Talking natural hair…

curly-hair

Several of you have asked what I use to care for my  curls, and I am excited to share these tips and products with you here and on Talk of Alabama today (You can view the segment by clicking HERE.)

There is no one-size fits all approach to natural hair. You can watch all the YouTube videos and read all the blogs in the world, but you’ll still have to learn your own hair, whether you cut it all off or grow it out from the root.  You may have to “cocktail” different brands and processes to achieve the look you want, or you may be able to literally wash and go. My tips are based on 8 years of trial and error. Note: I am not a hairstylist or dermatologist. Seek professional advice before you self-diagnose or try anything to permanently alter your hair. (For example, I don’t color my hair at home. I leave that to someone who has professional training.)

Tip 1: Have a great go-to shampoo and conditioner. Using a shampoo that is free of sulfates, counteracts hard water buildup, is gentle enough to use daily and allows my hair to retain moisture is key. And because my hair gets super tangly, I need a creamy conditioner that smooths the cuticle of my hair and makes the detangling process much less painful. Try: Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo and Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner, $12 each; available at Target.

Tip: Pre-poo or deep condition as a luxury treatment.  I love the versatility that allows me to wear my hair blown out bone straight, but that has an effect on my curls. A few months ago, they were in pretty bad shape. Using a great protein pre-shampoo treatment and a rich deep conditioner strengthens my curls and gives them a little more “POP.”                       Try: Madam C. J. Walker’s Dream Come True Wonderful Pre-Wash Protein Treatment, $32 at Sephora. For deep conditioning, try Ouidad’s  MeltDown Extreme Repair Mask, available at Sephora and Ulta for $44, and in a smaller size at Ultra for $16.

Tip: My curls don’t require a lot of handling, so I stick to a Denman brush for detangling and working product through my wet hair. Using a microfiber towel to squeeze excess moisture out of my hair shortens drying time and eliminates the frizz a bath towel can cause.  Try: Microfiber wrap, available at HomeGoods, $3.99; Denman brush, available at Sally Beauty Supply, $11.50.

Last but not least:  Be gentle with your curls. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing your texture to someone else’s, because every curl pattern has its own unique beauty. Since hair grows from the inside out, it’s still going to be important to eat well and drink plenty of water. Be sure to get regular trims and consult with a stylist who understands textured hair. Oh-and if you see someone with gorgeous natural hair, feel free to compliment them on it, but as a general rule: please ask before touching it!

Want to see a professional? Here are some Birmingham-area stylists I recommend:

Image via FunnyAnd.com

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