Every so often our natural curls need a little boost to restore their curl pattern and bring dry, damaged ends back to their former radiance. With spring right around the corner, many natural hair beauties are recovering from winter frizz and brittleness. Low humidity, environment stressor, and even simple everyday activities like frequent washing and styling can all contribute to hair damage.
Curls often begin the lose their pattern with slow, subtle changes. Then, before you know it, your springy corkscrews have taken on an S-curl pattern, and your once smooth, defined ends are starting to fray.
It's time to bounce back with our top tips for restoring curl pattern! Step into radiance with a fresh style and natural confidence. The secret behind flawless natural curls? Healthy hair with plenty of natural curl love!
What Causes Natural Curls to Lose Their Curl Pattern?
Our hair is an integral part of our identity and style. As such, it's understandable that any changes to our curl pattern can be alarming, no matter how small. Waking up to hair that feels brittle, stiff, and lacks its usual flow and movement makes any style feel lackluster. Working with damaged curls can be frustrating, but our team is here with some tips to help your curls get their bounce back.
Don't worry; your curl pattern isn't gone forever. A little careful curl therapy can bring your lovely locks back to life. However, it's good to keep in mind factors that cause your curls to unravel so you can avoid future natural hair havoc.
A few of the top ways that curls can become weak and lose their shape include:
- Heat Damage. Excessive heat styling causes the protein bonds in each curl to break down over time. Cuticle protein is what gives curls their shape and integrity. As these bonds unravel, so do your curls! Steer clear of over-processing your natural curls with blowdryers and flat irons that use high heat and damaging tension and instead look for styles to honor your hair's natural shape and texture.
- Chemical Treatments. Love to mix up your hair color? We love creativity when it comes to natural hair but don't love the damage frequent chemical treatments leave behind. From bleaching and lightening to relaxers and perms, chemical treatments wear down your hair over time and change the unique make up of your curl pattern.
- Environmental Factors. Our hair feels the seasonal blues as much as any of us. Low humidity strips moisture from our natural curls, which in turn ruins their elasticity and youthful spring. Combined with wind, rain, and UV exposure from natural sunlight, environmental factors play a big role in making or breaking our hair.
- Lack of Routine. Natural curls require a curl-friendly home hair care regimen. Without consistent curl care, damage can build up over time until it begins to affect the curl pattern itself.
Luckily, developing a natural hair repair plan provides the perfect opportunity for implementing a home hair care routine you can stick to. Check out these easy-to-follow tips for restoring your curls.
Go Easy on Your Wash Day Routine
If your curl pattern isn't looking its best, this may be a good indication that your wash day routine is out of wack. Experts recommend identifying damaged hair as a sign that you're shampooing your curls too much. Shelley Davis, sums it up perfectly: "when you have sections of hair that are straight, limp, and do not show any curl definition — no matter how much you scrunch — you know that your curl pattern is damaged." Another sign is when your wash-and-go styles look stringy, she says, as it means your curl pattern has lost its elasticity."
If the stringy style has been haunting your once radiant locks, opt for co-washing and deep conditioning treatments between washes and space your shampoo days further apart.
Try a Steam Treatment
While it may sound counterintuitive, steam treatments are a great way to restore movement to your curls. Steam softens natural curls, allowing your hair to bend and giving shape to a defined curl pattern. Low porosity hair will especially benefit from steam treatments as this type of hair has a harder time absorbing water. Warm water and steam can open up the cuticle and allow more water to enter and hydrate the hair shaft. This locks in moisture, creating well-defined curls.
Maximize Moisture Intake
Moisture is the most important factor in maintaining healthy natural curls. This one simple rule can make a world of difference in maintaining your curl pattern. Curly hair falls on the dryer end of the hair spectrum. The tighter the curl pattern, the more prone to dryness your hair is. If your hair has been stressed, flat, or frizzed, it's time to prioritize hydration in your style routine.
The best ways to add moisture to your hair care routine are through deep conditioning treatments and hydrating hair masks. Incorporate nourishing moisturizers into your weekly routine. Natural butters and oils are a great option for restoring dry, brittle hair. These products not only promote hydration but seal the cuticle to ensure that moisture stays locked in,
Be careful not to over-moisturize. Too much of a good thing can cause your hair to swell during a conditioning treatment, then shrink and become brittle and breakage-prone immediately after. Stick to a deep conditioning treatment every week and a mask or leave-in conditioner on wash days. You might also consider treating your hair to a salon visit. Opt for a strengthening keratin treatment to both condition and rebuild the protein bonds that create your natural curl pattern.
When it comes to healthy hair, the same wellness rules apply to our natural curls. A protein shake for your hair is an excellent way to rebuild strength. Curly-haired goddesses can opt for natural hair sculpting products infused with protein to help curls retain their shape, serums enriched with keratin and other helpful ingredients, or go the DIY route and make their own curly hair protein shake.
Looking for a simple DIY natural hair protein remedy? The answer may be closer than you think! Take an inventory of your pantry and simply combine:
- 1 egg
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup of coconut milk
- 8 drops of lavender essential oil
- 8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
This treatment is ideal for natural curls and targets the hair follicle to restore brittle ends and allow for new growth. Leave the protein mask on for 30 minutes and report once or twice weekly for best results. You'll find your hair is noticeably softer after the first treatment and more pliable with each following treatment.
The best part? The essential oils make your curls smell great! Enjoy a little self-care with a home spa day to bring your bounce back.
Turn Down the Heat
Your natural style sizzles on its own. There's no need to add heat treating to the mix!
If your hair is especially damaged, experts recommend going heatless until your hair is restored. Of course, many of our natural hair goddesses find that they love the heat-free life so much they'd never go back to blowdrying! RevAir's unique, reverse air design allows you to straighten, stretch, style, and wick away moisture without the need for high heat and a brush's (cringe!) damaging pull.
You can complement your low-heat style routine by managing environmental factors that create heat and friction through static. Try sleeping on a satin pillowcase or protecting your curls with a wrap or bonnet. When going out, pay attention to the weather. Windy days may call for an old Hollywood-esque scarf, while sunny days are best approached with plenty of UV protection for your delicate curls. Some natural hair goddesses find it beneficial to invest in a humidifier to combat the dry air produced by heaters during the wintertime in addition to utilizing styling hacks as extra protection.
Go for the Big Chop
Sometimes damaged ends simply cannot be revived, no matter how hard we try to nourish them. These frayed and frizzed strands weigh your whole hair down and create more damage as they begin to split further up the strand. The best solution for severely damaged natural curls is to cut your losses -- literally!
A style refresh may be the revival your hair needs to look and feel its best. Treat yourself to a trip to the salon and a chic, short new look. A dramatic change is a great way to boost your confidence. In fact, fresh hair has been linked to improved overall mood. Of course, if you're looking to save some of your length, a trim can help clean up split ends without a significant style change. Trimming away split ends promotes healthy hair growth and allows your curls to stretch and flourish.
Caring for natural curls takes time, dedication, and patience. Each curl pattern is unique. However, with a few simple, universal rules for restoring your hair's integrity, you'll get your bounce back in no time.
Looking for more curly hair how-tos and natural hair hacks? Let our team know what your top hair care needs are. We're here to support our community in loving every inch of their naturally wonderful hair!