If you’ve got curly hair, I bet there are two things that you are constantly thinking about – your hair being dry and your hair being frizzy.
Here I’m going to cover the most common reasons that I see curly hair being dry and it being frizzy and more importantly how to fix those.
The most common and basic reason that your hair is dry is because of the shape. It just so happens that in naturally curly or wavy hair, because of the actual shape of the hair strand, the oil at your scalp doesn’t transfer down through the mid shafts to the ends quite as easily as straight hair and therefore your mid shaft and ends just aren’t getting the nourishment that they really need to stay moisturized.
Unfortunately there’s not really a way that we can address this. This is flat out the way that your hair is built.
Now that we have that out of the way, here are some other less common reasons that your hair may be experiencing the dryness and how to address those concerns as well.
For this next tip I feel like you’re going to not like me, because my first two tips are basically about stuff that you can’t change, your actual curl pattern, but stick with me on this one, because there is a pro and con to this.
Part of the reason that your hair may tend to look drier is because of the way curly hair, the shape of curl, reflects light. It has a tendency to look a little bit less shiny and therefore the lack of shine can translate to looking drier.
An easy way to combat this is simply to use some sort of shine agent after you dry your hair. That could be a pomade, an oil or a spray shine.
If you’re just trying to add shine and you’re not trying to separate curls or add some sort of dimension or smooth the hair out, shine sprays work really well.
Here’s the pro to this.
Many times people get highlights or low lights to add dimension to their hair. Curly hair has a tendency to have some of that dimension already and when you add lowlights or highlights to it, it really shows off or accentuates that dimension.
The next most common reason that your hair is likely dry is because of the shampoo. It’s the pH balance of the shampoo that could be the concern.
The pH balance you’re looking for is between five and seven. That’s the realm that you want to be in.
How do I know the pH balance of my shampoo?
Oddly enough they’re not required to put that on the actual shampoo, but nonetheless, an easy way to figure it out is to go to the store and get one of the pH balance tests. It’s a little strip that you can buy and then you take it home and you’ll pour a little bit of your shampoo on the test chirp and you’ll wait and it’ll show you the pH balance of whatever liquid that you’re putting on that strip.
To kind of piggyback on the pH balance shampoo thing, another reason that your hair may be dry is because you may be shampooing too often.
Because your ends and mid shafts are already not getting the moisture they need, that shampooing is actually stripping more of that moisture out of the hair and then causing you more dryness.
If you are in a situation where your scalp gets too oily for you or you feel you’re using products that at the scalp, when they mix with the oil, they just don’t feel good, it’s okay to shampoo your hair but try to just shampoo the roots.
You’re just shampooing the area that’s causing the problem, your scalp and your roots, and not taking that shampoo through the mid shaft and the ends that may already be drier than you need and last thing you need to do is strip more of that moisture out of those by shampooing it too much.
The next reason that your hair may seem dry is because of color. It kind of sounds obvious, but you got to pay attention.
The type of color you do, meaning if you’re going lighter or if you’re going darker, is going to play a role in that dryness on two separate levels.
You may already recognize that simply the process of lightening your hair is more damaging and therefore it’s obviously going to be a little bit harsher and leave your hair a little bit drier. But beyond that, going lighter also has a tendency to reflect light differently. That means that your hair is going to tend to look more damaged and look drier, even if it wasn’t. Whereas on the flip side, darker colors or tones have a tendency to reflect light and make it look shinier, therefore looking healthier or more moisturized.
One way to work around this is many times if you want it just to add a little bit of dimension, you’re just trying to go a little bit lighter. In that scenario, sometimes actually doing a low light of a darker tone will make your natural color look like a highlight and actually create the dimension that you’re looking for.
But at the same time leave your hair looking healthier, because you’re adding depth and dimension and dark color into your hair, not actually adding lighter colors in your hair. This will make your hair overall potentially feel a tiny bit darker as a whole.
If you’re trying to get a lighter overall appearance, this may not be a good option, but if you’re just trying to add the dimension, it may be the perfect option.
Now let’s talk about some things that cause frizz and more importantly how you can fix it.
First thing is basically what we’ve already talked about and that’s the fact that more often than not curly hair by nature has a tendency to lack some of the moisture.
What you want to make sure is that you’re following the steps that I just shared with you to make sure that you’re trying to revitalize and add as much moisture as you can back to your hair and mitigate as much of the concern as you can.
The next thing we have, which if you’ve ever lived anywhere humid or wet, you know exactly what I’m talking about, and that is weather conditions.
Humidity and dampness in the air plays a huge role in frizz.
Basically what’s going on is your hair is trying to equalize the moisture between your hair and outside.
One of the things you can do is make sure that you’re moisturizing your hair. If your hair has more natural moisture in it, you’re not going to have as hard of a time when you go out into weather conditions where there’s more moisture in the air.
Another thing that you can actually do if you’re staying somewhere super humid, this sounds crazy, but actually dry your hair outside. It’ll balance itself to the outside conditions and then you won’t have quite as much of that concern because it’s already balanced.
Te next thing that causes it could be the towel that you’re using to dry your hair. If you’re still using cotton towels, you’re going to want to switch to other towels. There are tons of different curly hair towels on the market. Try to find a curly hair towel or a towel that’s more suitable for curly hair and that will help make a big difference as well.
The next major components and I think these are probably some of the biggest causes of frizz are through the drying process.
Some of the things are product usage, make sure that you’re using the right product in the right way. The fact of the matter is you’re going to rely on product to control that frizz, even if you’re managing it through other processes and all the stuff that we’ve already talked about, you’re still managing it from the time that it gets wet to the time that it gets dry with the way that you’re actually approaching that drying process.
A lot of that starts with the product that you’re using as a foundation to control it and that you’re applying that product correctly from roots all the way to ends. That’s going to make a huge difference in how your hair ends up drying and how much frizz you see.
Piggybacking off of that, while you’re drying it, and this really speaks to whether or not you’re using a diffuser or not using a diffuser, even if you’re letting your hair air dry, you want to minimize the amount that you manipulate it. The more you manipulate your hair with your hands, touch it, the more wind blows on it.
I tell my clients literally if you’re driving to work and you have the window down, just the air coming in can cause frizz. So really consciously paying attention and minimizing the amount of manipulation to your cuticle from the point that your hair is wet until the point that it is dry is going to play a huge role in the amount of overall frizz you see.
The last common cause of frizz, and this is a really big one, running your hands or running a comb or brushing through your hair after it’s dry. When it’s 100% dry, it can handle a little bit more manipulation, but you still want to be mindful about how much you’re manipulating it. But if you’re trying to minimize the frizz then you want to try to keep your hands out of it as much as possible and definitely don’t comb through it.
Samantha is a hairstylist with over 12 years of color and stylist experience. She enjoys using her knowledge to create what her clients really want when they sit down in her chair. Her passion is creating unique looks that her clients feel great in.