Tips on Healthy Curly Hair

Curly hair can be difficult to work with than straight hair since it shows signs of damage and dryness much more easily. The key to maintaining curly hair’s health is prevention, since visible damage to the hair is impossible to repair. By minimizing daily damage to your hair and applying strengthening treatments, you can enjoy healthy curly hair with minimal frizz.

Shampoo Every Other Day

Most shampoos contain detergents that wash away oils in order to effectively clean your hair. Since curly hair tends to be dry, daily shampooing can too harsh, leaving your hair dry and brittle. Avoid this by shampooing only every other day, which will allow the hair time to accumulate natural oil that will travel down the hair shaft to keep your hair moisturized. If your roots feel greasy the day after washing, apply a small amount of absorbent powder, like baby powder, to your scalp to soak up excess oil without stripping your hair.

Condition Every Day

Conditioner is essential for preventing damage to your hair. Many conditioners contain compounds that are chemically attracted to weak parts of the hair shaft and coat your hair to protect against damage. Always use conditioner after washing your hair to prevent damage. On days when you do not shampoo, apply conditioner from mid-shaft to the ends of your hair.

If your hair is very dry, you can work conditioner through your hair from root to tip, like you would shampoo. This is called co-washing, or conditioner-washing. Many conditioners contain small amounts of detergents that clean your hair while adding moisture.

Prevent Future Damage

The hair shaft becomes damaged when the hair loses structural proteins. This creates holes in the hair shaft, making your hair weak and prone to damage. To prevent this damage to your hair, use a strengthening treatment that will prevent protein loss. An inexpensive way to protect your hair is with extra virgin coconut oil. A study conducted by the Nature Care Division of Marico Industries showed that coconut oil penetrates deep into each hair shaft to moisturize the hair and prevent protein loss.

Dampen your hair with warm water before you shower, and then apply enough oil to saturate your hair from mid-shaft to end. Pile your hair on top of your head in a loose bun and allow the oil to soak into your hair for at least 30 minutes. Wash out the coconut oil by shampooing and conditioning as normal. Apply a coconut oil treatment three to four times a week, depending on your hair’s needs.

About this Author

Louise Tremblay recently finished an M.Sc. in molecular and cellular biology in Ontario, Canada, with years of cancer research experience. She has experience writing articles and Web content on science, heath and fitness, diet and personal wellness.