How to take care of natural curly hair

If you’ve got natural curly, kinky, or wavy hair, you’re probably used to getting compliments on it all the time. You’re probably also used to thinking: “if only you knew how much effort it took to get it to look like this!”

With the right hair products and a routine that prioritizes your specific hair concerns, looking after curly hair doesn’t need to be hard work.

Keep reading to learn more about getting a handle on your curly hair routine!

How to take care of natural curly hair

We know that naturally curly, wavy, and kinky hair can be more prone to dryness and hair damage, so it’s important to curate a haircare routine that combines hair nourishment with hydration. 

In this guide, we’ve put together our top product recommendations for curly hair, alongside our top tips for taking care of natural curls all year round . So, let’s take a look!

What is natural curly hair?

Not sure if you have natural curly hair? Curly hair can be categorized as the following:

  • Naturally wavy hair
  • Kinky hair, also known as afro-textured hair
  • Curly hair (tight to loose, natural ringlets)
  • Coily hair
  • Loose or tight waves and curls

How do I know if I have natural curly hair?

Frequent heat styling and coloring can change the texture and natural appearance of your hair. If you’re not sure whether or not you have naturally curly hair, you can let it air-dry naturally after your next shower. If your hair develops lots of curls once dry, you have naturally curly hair.

You can also take our free hair test here if you want to be sure of your hair type. 

Looking after natural curly hair: Dos and Don’ts

So, how best to take care of naturally curly hair? The key is to ensure that your hair gets enough hydration and conditioning, without appearing greasy or as if your hair is loaded with product. Here are some of our best tips and products for natural curly hair:

Do: Add moisture, moisture, and more moisture!

Naturally curly hair is more prone to dryness and brittleness - that’s why it’s super important to use lots of hydrating hair products in your weekly routine. It’s also important to exclude certain drying ingredients from your haircare routine. The following ingredients can dry out the hair and can make it difficult to manage: 

  • Sulfates
  • Alcohol
  • Parabens

Instead, you’ll want to focus on using natural hydrating ingredients to add necessary moisture to your hair. Our INATURAL range for Curly Hair uses shea butter, coconut oil and moringa oil to condition curly hair from root to tip, preventing dryness and dullness. 

Do: use a leave-in conditioning treatment 

The best way to keep your curly hair feeling soft, smooth, and silky? Using a leave-in treatment! Here are just some of the reasons why a conditioning leave-in treatment is a good idea for curly hair:

  • Provides 24/7 hydration and moisture
  • Protects against environmental damage
  • Makes hair easier to style
  • Adds shine and bounce
  • Leaves hair feeling soft and smooth until rinsed out

Our Conditioning Creme Leave-In Treatment combines the conditioning powers of Shea Butter, Coconut oil and Moringa oil to nourish and hydrate the hair from root to tip, smoothing out kinks while retaining the gorgeous form of your natural curls. You can apply this after shampooing to enjoy manageable, smooth hair until your next wash day. 

Don’t: Shampoo your hair too often

No matter your hair type, over-shampooing your hair can cause problems with dryness and even cause hair breakage and hair loss. This is because shampooing the hair involves stripping the hair of its natural oils, and doing so too often is counterproductive for healthy hair. This is especially true when it comes to those with natural curly or wavy hair, which is more prone to dryness.

For curly and wavy hair types, washing your hair 2-3 times a week (maximum) is recommended. However, the frequency will naturally depend on what type of hair you have. If you have afro-textured kinky hair, we’d recommend washing your hair every 5-7 days. 

Do: use plenty of products in-between washes

When you have curly hair, your haircare routine doesn’t revolve around your designated hair-washing days. In fact, you’re probably going to be using more products in-between washes than on wash day. 

We’d recommend using moisture-boosting products that offer conditioning and nourishing benefits, to prevent dryness and external damage while also making the styling process easier. Our INATURAL Moisture Therapy is designed to offer a quick burst of hair hydration throughout the day, so you can enjoy smooth and hydrated locks - even when it’s been days since your last shampoo. 

Do: pick the right dry shampoo

Dry shampoo is an essential component of any healthy hair routine. If we want to avoid damaging our hair through overwashing, using a dry shampoo is an effective way to freshen up oily roots in between washes. It’s perfect for use after exercising, or even after being exposed to summertime sunshine.  

However, those with curly or natural hair need to be extra careful when picking out a dry shampoo. Dry shampoos can irritate and dry out the scalp, so it’s best to opt for a hydrating dry shampoo, such as our INATURAL Conditioning Hair Refresher. Formulated with conditioning Shea butter and nourishing Coconut and Moringa oils, this dry shampoo will freshen up your hair, absorb any oil, and condition your hair all at the same time. 

Don’t: wash your hair using scorching-hot water

In fact, using cold water is preferable for those with curly or natural hair. Hot water expands the hair fiber, contributing to dryness, and hair damage. Using cold water (or tepid water) is the best way to protect your natural hair fibers and bonds while washing your hair. 

Don’t: brush through your hair

Always use a wide-toothed comb! Brushing through curly hair with a paddle brush is simply a fast-track to dryness. Use a wide-toothed comb, wetting it beforehand for ease of use. When you come out of the shower, it’s also a good idea to treat your hair with a conditioning oil before combing it through.

We’d recommend a few drops of our INATURAL Conditioning Oil once you’ve patted your hair dry; formulated with jojoba oil and avocado oil, this treatment will give your post-wash hair an instant moisture boost. 

Do: add shine

Sleek and shine isn’t a privilege of those with straight or thin hair: it’s just about using the right products. When it comes to curly or natural hair, we’d recommend using our INATURAL Curling Butter to add that final glossy finish to your look. Enriched with our classic Shea butter, coconut oil and moringa oil trio, this styling cream provides both shine and hold, while nourishing the hair.

Do: be aware of friction

As natural curly hair is more prone to dryness and damage, it’s a good idea to avoid friction with your hair wherever possible. For example, rather than using a towel to dry your hair, use a cotton t-shirt; and instead of rubbing your hair dry, simply squeeze the excess moisture out using the t-shirt. 

Similarly, avoid sleeping on cotton pillows; cotton is a friction-causing fabric and might be the reason you wake up with staticy hair in the morning! Many hairdressers and stylists now tout the benefits of sleeping on silk pillows; silk is a non-abrasive fabric, and prevents any “tugging” on the hair during the night. 

The Bottom Line

Taking care of natural curly hair might seem unnecessarily complicated, but it’s just a question of picking the right products (and creating a haircare routine that works for your needs).

By following the above tips and working some of our products into your hair routine, you’ll be able to enjoy fuss-free shiny, smooth, curly hair.