What All Curl Types Need To Thrive
by Ebony Clark-Bomani
All curls require lots of hydration, the right amount of TLC, and nutrient-rich products to reach their full potential. Dehydration, excess heat and mechanical damage (over styling, too much brushing/combing, keeping hair in a ponytail too often, etc.) can lead to short-term and sometimes permanent curl loss. Meaning, the natural form and shape of that particular curl type can be become elongated and appear looser or straighter than it should.
If you have loose/wavy, an "S" pattern, or if yours is tighter but fine, steer clear of heavy shampoos and conditioners that will weigh down your hair. Choose pH-balanced shampoos and conditioners, and light-weight stylers that provide moisture and hold. Consider using a low sulfate or sulfate-free shampoo every 5-7 days. Brands to try: Ouidad, Jane Carter Solution, Jessicurl, Elucence, and Deva Curl.
Tighter curlies with coils and kinkier patterns need heavier moisture-based shampoos, conditioners, steam treatments, and deep treatments to help maintain proper moisture balance. It's best to avoid shampooing too often to prevent dehydration. Consider incorporating low sulfate or sulfate-free shampoos into your routine every 7-10 days. Kinky and coily types can also benefit from using oils, butters, and thicker moisturizers. Remember: Using lots of moisture-based products, oils and butters will add buildup to the hair and scalp. You'll definitely need to use a clarifying shampoo at least once a month. Buildup will prevent moisture and nutrients from penetrating the hair, resulting in dehydration. Brands to try: The Mane Choice, Kinky-Curly, Shea Moisture, Oyin, Qhemet Biologics, and Camille Rose Naturals.
All types share the need for hydration and trims. The need to trim is definitely relative to the individual. The more styling and manipulation, the more frequently it may need to be trimmed. Generally, it's best to have a trim at least every season: winter, spring, summer, and fall. To learn about brands that are specific to your texture, shop www.curlmart.com.
Which type of curly are you and how do you care for your hair?