Lesson Learned—Here's How to Manage Kinky Curly Hair


(Credit: India-Jewel Jackson)

Having a head full of curly hair myself, I've long thought that 'girls with curls rule the world.' But when those curls are tight, kinky and in possession of a slightly unruly mind of their own, it becomes a bit hard to continuously sing their praises.

Being the only one in my family that was cursed blessed with this particular hair texture, I had to teach myself how to manage my veritable lion's mane from a very young age. And now I'm sharing my no-knots knowledge with you—here's three easy ways to maintain your ringlets (without tugging!).

ONLY MANIPULATE WHILE WET. Hair with a loopy, S-shaped wave pattern is prone to breakage and splitting, so minimize unnecessary damage by never combing or brushing curly hair while it's bone dry.

USE THE RIGHT TOOL. Steer clear of fine-tooth teaser and tail combs; wide-tooth detangler and rake combs are your best bet. Or, treat your tresses to a Tangle Teezer ($9.99). This handheld brush with plastic bristles glides through your strands with the absolute greatest of ease—no kinks or knots left behind.

GO SULFATE-FREE. Cleansers with sulfates will strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving your strands dry, brittle, and very rough to the touch, so always look for shampoos that are sans sodium lauryl sulfate. (That's what they're called on the ingredients list on the product label.) And never ever skip conditioner. It's your hair's BFF, so apply generously and liberally a few times a week to keep your spirals soft and sprightly!
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