How to Bring Out Natural Curls: 8 Tips

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Friday February 2, 2024

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Hair trends in the early 2000s were all about straighteners. Most curly-haired women used a straightener at home or applied a chemical treatment at the salon. Now, everyone’s all about embracing their curls. Sometimes, the switch takes a bit of a learning curve.

Check out these eight tips to learn how to bring out natural curls. After trying a few new tips and experimenting with your personal style, you’ll find a new routine that accentuates your curly hair without overdoing it.

1. Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo

When you walk down the beauty aisle at your local store, you might see bottles labeled “sulfate-free.” People used to believe sulfates were multiple cleansing agents that could cause cancer, but research has proven the opposite.

Shampoos use the following three sulfates as ingredients:

  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Ammonium lauryl sulfate

The current research shows that sulfates have no harmful carcinogenic effects, but they do dry your scalp and hair by stripping away oils. Dry hair leads to breakage, reducing your curls’ bounce and length.

2. Skip the Shampoo

Curly hair has a microscopic texture. Daily shampoo destroys this texture, making curls appear weighted and lifeless. If you prefer to shower every day, try skipping the shampoo. Use it every other shower or only a few times a week. Your hair will better retain its moisture and shape.

Continue your daily use of conditioner during your regular shower schedule. It purposefully moisturizes hair. Target the ends of your curls for the most noticeable benefits.

3. Tap Out the Moisture

Think about how you dry your hair. It could significantly affect the appearance of your curls. Instead of blow-drying your hair upside down or letting your tresses air-dry, use the plopping technique after you finish your next shower.

Tie your hair on top of your head using a large T-shirt. Your curls will settle like compressed Slinkies and improve their formation. After a minimum of 20 minutes, take the shirt off so your hair dries completely. 

4. Sleep on Silk Pillowcases

Frizz can feel like your worst enemy. It gives your hair too much poof and loses its natural shape that would otherwise fill you with confidence. Your cotton pillowcase could make it worse by soaking up your scalp’s natural oils.

Silk pillowcases won’t catch your curls while you toss and turn. They’ll also preserve the oil your hair needs to stay healthy. Make sure you don’t sleep with your hair pulled back and up. It may damage your hair quality and keep the silk pillowcase from improving the natural texture.

5. Ditch the Brush

Dry brushing is significantly harder on curls than straight hair. It pulls on them and increases breakage, resulting in split ends and frizziness. If your hair needs some attention, bring out your natural curls by spritzing water or detangling spray and following through with a wide-toothed comb.

Raking your curls with the comb won’t hurt them, but it will provide the reinforced shape and defrizzing they might need. Afterward, your hair will be free for styling into short updos or leaving it down in its natural shape.

6. Feather Your Ends

Thick hair sometimes doesn’t work well with natural curls. You might battle intense volume, so make a quick call to your hairdresser. They might recommend a bit of feathering around the ends of your hair. It reduces volume without cutting off length, so your hair feels lighter and looks thinner. It could even make your curls easier to manage.

Don’t forget the importance of regular trimmings, especially if you feather your hair. You’ll need to trim your hair to maintain fast, healthy growth, even if you don’t plan on growing it out.

7. Attach a Diffuser

Sometimes you’ll be in a rush and need to use your hairdryer. When that happens, don’t panic. Attach a diffuser to the end of the dryer to control the heat more efficiently. Instead of one intense flow of air, the diffuser preserves your natural wave pattern while reducing frizz. 

It can also even out your curls or waves, resulting in a singular look rather than curls with varying bounce.

8. Try a Mousse Product

Mousse is a styling product that contains proteins. It stiffens your hair to hold your curls naturally, without the stickiness of heavy hairspray. Apply only a tiny bit to soften dry hair and improve the shape of your curly waves.

Lock in Your Style

Give yourself time to play around with these tips and figure out how to bring out your natural curls. Once you know which work for your hair, lock in your natural style with a little light hair spray in the mornings.

Originally published on December 4, 2020

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