Now more than ever, women are empowered to rock their natural hair texture. But after years of relaxing and fighting against the curl, many women are at a crossroads on how to truly take care of their god-given texture. You may struggle to properly care for your strands, but don’t fret, for we have someone who is eager to share their haircare tips for curly hair with you. Enter: Michele Scott-Lynch, the owner and founder of Boucleme, a British-based clean beauty line specifically made for natural curls.
“As a curly myself I truly understand the concerns of managing curls on a daily basis,” Michele tells us. “The products in our collection are 96-99% naturally derived and we use natural essential oils to fragrance them. We balance nature with science to create effective products that with long-term use improve hair health. We’re also proud to be British.” Below, Michele shares her seven swear-by rules every naturally curly girl needs to follow to have healthy, happy curls.
1. Add the Right Kind of Moisture
Curly hair loves moisture because it helps banish frizz and aids definition. However, it needs weightless moisture to give it bounce and to retain its curl pattern. This is best provided by a good balance of humectants, which draw moisture into hair, and emollients like oils and butters. Some of our favorite ingredients are aloe vera leaf extract, honey, virgin coconut oil, argan oil, and mafura butter. We use organic aloe vera throughout our range and our mafura butter is sourced from a co-operative in Southern Africa.
2. Layer Products According to Your Texture
Every head of curls is unique so what works for one may not work for another. It’s not that they necessarily need different ingredients but the application of products will differ. Factors like texture and porosity also need to be considered as fine textures can be easily weighed down so they need less moisture and highly porous hair loses moisture quickly. As a general rule, the drier the hair, the more moisture is needed. If your hair is porous, layer your products. This will help trap moisture into hair for longer. If your hair is wavy and fine, you need much less moisture than curly and kinky curls so use products sparingly.
3. Beware of Bad Alcohols
Alcohols can be very drying on hair but fatty alcohols are actually good for curls. This can be confusing to the consumer when reading a product’s ingredient list. The ones to avoid are alcohol denat, SD alcohol 40, ethanol, propyl, propanol, and isopropyl because they all have a drying effect. Moisturizing fatty alcohols to look for are cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, and stearyl alcohol.
4. Avoid Parabens & Formaldehyde
Some hair-straightening treatments used in salons contain formaldehyde which has sparked concerns as a carcinogenic. It also changes your natural curl pattern. We’re all about embracing your natural curls so we would never recommend them. We also avoid paraben preservative systems because they are believed to be hormone disruptors. Parabens have been found in the breast tissue of women and the bodies of marine animals.
5. Don’t Over Strip
For cleansing, look for shampoos with mild detergents (decyl glucoside) that aren’t overly stripping; it’s all about maintaining moisture levels so avoid sulfates which can be harsh on curls. Ideally, you want products with plant-based actives, they tend to be nutrient-rich and contribute to hair health with long-term use. Oils such as olive, virgin coconut, and argan are proven to penetrate into the hair cortex to provide strength and moisture from the inside out. Avoid silicones, these are plastic film formers that create an illusion of smooth and sleek hair, some are also non-water-soluble creating a barrier preventing much-needed moisture from entering the hair.
6. Keep Your Curls Hydrated 24/7
Hydration is the key to beautifully defined curls. Water hydrates curls and the products you apply on top help to trap this into the hair. We recommend applying products to soaking wet hair for optimum hydration. If you use a lot of heavy oils and butters, co-washing isn’t enough. Shampoo weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly (whichever is best suited to your curls) to prevent buildup.
7. Never Use Terry Towels
Never use a terry towel on curls. They suck all the moisture and hydration out. Opt for a gentle microfiber towel instead.
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