There are many types of curly hair in the world. Some form natural waves and soft, loose spirals while others create tight, sharp circles that are beautiful but difficult to style and brush. Unfortunately, there also is not a lot of information available about how to treat and style curly hair in the United States since much of the beauty industry is focused on straight hair. In fact, many of the current styles require curly hair to emulate straight strands!
To help girls navigate some of the misinformation about curly hair to create a wonderful, styled look, here are four things that every lady should know about her curly hair.
Hair Shape Affects Oil
Many people with curly hair know that their beautiful locks tend to be dryer than that of their friends with straight hair. This actually relates to the shape of the hair rather than your own personal ability to generate oil from your scalp. You see, the oil forms along the scalp and travels from the hair follicle down the strand. With straight hair, the oil has a simple and easy path. With curly hair, though, the oil has to navigate a far more difficult path. It’s hard for the oil to travel because it needs to twist and turn around the spirals. You can imagine this process to being similar to you driving down a road. You’ll arrive at your destination much faster if you can take a straight and easy path, but will be much slower if you have to keep twisting and turning.
Why Hair Straightens
Hair straighteners have been a popular implement for curly haired individuals because it helps manage some of the unwanted volume and frizz of naturally exuberant hair. But why does hair straighten through the application of heat?
Well, the explanation is actually quite scientific. Hair retains its shape through the creation of hydrogen bonds. These bonds are strong when hair is dry. However, when hair becomes wet or is exposed to heat, the hydrogen bonds break. This doesn’t damage the hair and happens all of the time. However, once hair dries, the bonds reform. Applying heat prevents the reformation for a period of time, so you can shape the strands however you want.
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The Myth about Shampoo
If you grew up with curly hair, you might have been told not to wash it often. This is because most shampoos designed for straight hair can be quite damaging to curls because they are designed to strip away oil and moisture. However, curly hair doesn’t need as harsh of clarifying power because oil doesn’t travel well on the strands. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wash your hair. In fact, if you have curly hair, it’s important that you shampoo regularly to help get rid of product buildup and grease that can weaken hair and make the curls more susceptible to breakage. Just remember to use a shampoo designed for your hair type!
The Myth about Conditioner
Similar to shampoo, a lot of people with curly hair have grown up being told it’s okay to skip the conditioner. While individuals might think that conditioner can make curls too heavy or is unnecessary because brushing curls is next to impossible, this is not true. In fact, conditioner can actually be great for nourishing roots and filling in gaps where breakage or weakness might be on hair strands. They can also add much needed moisture to the curls, since they are once again typically dry because of the lack of oil reaching the strands.
So, don’t avoid the conditioner because of misinformation!
Curly hair is a wonderful and beautiful thing to have. After all, how many people can truly say they have naturally curly hair? However, learning to take care of and manage the spirals and waves can be a real beast. These four important tidbits of information should help you keep your hair healthy, strong, and clean for years to come. Just remember to buy products intended for your specific hair type so you don’t end up with excessive frizz or an uncomfortable lack of moisture.