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So, I have a definite love/hate relationship with my hair but we’ve been able to work through our issues, if you know what I mean. One of my biggest hair challenges over the years has revolved around my curls. I went through countless products and most of them would either destroy my curls or make them look and feel crunchy. Knowing a bit about Rene’s natural hair journey, I thought I’d share with curly GEMs some of the tips I picked up along the way.
In order to look healthy and beautiful, curls need some definition and hold. There are lots of styling products that will help you get this; trouble is some of them leave your hair looking (and feeling) crunchy, and this is no good at all. How to get around that? Start with these three things.
KNOW YOUR CURLS: Did you know there are at least four distinct types of curls? These are: loose, wavy, tight, and kinky. Every styling product out there is meant to be used for one of these hair types. No product can tackle them all. Your hair is probably looking crunchy because you’re just not using the right type of products.
So start by asking yourself, “Which type of curls do I have?” You might want to talk to your hair stylist about this as well. If you have fine, curly hair, you need something with more hold than somebody who has naturally thick or kinky hair. If your curls are thick and tough, a product with lots of hold is only going to make your curls stiff. Opt for something more gentle.
KNOW YOUR PRODUCT/TOOLS: Styling cream is applied while your hair is still wet and then you air dry it. If you have to blow dry it, use a dryer with a diffuser. When you’re applying the styling cream, put more of it at the ends of your curls than at the roots.
If you have excessive frizz problems, buy something that is made especially for fighting that. These are usually products where you rub them on your hands and then run them through your hair, starting at the roots and working your way out to the ends. When it comes to curls, the ends of your hairs are what really give them definition or crunchiness.
GO NATURAL: Styling products contain polymers that give you hair hold.The only trouble is that these polymers can remain in your hair, giving it that stiff, lifeless look. Some people prefer to use natural products that don’t contain these chemicals.
The best natural products are ones that contain butters and oils. They work especially well for thick or kinky hair where you don’t need as much hold. Shea butter, coconut milk, jojoba, and Aloe Vera are all great ingredients to look for. Also, look for wheat proteins, amino acids and vitamin A. These ingredients give you added protection against humidity, which is the bane of any curly girl’s existence.
Curly hair needs more moisture to bring it under control, so choose products that moisturize well. Most importantly, try out as many different ones as you can, then check the results. If you’re still seeing the crunchiness, change it up.
Are you a curly GEM? What’s your secret to crunch-free curls?
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Marissa Griffis is a mom, a wife, an elementary school teacher and has a passion for all things hair related. She owns a blog called Straight Talk Hair Talk, where she discusses hair care issues, creates tutorials and is committed to providing helpful and useful hair care information for her readers.