Let’s be honest: Sticking to a healthy hair routine isn’t always easy. And sometimes we get in the way of our own #hairgoals. There’s no such thing as a perfect curly hair journey, but there are some bad habits we have that can hurt us in the long run.
Not sure if you’re giving your hair all the TLC it deserves? Jump into today’s blog where we uncover some of the most common mistakes we make with our curls.
1. Washday Woes
When it comes to washing your tresses, there are two common moisture-depleting habits: excessive washing and hot water.
For certain hair types, washing your hair every other day is necessary to keep it from getting too oily. For others, excessive shampooing can strip curls of their natural moisture, which can cause frizz and dehydration. Resist the urge to reset your curls every day by refreshing them instead. A good refresh routine can help get your curls poppin’ daily without the hassle of washing your hair all over again.
Using hot water to rinse your hair can also dry it out. Hot water opens up your cuticle layer. However, to lock in the moisture your hair needs, you have to seal and close it as you’re rinsing your conditioner out of your hair. And nope – we’re not trying to banish you to a lifetime of ice-cold showers! Simply give your curls a quick shot of cool water and then finish off your shower routine at your regular preferred temperature.
2. Sleeping On Wet Hair
What could be so wrong with sleeping on wet curls? Unfortunately, plenty. Not only does it keep your hair from drying as fast as it should, it also leaves your pillow wet/damp. Since mold and bacteria thrive in warm and moist environments, going to bed with wet curls sets up your scalp and pillow as a breeding ground for bacteria.
What should you do the next time your curls are still damp at bedtime? Use a cotton t-shirt, microfiber towel or do a quick blow-dry to get the extra moisture out before you hit the hay.
3. Roughin' It
Sometimes being in a rush – or simple frustration – can cause us to be too rough with our hair. But our curls are fragile, and if we don’t treat ‘em right, we could damage them!
First thing you gotta do is make sure you have the right tools on hand; a wide-tooth comb can be a curly girl’s best friend. The best technique for safely detangling curly hair is to take it section by section, start at the ends and gradually comb through higher and higher until you reach your scalp. Any time you feel a snag, pause and gently work through the tangle until it runs smooth.
4. Tight Ponies & Retexturizing
We can’t deny how good a sleek bun or pony can look, not to mention that these styles definitely come in handy when we’re running short on time. Still, we have to be careful with brushing our curls back or styling them too tightly, too often. Think of your curls as having a memory. Every time you smooth them back into a bun or change the texture of your curls with braids/twists, you can actually hinder their ability to revert back to their natural shape.
This doesn’t mean you have to stop rocking buns, ponies and braids, it just means you have to be mindful of how tightly you wear these styles and how often. Pay attention to how your curls look after your first wash post-style. If they start looking stretched out, it may be time to loosen up to give them a little break.
5. Styling Dry Curls
Curls are the most defined when they are wet, which is why it makes the most sense to style them while they’re in this state. Of course, if you’ve been using the LUS (Love Ur Self) All-In-One styler for your wash n' go’s, you already know that our products are activated by water. But even if you are using something else to style your hair the same still holds true. It’s the best way to get good curl clumping and reduce frizz. Your product will also spread much more easily in wet hair, making it easier to achieve an even application.
6. Using Too Many Products
Chances are, if you are using more than three products in your hair, at least one of them is not contributing to the overall results. You may be wasting a surprising amount of time and money loading up on serums, leave-ins and sprays. Not to mention, you’re setting yourself up for a serious case of product build-up.
When it comes to curl care, keep it simple and don’t overload your curls. Take a lighter-handed approach and allow your hair to do what it does naturally.
7. No Touching
You’ve spent all this time nailing your wash n’ go, and now you want to stand back and admire your work. What you do next is crucial to keeping your curls poppin’.
First Rule: NO TOUCHING!
Resist the urge to touch and manipulate your curls before they completely dry and set. Partially, wet curls are actually the most susceptible to frizz so be extra careful until dry. If you want to speed up the drying process, try using a diffuser. It’s the perfect tool for drying your hair without disrupting your curl pattern. You can also carefully scrunch out excess water and products with a microfibre towel or an old t-shirt. These fabrics are softer and much gentler on curls than a regular bath towel and will help soak up moisture without leaving behind frizz.
8. Nightly Neglect
After a long day, all you want to do is crawl into bed and get some shut eye. Skipping your nighttime routine may buy you a few extra minutes, but your curls might end up paying for it in the long run. We already know that curly hair is prone to frizziness and excessive dryness. A solid nighttime routine protects your curls from becoming a flattened, dry and/or a tangled mess for you to tackle in the morning.
Do yourself a favor, and stick to your nighttime routine; if you don’t have one, check out our blog Curly Sleep Hacks for a quick and easy way to help protect your curls at night and maintain them in between washes.
9. Length ≠ Health
One of the most popular myths in the curly hair world is that long hair = healthy hair. While working towards certain goals can be great, prioritizing those goals over the health of your hair might hurt your progress in the long run.
Sometimes holding on to damaged ends can have a snowball effect on the rest of your hair. Things like split ends may start off small, but if you don’t trim/treat them they will continue to travel up your strands and you can end up losing even more length than if you had just snipped them in the first place. Which brings us to our next bad habit...
10. Ignoring Damage
It’s important to pay attention to the health of your curls to spot early signs of damage. Sometimes these signs can be subtle and fly under the radar, and sometimes they’re glaringly obvious. But the reality is that it’s not enough to just recognize damage.
To make a proper curly comeback we have to cut off the source of damage and make a point to treat and repair our curls as well. In order to repair heat damage, for example, you would first have to stop heat-styling your hair and probably start deep conditioning regularly and in extreme cases, cut off damaged ends. Acting like the damage isn’t there isn’t going to make it go away or help your curls look any better. Taking actionable steps to help the recovery of your curls is what gives your curls a fighting chance. Have a sneaky feeling your hair has taken on some damage? Check out our tips for recognizing signs of damage sooner rather than later.
Having a collection of #curlspiration photos can be an amazing asset to your curly hair journey. They can keep you on track and inspire you to stick it out.
Just be careful not to let your inspiration spiral into comparison. That’s when the curlies you come to love and admire start making you feel like your own hair is just not good enough.
If you feel yourself starting to slip into “curl-envy,” it’s time to take a break and stop comparing your curls to others. There will always be countless fads online that only jeopardize your hard-earned progress, and we don’t want you to lose sight of your mission.
Remember why you started your curly hair journey? Focus on embracing what makes YOU uniquely YOU. Your length, your texture, your curl pattern – they all deserve to be celebrated for exactly what they are.
If you’ve managed to avoid all of these habits, that’s amazing! We’d love to hear all about your success and any other tips you’ve collected along the way to healthy hair.
And if you’re a curly girl who’s guilty of a few of these bad habits, don’t beat yourself up. The best part of the curl community is the ability here to learn, grow and support each other through our own individual journeys.