We all want our curls to look healthy every day, which is why we invest in hair care products and commit to a care routine. Even if you already have a hair routine that works for you, it might damage your curls due to bad hair habits.
Curly hair is naturally prone to dryness, which makes it a bit more breakable. You have to be more mindful of how you treat your curls – from washing and drying to styling and trimming. If you aren’t careful, you could be risking damage to your hair.
Fear not, though! Here, we have shared five common curly hair habits that are secretly damaging your hair. Check out the list below and if you find that you’re doing at least one of these things, then you need to break them ASAP.
1. Washing too frequently
Washing hair every day is the number one no-no for curly-haired girls. We know it’s tempting to wash your hair often, especially if you have an active lifestyle. But you need to hold off on the hair wash as much as possible.
Washing your hair excessively can strip your curls of their natural moisture, which causes dryness and frizz. Limit your washes to two to three times a week to give your scalp’s natural oils time to coat your hair from root to tip.
How to break the habit: If you’re used to shampooing your hair daily, your scalp will inevitably get oily when you suddenly skip the shower even for one day. The solution is to start washing your hair every other day. On no-shower days, you can create a refresh routine to keep your hair from getting too oily.
Refreshing second-day curls is as easy as spraying some leave-in conditioner spray. You can buy one or mix your own spray using a combination of water and a leave-in conditioner. The water-conditioner ratio depends on your curl type and the thickness of your hair.
Also, you want to make sure your hair-washing routine is as hydrating as possible. Well-hydrated curls are less prone to dryness and frizz, making them easier to manage on no-wash days. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Curly Hair Care to learn more about how to keep your curls moisturized.
2. Using products with harmful ingredients
Stay away from products that contain harmful ingredients. Alcohol is commonly added to hair products, which is something you want to avoid if you have dryness-prone curls.
Aside from alcohol, other ingredients you need to steer clear of are silicones and sulfates. Sulfates wash away dirt, grime and product from your hair and scalp. The problem is that they also strip your curls of their natural oils, leaving them dry and brittle.
Meanwhile, silicone is responsible for making your hair look smooth and shiny. However, this ingredient coats the strands to the point where moisture can’t penetrate into the hair shaft, making your curls difficult to hydrate. Plus, silicones are stubborn, so they don’t easily wash out of your hair. This results in product build-up, making your hair greasier.
How to break the habit: Always, always, always check the ingredient list before buying any hair care product. For curly-haired girls, we recommend going for products that are free from silicones, sulfates, and fragrances.
3. Not having a sleep routine
Sleeping on your hair crushes your curls, making them look flat and dull the next day. This is why you need a sleep routine to keep your curls defined even on no-shower days.
How to break the habit: Before you go to bed, put your hair up in a pineapple or a loose ponytail on top of your head. This will keep your curls up, so you won’t accidentally crush them in your sleep.
If your hair isn’t long enough for the pineapple method, you can wear a satin bonnet to protect your curls.
Also, swap your cotton pillowcases for silk or satin ones. Cotton is rough, creating friction on your curls that results in frizz. A silk or satin pillowcase reduces friction.
4. Not using a heat protectant
Skipping the heat protectant spray is another bad curly hair habit you need to break ASAP. Because your hair is much more sensitive to dryness and breakage, you need that extra layer of protection to prevent heat damage.
Heat protectants add a barrier between your hair and the hot styling tool. The product seals in moisture in the strands while reducing the risk of heat damage.
Some heat protectant sprays also double as hairspray to give your hair some added hold. InStyler’s PRIME Transforming Spray offers those dual functions. It acts as thermal protection for your hair while providing a super stronghold.
How to break the habit: Make sure to prep your hair with a heat protectant spray before using any hot styling tools. Air-dry your hair halfway, then spray some heat protectant on your curls while they’re still damp. Focus the product on the strands and tips, avoiding your roots. Run a wide-toothed comb through your hair to distribute the product evenly.
5. Using the wrong styling tools
Choose wisely when using hot styling tools on your curls. Avoid low-quality ones that have inconsistent heat or don’t have temperature control features. These kinds of tools are difficult to control and can damage your hair if you’re not careful.
How to break the habit: Look for styling tools that are specifically designed for your hair type. Some must-have curly hair tools include a high-quality styling iron, hair detangler, and a detachable diffuser.
Your styling iron must have a temperature control feature so you can adjust the heat level. InStyler’s CERASILK Styling Iron has four heat settings, with a beveled-edged ceramic heater that straightens your curls without damaging them. The detangler must have scattered, soft bristles to keep from tugging at your hair and breaking the strands.
Finally, your diffuser must be compatible with your high-quality hairdryer. Like all your hot styling tools, your blow dryer must have a temperature control feature so you can adjust the heat level. InStyler’s TURBO Hair Dryer Diffuser works with the TURBO and TURBO Max ionic dryers, which both dry hair faster than regular hair dryers.
If you already avoid these bad habits, keep it up! But if you find yourself doing these things, then it’s time to cut them out of your routine. Start ditching those harmful curly hair habits and swap them for ones that encourage healthy hair growth. Once you settle into a hair care routine that works for you, you’ll find yourself with healthier, shinier, bouncier curls.