There is a lot of information to be found on the internet about the proper care and maintenance of curly hair. Some of that info is good and legit, but some of it is just downright bad advice. Here are five of the worst:
1. Use "Frizz-Free" and "Smoothing" Products.
Please don't. Anything that is marketed as "frizz-free" or "smoothing" are loaded with silicones. Silicones are basically liquid plastic and they coat the hair shaft, which prevents moisture from penetrating your hair, thus exacerbating the problem of dry, frizzy hair. While a temporary fix for smoothing your hair, in the long term it is a huge problem.
2. Wrap your hair in a towel.
Terrycloth towels are a curl's enemy! The pile of the fabric will catch individual hair strands and cause frizz. Instead, use a flour sack towel or even a t-shirt to squeeze and scrunch your hair.
3. Use a comb to detangle
Um, no. Detangling can be done in the shower with just your fingers and lots of conditioner. Combs can shred, tear, and otherwise damage your fragile curls. Only in extreme cases are combs necessary; for example, an 8 year-old with matting or almost dreadlocked hair from being left to care for their own hair, or maybe even a grown woman with a small dread caused by her necklace chain twisting around and around all day.
4. Straightening your hair just one day won't hurt it.
While your hair may not melt before your very eyes, it does do some damage, and it can take some time for your hair to recover. Heat-damaged hair can lose its elasticity and refuse to bounce up the way it had before. Sure, it's not permanently damaged, but do you really want to set yourself back a few months?
5. The cut won't matter as long as you are using the right products.
Excuse me?! Have you learned nothing from reading this blog? Curly hair should be cut dry, curl by curl, and in its natural position. Each head of hair can have many different curl patterns; some tighter and some looser. If cut straight and wet, the curls will bounce back when dry and sit at different lengths, which causes wispy, uneven ends. It also sometimes leaves the hair looking wonky and asymmetrical ("The 80s called; they want their asymmetrical haircut back").
Those are the five worst recommendations and what I think of them, but it doesn't end there! In addition to knowing what not to do, you need to know what to do and how to do it. This is why you need your very own Curly Hair Specialist.
Also, do your curly friends and family a favor and please share this post! Friends don't let friends use silicone!
As members of CHA (Curly Hair Artistry) and your local curly hair specialists, we welcome you to learn along with us!