Caring for Curly Hair

Curly hair really suffers from not being cut regularly. As it may still be a while before you get an appointment with your favoured stylist, here are some things you can do in the meantime:

Wrap your hair at night – we use the Silke turban which has an Elizabeth Taylor-vibe. Wrapping your hair at night may seem a bit extra but it will protect the hair cuticle from being roughened as you sleep. This is a far more effective way to combat frizz and hair breakage than simply using a silk pillowcase. Each to their own but we probably wouldn’t wrap our hair the first time someone new stays the night, so lockdown might be the perfect time to try this.

Start using a sulphate-free or at least a low sulphate shampoo such as As I Am Coconut Cowash. Normal shampoo can be too harsh on curly hair and strip it of its natural oils, making it frizzier and harder to manage. You probably also only need to wash your hair twice a week. If you’re working from home at the moment, now might be an opportune moment to try this, whilst you are not travelling on public transport and heading into polluted city centres.

If you use a lot of products in your hair or live in a hard water area, you’ll also need to use a clarifying shampoo, such as Bumble and Bumble’s Sunday shampoo once a month. This will remove build up and mineral deposits.

For daily conditioning, you will need a lightweight conditioner which will moisturise your hair without weighing your curls down. Aveda’s Be Curly Conditioner is our favourite and as with most of Aveda’s products, it also smells wonderful.

Once a week, you should apply a deep conditioner and leave it on, with a shower cap, for fifteen minutes or more before rinsing it out. We love Cantu’s Deep Nourishing Hair and Scalp Masque with Rhassoul Clay. Philip Kingsley’s legendary Elasticizer also works brilliantly and there is an amped up version, Elasticizer Extreme, for very coarse or porous curls.

Regular, terry towelling bath towels will maul your hair so now is the time to switch to using a microfibre towel, such as Kitsch’s Eco-Friendly Hair Towel, to dry it. It’s also a good juncture to cut back on blow drying your hair as this – even when you use a diffuser – can be pretty damaging for your hair. It’s the back of our hair that takes ages to dry and this is somehow easier to hide on Zoom than when being hugged in real life meetings so we are taking the opportunity not to blow dry it at all.

Once your hair is 50% dry, you can begin styling. You may need to experiment with different products to find the ideal combination. We favour Cantu’s Comeback Curl Next Day Curl Revitalizer followed by Aveda’s Be Curly Curl Enhancer. The latter is a genius product containing a blend of wheat proteins that expand when your hair is wet and retracts when your hair is dry to lock in curls and waves.

If your frizz and flyaway ends still need taming after styling, smoothing a small amount Charlotte Mensah’s Manketti Oil should do the trick.

— Alex Peake-Tomkinson
10th March 2021