Summer Waves for Naturally Curly Hair

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If you have naturally curly hair, I understand… you love it, but it’s more than likely taken you 20+ years to get to that point where you embrace your naturally given tendrils.  The Winter season is great for our hair… its not only easier to dry effectively, the air has less humidity leading to smoother locks and less frizz.  But what about the Summer?

Curly hair, if not taken care of properly, can become frizzy and damaged to the point of breakage in several areas.  My mom… dear mom… grew up having straight as a board, beautiful long blonde hair.  She prayed and prayed for a daughter with curly hair.  When I came out (with hair no-less), she was elated… Behold!  A curly-headed baby girl!

Problem was, she had no clue how to manage or care for curly to wavy hair.  It wasn’t until I was 10 years old, when a girl in my 4th grade class (one of the popular, pretty ones) asked me if I ever actually brushed my hair.  I was mortified, this was confirmation my hair truly was a walking disaster… and I knew I needed some major beauty intervention asap.

Here are some tricks I learned from older girls, and female teachers that had curly hair… and how you can survive your Summer with beautiful waves or natural curls.

1) Never brush your curly hair when it’s dry.  So that popular girl that teased me about my hair when I was 10, the frustrating thing was that I actually WAS trying to brush my hair.  Brushing through curly hair actually causes the curls to come apart and be frizzy instead of smooth.  You brush straight hair when it’s dry… but brushing curly hair can either cause damage and breakage (where your hair literally breaks off), or make it poof out in tuffs of frizz.

2) Comb through curly hair when it’s wet and smothered in a good, moisturizing conditioner.  Your curly hair gets frizzy when it doesn’t have enough moisture in each strand, humidity makes this worse because the strands are reaching out into the air to grab ahold of that moisture.  Because the strands are actually physically designed differently than straight strands, it is crucial to deep condition curly hair with either an excellent regular conditioner, or using a special deep conditioner once a week.  Leave the conditioner on for the recommended amount of time, if you rinse it out too quickly, it simply won’t work to give you the lasting moisture you need.

3) Rinse with cool to cold water.  This is something that may be less known, but hot or warm water actually opens the hair shafts, letting moisture (or conditioner) rinse out of your hair, so no matter how long you let it sink in, if you rinse with hot water, all the conditioner you just used rinses out and is wasted.  Rinsing with cool to cold water actually closes the hair shaft, locking in that moisture and conditioner, and leaving your hair feeling silky and smooth.

4) Use a silk serum, oil, or cream to lightly coat hair about 2/3 up from the bottom, leaving the top part of your hair alone.  This works best when wet for some products, or when dry for others… following instructions for the particular product.

5) For beautiful waves, or smoothing out voluminous hair, twist your wet or partially dried hair into a low pony tail (without a hair tie to secure it), and then wrap the twisted hair around itself into a low bun, securing gently with a hair tie over the bun.  You can sleep on it if it is partially dried enough, or simply wait until dry, then undo the twisted bun and smooth out the areas around your face with a flat iron.  This takes less than 1 minute and gives your look a more polished effect.

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9 thoughts on “Summer Waves for Naturally Curly Hair

  1. “….it’s more than likely taken you 20+ years to get to that point where you embrace your naturally given tendrils…”

    LOL! Yes, that’s about right. I used to have a tangled mess of hair that drove me crazy, but now I like it. Your advice is all true and sound. There are some hair serums on the market too, argon oil and a few others, that work really well on my hair and bring back the bounce rather than the frizz.

  2. Yep, another curly girl here!

    And yep, spent most of my childhood hating it, lol. It was actually a curly-haired teacher in year 5 who told me I shouldn’t be brushing it when dry, and recommended I start using some hair product. Very un-PC these days to be instructing a child how to improve her appearance, but I am very thankful for her tips!

    Something I do now is only wash my hair once a week (this is part hair-care, part necessity, as with two toddlers around, my time is limited!). I comb with a wide-toothed comb while the conditioner is in, then I let it dry naturally with a curly-hair mousse afterwards. I find washing it any more than this dries the hair out too much.

  3. Thanks Insanity for reminding me about oils and serums and creams… I forgot to add that last step (ha! and it’s pretty crucial)!! Must edit :O

  4. Mousse has gotten a lot better recently… the chemical formulas are much better than they used to use right? I used to use mousse years ago, but it was back when the formula turned your hair a little crunchy when dry. Haha nothing like crunchy hair! (omg)

    I use a Loreal silk serum spray now… super easy, but doesn’t have the lasting hold I think a mousse would.

  5. I would kill for naturally curly hair. You are SO lucky. Straight hair sucks. I spent my youth getting awful perms (mom insisted).
    Made me look like a blonde Ajumma (term for an old lady in South Korea, for some reason when they turned about 55 they all got awful perms). I stopped with the perms as soon as I moved out of the house, but my hair doesn’t look good if it’s longer than shoulder length.

  6. Aw how funny right that women always seem to want the opposite kind of hair they have. It takes work to appreciate our hair lol. I love straight hair! And your hair sounds nice being shoulder length! I go back and forth on whether or not I want to cut mine sometime – my husband loves my long hair, but doesn’t mind it shoulder length (but hates chin length or pixie cuts).

  7. You look great with long hair, dragonflygirl. 🙂
    If my hair were wavy, I would let it grow a lot longer.
    Straight just lays there, when it’s long I have to put it up, which I like but my husband doesn’t like it up. His ex girlfriend always wore her hair up and I think he associates that look with her. You’d think 23 years would be long enough to get over it! 😛

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