3 months and a week and so far I only have maybe an inch of new growth. (not a whole lot huh?) And so I've been told to treat your permed hair as if you were already natural thus I've bought organix sulfate and sodeium free conditioner and shampoo and I love it! But recently I tried to deep condition using a mix of Shea moistures deep conditioning masque and curly smoothie, some natural oils and just a bit of my organix conditioner and talk about an epic fail! I fault the deep conditioning masque unfortunately. So my question is or my favor is that Could anyone recommend to me a deep conditioner for fine porous thin permed hair and my tightly coiled fine porous new growth? And explain to me moisturizing?
    Sincely, a confused broke transitioning 18 year old

  • Toni says:

    Do you recommend a good moisturizer for thick curly hair?

  • Anonymous says:

    How do you moisterize hair?

  • Anonymous says:

    Great post. In addition to all of the above I also:
    1. Alternate each week between shampooing and ayurvedic treatments
    2. Prepoo
    3. Protective style. Since I can not do twists and don't care for braid or twist-outs, it's usually a French braid or some up do. It may not be glamorous, but my hair thanks me!

    Greetings fom NY

  • mangomadness says:

    I agree with everything except for #3 and #4. I moisturize weekly and I never DC–I still have healthy hair (#just saying). Beside #1 &2, #5 is the rule I live by.

  • Anonymous says:

    Eating healthy contributes to hair growth but is not necessary. I know many obese women with long waist length hair.

  • Unknown says:

    When I was in college I ate a salad daily (we had a salad bar) and I would grab fruit on my way out to snack on instead of cookies and chips (maybe that's how I lost the freshman 15 instead of gained, LOL)

    Great tips in this post. They pretty much outline how I care for myself and my hair – the results have been great.

  • UKcurlygirl says:

    @ Alesia Mason
    When i was at college I did not have many funds. But I used to buy fruits and veg from the fruit and veg market as it was cheaper. Also club together with friends and buy in bulk, its even cheaper. For snacks I would big packets of mixed nuts from the indian grocery. This helped me spend less money without losing out on healthy food.

  • Anonymous says:

    If you are in college, the cafeteria usually has healthy options to choose from. If you are on a college budget and have to buy your own food, try salads with protein. Eggs are packed with vitamins.

  • Alesia-Mason says:

    What can you suggest for those of us in college with limited funds for eating healthy?

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    This is a piggback to #5, but now that my hair is longer, I am all for the protective styling and limit the use of tools like brushes and combs. I try to use my fingers to detangle, if possible.

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