Textured hair can often have a mind of its own, but with the right technique a beautiful head of curls can turn into amazing naturally curly hairstyles.
Women are embracing their natural curls more than ever—while stylists are encouraged to shake up what they have always known about hair care and tune into beautiful loops and coils.
To have success working with natural, curly-haired clients remind yourself of the following five focus areas.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Curly hair tends to be dry, so hydration is a must if your client wants supple hair. Unlike straight hair, a curly strand bends and twists.
Sebum, the natural oil produced in the scalp, is often unable to coat the strands of this hair type due to its bending nature. Therefore, locking in moisture naturally is almost impossible because of the oils inability to lubricate the hair.
Water is the most important ingredient to keeping hair quenched. When paired with a leave-in conditioner, curly hair will then have the ability to better retain moisture, elasticity, bounce, and shine.
To shampoo or not to shampoo
Not all shampoos are created equal. How to properly shampoo for curly tresses and knowing when is best to shampoo are two of the most important things to know when caring for curly-haired clients.
It is not necessary to shampoo each time textured hair needs a wash because over washing can actually dry out the hair even more. Conventional shampoos clean like a detergent soaking up all the debris and dirt, but can also be too harsh for curly hair.
A great rule of thumb to prevent further dryness is to use shampoo only on the scalp and use conditioner to coat the rest of the hair.
Any debris on your hair will effectively be cleansed by the shampoo during rinsing. You could also opt for a cleanser that doesn’t contain sulfates and other harsh ingredients.
Leave-in conditioner vs gel
Conditioners reign supreme for replenishing lost moisture and are often used in tandem with shampoos. They help improve elasticity within the hair strand and will make your client's hair feel softer and more manageable. A quality conditioner fit for the client’s hair type is a great alternative as a leave-in or gel.
Gels are optimal for laying down pesky strands but can dry out the hair creating a crispy, crunchy look. They coat the hair but without any true benefits.
Heavy conditioners can weigh looser textures down, but a quality, cream conditioner rebuilds and repairs hair. If it is a leave-in conditioner, leaving the moisture in the hair can create softer, natural definition without the stringy effect.
Ban the brush
Under no circumstances should curly hair ever be brushed when it’s dry. Not only will this create frizz, but it can also damage the hair and ruin the curl pattern.
Due to the natural bends in the hair, the brush will resist the curl pattern and lead to breakage.
Instead, always comb textured hair while wet with a wide-toothed comb, preferably with conditioner to create more slippage and detangle any knots. When combing out knots, always start at the bottom and work your way up to the root of the hair. You will immediately notice that the comb will easily glide down the hair with no hitches.
Curly hair is glorious, but patience with drying is golden. Natural curls like to be left alone when drying—any kind of disruption during drying can just lead to more frizz.
Seek out quality products
Feeding the hair does not necessarily mean that you plaster avocado on your client’s head—though it does work wonders. Instead, it’s more about extracting the benefits of a product.
Natural ingredients among hair products is a common concern within the hair care industry. Find a brand that fits your client’s needs in the gentlest, most effective way.
The best ingredients for hair care often come from nature but can also be synthetic. You may even want to hunt for gentle alternatives, such as sodium laureth sulfate or TEA lauryl sulfate, if all natural products prove less than satisfactory.
Curly hair can take on a life of its own. Once you learn the ins and outs of what textured hair really needs, the easier caring for clients with this hair type becomes.