Curls, coconut oil, healthy hair, and treatments
One thing I swear by (like any curly haired girl ever) is coconut oil.
The joke is that coconut oil and apple cider vinegar fix everything and well, I'm not sure that isn't mostly true. My hair is extremely dry, and no I don't color it-yet :D
During the summer, I would slather lemon juice all over the top of my hair to lighten it faster since my hair naturally turns very blond in the sun. I would notice how dry my hair would become on the top layer. Lemon juice is definitely going to dry out hair so be sparing if you decide to use it to lighten your hair in the sun.
I use coconut oil for a few things but mostly for my hair. I use other little hacks mostly that I learned from this book, Curly Girl by Michele Bender. Seriously, this book is golden. It changed my hair life. For my type of hair and every girl struggling with their curls and hating them because their hair is so dry and frizzy like mine, get this book. So cheap for being so awesome.
Coconut oil mask your hair every two to four weeks. You can use normal coconut oil that you cook with in the tub (it's maybe like three to five dollars per tube. Super cheap for how much you get. Mine usually lasts a few months.) Start by wetting your hair in the shower like normal with hot water to open the cuticle of your hair. I typically don't wash until after so just begin with coconut oil. Slather it from roots to end and twist on top of your head and clip in place. Because it can get messy and whatnot, I tie a short dishtowel around the hairline and tuck underneath a shower cap. I cover everything in this shower cap and then comes the fun part. Grab a blow dryer or if you work in a salon, a head dryer will do the trick. Put it on the hottest heat you can take and blow dry your shampoo capped head for 30 minutes. I usually blow dry it for ten or fifteen minutes before letting my arms rest and then resuming. You could even just put this all on and skip the blow dryer and just do a few chores or skincare in between the time. I recommend 30 or more minutes. A few people I know actually slept in this and let it soak in overnight and just washed it out the next morning. I recommend the heating method to let it fully open up the cuticle of your hair and let the oil fully saturate your hair. Whatever method you choose, after you've let it soak in there, wash it out with a shampoo. If it feels too thick to run your fingers through, you may need to repeat shampooing your hair. Then I put in my conditioner and rinse as I usually do. My hair is usually very thick and somewhat oily near the top of my hair for the first day until I wash my hair again. That's fine. This is a cheap, healthy hair mask to help it grow and moisturize it. My hair usually strips this down after about two weeks and it needs it again fairly soon after. After a month, my ends are very dry and it starts to poof more. I notice the affects without this mask within three weeks.
Use a sulfate free, paraben free, alcohol free shampoo and conditioner. Sulfates weigh down the hair and can block hair color from penetrating the cortex. Alcohol content can dry out your hair and be counteracting the moisturizing treatments you put in your hair. Personally, I find it very hard to find one without a high alcohol content in it but I try to use curl specific shampoos and conditioners to help. I use Moroccan Oil Smoothing Conditioner and Deva Curl Low-Poo Original for my two wash products.
Only wash your hair once a week. I know what you're thinking. Gross, right? No, seriously. It's called co-washing. Only SHAMPOO your hair once a week. Rinse and condition your hair every day or every other day, depending on what you are comfortable with. Your natural oils are good for your hair, especially dry hair and curly hair. Rinsing will clean your scalp of sweat and dirt. A dry shampoo like Moroccan Oil 's dry shampoo (I use the light tones but there is another for dark tones) is very light but is very good for soaking up the scalp's oils without making your head appear white like baby powder. The shampooing part once a week will get rid you of a build up of oils and then you can start fresh. Shampoo twice. The first will break down the first part of the oils, and then the second one will completely remove the rest of the oils.
Leave on conditioner for more than two seconds, y'all. At least leave it on for a few minutes and for those of you on a budget, I like Aussie 3 Minute Moist to add in or use on its own.
Rinse your conditioner out with lukewarm or cold water. This will seal the cuticle and trap the moisture. Hot water opens it up and the conditioner will run straight out, getting rid of all of the benefits of the conditioner.
Don't use a brush ever on your curly hair unless you are straightening your hair and it doesn't matter what happens to your curl pattern. Use a wide tooth comb like the one here when you hair is wet from the shower or during the shower when you have conditioner in your hair. Start at the ends and work your way up. You can also use your fingers.
Dry your hair with a t-shirt or pillowcase. Stop using a towel. It drys out your hair too much and can leave it without the moisture from your conditioner or shower.
You can leave your hair without product by I like to add a creme or oil along with a mousse to give it hold with more moisture. Adding these in before your hair dries will make it less oily and it will soak in better with an open cuticle. I use Moroccan Oil Smoothing Lotion and Bumble and Bumble Conditioning Mousse For those of you on a budget, I love this mousse and use this frequently too, Suave Professionals Curl Mousse . You have to be careful with Suave products. They have heavy sulfates in their products and it will block your hair color and build up a waxy substance on the hair shaft. Use a clarifying shampoo every week or two to remove build up like this one, Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo This shampoo has a strong scent so just a warning.
If you have heavy hair or flat hair, try pinning the top layer of your hair up with some clips like these and let it dry pushed up. This will result in your curl pattern drying without the added weight of the rest of the curls and give you more volume at the roots instead of flattening on the top of your hair and poofing at the bottom.
Try not to put heat on your curls, and never do it to wet hair unless blow drying. Air drying will protect your hair and keep it healthier.
Always use a heat protectant before any kind of heat.
Get a straight line cut from your hairdresser if you wear your hair curly. This will keep the weight at the bottom and drag your curls down to keep the poofing down. You don't want Christmas tree hair with a flat top and it fan out dramatically down at the bottom. 'Tis the season to not match your Christmas tree ;) Layers will do nothing but add an unruly mess to your hair and cause it to release the curl higher.
Some days that I just feel like my hair is drying out, a.k.a winter time or after a swim in a pool in the summer, I use this Moroccan Oil Treatment on the ends and mid-shaft of my hair after I've gotten it wet to reset my curl pattern. I will either use this on top of my other products or instead of the Smoothing Lotion. I drop a dime-sized amount (this stuff is straight oil so be sparing) and I rub it all over my palms before running it through my hair.
If your hair is ethnic or coarse, the coconut oil can be left in your hair. Natural oil doesn't come as heavily as it does for the rest of us and it doesn't need to be washed out in the shower. Coconut oil can just be used as a product.
Lastly, I have found that when I don't have time for this coconut oil treatment for thirty minutes and all that, just mixing in a little bit of coconut oil with my conditioner conditions it a little better and leaves it more moisturized.
Thank y'all for reading all the way down 'til the end. This also applies to anyone looking to cut down on the frizz or improve the quality of your hair especially if you color it. I'm a cosmetologist, a.k.a a hairstylist and I work in a salon. This has been all tested out by me. The science behind it was taught at my school. This isn't just some silly Pinterest gimmicky hack.