18 Life-Changing Hacks for Curly Hair

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1. Cover the sink with plastic wrap before detangling your hair. Never clog the sink again.

2. When detangling your hair, use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush to prevent breakage and preserve the shape of your curls.

3. When combing or brushing your hair, gradually move upward instead of starting at the roots. It’s much easier to comb through knots at the ends first.

4. Before stepping into the shower, apply a deep conditioner to your hair, tuck it into a shower cap, and wash your body before washing your hair as normal. The steam from the shower will help lock in moisture.

5. Mix a small amount of sulfate-free shampoo with a lot of conditioner to make your own cleansing conditioner, which gently washes while it deeply moisturizes. Apply the mixture to the crown of your head and thoroughly massage it into your scalp, focusing on just the roots (since this area is oilier) and letting it rinse toward the ends after a few minutes. This will clean your hair without stripping all the natural oils, which causes dry, brittle hair.

6. If you have extra-dry hair, skip shampoo completely and try “co-washing” or washing your hair with only conditioner once a week or as often as needed to prevent fluffy hair. If your hair lacks oil or moisture, you don’t need shampoo.

7. Instead of combing your hair after you’ve dried off, liberally apply conditioner, and comb it through your hair while still in the shower. Combing your hair after the shower will separate your curls and cause frizz.

8. Don’t completely rinse out all the conditioner when washing your hair. It’s OK to leave some residual conditioner in your hair. Your curly ends need all the moisture they can get.

9. After washing your hair, wring out the water with a T-shirt instead of a towel to prevent tangles and frizz. Unlike a T-shirt, towels will absorb too much water and moisture out of the hair, which causes frizz, instead of just the excess water. The smoothness of a T-shirt will also help smooth your curls and prevent them from getting matted together.

10. When letting your hair dry, try “pineappling” or piling your hair into a loose bun or ponytail on top of your head. This will prevent gravity from pulling your curls out and causing frizz.

11. Mix leave-in conditioner with gel or cream to moisturize your hair while sculpting the curls. Scrunch and twist the product into damp hair and air-dry or style as normal.

12. Apply coconut oil all over your hair as a deep conditioner before showering, or for very dry hair, rub coconut oil on the ends when styling for extra shine.

13. Prevent crunchy curls by touching them up with hair oil after using your styling products. Apply a dollop of mousse or styling cream into your roots and ends. Then rub a bit of oil onto the pieces that feel too stiff to give them bounce again.

14. To revive curls in a pinch, spray a mixture of half water and half leave-in conditioner on the ends of your hair, and scrunch or style as usual. This is great for days in between washes.

15. Apply deep conditioner to your hair before putting it in a ponytail or bun when going for a workout. The heat from working out will help lock in moisture for extra-soft curls. After you work out, rinse out the deep conditioner and shower as normal.

16. Switch to a satin or silk pillowcase instead of cotton to prevent tangled or matted hair in the morning. Your hair will slide over the smooth surface of a satin or silk pillowcase, but get stuck and knotted on cotton. Bonus tip: Sleep with your hair in a “pineapple” to maintain curl shape.

17. To make your blowout last longer, separate your hair into sections and loosely twist them before going to sleep. This will give you nice waves instead of creases and kinks.

KATHLEEN KAMPHAUSEN

18. If possible, avoid washing your hair on rainy days. Spray with a mixture of water and leave-in conditioner instead to avoid frizz.

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