Curly Hair Care

10 Things To Learn About Curly Hair That Will Change Your World

Curly Hair Pattern

Sick & tired of managing your frizzy wavy & curly hair and always reaching for the straightening iron when there’s an ‘important event’?

What if I told you you’re taking care of it completely wrong?

It’s unfortunate that we didn’t grow up learning what I have listed below because we could have saved us years of hurt and confusion.

Our hair texture is beautiful, wild, perfect; you just need to learn how to take care of it properly.

And to do that you need to understand first- why it behaves so differently from our straight her sister.

Which is why this post is incredibly important to read if you have wavy or curly hair.

Prepare to be astonished!

Curly hair is naturally/structurally/inherently DRY

Dry Curly Hair vs Hydrated Curly Hair

Dry Curly Hair vs Hydrated Curly Hair

Because of the hair strand’s spiral structure, the natural oils from your scalp can’t reach the ends. 

It is also why so many of you complain – my scalp is really oily and ends are dry. This gives you rough brittle hair & split-ends, even more so with longer hair.

That is why conditioning is the most important part of curly hair care- NOT your shampoo. 

The picture above is my mom’s hair that has her natural hair on the left, just shampooed. The picture on the right is taken just 3 hours later after following the tips I talk about in this blog.

Using a regular shampoo will damage your hair

You know how detergents affect your skin? After you wash your clothes, your palm feels rough & really dry? It’s because of harsh sulphates that make the soap.

The same is used to make shampoos and this strips your scalp of it’s natural oils, when it was already not able to reach the ends!

So what’s the solution?

You need to either shampoo less (like once a week but that’s difficult if you stay in a tropical humid country like India) OR use a shampoo that is gentle, usually one without sulphates.

This is part of a global technique called CGM or Curly Girl Method. Read more about this method here: What is CG Method? Do I Use This?

Want recommendations for shampoos? Find them in this post: Curly Hair Products in India

or check out my Amazon store that I’ve curated for Indian curlies 🙂

Don’t comb curly hair dry daily

When you brush or comb naturally wavy or curly hair dry, the curly clumps get separated forcefully & cause frizz! So don’t comb your hair dry daily- even though all your upbringing has taught you the opposite. See my picture below to see the difference in results.

So when can you brush or comb curly hair? You can

  1. after applying some oil right before you shampoo
  2. right after applying conditioner inside the shower
  3. after applying a leave in conditioner/curl cream on wet hair outside the shower.

You might worry- Won’t combing wet hair cause breakage?

Yes, if you’re harsh! Which is why step 1 with some oil is important- it becomes even easier if you use a gentle detangling brush or a wide tooth comb.

Next, the conditioner you use should ideally make your hair slippery. This will make detangling pain free without breakage!

This tip keeps curly hair clumps hydrated and defined. Look at the two pictures of my hair below, taken a couple of years ago.

The picture on the left is when I would comb it dry and not use a leave in conditioner. The picture on the right is after combing after conditioner & leave in conditioner!

Curls combed dry Vs curls combed after conditioner

Quite the difference na? 🙂

So what do you do the other days because you can’t comb your hair daily? You ‘Refresh’ it every morning with some water and product. Watch how I do that here.

Curly hair shrinks

Curly Hair Shrinkage

Pull a curly strand straight down & measure – that is your actual length. Curls elongate when they’re wet and shrink when they dry because of its shape.

Remember this when you go get your hair cut next!

The hairdresser will wet your hair and comb to cut it. But when it finally dries, it’s shorter than you thought it would be!

Heat damage, Keratin & smoothening treatments is a curly girl’s worst enemy.

Keratin Treatment Damaged curly hair

Our hair thrives with water, not heat.

After having a naturally dry texture, frying it even more with straightening irons, blow dryers will lead to heavy breakage and roughness.

Chemical treatments will also last only a few months and you will soon have a lot hair fall, breakage and a very weird texture.

I got smoothening done one and regret it to this day.

In the picture above, the left one is taken a year after I got a keratin treatment done. You can see how wonky it became and how much thickness I lost. But thankfully, I found what to do.

