If you landed on this story, you may be struggling with controlling your unpredictable curls. You’ve probably spent ages trying to find the right products and tools to care for your luscious locks. Curly hair requires more hydration, less washing, and a lot more patience than other hair textures. Continue reading for the ultimate tips to getting healthy, bouncy spirals over 45.
What is Curly Hair?
Hair type is dependent on the shape of your hair follicle. Curly hair and wavy hair emerge from oval-shaped follicles. The thickness of the hair also depends on the follicle size. The larger the area from which a hair strand grows, the thicker it results. Additionally, the chemical bonds in your hair also contribute to your curl pattern. Hair is primarily composed of cysteine, an amino acid. In wavy and curly hair, the cysteine groups are closer and bond easily among themselves, which creates more tension in the hair fiber. The more compacted the cysteine, the curlier the hair.
Types of Curly Hair
- Wavy Hair is often straight when it’s wet and waves as it dries. Wavy hair is unable to form swirls or twists that wrap around itself. It is important to keep wavy hair moisturized while providing it with volume.
- Curly Hair forms into springs and corkscrew shapes. When hair is wet, curls usually look like waves, then take on a spiral shape as it dries. It is important to use anti-frizz products for curly hair.
- Coily Hair can have a compact zigzag pattern that doesn’t twist around itself or tightly-wound s-shaped curls. This type of hair is prone to breakage, so it is essential to keep coils moisturized.
Tips for Curly Hair 45+
- Rinse Conditioner with Cool Water
Frizz can be avoided by rinsing your hair with cold water. It aids in closing the cuticles and the cool water seals your strands with your hydrating products. Hot water opens up the cuticle in your hair shaft, which can compromise the integrity of your ends.
- Condition, Condition, Condition!
Given the inherent dryness of curly hair, your strands need thorough conditioning. Many believe conditioner plays a role in your hair’s flatness; however, it is essential in battling frizz and maintaining your hair’s moisture levels. Conditioner acts as a shield by preventing swollen strands. Its moisturizing properties like oils and butters will help to strengthen and soften your hair. Conditioner is best applied to the mid-shaft and ends of your hair. To go the extra mile for hydration, consider using a deep conditioner. A deep conditioner feeds your cuticles while also addressing scalp hair issues. 5-10 minutes of masking once or twice a week can nourish your curls, help repair damage, and increase shine.
Your curls are guaranteed to love the following conditioning ingredients:
- Shea Butter
Shea butter for hair seals moisture in. A high level of vitamin E makes shea butter an anti-inflammatory as well, which helps with itchy scalp and overall dryness.
Glycerin, a humectant, attaches to moisture in the air, pulling it into the hair and keeping it there.
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil provides a moisture balance for curly strands. When curly hair is porous, it can absorb too much water. The Coconut oil powers the fiber of hair and attaches protein structures, preventing excessive water from causing the hair to swell.
- Argan Oil
The spiraled structure of curly hair means light refracts less than it does in straight hair, which means less shine. Argan oil for curly hair seals in moisture, reduces flyaway and calms down frizz.
- Brush or Comb from the Bottom Up
Curly hair is the most fragile type there is, so it is important to brush with care. Instead of yanking your way through each knot, detangling your hair from the bottom up helps you to gently work your way through it. Splitting your hair into four pieces will also aid with detangling. To decrease breakage, start brushing your ends and work through the tangles there, and then brush the mid-shaft range. Lastly, brush from your roots to your tips with one stroke. To protect hair from damage, the gentlest way to detangle curls without disrupting the natural curl pattern (as brushes often do) is by using a wide-tooth comb. Side note, make sure you’re not overbrushing or over combing your hair. This overbrushing causes split ends and unfriendly breakage due to the constant friction.
- Air Dry or Use a Diffuser
To prevent heat damage, it is best to let your hair air dry whenever possible. You may even find your curls are less frizzy after allowing them to dry naturally. Air drying your hair helps your strands soak up hydrating products more efficiently than if you were to use a blow dryer. However, on the days when you’re running out of time, break out the diffuser. A diffuser is a blow dryer attachment that softens the release of air while drying to promote smoothness and reduce frizz. A diffuser can help even out your curl pattern and boost the volume of weighed-down curls.
- Reduce Friction
Your hair is most delicate when it is wet, so avoid aggressive towel-drying. Firstly, towel-drying lifts up the hair cuticle, leading to frizz and breakage. Cotton towels can draw moisture out of your hair quickly and disrupt your curl pattern. Instead, use a microfiber towel to gently soak up extra moisture and reduce damage.
Another way to reduce friction is to switch your cotton pillowcase to a silky or satin one. This soft fabric allows hair cuticles to swiftly move across the pillowcase, avoiding any snags or tangles. Silk and satin will help maintain the shape of your curls and boost their smoothness.
- Try out the Pineapple Trick
Pineappling is a technique in which the hair is loosely gathered at the highest point of your head during sleep. You may even want to face your ends forward to save them from getting flattened. This hairdo protects the curl pattern while helping your hair maintain volume and hydration. Pineappling will also combat frizz.
- Stay Away from these Ingredients
Just as there are ingredients you want to include, there are a few common styling and shampoo ingredients you want to avoid for curly hair. To maintain proper hydration, avoid sulfates and parabens in hair products. These harsh ingredients will strip your curls of their natural oils, leaving them dry and brittle.