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How to look after curly hair

(14 Posts)
breatheslowly Fri 08-Apr-11 11:44:06

I have curly hair (on the wavy end of curly rather than tight curls). After years of my straight haired mother telling me to brush my hair which turned it into a mess, I am gradually learning to look after the curls properly. Does anyone have any advice on keeping it looking good? Should I brush it after washing it or does that just remove the curl? I currently use a normal shampoo and conditioner and Tigi Curls Rock Amplifier, are there other products I should try? All advice gratefully received!

ttalloo Fri 08-Apr-11 11:58:27

welcome to curl world, OP!

I have curly hair (wavy end like you, unlike my mother and sister who have corkscrew curls), and without wishing to depress you, the only products I've been able to find that suit my hair are from the States, which you can't get here.

I've tried most things here, and find that my hair just gets weighed down, but a few general tips are:
Never brush your hair - you'll make it frizzy
Try to find products aimed at curly hair that work for you - I never have, but everyone's hair is different
Leave-in conditioner is better for curly hair than the stuff you wash out
Find a styling gel for curly hair so that you can encourage the curl
And find a hairdresser who likes styling curly hair - I spent most of my teens and twenties leaving the hairdresser with dead straight hair, because they all seemed to view my curls as a monstrosity that needed taming. Horrible!

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Fri 08-Apr-11 12:39:01

I have very annoyinly thick wavy hair. I wash/condition it, and then towel dry and then brush it though with the paddle brush. If I dont brush through after washing it gets tangled and can look VERY BIG, lol...........

I never brush my hair apart from this..........if I dont wash it I will just give it a real quick blast with the hair dryer and ruffle it about a bit. Find a good leave in squirty conditioner as well (Aussie do a good one) and give it a quick spray before brushing through.

willybreeder Fri 08-Apr-11 13:31:30

You should all check out British Curlies website, (sorry, don't know how to link)!
It will tell you of a new way to look after your wavy/curly hair and once you get the hang of it it's great and you spend a lot less trying out products!
In a nutshell ditch every product with one in the ingrediants, don't use shampoo but "wash" hair with conditioner, don't wrap wet hair in a towel but use a special towel (or cotton teeshirt will do) and they recommend products you can use and buy easily. I read about it on mumsnet originally! smile

flippineck Fri 08-Apr-11 13:54:30

I was going to say check out British Curlies and the Curly Girl method! I am a recent convert, only been doing it a couple of months but with very good results.

Basically as willybreeder says, it's avoiding any shampoo with sulfates in and also stop using any products with any kind of silicone in it, use conditioner to wash it, and leave in conditioners. Loads of good advice on the BC website, including where to start with hight street stuff rather than having to spend loads on specialist products (although you might get sucked in grin).

I have thick hair with a very strong wave and loose curl and have worked out that I don't need to brush my hair, ever (fingers when it's wet works find) and that a leave in conditioner can be a miracle! I've also worked out that I can't abando shampoo completely as I live in a hard water area so it suits me better to use sulfate-free shampoo once or twice a fortnight.

Now I just need to find a hairdresser who can cope with the random madness that is my hair!

fluffles Fri 08-Apr-11 17:59:07

NEVER brush
Condition it LOTS
Wet it through less than daily
Shampoo even less often

It's hard to get out of the habit of daily shampooing and conditioning but worth it. I sometimes just spritz with water/curl spray, sometimes wet and condition and sometimes shampoo and condition but only if it needs it. If you can get your hair in really good condition it will get curlier.

llandb Fri 08-Apr-11 18:11:06

Cut in layers (even better, pay a hairdresser to do it for you )
Shampoo daily (that's because I get horrendous zits if I don't), but then lots of conditioner that you don't quite rinse out, or leave-in conditioner, or use one of those conditioning/curl-boosting mousses.
Comb with a wide-toothed comb before your final rinse, do not comb after if pos, and let it dry naturally.
A touch of mousse or any smoothing product you like, mostly at the ends, if it's still frizzy when dry.
Bobby pins are good
<Hides messy, overdue for cut, ungroomed hair under paper bag and pretends she follows own advice>

FanjoForTheMusic Fri 08-Apr-11 18:37:32

Agree with all the stuff about not brushing. For me, leave-in conditioners are too heavy. I did the Curly Girl regime, and got lovely ringlets.

To avoid wavy hair curls dropping out, I'd add the following to the above sage advice:


nikki1978 Fri 08-Apr-11 20:10:29

Here is what I do and my curls look pretty damn good wink

- Wash hair then condition (use good conditioner and use an intensive one once a week, I use one by Louise Galvin) while the conditioner is in brush hair with a paddle brush or something with fairly widely spaced teeth - make sure you brush it into your normal parting at this point
- Rinse and squeeze to remove most of the water
- Get out of shower immediately and run your fingers through - don't overdo this just to the point where there are no knots
- Flip head forwards and scrunch lightly with towel - DO NOT RUB! - just scrunch the curls
- Flip back and lightly scrunch again
- Use a good frizzease cream - better than serum, I have one from Waitrose, use about a grape sized blob and smooth over your hands then use it on curls by lightly scrunching through them again
- Use another small amount of cream to run over the top of the style to get rid of stragglers and frizz on top of your head

Ta da! Honestly the most important things here are do not brush after leaving shower and be gentle with your hair. Roughly towel drying and messing around with the hair just makes it frizzy. Trust me it has taken me 20 years to figure this out!

Librashavinganotherbiscuit Fri 08-Apr-11 20:39:23

I have decided to embrace my wavy/curly hair recently and have done some reading around, this is my routine
- wash with non-SLS shampoo every other day (I use soap&glory), only wash the scalp using fingerpads
- use conditioner for curly hair every day just on the ends
- once a fortnight use a clarifying shampoo
- do not rub hair dry just blot it
- use leave in conditioner (I use the Aussie brand spray as it's lighter than a creme)
- use something like Boots Curl Cream, rub it in your hands until it emulsifies and then apply scrunching it in
- leave to dry naturally

DO NOT BRUSH. I have had so many compliments about my hair recently and it's actually very low maintenance.

breatheslowly Sun 10-Apr-11 11:15:59

Thanks for the excellent advice - I will change my ways!

Emo76 Sun 10-Apr-11 15:53:51

Hello, I like TIGI curls rock amplifier too. Also I would brush hair but only when wet to get knots out, with a Denman brush. I have ringlets though so can't say whether this is good advice for you or not!

Try the Phyto deep conditioner for ultra dry hair

I like Pantene smooth and sleek range too

The best of luck!

Hatesponge Sun 10-Apr-11 16:16:11

Agree with the non brushing advice, a very wide tooth comb when wet is all you need, much of the time I just comb mine through with my fingers.

I used to wash it every day/every other day and it was v frizzy however over the last few months (in part because I only have a bath, and no shower, and washing my long hair is a PITA) I've only been washing it once a week and the rest of the time spraying it with a mix of conditioner and water every morning, scrunching in my hands then leaving to dry naturally. Has been much less frizzy as a result and easier to manage.

The only other product I use, when I want it to be more curly than normal is umberto giannini scrunching jelly, which also smells lovely

mrsobriain Wed 14-Sep-11 11:29:30

Just been looking for hair advice for my curly haired daughter and I have got it so wrong over the years !! No wonder her lovely thick locks are now falling out. She used to have thick, curly, ringlet hair which I always put into plaits for school. Over the last six months, she has probably lost half her hair (she is 11). Where she used to have two thick plaits, she now has two straggly ones. I am going to change her regime today - thanks for the advice.

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