How To Fix Damaged Curly Hair
When you have curly hair, taking care of your strands is a full-time job. Of all hair types curly hair is by far the most dry, and dry hair is fragile and prone to breakage. Your perfect curly hair routine involves lots of moisture and special care to avoid dry, shapeless curls and damage from things like heat-styling and color treatments. If curly healthy hair is what you seek, you’ve come to the right place. We’re telling you how to nurture your curls back to health and fix your dry, damaged curly hair.
What Causes Damaged Curly Hair?
Lots of things are damaging to your hair’s health. The following are the most common causes of the damage and breakage to your curly hair.
- Chemical treatments — Chemical treatments like bleach and straighteners are harsh, especially on curly hair, which tends to be more delicate and fragile. Chemically treating your hair too often can break down the structure of your hair and make it even more porous than it naturally is.
- Over washing — Over-washing your strands zaps the moisture and natural oils from your scalp, causing hair damage. Particularly if you’re using a shampoo with sulfates, which are extra-drying on curly hair. Stick to a sulfate-free shampoo and wash one to two times per week at most.
- Rough styling — Rough styling, detangling and even pillow friction can all cause breakage and suck the moisture out of already brittle strands.
- Using the wrong products — Not all hair products are good for curly-haired people. Lots of products are too sticky or drying for curly hair that’s already parched. Use only curl-specific hair products in your curly hair routine.
- Heat damage — Heat damage from heat styling is a major threat to your curls. Over-exposing your hair to the high heat from blow dryers and other hot tools changes the shape of your hair's keratin proteins. This leads to a loss of elasticity, weaker strands and eventually hair shaft damage.
Why Does Curly Hair Need Special Care?
Whether you have loose waves or tightly-wound ringlets, your curly hair requires special care to look its best.
- The shape of the hair follicle — If you have naturally curly hair you have oval-shaped follicles, and the flatter the oval appears the curlier your hair will be. These twists and turns mean that curlier hair is more fragile and delicate: the uneven structure of the twisting follicle means that there are spots where the cuticle lifts, making it more prone to damage.
- Low moisture levels — Because of these twists and turns, the natural oils produced on the scalp — responsible for softening, protecting and bringing nutrients to your hair — have a harder time working their way to the ends of your hair.
- Increased likelihood of breakage — Since curly hair is more prone to dryness (and more prone to humidity as it's more porous than straight hair), this also means it can become frizzy and damaged more easily as well.
- Curly hair is more prone to tangles — All the twists and turns on a head of curly hair have the added potential of being more prone to knots and tangles. Add to that dryness and frizziness, and you’ve likely got a tangled mess.
10 Tips on How to Fix Damaged Curly Hair
1. Get a trim
Broken strands can’t be repaired. In fact, split ends will continue to split up the hair shaft if they are not trimmed, so the longer you leave them untrimmed, the more damaged your hair will become. Plus, trimming damaged hair will improve the appearance of your curl pattern. If you’re dealing with breakage, see your hair stylist to trim it away.
2. Take a chemical break
If your curly hair is feeling brittle, fried, or damaged, it's best to avoid bleach, hair dye and straighteners. These chemical influences damage the hair cuticle and cause hair damage to already moisture-zapped strands. Give your curls some time to recover by avoiding highlights and other chemical processes.
3. Use a deep conditioner
After your curly hair becomes damaged, bringing moisture back into your strands is a must. A deep conditioner in the form of a hair mask for dry and damaged hair helps to restore moisture to damaged follicles, nourishing and repairing thirsty strands. Apply your moisturizing hair mask to damp curls and let it sit for a few minutes to a half an hour, before rinsing it out. Or if your curls need it, deep condition with an overnight mask or leave-in conditioner.
4. Do a hot oil treatment
A hot oil treatment involves using heated oil to nourish your strands- root to tip. The heat helps to refine the oil making the molecules finer to penetrate the hair strand. Once inside the hair shaft, the fatty acids in the oil deposit moisture to the hair follicle, helping to repair and prevent split ends, and strengthening the cuticle from the root by sealing the cuticle.
5. Wash your hair less
Washing every day isn’t recommended for any hair type, but especially if you have damaged curly hair, limit your shampooing to once or twice a week. Wash every other day at most. Every curly haired person should use a curl enhancing shampoo at least once a week, followed by a curl conditioner and a blast of cold water. Alternatively, co-washing—or washing with conditioner only.
6. Wrap your curls in a microfiber towel after washing
Rubbing freshly washed hair with a rough towel can cause breakage. Instead, blot moisture out of your hair, then wrap it up in a microfiber towel to keep your curls protected when wet. Keep your strands wrapped until more than half of the water has been absorbed.
7. Keep heat styling to a minimum
Wondering how to fix heat damaged curly hair? Stop using heat. Hot tools are the leading cause of hair damage. The only way to completely prevent further damage to curly hair and the fastest way to restore your curl pattern is to avoid heat styling. At the very least keep it to a minimum.
8. Use heat protection when needed
Any time you use heat on your curly hair you must prep strands with a heat protectant. This should go on after your stylers, and directly before you blow-dry, straighten or curl your hair with heated tools. Pick a lightweight formula, so it won’t drag down your curls or make them feel heavy.
9. Make sure your curls are completely dry before using curling irons or straighteners
You can further damage your curly hair using tools like curling wands or flat-irons if there is any remaining moisture in the hair. If your hair is even the slightest bit damp from washing it, your strands will burn even faster. The hot tool overheats the water in your hair and burns the cuticles of your hair, damaging the curl pattern. Allow ample time to blow-dry or air-dry your curls before using hot tools.
10. Wear your curly hair in protective hairstyles
A protective hairstyle is used to shield your curls from further damage — especially the kind that comes from physically styling your hair. If you use hair straighteners, curlers or aggressively handle your curls regularly, a protective style can give your fragile strands a well-deserved break.
Top LOVE Curl Products By Davines
Wondering how to fix damaged curly hair? Davines can help you live your best curly hair life. All of our products for curly hair are free of harmful toxins and made from all natural ingredients. Our products are made with renewable energy and packaging that minimizes the environmental impact. Our hair care isn’t just good for your hair, it’s good for the planet. Here are a few of our favorites from the Love Curl line-
LOVE Curl Cleansing Cream
Curl Cleansing Cream for Wavy and Curly Hair
This all in one shampoo and conditioner is ideal for wavy to very curly hair. It’s a light cleansing cream that gently removes impurities and makes the hair extremely soft.
by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor