Curly Qs: How can I naturally loosen my tight curls?

Curly Q: I have naturally tight, coily curls that shrink when they dries. I'm not saying my hair looks bad, but I'd love to show off my length. Is there any way I can stretch these curls without using chemical straighteners?

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Any girl with super tight curls has experienced her fair share of shrinkage, which is basically when curls dry and tighten up. Believe it or not, there are actually ways you can stretch and soften those rizos without having to retreat to chemical straighteners like the Brazilian blowout or desrizados. The key to getting that soft, curl look is keeping your locks healthy, protected, and constantly moisturized. Here are few ways you can loosen your curls for a softer look.

Use a sulfate-free shampoo: You've probably heard of the no shampoo movement by now. But believe me, behind all that hype is truth! Sulfate-free conditioning cleansers help remove dirt and product buildup while also keeping your curls soft and conditioned. Try Ouidad Ultra-Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($25).

Keep hair moisturized: Before applying your styling products, make sure to coat your curls with a leave-in conditioner that's going to keep your hair smooth and soft for hours. I'm obsessed with Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner ($17).

Use a styling cream: There are actually curl creams out there specifically designed to elongate and stretch tight curls. Awesome, right? Try Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Stretch ($8). Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls ($22) is another good one.

Try flexi-rods: If you want to make your curls look more loose without using the curling iron (which can lead to serious heat damage) try wrapping one inch sections of hair around flexi rods. Leave them on for a few hours or wear them overnight, and in the morning you'll wake up with amazingly softer and looser rizos. Check out Conair Styling Essentials Spiral Rollers Set ($10).

Wear braids: Some chicas wear their damp hair in braids to achieve beachy waves, but it can also help make curls look looser. Divide your hair into sections and then loosely braid into large braids. Leave them overnight and then in the morning take comb your fingers through curls to loosen the pattern. I also recommend running a shine-boosting serum through your curls. I love Carol's Daughter Monoi Sacred Strengthening Serum ($30).

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Topics: curly hair  hair