Curly Q's: How do I get the bounce back into my hair?
Curly Q: Help! My hair has been looking straighter and less bouncy with time, how can I get my curls back?
This is something I've actually been struggling with myself. Like most curly-haired chicas, I'm very quick to resort to straightening. In fact, for the last 8 or 9 months I've been going to my local Dominican salon every weekend for a sleek straight blow-out. Here's the problem with that: Heat styling is okay when done in moderation, but if you're constantly blowing out your hair straight, over time the heat and constant pulling will disturb your curl pattern. So if you're not using hair texturizers (like relaxers, Keratin, or Japanese straightening treatments), constantly dying your hair, or struggling with hormonal issues (in which case you might want to see your doctor), then chances are your bounce-less curls are a result of heat damage. The good news is you CAN get them back! Read on to find out how.
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I took a trip to Devachan Salon in New York City's SoHo, a salon that specializes in curls, where I met with stylist Helik Torres. He totally transformed my tresses! After constant blow-drying, my natural ringlets were looking straight and lifeless. He not only got my hair back on the right track, but shared a few helpful tips that will help me maintain a healthy head of curls from this day forward. Check out a few of Helik's pro tips below to get your gorgeous curls back:
1. Get a cut: Believe me, I know how painful it can be to cut your hair, but when you're trying to get your curls back in shape, a trim just isn't enough. Helik suggests getting a real haircut every three months, especially if you have damaged hair. "It's also tremendously important that you get your hair cut by someone who specializes in curls because the curlier it is the more different kinds of curls you're going to have," he said. Helik cut my hair dry before washing and styling.
2. Avoid shampoo: Helik, along with the other stylists at Devachan Salon, have a no shampoo rule. Why? Because shampoos contain harsh sulfates and detergents that strip hair of its natural oils leaving it dry and brittle, which is especially the case for curly hair. Look for a sulfate-free shampoo or gentle hair cleanser, like the DevaCurl No Poo Cleanser ($19) that will deeply cleanse and condition your tresses without absorbing any essential oils.
3. Condition condition condition: When it comes to curly hair, it's all about conditioning. And if your hair is damaged, Helik suggests using a moisturizing hair treatment, like the DevaCurl Heaven In Hair Intense Moisture Treatment ($25). He used this to condition my hair and left it in to keep my locks nourished and hydrated. My curls were super soft! But if 25 bucks is too much for you to throw on a conditioner, try L'Oréal EverCurl Hydracharge Cleansing Conditioner ($7). It definitely gets the job done.
4. Avoid combs: Helik not once used a comb or brush to cut or even detangle my hair after conditioning. Instead, he used his fingers to gently smooth and break up my curls. This helps avoid breakage and frizz. Try raking your fingers through your wet hair while you still have conditioner in it. Then, tilt your head forward and scrunch curls gently from the ends up to the roots to create bounce and shape. Use this same method when applying styling products.
5. Don't blow-dry: To avoid further heat damage, Helik recommends to forgo the blow dryer altogether, unless you're using a diffuser. But let's face it ladies, this isn't always the most practical or achievable thing to do, so if you're like me and like to have the option of wearing your hair straight, try blow drying in moderation. Air dry some days and avoid straightening every single week. And if you must, consider setting your hair in rollers and sitting under a hooded dryer instead. This doesn't involve as much direct heat, ultimately causing a lot less heat damage. Try to avoid using other hot hair appliances like flat irons or curly irons on a regular basis too.
And viola! Before you know it, you'll have your natural ringlets back!
Image via Johanna Ferreira