Updated: Dec 27, 2021
Guide to Fabulous Curls!
No Oil EVER!
Coconut oil or any other kind will waterproof your hair and make it dehydrated. Oil and water do not mix… Simple science.
Oil builds up on hair and prevents it from absorbing moisture; hair becomes very dry. I see the damage every day.
Don’t use products with any non-water-soluble silicones. They build up over time and block hydration (water) from being absorbed into the hair.
Even “natural” products can build up in the hair - don’t use butters, oils, serums, or anything else that feels non-water-soluble. If you put it on your hands and they become waterproof, run away!
Homemade internet concoctions just don’t work. Been there, done that! It all starts with hair that is in the best condition ever. If there is any type of goo, build-up, or residue on the hair, it should be gently removed to reveal the natural hair. Now you can begin!
How to Hydrate Thirsty Curly Hair!
Mary’s Recipe for Beautiful Curls!
Dehydrated hair = Uncooked spaghetti …… thin, brittle, dry, prone to breakage
Hydrated hair = Cooked spaghetti …… plump, filled with water, supple, bendable, not able to break
Note: It’s the water content in the spaghetti that makes it bendable and plump, not the sauce on the outside
Letting conditioner just sit on the outside does not make your hair plump up! Hydrate Your Curls by SQUISHING!
The main thing to keep in mind is that it is all about the water, not gobs of products!
Less is more because you don’t want gobs of goo weighing down your hair is making it feel icky. Also, water is what is making your hair curl… I think of water as my “perm solution” (maybe it’s because I’m a hairstylist from the 80’s).
After you cleanse, keep your hair soaking wet, the wetter the better, and apply a small amount of conditioner to the tips and squish upwards towards the roots. It should sound juicy, like a foot in a wet boot… Think back to when you were a kid with a soaker! If your top layers are long, you may want to add a separate dab of conditioner here as well and squish. The top layer can get dry as it is exposed to all of the elements. If you have areas that are extra dry or tangled, add more water and a wee bit of conditioner to those areas as well.
Use your noodle! Alternate between adding a little bit of water and a dab of conditioner while you squish, taking a bit of time to let the water absorb. Eventually, your will will absorb no more water; the outside will feel wet like cooked spaghetti, plump and fat on the inside but not heavy with the sauce outside! Now you are done. Do you rinse? Only if the outside of your hair feels like you have too much conditioner on it, then you can lightly rinse. It is best if you can add small amounts of hydrating conditioner, squish and leave the water and conditioner in the hair.
More water and less conditioner! Dehydrated hair may take a while the first few times to hydrate. I think of it as an empty glass that we’re trying to fill with water; once it’s done, if some evaporates, all you need to do is top it up as it’s not ad empty as the first time you hydrated!
How much conditioner?
It will change with outside conditions and seasons… Humidity, air conditioning, dusty environment, heat… It all depends on how much water is in the air and how much you hydrate as well. Start with very small amounts to hydrating conditioner and add dabs as needed with more water and squish, remember that it is all about the water.
Finishing Curly Hair!
Tangles…the gentle way! Only do this after you’ve fully hydrated your hair when you are in the shower, and gently work the knots out from the tips working upwards with your fingers. To keep your curls defined all day long, apply your gel or styler in the shower on wet hair! I use very small amounts of styled, working through small sections from the ends upwards towards the roots, taking care to make sure there is an even distribution from the roots to the ends on every little section.
Not necessarily a lot of products, but very thoroughly worked through, then more squishing. If you don’t hear the squish, you can add a little bit more water. The water helps to even out the porosity of hair and also give a more even distribution of product.
Don’t take out too much water, just enough so that your hair does not drip but leave as much in as possible!
Use an old cotton t-shirt (smoother material) to gently dab or squeeze out excess moisture (never rub) or a smooth microfiber towel with no raised loops. The loops pull and frizz the surface of the hair. You can also use a pillowcase as long as it’s smooth, and paper towels work well if they have no raised surface. Also, don’t leave the towel on your head as this will also frizz the hair when you pull it off! If your curls start coming apart or frizzing, you’ve taken out too much water, or you haven’t applied your styling product evenly. If you accidentally cause frizz by separating the curl or too much towel drying, just add more water and smooth your hair out.
Try to air dry or gently diffuse aiming the movement of the air from the scalp towards the ends, supporting them with the tips of your fingers, but not kneading them like dough (scrunching) and not combing, disturbing or anything else that would separate the curls.
When your curls are completely dry, they should look wet. When 100% dry, gently squeeze your curls from the top down to scrunch out the crunch and soften your overall look. The more you scrunch, the softer they look. On long hair, I like to leave the ends a bit crunchier or more high definition, as throughout the day, whenever you move or turn your head, these curls get pulled apart and bashed around your shoulders, collars, coats, scarves, creating frizz or a triangle.
You can also use small metal clips on your roots while you air dry or diffuse for root volume as well as applying gel to your roots for extra lift and hold throughout the day!
If you like volume, you can flip your head upside down before you scrunch out the cast and massage your scalp to lift the roots up. Just massage the roots, but not shake the curls as this creates frizz. When you flip back up, then work on the curls, softening from the top down. Mom was wrong…….how fun is that!