Just about every brand of hair care product will have a curly hair line. To be honest, I’ve found that some of these are no better than other product lines for dry hair, color-treated hair, etc. Long story short, I follow one important rule when purchasing and trying out hair care products.
Rule #1: Stay Away From Sulfates!
You will see different names for the same type of chemical commonly found in shampoo, such as sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate. STAY AWAY.
Up until about 5-6 years ago, all the shampoos I ever used had sulfate in them. I wouldn’t doubt that this is probably the reason that I spent my middle and high school years being frizzy and fuzzy. Sulfate is a harsh chemical that dries out your hair. Every once in a while, I’ve had to use a sulfate shampoo if I’m away from home and haven’t packed anything, and I spend that day with a dry ‘fro of undefined curls mixed in with random straight pieces. It is truly amazing the difference.
Some sulfate-free shampoo brands include Organix, Loreal, Jason, Paul Mitchell, and any organic brand. Typically the front of the bottle will loudly declare “SULFATE-FREE!” on it, but you can also check the list of ingredients. Sulfate is one of the first listed, so if it’s not there, you’re in luck!
Rule #2: Salon Price Isn’t Always Necessary
For a while, I believed the $30 salon-quality bottle of leave-in conditioner or anti-frizz this-and-that was the only thing that could help my hair. Unfortunately, I was using those products while simultaneously using sulfate shampoo, and to be honest, they didn’t do much. While most cheap brands of shampoo and conditioner are also the chemical-filled unhealthy ones, I have found that some of the most effective products are the random organic brands that you can find at your grocery store for about $6 a bottle. I will be reviewing many of these to give you a better idea. To keep it simple, all you need to get your curls on the way to healthy is a sulfate-free shampoo, a nice thick conditioner, and a trusty leave-in.
Rule #3: The Less Heat, The Better
If you’re anything like me, you probably went through a long period of time (maybe your whole life) resigned to the fact that if you wanted to go anywhere or get anything done in your life, you would have to do it with wet hair. Blow dryers and curly hair typically do not mix (if you have mastered the blowout, I applaud you), and curly hair takes hours to air dry. That’s where the diffuser comes in. Diffusers are WONDERFUL! One of my hair stylists once told me that you should always dry your hair with a diffuser about 90% of the way, and let the 10% air dry. For me personally, my hair does better if I only dry it about 25% of the way or about 2 minutes. Even with a diffuser, if I put too much heat on it for too long, I get the fuzz. I suppose it’s different for different people. But I can promise that when you do find the perfect amount of time to dry your hair with a diffuser, you will have the best hair day you’ve ever had!
Another source of heat that is terrible for your hair is the straightener. I always feel sad inside when I meet someone who tells me that they actually have naturally curly hair, but haven’t worn it like that in years. They waste hours of their life scorching the health out of their hair every single day because they don’t like or can’t handle the curls. Please please PLEASE don’t do this!! Every good hair stylist I’ve ever had has told me how relieved they are that I don’t do that and how much they hate when people do. It is the worst thing you could do to your hair.
That being said, straightening your hair every once in a while is not only fine, it’s fun! When I was younger it used to take me hours to straighten it all, but now I can do it in about 45 minutes and I love the way it looks. If you live in a humid climate, you will probably have some struggles, though. In the summer time, I don’t even bother. But a few times a year the other 3 seasons, I’ll whip out my straightener.
Now that you know…
I hope these rules on hair products have given you guys some good ideas and help you on your way to healthier, glossier curls. Don’t be afraid to experiment, that’s how you’ll find what you like!
Feel free to comment and let me know your experiences, what works and what doesn’t, I’d love to hear from you!