I would love to start these with “Thou shalt/thou shalt not”, but let’s be honest – it would get annoying by commandment 3 or 4. Taking care of your curls takes knowledge and dedication to the do’s and don’ts of healthy hair care. My goal with this post is to take all the guesswork out of curly hair care with my 10 Curl Commandments.
Let’s just jump right in & get down to my personal set of rules when it comes to caring for your natural hair!
Moisture is your best friend!
Even if I’m running late and don’t have time for gel/cream/custard, I always take the time to run a little leave-in conditioner through my hair. I also have a spray bottle filled with a mixture of conditioner and water so that when I wet my hair for a refresh it can start to nourish my curls from the get-go. A few of my favorite leave-ins are: Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave-In (CG Approved) As I Am Leave-In (CG Approved) Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture and Shine Leave-In (CG Approved) African Pride Olive Miracle Anti-Breakage Leave-In (
Release your reliance on shampoo!
When I started learning how harmful using shampoo is, I stopped immediately; I currently only use shampoo once every two weeks at most, sometimes only once a month. Other than that, I use a cleansing conditioner a couple times a week at most. If you think you’ve got product build-up that you need to get rid of then look into using a clarifying shampoo or doing a rinse with rice water rinse or apple cider vinegar rinse. Naturally Curly has a great breakdown on the benefits of an apple cider vinegar rinse Bouncecurl has a clarifying shampoo that I absolutely LOVE! (CG Approved)
Minimize the use of brushes!
Most people think that this applies to just using a brush on dry curly hair, but I only use it to even detangle when my hair is wet and full of conditioner. This is especially important while you’re still transitioning because your hair is prone to breakage. I switched to a wide-tooth comb, which keeps my hair loss down but also allows my curls to clump properly so I get bigger curls when it dries. Now that my hair is healthier, I occasionally use the Denman brush to help my curl clumps as well.
Stay away from cotton towels!
Your usual cotton towels have a rough and dry texture which pulls out more moisture than needed from the hair which leads to friction and frizziness. The method that you use to try can also affect your hair; if you rub it dry and rough up your strands it makes issues like breakage and split ends worse. When you wring out your hair with a cotton towel, it pretty much ensures that you end up with dry and frizzy hair. Switch to a microfiber towel or use my personal favorite and plop with a soft t-shirt or a microfiber towel designed for plopping like this. I leave mine on just long enough to absorb the excess moisture (usually about 20-30 minutes), then I let my curls air dry or quickly diffuse.
One thing I made a commitment to myself on is taking a little “Me Time” every weekend to detox from the stresses of the week before. Not only do I believe a face mask can fix 99% of all problems but a good hair mask can make you feel just as good. A deep conditioner is essentially a more concentrated version of your regular daily conditioner, except it has qualities to help and retain moisture to your curls. The best part is if you’re super busy, there are a ton of ways you can add deep conditioning to your weekly routines without going out of your way!
If you’re in the shower, throw some product on your hair, tuck it under a shower cap, and let the steam do all the hard work. If you want to lock in the moisture without the cap, you can use a deep conditioner before putting your hair in a protective style (bun, braids, twists etc) and then go for a workout. My personal choice is to pour a glass of wine, lather my head up with some NYM Deep Conditioner (CG Approved) or Devacurl Heaven in Hair (CG Approved), toss on my HotHead Heat Cap, and let the magic happen!
Master the curly refresh!
Since it can be damaging to wash your hair every day, the best way to keep your curls alive all week is to master the curly refresh! In my opinion, a good refresh can be done in 2 ways: you can dunk your head under the shower so soak it all up or you can use a spray bottle to re-wet your hair. I find that I get the best curl clumps when my hair is soaking wet so I prefer the first method, but when I’m on day 3 or 4 of refreshing, sometimes it’s just easier to get a quick spray in before applying products.
Once my hair is wet, I throw on a good amount of leave-in conditioner to keep it moisturized, then I either pair it with a styling cream, a light-gel, or a styling custard. My favorite stylers right now: Bouncecurl Light-Creme Gel (CG Approved), Kinky Curly Custard Gel (CG Approved), Curlsmith Hold Me Softly Style Balm (CG Approved) and Mop Top Curly Hair Custard (CG Approved).
Pineapple, it’s not just a fruit!
Anyone with curly hair knows that keeping your curls intact overnight, the pineapple technique is a way to protect your curls from frizz and tangles while you sleep. Naturally Curly has a great tutorial, but the long and short of it is to gather your hair into a high ponytail and slip a scrunchie over the base. It’s important to use a scrunchie versus a hair tie because you want it to be loosely held so it doesn’t create a crease. Half of your curls should fall to one side and the other, which kind of resembles the shape of a pineapple (hence the name). In the morning, you just delicately remove the scrunchie so as not to pull your curls, shake your hair out, and refresh curls like usual.
Sleep on silk or satin!
Another sleep-related commandment is to keep you from waking up with bedhead while simultaneously making you feel like a princess for sleeping so comfortably. You have a couple different options when it comes to how you want to treat your curls, a silk/satin bonnet or a silk/satin pillowcase. You can pick up a satin bonnet cheaply at most Target’s or Walmarts, but a silk/satin pillowcase is a little bit more of an investment.
Snip snip witch!
It’s really important to get a good haircut from someone who is certified in curly hair specifically, not just someone who spent a few days on it in beauty school. There are multiple types of curly hair cuts. There’s the Rëzo Cut, Ouidad Cut, or the most famous the. DevaCut, just to name a few. If you want someone who’s been trained on the Devacut, Devacurl has a great resource on their site that will help you find trained stylists in your area.
Most good curl stylists will know that you must get your hair cut while it’s dry, it allows them to see the body and shape of your curls since no two curls are alike. They’ll touch it up again when it’s wet, and most like put the final cut touches on it when it’s fully styled. You’ll want to stay on top of it too, make sure you schedule a trim every 6-8 weeks to keep your ends healthy.
No two curls are the same!
Like I said above, your crown of curls is completely different than any other curly queen out there. The best piece of advice I could possibly give you is to not be afraid to experiment with a cocktail of products, introducing products one by one, because what works for someone else may not work for you. Start by purchasing “Curly Girl: The Handbook” because it has all the best info to get you started. The Curly Girl Method is great but it doesn’t work for everyone. There are a lot of resources out there to check but knowing the ingredients that are going into the products you’re purchasing is the most important. I love using this site to check whether or not something is CG friendly, whether I should use caution when buying, or if it straight-up doesn’t pass the test. Feel free to check out my starter post too, hopefully, it has some great resources for you too!
I know this journey can seem overwhelming but I promise it is more than worth it. Follow these commandments and once you find a rhythm, you just need to sit back & watch your curls flourish! :)