If you’ve ever transitioned from wearing chemically straightened hair to embracing your naturally curly hair, you know the emotional roller coaster that journey can create. I stopped relaxing my hair in early 2018 and while I am still learning a lot about my hair, I have picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. Keep reading for the best tips I’ve learned about my kinky curly hair type, and feel free to share any tips you have below as well!
1. Use a spray bottle full of water to hydrate your hair as you style.
Even after I wash and condition, my hair still gets a little dry as I’m styling. So I spray each section of my hair with water before applying leave-in conditioner and curling gels. Even if I’m preparing my hair for a straightened style, I will spray sections of my already damp hair with water before I blow dry 😊, trust me, it works!
2. Learn what products your hair likes.
Hair products can be super expensive, but the only thing worth more than the money is your time. By learning what products work best with your hair, you will save time, energy and stress.
3. I prefer “styled” curly hair styles as opposed to wash-and-gos.
When I style my hair in a braid-out or twist out, I like that the curls are larger and more uniform compared to my curls with a wash-and-go. I also prefer how my hair looks after I unravel the braids from cornrows as opposed to your classic braid-out because the curls are styled from the root instead of further down the hair.
4. Wear your hair in a “pineapple” when you sleep at night.
This is just placing your hair as high to the top of your head as you can and wrapping that section of hair in a satin scrunchie, just like a high ponytail or bun. Since my hair is short, I do a double pineapple – a ponytail at the top of my head and a ponytail right underneath (for the rest of my hair that can’t reach that height).
5. Stop believing that curly hair should take less time to do compared to when your hair was relaxed or chemically straightened.
I honestly had this epiphany this week! Why are we okay with accepting the 2-3 hours it takes to straighten our hair, but expect our curly hair routine to only take 15 minutes? Regardless of your texture, great hair takes time and/or money.
6. You will have to maintain curly hair throughout the week.
I still haven’t figured out the frequency for this yet, but I have noticed my hair starts to look more dry through the week, depending on the curly hairstyle I picked at the beginning of the week. So to add moisture back to the hair, you will probably need to restyle with water, your styling products and style of choice throughout the week. When you have this expectation, it makes it less of a shock and chore.
7. Add gel or edge control products to the roots framing your face.
This will help your style look more polished. Sometimes you will need to spray the roots with water before applying the styling products, and don’t forget to brush the roots back with a bristle brush to rake the product into your hair better.
8. Invest in curly hair extensions.
Whenever I have a hair fail (which is usually due to laziness), I can clip in my hair extensions and it gives me an immediate confidence boost. I will say, make sure you purchase the texture that best matches your own. I actually purchased a pair of clip-in extensions that were a looser curl pattern than my natural texture by accident, and while it looks nice while my hair is still damp in a wash and go style, or from a braid out, the texture difference is very obvious. So if a company offers a sample kit where you can match your texture at home before buying, I would recommend trying that before making your purchase, because it is an investment.