Proven Tips For Healthy, Shiny Curls

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Beautiful, shiny curls are a naturally curly hair girl’s dream.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that having a good curl day even improves your mood. Curly hair can easily become frizzy or look dull. Not because it’s unhealthy, but because it naturally reflects less light than straight hair.

After learning to love my natural curls for years, I want to share with you the best tips that have worked for me so that your hair can look its best. Using the right products can make a huge difference, but keep in mind different curl types can have different needs. My curl pattern is 3A for reference.

Also, heat damage, coloring and other chemical processes affect your hair’s cuticle. If you just stopped straightening your hair, be very patient because the curl recovery process can take months. It took me a good 10 months to recover my curls a few years ago. It’s worth it, though, so hang in there!

If you are ready to see your curly hair shine more than ever, check my tips and recommendations.

Pro tip: Rinse With Cold Water!

For shiny curls, make sure your final rinse is with cold water. This helps seal the cuticle so it reflects more light.

Dryness and friction are your enemies

Regardless of your hair type, remember that dryness and friction can be your biggest enemies when you have curly hair. When your hair is very dry and damaged, it easily tangles and frizzes up. Breakage and split ends can also occur and lead you to think your hair is not growing at all. On the other hand, any kind of friction can lift the hair cuticle and that makes it look frizzier. 

Also, we sometimes try to compensate for dryness and frizz with a generous dose of hair oil. This will soften and hydrate your curls, but the excess oil can also make them look droopy or flat. A good tip is to apply a small amount, just a few drops, to the palm of your hand, rub both hands together to warm the oil a bit, and then gently run your hands over the ends of your hair. Never apply at the roots.

This and shine sprays are quick fixes, though. For best results, I recommend hydrating your curls with a hair mask on a regular basis. Curly locks can benefit tremendously from a weekly deep conditioning with natural ingredients. Healthy curls will also reflect more light.

If your locks seem thinner, duller or lackluster in general, find out which amazing hair products can help revitalize them.

Another tip to prevent dry hair is to reduce the amount of wash days. Washing your hair strips it from natural oils. I try to wash my hair once every 5-7 days.

12 tips for naturally curly hair

Since curly hair can easily become frizzy or look dull, here are the top tips for healthy, shiny curls.
  1. Get a good haircut. Find a length that flatters your curl type. The longer the hair, the less defined the curl. Remember that curly hair shrinks once it’s dry, so whenever you trim the ends or cut your hair when it’s wet, keep in mind that it will look much shorter when it dries. Since I like curls defined but a little looser, I keep my hair long so that the weight “opens” and “loosens” the curls.
  2. Detangle knots before washing hair. Curly hair tends to tangle easily, especially when it is fine. You can use a few drops of coconut oil, argan oil, or some other detangling and moisturizing product and then detangle with a special brush or wide-toothed comb. The Wet/Dry brush gives me excellent results. 
  3. Moisturize and nourish your hair. Use products that are sulfate-free and hydrating. Curly hair tends to get very dry. I really like Ouidad, Kerastase and Moroccanoil for curly hair and the Pantene line for curls, which is sulfate-free. Dove also launched a new product line with a cowash for curly hair at Walmart that leaves hair super soft.
  4. Use a hair mask once a week. This treatment not only helps reduce frizz, it also leaves hair shiny and soft. L’Oreal Paris, Kerastase, Garnier and Pantene have good masks to hydrate and nourish hair. Of course, only apply the treatment from the middle to the ends, never on the roots.
  5. Rinse your curls with cold water. This will seal the cuticle so hair reflects light and looks shinier.
  6. Don’t rub your hair with a towel. Soak up excess water with a microfiber towel or a very soft cotton T-shirt. 
  7. Apply a leave-in conditioner or hair product while hair is wet. The wetter the better the results. If you prefer more definition, use a mousse or gel. Davines curl mousse for me is the best, but if you don’t want to spend that much money, Pantene and Tresemmé curly hair mousses work well, too.
  8. When applying curly hair products, scrunch hair from the bottom up. This will help give more definition to your curls.
  9. Dry your hair well before going outside. If you have time, you can let your hair dry naturally, but your curls will look more defined than ever if you use a diffuser. This step is key if you want your chinos or highs to be well marked. To care for your hair, you can spray on a heat protectant before blow drying or just make sure to use the gentlest heat setting you can. If your hair dryer allows you to regulate the power, you can use the highest power but with the lowest level of heat.
  10. On the second and third day, reactivate the curls by spraying water. Use a spray bottle or product to reactivate them. Or use a curl reactivator like the ones from Ouidad and L’Oreal Paris.
  11. At bedtime, use the pineapple method. Make a loose pony tail on the top of your head like a pineapple. I use an elastic covered in silk or satin so it doesn’t get tangled. 
  12. A silk pillowcase also prevents frizz. Celebs swear by this tip and hair experts claim it helps a lot to prevent the hair cuticle from lifting when we sleep because it reduces friction.
Since curly hair can easily become frizzy or look dull, here are the top tips for healthy, shiny curls.

Best products to define natural curls

Here are some of the best curly hair products that have worked very well for me when it comes to taking care of my hair:

Have you tried these tips? Hopefully they help you to love, define and show off your natural curls.

More haircare tips

Since curly hair can easily become frizzy or look dull, here are the top tips for healthy, shiny curls.

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