Hello, Curlies! We hope you and your curls are doing great!
So, you’ve been on the Curly Girl Method for a while and have achieved a routine that delivers well-defined curls and ringlets. But there are days when you can’t help but wish for your well-set curls to last just a little longer. Keep reading to discover industry tips and tricks to achieve the curls of your dreams and keep them lasting too!
The secret to well-defined curls that last long are a combination of wash and styling techniques and some after-care tips that will sustain your gorgeous curls for longer. With the right knowledge, you’re only a few steps away from discovering the curls of your dreams.
Let’s begin with the first, your wash and styling routine.
While your routine and CG steps are important, it’s also vital to understand your hair type (whether wavy, curly or coily) and its characteristics such as elasticity and porosity.
Here are a few pointers to determine your curl type on the broad basis of curly, wavy and coily:
- If your hair is wavy, your hair will seem supple with a clear ‘S’ pattern. It can range from fine to thick and is visibly shinier than curly hair.
- If your hair is curly, your hair will have a distinct spiral shape and can range from loose loops to tight springy curls.
- Kinky hair, which is not as common in Indian hair types, is visibly spongy and can be dry too. This hair type can be soft and fine or even thick and coarse.
There’s yet another way to measure your curl type and that is through the width that ranges from 1A to 4C.
Take a look at our detailed blog to understand this better.
Now that you have a clear idea about hair types, let’s explore the characteristics mentioned earlier and how to measure them efficiently:
What is elasticity?
The elasticity of your hair is its ability to bounce back into shape and this also reflects the protein levels present in your hair shaft. Simply take a curly strand of your hair and tug on it and notice how long it takes to bounce back. If it bounces back quickly you have optimal elasticity but if not, it is a sign of dry and fragile hair.
What about porosity?
To break it down, let’s get to the basics – a strand of hair. Each strand of hair has a layer known as the cuticle. Now, your cuticle structure decides how much moisture it chooses to let into the hair shaft and that is basically what porosity is. To elaborate further, if your hair has low porosity, it not only repels moisture but keeps damage away too. High porosity hair absorbs moisture and products better but is also more susceptible to damage and environmental factors such as heat and pollution.
How do you measure porosity?
The simplest way to check your hair’s porosity is dropping a few strands of your loose hair and checking if it floats or sinks, low porosity hair tends to float while higher porosity strands sink.
Now that you’ve had a chance to test your porosity, it will go a long way in deciding what kind of products suit your hair, how often you need to deep condition (DC) or do protein treatments and how best you can traverse along your CG journey to keep your curls bouncy and lively for longer.
Here are a few curl care pointers based on your porosity:
- Stay away from harsh heat treatments, bleach and colour treatments as damage travels into the hair very easily with high porosity hair.
- Indulge in regular DC and protein treatments to soothe and protect your tresses.
- Go for heavier formulated products with natural moisturizing elements such as shea butter and argan oil.
- Use sealing products or oils to help seal moisture into the cuticle once done styling.
- Focus on protein treatments, as protein heals and replenishes the hair shaft.
- While applying a deep conditioner or conditioner use a warm towel or mild hooded heat to allow products to penetrate deeper.
- Clarify more often to give your hair a clean slate to absorb moisturizing products.
- Avoid heavy creams and go for lighter mousses and gels while styling.
- Invest in a heat cap to increase the effects of masks and moisturizing treatments.
- Use warm water to refresh curls, as products tend to sit on the hair rather than seep in and warm water helps break this down and also allows the new product to reach the hair shaft.
- Use a gentle cleaner and clarify once in a while for best results.
- You can have your choice of both heavy moisturizers such as creams and butters and lighter ones like mousse or gels. Experiment with both to determine what works on your hair as environmental factors come into play as well.
- Pre-poo or even style with light oils such as argan or jojoba.
How to make your curls last longer with your wash day routine:
Wash days are a huge part of the CG Method and can make or break your curl pattern until your next one. Let’s get into the details of how you can enhance your wash day and your resulting curls.
When it comes to cleansing:
Wavy Hair: Wavy hair ideally requires to be washed not more than twice a week. Ensure that you use a moisturising conditioner to keep your waves luscious and lively.
Curly Hair: Either opt for a mild hydrating CG-friendly shampoo or co-wash with conditioner every 5 days or once a week.
Coily/Kinky Curls: Co-wash once a week and refresh when needed.
Moving on to the all-important step of Conditioning:
On dripping wet hair, emulsify conditioner and apply it even across the length of your hair using the Praying Hands method. Ensure that the product is distributed evenly and let it stay on for a few minutes to ensure that the hair shaft is enriched with moisture from the conditioner.
