A lot of women who are gifted with naturally curly hair grew up fighting it and cursing it, trying all types of treatment to straighten it – using flat irons, blow dryers, and even a round brush for blowout. What they haven’t forecasted is that one day, curly hair would be fashionable and trendy enough that it has even spawned a new industry dedicated to cater to its special needs. Many ladies of today definitely have come to desire curls on their hair, which is obviously the reason why curling products like rollers and curling iron are selling like hotcakes as well as curling treatments in various salons. However, while straight-haired ladies are dying for your natural curls, you may still not want it like they do so you end up abusing it and damaging it all because of your pursuit of straight hair.
Yes, your curly hair may look thick, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t fragile and can be easily damaged. Truth is, it can be thin and it can be demanding of special care, protection, and treatment. So, do yourself a favor and have a quick hair check. Perhaps it’s time to give your curly hair some break and give it the tender, loving care it longs.
Hair Abuse Checklist: How You Unknowingly Hurt Your Natural Curls
1. Too much exposure to the wind and the sun
Our hair, whether straight or curly, is naturally composed of a protein called keratin. Each hair strand has various layers such as the medulla, cortex (just like the parts of our brain) and the cuticle. Everyday activities tend to damage the cuticles making the curls (in your case) dry and frizzy. Too much exposure to the sun and the wind especially during hot summer days takes its toll making your curly hair look drier and lifeless.
2. Touching your hair too frequently
Playing with and touching your curls too much whether consciously or subconsciously is a big no! When you do this, you are actually harming your curls by making it prone to frizz and breakage. When your fingers have too much contact with your hair strands, the natural oil is stripped, causing it to be dry and easily broken. Fight the temptation to scrunch your hair too much especially when styling. For daily remedies, put on satin scarf on your hair as a cover so you prevent yourself from touching it too much unknowingly while doing other things.
3. Not having regular haircuts
When you’re trying to grow longer curls, not having regular haircut seems the most logical thing to do. Totally wrong! By failing to trim your naturally curly hair at regular intervals, you are encouraging split ends, which prevents your hair from growing and make it look dry. Depending on your hair growth cycle, it is advisable to trim your hair every 6-8 weeks to keep it growing healthy.
4. Washing your hair too often
This is actually a no-brainer if you are already aware of the best hair care practices for curly hair. Washing your hair daily or worse, a few times daily strips your hair with its natural oil, making it dry and frizzy. The harmful chemicals in your shampoo also do their share. Depending on the texture of your curls, you should only wash your hair once or twice weekly and use products that don’t contain sulfate and have moisturizing ingredients such as ceramides and panthenols.
5. Using hair products with alcohol content
In most cases, alcohol can be beneficial especially in warding off germs and bacteria. However, for your hair, it isn’t. Hairsprays and hair gels usually have alcohol content, which can damage and dry your hair and make it uncontrollably frizzy too. Be sure to check the content first and toss it right away when you see alcohol as one of it. There are a lot of alcohol-free hair products that you can use.
6. Tying your hair really tight
This is actually one thing we’re all guilty of. While it is useful to tie our hairs when in the kitchen or in the gym, doing it so often hurts our scalp and can even cause hair loss. Think about how many times you have pulled your hair too tight that you yourself can feel that it’s having a hard time to breathe. Instead of murdering our natural curls slowly by doing these over and over, go for loose ponytails or braids or better yet use bandanas or ribbons to tie your hair. Also, avoid too much hair extensions, which can add up to the weight of your hair, pulling it from your scalp.
7. Scrubbing your scalp too much
This is especially the case for girls with oily curs. Out of the desire to rinse off the oiliness of their hair, they tend to scrub their scalp too much. This causes the blood in your scalp to circulate faster (which is beneficial if you’re trying to grow more hair), but causes your curls to frizz, tangle, and break at the roots. Scrubbing your scalp with your long fingernails isn’t a good way to go either. As a solution, gently scrub your scalp with the pads of your fingers only as long as the time it takes for you to finish reciting the alphabet.
8. Using the same shampoo all the time
Doing this seems harmless but you are actually damaging your hair unintentionally. According to studies, when you keep using the same shampoo over time, you tend to reverse its effects on your hair, making it work against your favor. The trick is to keep 2 shampoos and alternate them weekly or bi-weekly. At the same time, repeated use of conditioner and too much deep cleaning has its bad effects too. You can have build up of conditioner on your hair shaft, making it look listless. Regular deep cleaning, on the other hand, strips away more than what it is intended to clean. It is better for you to just condition and deep clean your hair once a week to keep your curls full of life.
These are just some of the ways you unknowingly hurt your curly tresses. Now that you are aware of these, save your curly hair from further damage and allow it to show its natural beauty.