Those who know how to take care of their curly hair know stuff.
To find out are you up for a challenge?
How many of these seven questions can you answer with confidence off the top of your head?
Quick Section Navigation
- How to dry curly hair?
- Is brushing curly hair ALWAYS bad?
- Okay then how about how to comb curly hair?
- Should you detangle curly hair every day?
- How can I sleep without destroying my curls?
- What does mousse do for curly hair?
- How do you layer your hair with products?
Q1: How to dry curly hair?
I feel the best answer to how to dry curly hair is usually with a diffuser. It’s faster than air drying, results in nicely defined curls, added volume with the bonus of smooth, less frizzy locks. Usually this is done with your hair flipped over your head while bending at the waist. Added points for tilting your head to the left or right while in the upright position letting your hair rest on the diffuser.
Hey, nothing against air drying.
It’s fine if you have the time. Like lots of it.
Good for definition. Just not so good for if you definitely have somewhere you need to be.
And walking around with even damp hair, especially in the winter, is certainly not anyone’s idea of fun.
Plopping is a good (and easy) overnight approach as your hair is accordioned into the t-shirt or micro fiber towel to damp dry.
Really you just put the tshirt on a flat surface, bend over, and let your curls fall onto the shirt. Then gather it up, secure and wait or go to sleep. If you need help with how to plop your hair you might want to check out the article we wrote that covers all the ins and out of this technique in great detail.
Or use one of those hair turbans.
Stating the obvious that fast is relative this video shows how to use an Aquis micro fiber hair turban to get long curls to almost dry status quickly.
Besides it beats trying to keep a big, bulky towel balanced precariously on your head as you try to get stuff done while waiting for the turban to do its thing.
The idea here is for your hair to get to damp dry with its curl pattern intact.
Q2: Is brushing curly hair ALWAYS bad?
Of course hair styling routines often involve a brush. Which may lead you to wonder with coils, spirals and waves…. is brushing curly hair bad?
In a word, yes. If you do it wrong.
Because it usually results in disrupted or broken up curl patterns and lots and LOTS of unwanted frizz.
Worst case it can also cause excessive breakage because those curls are most elastic (read: most vulnerable to breakage) when wet.
And it’s not just me saying it.
Which may be why some will tell you the closest thing to brush you use should be finger combing to rake products through wet curls.
But if you insist there’s a right way and wrong way. Here’s might be the right way for you to do it with dry hair before shampooing.
Q3: Okay then how about how to comb curly hair?
Then here’s how to comb curly hair when detangling.
So if you need to detangle a wide tooth comb would the tool of choice. Done while in the shower preferably. And usually after raking in your conditioner of choice to make your strands as slippery as possible.
The way to tell if you have the right amount of slip? If your comb isn’t tugging or snagging on your hair you should be okay.
Naturally it goes without saying your mileage may vary.
Q4: Should you detangle curly hair every day?
Detangling curly hair obviously isn’t optional.
But every day?
Most would say probably every time you shampoo is more like it because how much torture can one be expected to endure in the name of their hair, right?
And as you have guessed although it doesn’t have to be a forever nightmare, again, there is right way and wrong way to go about detangling for best results.
So! If you want to melt away the tangles here’s some dos and don’ts.
- Use an extra gentle wide tooth comb or detangling brush.
- Only detangle damp to wet hair in the shower after slathering on conditioner or some other moisturizing product with slip to spare.
- Use a product with decent slip. That can a product formulated specifically for this task or a good conditioner or natural oils.
- Detangle before shampooing.
- Start from the bottom and work your way up to keep breakage to a minimum.
- Detangle dry hair if you can avoid it
- Don’t attempt this at home when time is short – there’s no shortcuts that can speed up the process and rushing equals frustration.
- Avoid trying to detangle the whole enchilada at once. Better to divide and conquer your hair into sections and work each in due time. BONUS: You may find it’s actually faster.
Here’s a good overview of how to do this in the shower.
You gotta love Mell! 🙂
Q5: How can I sleep without destroying my curls?
The most efficient way to sleep with curly hair without ruining it IMHO is to pineapple it.
It’s that simple.
Some love silk pillowcases.
Some love scarves which are a lot like bonnets.
Then there’s pineappling as a way to protect your curls from being flattening out and crushed while you’re getting your beauty sleep. Reduced to its essence it means sleeping with your curls stashed high on your head using a scrunchie to loosely hold them in place and mostly off the pillow.
Now if you think Del Monte when you hear the word “pineapple” you definitely need to check out our article on pineappling your hair to preserve those curls for the next day. Because that’s how to sleep with curly hair without ruining it.
Q6: What does mousse do for curly hair?
Good question. With all the styling gel and cream fans out there what about mousse?
Is it under rated or just overlooked?
- Tends to be more idiot proof i.e. easier to apply (see the video below for help with that), with less SOTC.
- Softer hold
- Can adds loads of fluffy volume which can help disguise frizz.
- Lightweight so it doesn’t weigh down more fragile fine curls like gel can.
- Gel works better as a frizz preventer so mousse may mean more frizz to fight.
- May not do anything for your curls
- May not respond to refreshing day 2.
If you want to see mousse in action here’s a good explainer video with a no-hype appraisal of the results.
Obviously mousse won’t nail “dangerously hot” curls like this for everyone. But at least you can see the results some get with it. In this case it’s one gorgeous, totally flauntable curly masterpiece.
In addition to the mousse mentioned in the video, Garnier’s Curl Construct Creation Mousse is also highly rated by users although it too probably won’t make the approved list of those following the CG Method!
Q7: How do you layer your hair with products?
Unless you’re the luckiest curly girl alive you know first-hand parched curls are the root of so many curl complaints.
Girls with curls also know one product is likely not going to take your curls where you want them to go.
That’s because you need something that helps with moisture, definition, taming the frizz all while giving volume a boost. Not too much to ask, is it?
Most are looking for THE magic, no-fail order to cocktail their hair products that will produce PERFECT frizz free curls. You know, the holy grail of products?
Which is how we ended up with shorthand alphabet soup of LOC, LCEG, LOCG and OMG! Okay the last one was just included out of exasperation.
But usually you’re working with some combination of leave in, the all-important oil, plus a cream and/or gel to get your strands as hydrated as much as humanly possible.
The hope is all will play well together to produce a memorable curl pattern.
Since there’s no way anyone can suggest the right order for YOUR hair and you’ll only find that out by using them in the wrong order first – a few rules of thumb to keep in mind while experimenting.
First remember that whatever order the products work for you is the right order to do things.
Second, with curly hair most products are designed to be applied to wet hair (I hope that’s not news to you) to help lock in moisture and keep your curls happy and shiny.
Third, generally you want to layer from the heaviest product to the lightest.
Fourth, if you have fine delicate strands that don’t fit any of the afore mentioned method pigeon holes try going with light weight variations to see you can’t come up with the best products that work without weighing down the volume of your less stout locks.
Hopefully with shampoo day behind you you’ve got rock-‘em-worthy ringlets to face the world with.
For more fresh ideas to make your curls look oh so fabulous, please follow our popular pins Pinterest board where we share all kinds of great tips just like these!