For a good portion of our lives, many of us curly girls were completely clueless when it came to dealing with our hair. Fast forward to today and now there is so much information out there, it’s hard to tell what’s legit and what’s not. We’re here to give you the lowdown and dispel some of the myths surrounding curly hair.
1. You shouldn’t shampoo curly hair
Let's start with a BIG one: co-washing. This is a huge trend for curly girls. The intended purpose of co-washing (washing your hair with conditioner only) is to avoid harmful agents in shampoos that hinder your hair’s natural oil production, retention of moisture and overall strength.
The reality is, not everyone is a great candidate for co-washing.
This is especially true for those who may have naturally oily hair or scalp conditions like eczema or psoriasis. It's important to know that cleansing with a conditioner won’t clarify your hair.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR CURLS?
BUILD UP. Without properly washing your hair, build up and residue from styling products as well as the conditioner you’re using to co-wash can cause itchy scalp, flat, frizzy roots, lack of definition, and suuuuper dull/lifeless curls.
Don't be afraid of the word "shampoo." Not all shampoos are necessarily bad. Look for a shampoo that fights buildup but also treats your curls right. Formulas that are free from sulfates and other harsh cleaning agents will keep your hair clean while maintaining healthy, beautiful curls.
2. Curly hair needs to be washed daily
Curly girls are no stranger to concocting all sorts of crazy cocktails. We'd pile on a leave-in for moisture, add a styling cream for definition, a sticky, hard gel for hold, and layer in an oil to break the cast and add a bit of shine. Thasss a whole lotta product!
We’d use almost anything that would help us achieve “perfect curls”. The worst part? The results wouldn’t last more than a day and the product build-up was crazy! Which meant we were washing every day or every other day. Yikes!
Now we know better. We don’t need all those products to be happy with our curls. Not to mention washing your hair too frequently can prevent hair from producing oils that are essential to its health and repair.
How often you wash your hair (or your "wash cycle") is truly an individual choice, there is no wrong or right. Some curlies need to wash their every 2-3 days, while others boast 7+ day wash cycles. For most of us, though, we can do away with daily wash and restyling of our curls.
3. Curly hair = Tangled hair
This is is simply not true! If using the right comb or brush, curls that are healthy and moisturized should be painless and easy to detangle with minimal shedding. Our conditioner is designed to get rid of those knots and tangles with ease. Start at the bottom with a wide-toothed comb and work your way up your hair shaft gently. The main thing to remember is that your detangling work should ideally be done in the shower, with conditioner soaking your strands. Detangling dry curls will lead to unnecessary breakage and split ends
4. Dry hair is a way of life
Sebum is the natural oil our scalp produces to help maintain the moisture, shine, and strength of the hair. All the twists and turns in curled hair texture make it harder for sebum to travel from our roots down to the hair shaft. Since we typically don't brush curls once they’re dry, there’s no other way for it to be carried down the length of the hair.
But this doesn’t mean that soft and shiny curls are unattainable. There are many ways to hydrate and seal in moisture to your hair. Getting into a routine of deep conditioning your curls regularly will play a huge role in maintaining strong and moisturized strands.
5. Split ends can be repaired
This is a tricky one. Certain products can minimize the appearence of split ends by smoothing and binding them together, which also prevents them from traveling further up the hair shaft causing further damage to your hair. But this is a temporary fix. The best cure for split ends is to trim them and to take extra care in preventing them from occurring in the first place.
6. Your hair stops growing past a certain point
We hear this one A LOT.
If you haven’t been diagnosed with a condition that prevents your hair from growing back it’s likely that your hair will never really stop growing. On average, hair grows about 0.5 inches per month which can sometimes go unnoticed in curly hair due to shrinkage.
If you are struggling to grow your hair past a certain point the issue may actually be that you’re having trouble retaining length. Maintaining a healthy diet, ensuring that you're hydrated from the inside out, and protecting your hair from dryness and damage will help strengthen and fortify your strands, paving the way for long luscious curls over time.
7. Heat & color-free curls = No damage
It must be safe to assume that if you never straighten or color your hair it should essentially be damage-free...Right?
While we wish it were this simple, the reality is damage can come in many shapes and forms. Sometimes you can see it just by looking at someone’s hair, other times it’s not that obvious. Damage can look like excessive frizz, feel like rough and bristly strands or act like hair that can never be tamed or detangled. But if you aren’t doing anything to inflict damage on your curls, what could be causing it?
Seemingly harmless things like over-manipulation, dryness, washing your hair too often, or using products with harsh ingredients are all things that can’t take a toll on your curls over the course of time.
8. Your hair can become resistant to certain products
It’s a common belief among curly girls that your hair can build a tolerance to certain products after continued use. The fact of the matter is your hair isn’t ‘alive’ and as a result, it’s not capable of evolving or changing in any drastic way, which is the reason why damage is so hard to come back from. There could be a number of reasons why your product may not be working like it used to.
Stress, diet, season, weather are all things that can affect the way your curls behave. The most likely culprit being product build-up. Product residue can start to collect and coat your strands, zapping the bounce, definition and shine out of your hair. Not only does this dry it out it also prevents any product you apply from penetrating the hair shaft, adding to the amount of product just sitting on the surface of your hair and perpetuating a cycle of build-up.
Clarifying is a great way to give your curls a fresh start. Giving your hair a deep cleaning every once in a while can help rid both your hair and scalp of all icky buildup that might keep your curls from poppin’.
Hopefully, we’ve cleared up some of the confusion and common misconceptions about curly hair care. What are some of the craziest curl myths you've heard?
Let us know in the comments below! 👇🏽