Curly hair can be a pain in the rear, especially when it comes to styling.
We’ve all had those days of stringy, crunchy, straw-like curls *shudder*. Most of the time we end up blaming it on our hair when really it’s our fault… sometimes we just can’t take the time to treat our high-maintenance curls like they want to be treated.
And then there are other times, like the trial and error stage of getting to know your curls that we are just flat out making mistakes.
I want to help you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made over the years and figure out the best way to treat your curly hair.
But first, have you taken the mistake finder quiz?
When it comes to caring for curly hair and choosing the right products, there are 3 classic mistakes people make that destroy their hair and cause frizz.
Take this FREE 60-second quiz to see which mistake you are making.
I remember being in college and trying desperately to get my curls to cooperate.
But, with a full class load and a job it just ended up being easier to not mess with it.
When I did try and put some effort into my curls they just ended up were stringy and crunchy. It ended up being easier to just straighten my hair and that’s exactly what I ended up doing for many, many years.
What is causing your hair to be frizzy? Take the quiz to find out!
It wasn’t until my thirties that I started to embrace my curls and to really put the effort into learning how to treat curly hair. One of the biggest lessons I learned is that having gorgeous curls starts far before you style.
Curls are temperamental and it takes establishing a healthy hair care routine to ensure you are treating your hair the best you can by nourishing your curls and allowing them to flourish.
If your curls are less than desirable, chances are you are making a few mistakes early on in the process that are killing your curl vibes.
Keep in mind that all curls are different. The information I will share below is based on what generally works for curls hair. If something does not work for you, experiment and find something that does. Often moving a product a step up in your wash routine or using a product differently can make a world of difference.
How to Best treat curly hair & 10 Curly Hair Styling Mistakes That Are Killing Your Curls
Mistake #1 Washing Your Curls Too Often
Washing your hair every day is a curl killer. Curls need natural oils to thrive. Over cleansing can strip your hair of those oils leaving your curls dry and damaged.
Stretch your wash days apart as much as possible by finding creative ways to refresh your curls.
I use my hair dance dry shampoo and leave in conditioning spray to help stretch my washday
Not Using Shampoo Specifically Designed for Curly Hair is Mistake #2
Traditional shampoos will pretty much sign a death warrant for your curls. Most shampoos contain sulfate which is what causes them to bubble. Sulfates also lift the hair cuticle and cause your hair to frizz.
Always cleanse curly hair with a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser or co-wash.
My favorite cleanser is EVOLVh’s smart curl hydrating wash because it gently cleans while adding moisture to your curls.
>>>>>Click here to get EVOLVh’s smart curl hydrating wash
Not Keeping Track Of Your Curly Journey
One HUGE mistake I see curly girls make is jumping into their curly girl journey with no plan of tracking their progress.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to re-create a bomb wash day but failing miserably because you didn’t follow the same steps.
After many wash day fails, I decided to develop a detailed system that helps me keep track of what works and what doesn’t work for my hair. It really helped me nail down the best way to treat my curly hair.
My Miracle Curls Daily Tracker is a customized, detailed, daily tracking system that let’s you look back and see how far you’ve come, and exactly what works and doesn’t work for your curls.
CLICK HERE to take the FREE Mistake Finder Quiz!
Not Sleeping On a Silk Or Satin Pillowcase is Just Treating Your Curls Bad
Most pillowcases are made of fabric that is abrasive which causes friction when you sleep. This creates unwanted frizz and breakage which destroys your curls.
Because silk is made of smooth material, it will allow your curls to glide across your pillowcase without disrupting them. Silk also allows your hair to retain moisture throughout the night.
Important update: You’ll notice that I have updated my silk cap recommendation.
After having some issues with my scrunch it and getting complaints about poor quality and customer service, I can no longer recommend this silk cap.
I was able to find a company that makes luxury, satin, bonnets.
And it’s more affordable than the scrunch it which is a double win.
If you want healthy curls, protect them while you sleep. Opt for a silk cap and/or pillowcase. You can read more about night protection here.
Sleeping on a silk pillowcase is another way to retain moisture and reduce friction.
I love the tee-owel towel silk pillowcase.
Skipping The Deep Conditioning Treatment is a Curl No-No
People always tell me they don’t have time to deep condition. From now on, consider deep conditioning to your hair like brushing your teeth. It’s not an option.
If your hair is damaged or dry, you need to deep condition once per week CONSISTENTLY.
Deep conditioning restores moisture, repairs, and strengthens your curls. So make it a weekly habit.
