1. Embrace the Pre-Shampoo Treatment for Curly Hair
Many curly girls with delicate locks swear by the pre-shampoo routine. Pre-shampooing is exactly what it says—a step performed before shampooing. Pre-shampooing is an oil treatment that softens, conditions and detangles the hair prior to shampooing. It prevents unnecessary roughness and damage during the shampooing process, especially if hair is extremely tangled or snarled.
This may seem like a time-consuming extra step, but this step may actually save you time in the long run because your hair will be much easier to detangle post-shampoo.
2. Skip Daily Shampoos
Curly hair doesn’t need to be shampooed as frequently as straight hair. Frequent shampooing can stretch and stress out fragile strands and dry out thirsty curls. However, don’t be afraid to use a conditioner for curly hair frequently. You can use conditioner even if you don’t shampoo your hair.
3. Choose Your Shampoo for Curly Hair Wisely
You shouldn’t cleanse your curls with a harsh shampoo. Use a mild shampoo for curly hair or a low-lather cleansing conditioner that will refresh your hair and scalp without stripping away too much of its natural moisture and oils.
When cleansing your hair, be sure to focus your shampoo mainly on your scalp to avoid potentially drying out your ends.
4. Section Your Hair for Tangle-Free Washing
Rubbing, scrubbing, swirling or piling your hair on top of your head while shampooing can be disastrous for curls. This type of manipulation leads to the type of tangles you don’t even want to think about. Instead, break it down. Divide your hair into four sections.
Twist or clip away all but the first section. Apply a small amount of shampoo or cleansing conditioner to your scalp and work it in thoroughly. Then gently squeeze it down along the lengths. Repeat on each of the sections. Then rinse in the same sequence—section by section, starting at the scalp and squeezing the suds out of the lengths from top to bottom.
5. Turn Down the Hot Water
Yes, a cold-water shampoo and/or rinse doesn’t make for the most luxurious hair washing experience. But cold water will snap those cuticles shut, which in turn will lock in moisture, make your hair shinier and reduce frizz.
6. Use Deep Hair Conditioner
After shampooing, apply a deep conditioner to help lock in moisture.
As with your shampoo and pre-shampoo formulas, work this formula into your hair in sections to be sure it’s applied thoroughly. Avoid the scalp—that’s not where you typically need moisture. Use a wide tooth comb to distribute the conditioner evenly. Then let the conditioner go to work. Place your hair under a plastic cap or hood dryer for 10 minutes or cover it with a towel for 20 minutes and let your body heat do the work. If you’re using a moisturizing conditioner and your hair has absorbed most of it, you may not want or need to rinse.
7. Plop Your Hair for Frizz-Free Locks
Most regular towels will rough up the cuticle, which leads to frizz and general curl catastrophe. To keep curls intact and avoid frizz, opt for micro-fiber towels or a soft cotton t-shirt to blot excess moisture. Then plop!