Caring for Long Curly Hair: How to Keep Long Curls Healthy
Achieving long curly hair is a milestone that many curlies do not reach. Hair health played a role in getting curls to a long length. Maintaining a head of long, frizz-free curls will take patience and gentle care.
Keep Long Curly Hair Moisturized
Moisture is important to curly hair health. Long curly hair may be dryer than short hair at least in the lower hair shaft and ends. Cleansing methods must be mild and conditioning optimal to prevent moisture loss. Switch to sulfate-free shampoos or consider washing with conditioner only. Curly Expert Lorraine Massey details the conditioner cleansing regimen for curly hair in her book, Curly Girl. If using shampoo, use a pre-shampoo treatment such as coconut oil.
Deep condition curly hair once a week. Oil hair with jojoba oil and let it sit on hair overnight the day before shampooing. Or apply commercial deep conditioner and sit under hooded dryer for 20 minutes. Be sure to use a low heat setting.
Re-moisturize hair daily. Wash hair with conditioner daily to moisturize curls. Or spray curls with a mixture of distilled water and jojoba oil. Some long-haired curlies find leave-in conditioner as a better alternative for a daily moisturizer. All of these techniques will moisturize hair and reactivate curls to prevent frizz.
Style Long Curly Hair Gently
Always style long curly hair when wet. Only detangle hair in the shower when long curly hair is wet and drenched in conditioner. Use wide-tooth seamless cellulose acetate combs because they make detangling easier. Mason Pearson, Kent and Creative Products make quality handmade seamless combs. Throw out traditional plastic combs because they can catch on hair.
Never style with a traditional bristle brush. Brushes will frizz curls and cause damage by roughening the cuticle of fragile curls. The only exception are plastic brushes with smooth tines such as a Denman. These plastic brushes can help detangle wet curly hair and distribute conditioners and styling products.
Create hair styles with accessories will not snag in the hair. Use plastic hair pins instead of metal bobby pins for updos because the metal pins can rip hair. Snag-free elastics are best for braids and pony tails because they don’t tangle in hair. Make sure all barrettes, hair sticks and hair combs don’t have jagged edges.
Prevent Damage in Long Curly Hair
Prevent damage to long curly hair by avoiding harsh styling products and heat styling. Wear hair in its curly natural state as much as possible.
Protect hair at night by using a satin or silk pillow case. Regular cotton and polyester pillow cases and sheets rub against the hair, causing tangles and drying out hair. Satin and silk prevents this problem and preserves curly hair styles. Satin sleep bonnets or silk scarves can also be used.
Wear hair in curly updos and in a long braid when in situations where hair may get tangled easy. These protective styles can prevent tangles. Fewer tangles require less manipulation which could damage hair.