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Curls and coils that glisten in the sunshine and bounce when you walk are the result of a consistent and healthy routine. Discovering how to care for and style your tresses can help you achieve your desired growth, volume, and definition. As you research what practices are best for your texture, you may encounter myths that make the learning curve even steeper. Explore five facts about curly and kinky-coily hair so you can increase your confidence in your hair and enjoy a stress-free approach to taking care of the precious follicles on top of your head.

Myth: Normal shampoos work on curly hair

Image via Flickr by Jonelle B
Image via Flickr by Jonelle B

When you're preparing for wash day, you can't reach for just any cleansing product on the shelf. Traditional shampoos may lack formulas that provide what your curly hair needs to thrive. They can contain silicones and sulfates, which are common in laundry detergents and dishwashing liquids. These ingredients can strip your hair of its natural oils and make your strands feel dry and dull after washing.

Fact: Sulfate-free shampoos are active curly girl friendly

Sulfate-free shampoos use ingredients that gently clean your scalp. These products also utilize formulas that ensure your hair looks refreshed after you wash it. Scan the ingredient list on the shampoo bottle to find a cleanser without harmful chemicals.

Myth: It's all right to skip the conditioner

If you're running low on time or tired after your workout, you may feel tempted to overlook your jar of conditioner and go straight for your styling products. The process of smoothing conditioner on your strands can add extra minutes to your wash routine, but it's as necessary as your shampoo to quench your curls' thirst for hydration. You'll feel a significant difference in the feel of your hair with conditioner versus without it, which is why it's vital to use the product as often as your shampoo to achieve your desired results with your hair.

Fact: Conditioning is a vital step in a hair routine

Conditioner restores moisture into your coils after the cleansing process. You can use the creamy product to remove knots and tangles in your hair so it's ready to style once you've rinsed it out. It makes your hair feel soft, and it adds a shine that will make your strands glimmer as you run on the treadmill. Apply conditioner to the length of your hair, paying special attention to the ends where hair needs more care.

Myth: Co-washing is the only way to go

Co-washing is the act of cleaning your kinky-coily hair with conditioner only. Its purpose is to reap the moisturizing benefits of a creamy conditioner while avoiding the potential dryness that occurs with some shampoos. However, since the conditioner lacks the cleansing ingredients of shampoo, it can't properly clean your scalp and remove dirt. In fact, co-washing as an alternative to shampooing can contribute to the build-up of products in your hair.

Fact: Shampoo is necessary for a clean scalp

Incorporate a bottle of shampoo into your wash day routine to ensure your scalp is free from dirt and product build-up. Use the pads of your fingers or a scalp massager to rub the shampoo into your hair to deliver a thorough cleaning. With a clean scalp, you have a fresh start, which allows your favorite moisturizing products, such as leave-in conditioners and curling creams, to work properly.

Myth: Regular washing will dry up curly hair

It's true that shampoos with harmful ingredients can cause your hair to feel dry, but that doesn't mean you should avoid cleansing your hair consistently. Your commitment to wash day, especially with your fitness activities, can have a positive impact on the health of your curls.

Fact: Regular washing with a quality product can remove dirt without stripping curly hair

The frequency of your wash days depends on your lifestyle or personal preferences. As a fitness guru, for example, you may choose to cleanse your strands more than once a week to remove sweat that may have accumulated during your sessions in the gym. If swimming laps around the pool is your workout of choice, then lathering shampoo in the shower may be an even more regular occurrence for you.

Invest in a hydrating shampoo that preserves the smoothness of your hair with frequent cleansing. Also, remember to follow up with a moisturizing conditioner that rejuvenates the appearance of your curls and coils, adding volume and bounce that will motivate you when you look in the mirror while performing pre-workout stretches.

Myth: Curly hair is difficult to care for and style

Your kinky-coily hair texture is unique, which means it requires special care. Learning what works best for your hair can make your strands easier to maintain. Implementing healthy habits with your curls into your lifestyle can make it more manageable, which saves you time and energy catering to your crown.

Fact: Caring for and styling hair can be simple with a consistent routine

A healthy hair care routine includes three stages: cleaning, moisturizing, and styling. Compiling a list of steps for each phase can make the entire process less daunting, and you have the assurance that your strands are receiving the care that they need.

First, create a shampooing and conditioning schedule that aligns with your lifestyle. Next, identify one or two products with moisturizing properties that allow your hair to maintain the style you want. Finally, think about how you want your hair to look. Consider styles that place little tension on your scalp and allow your curls to thrive in their natural state.

Bonus myth: Protective styles are protecting your hair

Wearing protective styles, such as cornrows and two-strand twists, is a great way to switch up your appearance. These styles fold away the ends of your curls to help reduce breakage that occurs with the daily manipulation of your hair. Still, protective styles that you wear for too long or ones that pull too tightly on your scalp can have the opposite effect of protection.

Bonus fact: Protective styles still require regular maintenance

While you may not need to restyle your hair as often when sporting a protective style, you still need to care for your curls. Apply oil to your scalp to prevent dryness and itchiness. You can also add water to a spray bottle and spritz it to the length of your twists to hydrate them. If you're wearing a style with extensions, consider diluting witch hazel and use a cotton pad to remove product build-up on your scalp. Remember to limit how long you wear your protective style so you can properly treat your hair in its natural state.

Embracing the ways your tresses grow from your scalp is the epitome of self-care. Whether you have loose ringlets that cascade down your back or tight coils that reach for the sky, it's essential to have a proper hair care routine. Shift your perspective from natural hair myths and make a commitment to proper shampooing, conditioning, and styling so your strands can continue to flourish.

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