Natural long curly hair is a secret desire among many women due to its undeniable style and beauty. But before you go lusting on curly long hair, put in mind the struggles it comes with.
Yes, I said struggles!
Maintaining curly hair is not as easy as it look. In fact, experts claim this is one of the hardest hair to manage. Curly hair may be appealing to the eyes but is riddled with issues only the curly girl can understand. Both curly hair and straight hair have the same hair structure, the difference in appearance come about due to the hair composition. Thanks to science, we have discovered that curly hair tends to have asymmetrical follicles hence the curving.
Studies have further shown that curly hair has uneven distribution in Keratin that is the keratin protein is concentrated beneath the curls. These unique features render curly hair susceptible to build up, breakage, frizz and tangles among other things. It goes without saying that individuals with curly hair have to manage their hair differently so as to tackle the problems that come with curls. To do this, one must go back to the drawing board and find out the cause of the problem hence emerge with solutions.
1. Mad Volume
Many curly babes can attest to the huge volume that comes with curly hair. This is especially experienced when waking up to hair that was uncovered the previous night. Every hair lovers out there craves voluminous hair, but when it comes to curly hair, volume means too much hair. Curly haired chics have too much volume such that wearing hats or helmets in many cases is a problem. This may sound funny now but trust me, it’s not so much fun when you get kicked off the team coz you can’t tame your mane (no pun).
2. Freaky Frizz
Ask any hair lover and they will tell you, frizz is the enemy! Unfortunately, curly hair is the most susceptible to fizziness. This is due to the difference in hair structure resulting high porosity and poor moisture retention. As a result, long curly hair suffers from frizz giving the illusion of shaggy, unkempt tresses.
3. Extreme Dryness
As mentioned before, curly hair has poor moisture retention. This will result in dryness which in many cases may lead to hair breakage. Dryness due to its curly nature demands extra care and attention which is tiresome in the least.
4. Tangled mess
Beautiful as may be, high volume curly hair is responsible for broken combs and hair brushes thanks to tangles. The curls and large volume associated with curly hair lead to a messy web of locks. This becomes a problem due to hardships in managing the hair. Moreover, tangles result in hair breakage if not handled correctly.
5. Difficulty in straightening
Trying to straighten curly hair is like teaching a child to paint, you end up with a big mess. As soon as you are done straightening one portion, the other side is back to its curly self! Frustrating right? This is as a result of the hair composition making it hard to straighten out the curls.
6. Easily affected by wind and humidity
This is what drives curly girls crazy. You leave the house with neat hair, 30 minutes outside and your hair has shrunk and is pointing in all directions. This is as a result of high volume in curly hair making it easily tangled up by wind. Humidity on the other hand leads to absorption of moisture by highly porous hair hence the puffy mess.
1. Regular trimming
Finding a good hair stylist that is good at handling your curls is vital. Trimming will not only result in beautiful neat hair but will also give an illusion of less volume. Moreover, regular trimming will lead to getting rid of the common dry split ends associated with curly hair.
2. Continuous Conditioning
I cannot stress enough the importance of conditioning to curly hair. Curly hair as mentioned earlier is susceptible to dryness. A good hydrating conditioner will restore its moisture reducing frizz, tangles and dryness all together. So what’s the hold up? Grab yourself a low sulfate conditioner and quench your curly hair!
3. Brush hair while still moist
Notice I said moist not wet! Combing wet hair is still a crime even for curly hair. On the other hand, curly hair requires to be brushed while moist to avoid tangling as well as hair breakage. The best method of doing this is to detangle with a conditioner, but if you don’t have the time, combing after washing it will do just fine.
4. Air dry
Curly hair is susceptible to tangling during the process of towel drying. This is because using of a towel to dry ruffles up the hair and you are back in the mess you started in. The best method of drying after combing is simply air drying. But if you must wipe down your hair, experts recommend use of a cotton t-shirt. This is because it creates less friction and frizz compared to a towel.
5. Wrap your hair with silk or satin at night
Curly hair problems often begin due to sleeping without covering of hair. Many curly girls wake up cursing at the mess that is their hair as a result of sleeping with bare hair. Covering hair with a silk or satin scarf not only contains the hair but it also retains hair moisture. Not a fan of covering hair? Worry not. You can also invest in silk or satin pillow cases that basically serve the same purpose of retaining hair moisture.
Recommendations / Tips
- Adopt a hair regime. Long curly hair requires more attention compared to straight hair hence a hair regime that ensures adequate moisture retention is vital.
- Know your products. Curly hair requires hydrating products including a hydrating shampoo, conditioner and leave-in to manage the susceptibility to dryness.
- Embrace your curls. It is difficult to transition to straight hair without relaxing. It is therefore advisable to find styles that suit your curly hair without the need to regular straighten.
- Hydrate! Hydration is key to managing curly hair as it eliminates the problem of frizz, dryness and tangling at a go. Both internal and external hydration is important.
Curly hair is both a blessing and a curse. To be able to enjoy the perks of curly hair you must understand its structure and needs. From there, you will be able to choose the right products for your hair and we can all go back to envying curly girls.