Growing up a mixed girl, I had constant frustration figuring out how to deal with my thick, kinky and coily hair. I’ve tried all the alternatives: chemical relaxers, brazillian blowouts, straightening my hair almost every day. Of course, I realized later on that none of these things were worth the time because they were simply ruining my hair’s full potential.
Let’s face it. Being a biracial, mixed girl, light-skin — whatever you wanna call ourselves, is tough, but you know it’s worth it! Once a girl figures out how to feel comfortable in their natural skin or hair, that is real empowerment. And not to mention, gorgeous.
Now that I have given my little peptalk, Let’s begin.
I’ve made a concise list of crucial tips I have learned over the years. Wish I had something like this to see when I was younger. Hope it helps someone out!
1. Do not, for heaven’s sake, shampoo your curly head every day!
If you’ve been shampooing your hair more than twice a week, you may have found yourself in a shampoo frenzy. Your curls suffer from these! Frizziness, loss of softness and shine are just a few of the many shortcoming symptoms. A brand called DevaCurl sells a “fake shampoo” called No Poo which gives your precious, kinky little curls the same cleaning a regular shampoo offers without doing any harm. Of course, conditioning is ALWAYS a good idea. Curls can never be too conditioned — well I guess they could be, but that is too rare. Condition every day, shampoo less. You’ll see instant results.
2. Combs are a curl’s best friend — not brushes!
Yes, yes I know what you’re thinking: brushing through those sopping wet curls are the fastest way to avoid those tiny painful knots. Yes, it may be faster and easier, but what you cannot see is the breakage. Combs, on the other hand, take a little more time, but save you all that other damage. The best combs to use are wide tooths. Keep one of these in your shower and comb through your hair while you’re conditioning! And later… Voila! No knots and no damage.
3. Put that blowdryer down! Unless you’ve got a diffuser!
Blowdryers have two identities. Blowdryer without diffuser = BAD! Blowdryer with diffuser = Better, but if you’re in a hurry, go ahead! Blowdryers lead to frizz and dryness. It is very close to using other heating tools like flat irons. A diffuser attatchment (supposed ease heat and lessen frizziness) can help, but do not use it every day. If you can go without it, do it. Let the sun and the outdoors do its handiwork, that is when your curls will look best! But it takes a little time depending on how much hair you have and how thick, but it’s always worth that hour of drying!
4. Oil! All kinds of oil!
Moroccan oil, coconut oil, argan oil, olive oil, avocado oil are all so helpful for unmanageable curlies. Oils have all kinds of benefits: quicker drying, shine, less frizziness, detangling. Use them, you’ll be glad, but not too much! A little can go a long way!
5. Use some sort of curl cream every day to style. It’s like curl food. Curlies gotta eat too!
DevaCurl and Miss Jessie’s curl creams are among the best curl stylers ever. After your hair is about 85% dry (so pretty much a little damp) apply about a quarter amount of either of these or use them together for really great effects. I like Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curl Cream the best and I’ll usually mix that with a tiny bit of DevaCurl cream. After applying a decent amount all over your curls, separate your hair into two sections vertically — like you’re doing piggy tails.
Begin by grabbing a small section (about half an inch sections) and twisting it gently, but firmly AWAY from your face. Continue with that section until you have twisted them all in the same direction. They should stay in place, but some might get a little loose and that is fine. If they are not staying in the twists at all, your hair is too wet, squeeze some of the water out using your hands, NOT a towel. Never a towel. Do the same with the second half of your head, twist away from your face all in the same direction in small sections.
After that you have two options. If you’re in a hurry, go ahead and use a blow dryer with a diffuser, but you’re at risk for some frizziness. If not in a hurry, let it air dry, go do some chores, wash your face, do your makeup, just try not to touch them too much. If some of the twists fall out, go ahead and re-twist them, otherwise leave them alone.
After your hair has dried about 97%, carefully undo your twists one by one. The best way to do this is split each one in two and see how you like it, then keep spliting. Do not run your fingers through them, it’ll cause frizz! When you’re finished you’ll be one happy curly headed chick!