Years of heat styling, blow dries, harsh formulas, and product build-up may mean that your hair just isn’t looking its best. It’s time to reclaim your curls because natural hair is back. But although you may just think that all you need to do is ban straighteners from your hair routine, restoring your curls to their former glory requires a little more attention. Hair products for curly hair that’s been straightened are completely different to those that focus on enhancing your curls. We’re here to make the curl transition process easier so you can kickstart your journey to your best curls yet.
Get rid of build up
Due to the natural shape of curly hair strands, build-up often occurs at the roots as product finds it more difficult to travel down the curly hair pattern. Start your curl journey by giving your hair a reset and cleansing it of any stubborn build-up, oils, and dirt. We love the Jamaican Mango & Lime Jamaican Black Castor Oil Tea Tree for this – the multi-use oil formula is enriched with antibacterial tea tree, which works to remove dead skin cells, oil, and product build-up from the hair, leaving it fresh and clean. The oil formula means that whilst its cleansing, it doesn’t strip the hair of moisture – an essential for getting your curls back into shape.
Cut out the damage
Sometimes, too much heat styling, product build-up, and drying formulas will lead to damaged hair that just can’t be repaired. Start afresh and book in with your favourite hairdresser to get all the damage cut out so you can start with a clean slate. After your cut, we recommend using the OLAPLEX Hair Perfector No 3 to make sure your hair is fully repaired and healthy. Working on a molecular level, this hair treatment repairs broken bonds in the hair that may have been caused by bleaching, chemically straightening or heat styling. Smother over hair and ideally leave it on overnight, then rinse out to reveal your best hair ever.
Break up with your heat stylers
You may have noticed that continued use of heat styling has probably led to the demise of your natural curl pattern. It’s time to stop. Put the straighteners down. Once you’ve cut out all the damage and your hair is on its way to its former glory, the only heat you’re going to be using from now on is your blow drier and diffuser. To protect your hair from any further heat damage, try out the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate & Repair Leave-In Conditioner. The ultra-nourishing formula helps to soften and smooth rough, dry cuticles, whilst fighting against split ends.
One of the most coveted secrets of the curly girl community is co-washing. Co-washing is when you wash your hair with a conditioner, rather than a traditional shampoo. Although the idea of washing your hair with conditioner may immediately spark fear in those of your who are afraid of oily roots, trust us, this method is worth trying out. A lot of shampoos can be really drying for curly hair types, which typically favour more hydrating formulas. The tips to keep in mind here are to rinse thoroughly and don’t use a formula that is too heavy for your hair – stick to more lightweight conditioners. Yes, your hair may look slightly greasier in the beginning, but the results in the long run will be worth it. For tight and z-curls, try out the As I Am JBCO Cowash. For looser curls that don’t want weighing down, try the Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Multi-Benefit Conditioner.
Moisture, moisture, moisture
The number one rule to remember when you’re trying to get your curls back is that moisture is your best friend. Hydrating shampoos, conditioners, leave-in treatments, and deep conditioning hair masks are your new go-tos. The same rule applies to moisture as it does with build-up – moisture can struggle to travel down the curl pattern, meaning it’s not distributed evenly throughout the hair, leading to dry, brittle strands. The variety of hydrating treatments out there for curly hair is next level, so get your hands on all your faves and try them out. We love the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie for when you’re on your curl journey, and the Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner is a luxurious formula that we just can’t say no to.
Experiment with your styling
Styling products are your chance to experiment and find out what works for you. Leave-in treatments, gels, oils – there’s something for everyone. A lot of this can be trial and error, but just remember to keep in mind that heavier treatments favour tighter curls. For frizz-prone hair, try out the Shea Moisture Sugarcane Extract & Meadowfoam Seed Silicone-Free Miracle Styling Treatment – it detangles, softens, and adds shine to your curls. Another firm curl favourite is the Camille Rose Curl Maker, perfect for days when curls need an extra boost of life. Apply a generous amount to freshly washed and detangled hair to pick your up out a slump.