Us curly girls know that if we let it, washing, conditioning and styling our curly hair can take a ton of time – and frankly, as much as I love my curly tresses, I just don’t have it. I’m not professing to be an expert on hair care, but I’m sharing with you some of my strategies for limiting the amount of time I spend on my curly, kinky, type 4 hair (see http://www.curlambassadors.ca/curly-hair-types/ or http://www.naturallycurly.com/hair-types for a simple breakdown on hair types). For all my ladies with straight hair, these tips can likely work for you as well!
Deep condition the night before a wash
To avoid lengthening what is already a long washing and conditioning process, I deep condition my hair the night before I wash. I typically spritz the ends of my hair with water and apply the deep conditioner throughout, focusing on the ends. I then twist my hair, or put it in a bun before I wrap it for the night (see tip #2 on wrapping). I wash and condition as usual in the morning.
Get some of the work done the night before.
Many black women have been wrapping their hair with scarves for eons. Ladies, If you haven’t yet tried this strategy, trust me, wrapping your hair with a silk scarf or wearing a silk bonnet while you sleep will preserve your curls and lessen frizz and dryness. Guaranteed. You can try experimenting with keeping your hair in a loose ponytail at the nape of your neck or on the top of your head to see which method gives your hair a better shape in the morning. When you wake up, just fluff your hair, maybe add a little moisturizer and go.
Detangle in Sections
I’ve tried detangling my hair all at once, thinking it will save me time. Big mistake.
The truth is parting my hair into 4 sections (or however many work for you) always, ALWAYS leads to a smoother detangling process.
Avoid shrinkage when wet
This may not be the case for all of us – but my shrinkage is REAL.
Shrinkage usually makes the detangling process harder, so I try and avoid it.
As soon as my hair is wet I start finger combing it – ensuring it stays elongated. When I apply conditioner to my hair, I immediately start detangling with a wide tooth comb. After I finish detangling a section, I twist the section before I move on to detangling the rest of my hair.
Curly hair can be a handful to detangle. However, I’ve come to realize that it isn’t so much my new growth that makes my hair more difficult to manage, but the unhealthy ends that sometimes come with it. The truth is, a fresh trim makes a huge difference on the detangling process for my hair. So I’ve learnt to let go of the ends, because I can’t keep breaking combs ladies…
Break the routine down into two parts
There are times when I just don’t have the time to wash, condition and style my hair in one sweep. On those busy days when I need to wash my hair, but I also need to leave home early, I break up the process of washing and styling my hair.
I usually start by washing and detangling. I then put my hair in a bun while I set out to accomplish the tasks for the day. Later on in the evening, I’ll take down the bun, spritz my hair with water and twist it if I plan on rocking a twist out.
Hopefully at least one of these tips was worth adding to your curly hair arsenal!