Tips to smoothen curly hair naturally
All hair follicles have the same basic structure. However, their shape varies from person to person. Straight hair follicles produce straight hair fibres, whereas S-shaped and curved hair follicles create elliptical-shaped or curved hair fibres. This causes our hair to create curls, coils, kinks or ringlets.
This differentiation is mostly due to genetics, evolution, or our geographical location and ethnicity. For example, most women of African origin have curly or coily hair. Whereas most East Asian women have straight hair.
Unlike straight hair, curly hair is more prone to dryness, breakage and frizz. Hence, it needs more protection and consistent care comparatively. Let us understand the various problems faced by people with curly hair, and how to take care of our curls naturally to make them smooth, soft and shiny.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR CURLY HAIR?
Regular care and maintenance of curly hair helps to keep our hair strands nourished, prevents dryness and split ends, and makes hair look healthy and full of life. It also keeps our hair and scalp clean and promotes hair hygiene, thereby maintaining a healthy scalp microbiome which stimulates healthy hair growth.
COMMON CONCERNS WITH CURLY HAIR
It gets dry and frizzy
Curly hair is more susceptible to dryness and frizz compared to other hair types. With frequent washing and stressful grooming routines, curly hair follicles start producing less sebum than usual, which can make our curls look even more dehydrated and frizzy.
Combing it is difficult
Curly hair is denser which makes it difficult to comb or brush through. Also, vigorous combing often leads to friction, hair fall and breakage.
It gets tangled easily
Compared to straight hair, curly hair is on the dryer end which causes it to develop knots and tangles. Hence, softening and moisturising products are needed in curly hair care to keep hair hydrated, free from knots and easy to detangle.
Curls keep changing
Over time, curls keep changing their shapes and patterns. It is taken as both a boon as well as a concern, especially by people who wish for well-defined and uniform curls.
It takes time to style
Due to the volume and texture of curly and coily hair, it takes more time to wash, dry, detangle and style it. Taking care of curly hair is a daily practice in order to always keep it smooth.
WHY DOES CURLY HAIR NEED EXTRA CARE?
It is more prone to dryness
The coily and spiral shapes of hair follicles in curly hair prevent sebum from effectively reaching hair ends. This prevents hair strands from absorbing the natural oils produced by our bodies. Hence, deeply conditioning hair products are needed to soften and nourish curly hair.
It is more prone to breakage
Research indicates that curly hair is more prone to breakage due to grooming routines, vigorous combing, and heat and styling treatments. Hence, a lifelong hair care routine is needed to keep curly hair healthy and strong.
It gets damaged easily
Curly hair is more delicate than straight hair because of the shape of the hair fibres. The spiral shape of hair fibres allows their cuticles to get damaged easily, making them more prone to breakage and hair fall.
Straightening makes it fragile
Most people with curly hair opt for treatments to straighten their hair strands temporarily or permanently. Research indicates that hair relaxers used in such treatments make hair fragile, and also cause inflammation in the scalp and alopecia in severe cases.
It loses amino acids rapidly
According to a study, people with previously curly hair and now ‘relaxed’ hair were reported to have decreased amounts of amino acids such as cystine, citrulline, and arginine in their hair. Loss of amino acids affects hair growth in the long run, and also makes hair prone to damage and oxidation.
It is more prone to greying
Due to frequent heat treatments, hair strands start losing melanin – the natural pigment that gives our hair its black or brown colour. This eventually makes curly hair more prone to ageing and premature greying.
FACTORS THAT DETERMINE YOUR CURLY HAIR CARE ROUTINE
Method of cleansing
Choose a shampoo that cleanses your hair and scalp effectively, without stripping their natural oils and moisture. Prefer shampoos or shampoo bars made with saponified oils and butters for gentle cleansing. They are made with the cold process method of saponification where the shampoo is superfatted with nourishing plant oils to nourish scalp and hair.
- Pre-shampoo conditioning
- Remember to oil your scalp and hair before washing your hair. Oiling swells up dirt, sweat and product buildup in your hair and scalp, and allows your shampoo to cleanse even better. Massaging your scalp with oil stimulates the scalp, promotes blood circulation and enhances hair growth.
- Choose organic and cold-pressed oils for your oiling treatment for added benefits. They are products of ethical and sustainable farming, and they are extracted using methods that ensure that all the heat-sensitive compounds in the oils remain viable and effective throughout their shelf life.
- You may also use a nourishing hair mask instead of hair oil, or use a combination of masking and oiling as an overnight conditioning treatment for your hair a day before shampooing. This gives your hair roots and strands ample time to absorb the oils and butters deeply.
Use a leave-in conditioner formulated with rich seed oils and butters in moist hair post bath to seal the hydration, and prevent moisture loss from hair strands.
Suitable water conditions
Prefer using soft water instead of hard water or chlorinated water to rinse your scalp and hair. To prevent dryness and frizz, prefer rinsing your hair with lukewarm water instead of extremely cold or extremely hot water.
Choosing the right hair tools
Curly hair tends to break easily during combing or brushing. Use a wide toothed comb to gently detangle your hair after your hair care routine. Or invest in a good quality hair brush to prevent hair breakage.
Suitable sleep routine
Try sleeping on your side instead of sleeping on your back to avoid putting too much weight on your hair. Cover your hair with a soft scarf to protect your curls from getting messy while you are asleep.
Hair styling method
Avoid frequent hair treatments that involve colouring or heating till your hair is restored to a healthier state. Use a diffuser to style your curls instead of getting a heat treatment. Let your hair air-dry naturally instead of choosing a blow-dryer.
CURLY HAIR CARE ROUTINE WITH JUICY CHEMISTRY
- Step 1 – Take a few pumps of Juicy Chemistry Sacha Inchi, Argan and Mango Butter Hair Mask depending on the length and density of your hair.It is a nourishing hair mask with Mango Butter, Sacha Inchi, Hemp Seed and Argan Oils to soften and nourish hair strands.
Step 2 – Apply it on your scalp and massage in circular motions for 5 minutes. Gently spread the mask from your scalp to hair strands and hair ends with your fingers.
Step 3 – Leave it in your hair overnight, and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo like Juicy Chemistry Apple Cider Vinegar, Argan and Ylang Ylang Organic Shampoo.It is formulated with Apple Cider, Argan, Coconut and Castor Oils, and Vitamin E to cleanse hair gently and leave it nourished and soft.
Step 4 – After rinsing your hair, pat your hair dry using a soft t-shirt.
- Step 5 – When your hair is still moist, use our Camellia, Amla and Apricot Leave-In Conditioner on your hair ends to seal the moisture, and soften hair strands further. It is formulated with organic plant oils such as Camellia Seed, Jojoba, Argan and Amla Oils to moisturize dry hair, and Cedarwood and Petitgrain Essential Oils to control frizz and promote luster.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How often should we wash our hair with Juicy Chemistry shampoos
Frequent cleansing may lead to dehydration on your scalp and hair, whereas inadequate cleansing may cause build-up. When it comes to curly hair, stick to washing your hair once a week, or twice in 10-14 days depending on the season.
How to make the most of our oiling experience?
Allow our organic hair oils and hair masks to get absorbed into your hair for a couple of hours before shampoo, or leave them in your hair overnight for maximum benefits. You may also wrap a warm towel on your head for a few minutes after oiling to create a steam treatment for your hair. This method also allows hair oils to penetrate better.
Every ingredient performs differently on different hair types. So remember to patch test every new product or remedy on a small portion of your inner arm before applying it to your scalp or hair.