Curly hair creates unique challenges, requires extra time, care

Illustration by Aaron Logan

For women with naturally curly hair, the slightest rain shower can send their hair into a poofy mess or a rat’s nest of frizzy curls. When it comes to curly hair, certain rules and practices can help decrease frizz, help retain curl shape and improve overall hair health.

Cheria Cauley, senior in dietetics, has naturally curly hair, and said getting regular haircuts helps her control her curls.

“It’s very important that I trim my hair,” Cauley said.

For Cauley, regular trims get rid of damage and split ends, and help her curls keep their natural shape.

In an industry dedicated to helping curly-haired girls find hair-peace, Lorraine Massey’s “Curly Girl: The Handbook” has coined terms such as “no-poo” and defined methods to save curly hair.

Massey’s handbook recommends that women with curly hair detangle their hair with either their hands or a wide-tooth comb, because it encourages the curls to cluster together more than a brush does, a tip that Cauley said she follows.

According to the book, it is also better to untangle curly hair while it’s wet because it helps the hair retain moisture and reduce frizz. Removing knots is also easier when hair is wet and more slippery.

Multiracial women can face unique problems with their curls, according to “Curly Girl: The Handbook.” Although all curly hair needs extra moisture to prevent frizz and breakage, multiracial hair is even more prone to dryness, breakage and frizz than other curly hair types.

KeNeice Musgrove, junior in hotel and restaurant management, experiences the challenges of keeping curly hair moisturized and healthy on a daily basis.

“Because I am multiracial, it is important to keep my hair moisturized. My hair gets dry fast,” Musgrove said. “I have to keep my hair moisturized so that it stays soft and doesn’t look or feel dry.”

Moncherree Pollard, freshman in open option, also said that the key to maintaining her curly hair health is keeping it moisturized. Pollard uses products free from harsh chemicals, which can strip curly hair of much-needed moisture.

Curly Girl: The Handbook” advises women with curly hair to use conditioners, organic products and products that contain ingredients that you can eat. Harsh chemicals, even some found in traditional shampoos and conditioners, can strip hair of necessary moisture.

According to Sally Beauty, many shampoos and conditioners contain sulfates, including the common foaming agents sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate. They can cause moisture loss, which can lead to frizz, among other negative consequences.

Musgrove uses her own blend of yogurt, egg whites, honey and either organic olive oil or organic coconut oil. According to the Mother Nature Network, natural hair products such as egg whites and olive oil can help reduce frizz and remove product build-up, benefits for all hair types.

While curly hair can present unique problems, there is an entire industry dedicated to keep curls frizz-free, moisturized and pretty. Whether you use special hair-care products or a unique blend of kitchen ingredients, all it takes is a little extra time and dedication to get perfect and healthy curls.