For wavy hair – Rinse out the conditioner, upside down for more volume. Use room temperature to cold water for this step
For curly and kinky hair - Same as above, but rinse gently and it’s all right to leave a little product back on your strands for some added hydration.
What about styling?
You can tweak and amp up your styling techniques in order to make your curls last longer. Here’s how to depending on your hair type:
When your hair is freshly washed, bend forward and absorb the excess moisture using a microfibre towel using the Plopping Method. Don’t wring your curls dry or run a comb; this will disrupt your natural curl pattern. Apply your leave-in and gel of choice and then either air-dry or diffuse on a low heat setting after this.
Wavy hair works well when styling products are scrunched up. You could also clip your hair at the roots while drying to create volume.
Curly hair comes to life when finger-coiled and fluffed from below. Avoid touching your wet and styled hair to keep away frizz.
Remember that each head of curly hair is unique and what works for some, may not for another. Part of the journey is to experiment and try out different products and techniques to achieve your best curl pattern and also keep them lasting for longer.
A little something called Clarifying:
While your wash routine is a vital step in bringing out your natural curls in all their glory, it’s important to start with a clean slate. Yes, we’re talking about clarifying.
Whether it’s your very first try at the CG routine or you’ve been an ardent follower, build up is something that tends to creep in.
If you’re a newbie, you will be prone to more build-up from all the years of using products containing baddies such as silicones and sulphates. Simply use a clarifying shampoo that has sulphates but no silicones to give your curls and scalp a reset.
Long-time Curlies can clarify once every month or as needed to clear any build-up from heavy products.
Clarifying goes a long way in helping you get the curls of your dreams and keep them that way for longer.
Deep Condition your way to gorgeous curls:
Dryness is the bane of curly hair and can mess with your curl definition too. A good deep conditioning session can turn around dry hair by penetrating your hair shaft with moisture and quench thirsty curls. Use a hydrating hair masque or a thick conditioner after cleansing and leave it on for 10-30 mins, rinse and style as usual. Adding a heat cap or hot towel is an optional step that will help open the cuticles even more thus allowing the moisture to penetrate better. DC, when done at the right intervals is a pamper session for curls and brings out their natural shine and definition.
Seal your Style:
Even if you’ve spent hours on your wash routine, your curls can sometimes unravel or lose definition after a few hours or in a day. To avoid this:
- Rinse your hair with cold water post conditioning to seal in the moisture.
- Opt for defining gels after your leave-in to form a cast that will help form plump ringlets that last until your next washday.
You can always SOTC (Scrunch Out The Crunch) your gel cast for fluffier, softer curls, but there’s no doubt that a medium hold gel will transform curl definition and pattern.
The devil lies in the Techniques:
Techniques play a huge role in the CG method and help bring out the best in both your hair and the products you’re using on them.
Explore and play with techniques that have been tried and tested by Curlies.
A few that result in good curl definition and volume are:
- The Praying Hands technique while applying conditioner.
- Plopping with a microfiber towel while drying hair.
- Scrunching upwards while using stylers.
- The Smasters Method that involves a gel step in between styling to add extra hold.
- Finger Coiling your curls during styling for added ringlets and curl definition.
- Detangling using a wide toothed comb while the hair has conditioner in it will avoid breakage and ensure that your curl pattern remains.
Protect your curls to make them last:
Protection is a very important and underrated part of the CG Method. To keep your precious curls looking their best, keep them protected, be it while sleeping, working out or on the move.
Go for satin or silk pillowcases or bonnets while sleeping, cover your curls with a satin scarf while travelling and tie them up in a pineapple to keep moisture and sweat away from causing frizz and disrupting your set curls. The right after-washday care will ensure that your curls last longer in their bouncy state.
Our range of Curl Up products have been specifically created for naturally curly and wavy Indian hair so you can fall in love with and flaunt your treasured curls! They're also sulphate, paraben and silicone-free and come with no baddies, just a whole lot of curl love! Shea butter, argan oil, flaxseed extra and mango butter are just some of the finest and trusted nourishing ingredients that go into our products so your curls can bounce happily ever after!
We’re glad to see that you’re on the CG wagon and have found the path to achieving gorgeous, natural curls. We hope our pointers above help you maintain and handle your precious curls during the course of your daily lives. Don’t let anyone tell you that your curls aren’t worth it. With the right techniques, products and mindset, your natural curls will not only feel their best but also last longer. Worth the time and energy, we say!
Do let us know if you have any further questions or even have some tips to share. We’d love to hear from you!
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, +91 9945373597 or @letscurlupdotcom on Instagram to answer your questions or even just be a part of our #letscurlup community!