One of the very earliest curl experts promoting naturally curly hair information and help is Ouidad who herself was born with a head of gorgeous natural ringlets.
Over the years Ouidad has provided natural curly people with a variety of tips and mantras regarding the care and feeding of curls.
I have had the great pleasure to personally chat with Ouidad and pass on a lot of her fabulous tips.
Ouidad believes that you have to feed your curls. One of her mantras is "just as you must eat to survive, you must feed your hair to maintain its health, shine and manageability."
Since Ouidad pioneered the natural curl trail, many other curl experts have joined the curl crusade and of course each of them have their own opinions about natural curl care and treatment.
Also, it's important to restate my ongoing mantra that no two heads of hair are the same and everyone, curly hair people as well as all hair textures need to find their own way.
Depending on your curl type, texture, current condition, hair length and type of shampoo or cleansing process you follow you may benefit from pre-shampoo conditioning treatments.
There are a wide range of pre-conditioning treatments available on the market or you can make your own pre-conditioning treatment or utilize a light conditioning oil treatment. I personally achieve great results when I use an jojoba based pre-shampoo application.
I apply a little bit of jojoba based Beautiful Hair Oil to the palms of my hands, rub it together and then rake it from the bottom of my earlobes to my ends. It works fabulously for my wavy/curly hair.
Would it work for everyone? Probably not but there are many other pre-conditioning treatments you can take advantage of. Do your homework and be willing to experiment.
The advantage to pre-conditioning treatments is that it protects fragile curls from the harmful effect of shampoo ingredients.
If you do a diluted shampoo process or a wash or conditioning only cleanse you may or may not feel the need to pre-condition.
One of the key steps in caring for natural curls is the cleansing process. The act of cleansing, also known as shampooing, is essential to keeping the scalp and hair clean.
If the cleansing of curls, like all hair textures (straight, wavy or combined) is not done appropriately it can be dehydrating and potentially damaging. When curly hair is shampooed the tiny layers of the hair shaft are opened which allows water to rinse away any unwanted debris. Unfortunately the water can also wash away essential moisture and nutrients.
Rinse Out Conditioners
One of the secrets to achieving successful cleansing is to finalize the process with a rinse-out conditioner as well as a cool/cold rinse. The conditioner and cool/cold water final rinse will close the hair shaft helping to seal in much needed moisture.
A rinse out conditioner will also help to detangle tresses. Rinse out conditioners also help to position wet strands so that there is no undue pulling or tugging which can lead to frizz.
How To Apply Rinse Out Conditioners
Some of the best ways to apply a rinse out conditioner include:
1. Apply rinse-out conditioner to cleansed hair from the tops of your ear lobes down to the ends. 2. Use water to rinse out the conditioner using your fingertips gliding them down the length of the strands in a keyboard typing motion. 3. Leave 20-25% of the actual conditioner on the ends of your curls for extra protection when hair dries.
Rinse-out Conditioners vs Leave-in Conditioners
A rinse-out conditioner is a great product which facilitates in providing protection for the hair along with smooth styling. Rinse-out conditioners do not provide lasting benefits.
A leave-in conditioner adds hydration and nutrients to wet or dry tresses. It works as an on-the-spot defrisant.
Conditioning products come in a wide variety of brands, formulations and with advertised benefits. Conditioners serve to add and seal in moisture, make styling easier and protect fragile curls for wear and tear.
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Original Publication Date: 2001 - Revised Date: 11/28/09