Women with curly hair can struggle for years to find hair care that works for them, and some still never find a perfect routine. But one woman did, and shared her tips on Reddit — and they went viral.
Reddit user capslockramen opened up about her curly hair journey on the subreddit r/curlyhair and received almost 20,000 views and more than 760 comments in less than a day. She posted before and after shots with her post that she says were taken four years apart that show a shocking transformation. In the “before” photo, her hair is dry and frizzy; in the after, she has gorgeous, defined, healthy-looking curls.
Capslockramen says that the “before” picture was taken her senior year in high school when she “hated” her curls. “I got a relaxed curl perm, bleached it blonde, and straightened my hair five to six days a week without using quality heat protectant,” she wrote. But when she went to college, she stopped using hot irons, let her relaxed hair grow out, and got haircuts every three months. “I read up on what products were good and experimented with what worked for me,” she wrote. “I’ve never felt more in love with my hair.”
She also broke down her styling routine:
- After shower, squeeze excess water from hair.
- Flip head upside down
- Apply generous amount of Cantu leave-in conditioner. Run fingers through hair to ensure even distribution.
- Scrunch in generous amount of Miss Jessie’s Multi-Cultural Curls cream.
- Scrunch out excess water using a cotton T-shirt.
- Wrap hair in said T-shirt.
- Stand upright again and let hair sit in the shirt about 10 minutes.
- Flip head upside down again and remove T-shirt.
- Dry with hair drying facing toward the scalp. Use a diffuser! Put the heat settings on warm (not hot) with the speed on high.
- Scrunch hair with T-shirt while drying.
- When it’s close enough to completely dry, spray with medium-hold hairspray. Stand back up normally and fix where I want the part, hairspray that a little.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. “As the clueless mother of a curly girl, thank you for sharing your routine,” one person wrote. “Your curls are beautiful! Wow!” another wrote.
Master celebrity stylist Oscar Blandi tells Yahoo Beauty that it’s not shocking this story became so popular since “so many women struggle because they don’t feel comfortable with their curls.” But it’s with good reason: Carrie Butterworth, a hairstylist at Roy Teeluck in New York City, tells Yahoo Beauty that curly hair can be hard to style because every woman’s curly hair is different. Plus, she adds, most hairstylists aren’t properly trained in how to cut or style it, further complicating things. “Curly hair is actually more complex, and has different needs, than straight or wavy hair,” she says.
Butterworth says the T-shirt trick can help because it doesn’t rough up the hair’s cuticle like a towel can. But Blandi recommends using a Turkish towel (a highly-absorbent towel) instead of a T-shirt. “Press the towel on your hair, don’t rub it all over your hair,” he says. “Rubbing your wet, curly hair will create frizz.” Then, add leave-in conditioner, followed by a silicon oil-based product with a drop of gel. “The combination will keep the hair soft and not crunchy,” he says.
Butterworth says it’s smart to apply products to wet hair, rather than waiting until after it has dried—and moisturizing products are key. “Curly hair needs moisture,” she says. “You almost can’t use too much conditioner.” However, Butterworth doesn’t recommend scrunching curly hair. “This disrupts the curl pattern, and actually creates frizz,” she explains. Instead, she suggests letting the hair lay in the diffuser, and don’t touch it. “You can break the hair up by squeezing it gently once it’s mostly dry,” she says.
Ultimately, people with curly hair have to experiment. “Every head is different, and people have to see what tricks work best for them,” Butterworth says.
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