Curly Hair Care Routine: How to Keep Your Curls Healthy and Strong

Curly hair has a mind of its own. Take it from me – I’ve been a curly girl since I was born and my bedhead has not always been pretty.

Before I put any serious consideration into how I cared for my curls, waking up in the morning always proved to be an adventure. On good days, I woke up and my hair looked like a picture out of a magazine, no styling necessary. On other days, well…let’s just call it a train wreck.

Since I realized my “do nothing but expect great things” attitude towards my hair wasn’t cutting it, I invested time trying out curly hair products, talking to stylists, and reading up on how best to wash, protect, and grow curly hair well.

Throughout the years, I have developed a solid routine to keep my curly hair healthy, strong, fast growing, frizz-free, and more. Today, I would like to share it with you!

Step 1: Shampoo Your Curls Once a Week

Once a week?! That’s disgusting, you may be thinking.

But hear me out: over-washing curly hair can dry out your hair tremendously, leaving you with brittle, rough strands. Further, it can irritate your scalp or cause excess dandruff, which nobody wants.

Quite honestly, you may find you can go even longer than once a week without washing your hair; 2-3 weeks may work better for you. I find that by Sunday, after 7 days of not washing my hair, my curls feel a bit oily and dirty, so it’s time for a wash. Experiment with your curls and see what duration works best for you!

When shampooing, focus on applying the product on your roots. Combing it through your ends is fine, but the roots are the most important areas to have the shampoo work through! This will ensure the product cleans up any oil or dirt that may have accumulated on your scalp since your last wash.

The biggest takeaway from shampoo shopping is that you are looking for a brand that hydrates your locks, keeping them from getting dry, coarse, or brittle. 

So, find yourself a good shampoo for curly hair, but don’t wash too often!

Step 2: Condition, Condition, Condition

Conditioning curly hair is huge. Conditioner keeps your hair soft, shiny, and tangle-free. If it’s a good conditioner for curly hair, you shouldn’t need more than a grape-sized amount, and once you apply it, you should be able to work your fingers through your curls easily.

I condition my curls almost every time I shower. This typically turns out to be conditioning 5-6 days a week. I am typically a night shower-er, so, if by the evening my hair feels healthy and hydrated, I will simply let the warm water run through it. Most days, however, I feel like my hair needs a little pick-me-up, so I make sure to condition.

When conditioning, focus the product on the middles to ends of your locks only. If you work conditioner into your roots, your hair will look greasy and flat once your hair dries.

Step 3: Apply an After Shower Cream

AHH these are my absolute favorite products to share with you all. I consider them THE best hair products for curly hair. I have found some after shower products that have revolutionized my curls.

These products are amazing — they’re total must-haves. They nourish your locks, define your curls (no more weird wave/straight/curl messes!), and volumize your hair! After I apply one of these products and let it dry, my hair looks like I just strolled out of a salon every time. I can’t sing their praises enough.

Here’s how to use ’em: after showering, comb through your locks. Then, apply a quarter sized amount of one of these products all throughout your curls, from roots to ends.

These are my top 2 picks for the best after shower creams for curly hair: 

The Briogeo Curl Charisma uses rice amino and avocados, leaving out the icky sulfates, silicones, and parabens that will damage your hair! The Marc Anthony Volumizing Crème is equally as impressive, as it is infused with keratin (a fibrous protein), argan oil, shea butter, and more.

Make sure to stock up on these creams to make your curls looking perfectly glamorous!

Step 4: Apply a Hair Mask Once a Month

This step is by no means crucial, but it is nice to give your curls some extra love once in awhile especially if you apply heat often. 

Step 5: If You’re Going to Use Heat, Protect First

Though hair masks aren’t crucial, heat protectant sprays are.

If you like to give your curls some extra oomph with a curling iron/wand, flatten them with a flat iron, or blow dry them with a hair dryer, your locks need to be protected.

Unprotected curls given excessive heat can result in damaged hair that doesn’t grow quickly, flat curls that can’t breathe well, and, again, dry strands. Furthermore, adding a protectant makes your hair shiny and soft (which, if you haven’t already guessed, is really important to me!).

This is my favorite heat protectant spray for curly hair, like, ever:

TRESemme Heat Tamer spray is a great heat protectant spray for curls. Just spray it on and it will moisturize and prevent your hair from getting damaged. It smells amazing, too.

Protect your curls before you apply heat, they’re worth it! And, if you can, limit your heat use; your curls are beautiful just the way they are.

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