During a recent conversation about hair with an Italian American friend of mine, she mentioned how she has lost so much hair from tearing through it when detangling. She told me that she usually combs through it dry on wash day. It is such a laborious task for her that she said she puts off wash day for weeks sometimes in order to avoid this. I recommended that she use conditioner to detangle her hair prior to washing it. The next time I spoke to her, one of the first things she did was thank me for the advice about detangling her hair. She said it was so much easier! I was a little surprised that she took my advice, considering our hair is so different (hers loose spiral curls, mine tighter coils), but I was so happy that I was able to help.
This got me thinking… a curl is a curl! It may be loose, tight, big, small, coily, kinky, wavy, spirally, short, or long.
Curls come in many varieties. However, some of the same basic hair care principles apply:
• Detangle hair with water, conditioner, oils, or all 3! This helps to minimize breakage while manipulating the hair.
• When detangling, start at the ends of your hair and work your way up to the roots.
• Work with the hair in sections when washing or styling, to simplify the process and ensure product coverage.
• Make moisture a top priority. Curly hair craves, needs, loves moisture.
• Avoid products with harsh sulfates, which will dry out the hair. See previous bullet.
• Be careful with heat. Too much could lead to more dryness and damage your curls.
• Be patient and treat your strands with TLC.
It was interesting for me to realize that the curly haired, regardless of race, nationality, or curl pattern(s), have similar hair care needs. So my advice (and I’m also speaking to myself) is to spend less time envying, or criticizing, others and instead learn what works for your own curls. Once you’ve done that, be willing to share it. You never know when another curly has a question that you just may have the answer to.