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How To Take Care of Naturally Curly or Kinky Hair

Because curly or kinky hair is… well, curly or kinky… it is harder for the natural oil produced by the scalp, called sebum, to reach out to the very ends of your hair. This means that curly hair is typically drier than straight hair, and tends to frizz more easily.

Before you can decide how to care for your hair, you need to decide what kind of style you want to have. Talk to a few stylists, and find one whom you like who is also experienced with styling your type of hair.

Once you have got your style, then the methods for caring for it come into play! (Your stylist should also be able to give you a few tips on how to keep your look for as long as possible.)

Products
We are not going to tell you specific names of products to purchase. You need to find out for yourself which will work for your type of hair. Do not be afraid to go the inexpensive route - it is all about finding out what works. (But, don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, for example, will never perform as well as separate shampoos and conditioners!)

1. Do not use products that contribute to drying your hair, such as shampoos with an alcohol base, or those that are used to fight dandruff. (If you have dandruff, there are other measures to take to solve that problem.) Always use products formulated specially for those with dry hair.

2. Avoid products with a wax base, like pomades or greases, because this wax builds up in your hair, and not only dulls the shine on its own, but also collects dust, which does not do the shine any good either. So always use water-soluble styling products.

3. The real purpose of shampoo is not to clean your hair, but rather to cleanse your scalp.  You do not need to shampoo every day.

“But, my hair gets dirty,” you say.

No problem. Simply rinse it with hot water, meanwhile massaging your scalp to help the scalp’s natural oils make their way to the ends of your hair. Rinse until your hair feels clean.

Then, apply conditioner. You can never over-condition your hair, and should do it every day if possible.  Apply the conditioner near the ends of your hair - they need it more than the hair closer to your scalp, which already gets enough oil (sebum) from the roots. Then massage and comb the conditioner through your hair with your fingers. Once you’ve rinsed out the conditioner, apply another, “leave-in” conditioner or conditioning gel.

4. Got dandruff? Some people have a genetic predisposition to dandruff. Because of this, don’t just start using an anti-dandruff shampoo plucked off the shelf. Talk to your dermatologist - one with experience in diseases and disorders of the scalp - to see what treatment would be best for you. There are over-the-counter treatments you can use, you just want to make sure you use the kind that will not dry out your hair.

5. Blow-drying should be done only when necessary....don’t blow dry your hair every day or you’ll damage it. (And talk about frizz!) Curling irons and flatirons should also be used sparingly.

Want to dry your hair - use the “old-fashioned" hood dryer

November 10, 2008 Bookmark and Share

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