I recommend shea moisture and EVOLVh’s hair masque
Mistake #5 Pulling Your Hair Back Tightly in a Ponytail or Messy Bun
Yes. Pulling your hair in that tight top knot is a big fat no no. It causes stress and breakage on your hair and can cause hair loss. Something none of us can afford especially as we age.
Use nondamaging hair tie or apuff cuff to pull your hair back. I use both for different reasons.
Skipping or Skimping on The Leave-In Conditioner
Curls need moisture to thrive. A leave-in conditioner is a way to add light moisture before you style your hair without weighing it down.
I typically apply mine in the shower and scrunch it in my hair focusing on the tips. Then I let it sit a bit on my hair before I style it.
I am currently using EVOLVh’s spray leave in conditioner and loving it!
>>>>>>Click here to get EVOLVh’s smart curl hydrating conditioner
Want to Make Your Curls Angry? Style them On Damp Or Dry Hair And The Frizz Monster Will Appear
The best way to create stringy, crunchy hair is to style it damp or dry. In most cases.
I have seen a few curlies who like to style their hair while its damp versus wet and have great results. But typically speaking, it’s best to style on wet hair.
Curly hair is the most smooth when it is wet which is the perfect time to apply and style it. Once you have styled your hair, let it dry completely before you touch it.
Then use a good oil to scrunch out the gel cast. Read more about how to SOTC here.
I use and love righteous roots hair oil.
>>>>>Click here to get Righteous Roots Hair Oil
Using Products With Sulphates, Silicone, and Parabens
Say goodbye to products with sulfates, silicones, and parabens if you want luscious curls.
Sulfates: strip your hair of natural oils and lift the hair shaft causing frizz.
Silicones: cover the hair shaft giving it that shiny look. But they are just coating your hair strand and acting as a filler which eventually causes build up.
Parabens: are a preservative that helps deteriorate mold. They can cause your hair to frizz and dry out. Parabens can enter your body through your scalp and pores which can be dangerous to your health.
Swap out any products containing these ingredients and choose clean natural products.
My favorite product line that is clean (meaning doesn’t contain any of the above harmful ingredients) is Evolve.
EVOLVh has a curl bundle full of all the products you need to get started. You can get it here.
CLICK HERE to take the FREE Mistake Finder Quiz!
Applying Conditioner To Your Roots
When conditioner is applied directly to your roots, it can weigh your hair down and cause your hair to look flat and oily.
It will also kill any idea you have of creating volume.
Always apply your conditioner a few inches away from your roots to avoid flat, oily-looking hair.
Not Using Curl Stylers
Leave-in conditioners and oils are not stylers. In order to hold your curl pattern, you need to apply products that are labeled as anti-frizz, frizz-free, or curl enhancing.
These products are designed to hold and will help keep your curly pattern in place and frizz at bay.
Always grab for a gel, mousse, or curl cream to style your curls.
I love Aussie instant free gel and/or EVOLVh’s super defining cream
Treating your curls right, starts long before you style them.
To make sure you’re using the best practices for treating your curly hair make sure you limit how often you cleanse, choose products wisely, protect your curls, and incorporate consistent healthy hair habits into your daily routine.
Then and only then will you curls thrive. And you will truly love your curls.
P.S. CLICK HERE to take the FREE Mistake Finder Quiz!
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10 thoughts on “Best Way to Treat Curly Hair: 10 Curly Hair Styling Mistakes That Are Killing Your Curls”
I had wavy, light curls on my hair. The curls seemed full when my hair was wet. I had a baby 5 yrs ago, breastfed her, & lost all my curls. My hair is straight, poofy, & light curls when wet. I really want my curls again so I’ve been doing the curl method, just started 2 days ago. I’m hoping that it works.
I’m so excited for your curly journey!
get my full cheat sheet here
Hi Colleen, I just discovered you via Delilah, the holistic enchilada. So glad to have found you! A question for you…my hair is SUPER baby fine and does not handle products well. I have at this time about 2b curls. Do you recommend leaves ins and masks even for hair like mine? It gets so limp from being weighed down by moisturizers and heavy hair products. I make my own flaxseed gel, but I have to make a very lite version, other wise it gets really sticky and goey from the flax. I don’t come across very often curlies/wavies that have hair like mine. ;-(
if DC are weighing your hair down, definitely skip them. Would aim for once per month. All curly hair is so different and it’s important to find what works for yours <3
I have read and used deva curl. Bad for hair. You should delete that product from your list.
than you for the heads up
Thank you so much for doing the job that is remarkable here, everyone will like your post.
Like!! Great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.