If like me you have gotten this done and want to get your healthy curls back, read this post: Transitioning from Chemically straightened hair to Curly Hair

And yes, those everyday ten minutes of “harmless” straightening of your bangs to make it look “neat” also damages your hair shaft leaving it dry & rough.

Why not just put in that time and effort to take care of your natural hair & love your true authentic self?

Conditioners, leave in conditioners, hair masks will become your best friends

Keep products that provides moisture to your hair close!

When readers come to me and ask ‘what shampoo should I use for my curly hair’ with no intentions of ever conditioning, I sigh, deeply.

That’s not what your hair needs to be healthy! Remember less shampooing, more conditioning!

Read: What is a Leave-in-Conditioner and how do I apply it

Texture Typing – different types of natural hair exist

Brown curly hair bloggers

Brown curly hair bloggers

Is it wavy, curly or coily/kinky? Will it like light stylers or heavy rich creams? Will be it be easier for you maintain short or long hair healthily?

All of this can be found after you learn more about your individual hair type.

I have a mix of 3A & 3B hair type that tells me I need to hydrate and moisturise it well AND comb after a leave in conditioner. Wavy hair or loose hair types should comb after conditioner but avoid it after applying styling products for fatter clumps.

See why knowing this is so important?

Find out your curly hair type hereTexture Typing Quiz

Normal towel causes frizz

Don’t dry your hair with a normal towel. It will create friction with your hair strands and you’ll end up with more frizz.

Instead, use a microfiber towel or an old  T-Shirt (my go-to) after you’re done styling your curls. I

If you scrunch up with the t shirt after styling with a leave in conditioner/curl cream/gel, your curl pattern gets activated & becomes tighter.

A t-shirt is also used in a technique called plopping which really helps your curls to coil better. You can check this out to learn how to do it : How to Plop Curly Hair

Avoid touching or playing with it


Leave your hair alone after you’re done styling! Let it dry naturally or use a diffuser with your hair dryer.

Messing with your hair before it dries will make it super frizzy. And you’ll be left wondering – I did everything right and I still have frizz!

The next few days avoid touching it too much too- just keep your hands to yourself girl! 😀

You are incredibly lucky to be a curly girl!

Natural is beautiful & professional. You can grow to love the hell out of it. Maybe just stop hating and wishing it to be something else and learn how to make it thrive!

Deep Conditioning Curly Hair

And considering most Indian women, especially have curly, wavy hair, let’s learn to flaunt it, not reduce it to a haystack with chemical straightening & blow drying.

Give it a chance, watch how from frizzy waves & curls, they transform to healthy, soft & bouncy curls !

Ready? Here’s what you should do next:

Read my posts – Curly Hair Tips for Beginners & 20 Tips to Reduce Frizz.

This will teach you all the easy techniques that I incorporated that will transform your hair too!

Then, hop on over to this post where you can choose curly hair products in your budget: Curly Hair Products in India or check my Amazon Store.

If you don’t want to read, get a crash course by watching my video tutorials on my Youtube channel.

You can also ask me any questions you might have on my facebook group- Ask Jalebi or Dm me on my Instagram @thecuriousjalebi!

  • Reply

    Very helpful and good work. Thank you very much. Just one request, I am a guy with a journey in curl hair.. A post addressing only girls makes me sad.. But i do understand the underlying reference, so no offense taken.. Just a point. 🙂 anyways, this was very helpful. Thank you

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      Hi Ronak, fair point! Noted and will remember for the future posts. Have been working on a routine post for guys – stay tuned!

  • Reply
    Rakshita NM

    Love your work! You are the first indian curly because of whom I learned about this technique. I have a question though. I have to plait my hair everyday because I cannot let it free or put it in a pony. I study in a medical college and I need to keep my hair from touching every surface there is, (also, professional dress code). How do I plait my hair everyday without causing damage?

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      Thank you Rakshita! You won’t cause damage by plaiting, just losing curl pattern. Best to apply leave in conditioner, comb and plait it then and let it dry. at least it won’t get dry whilr you are moving around through the day 🙂

  • Reply

    I have been in the process of transition for a few months now and seeing really good results. I have 3a to 3b type curls, dry and coarse. The only problem is the crown area which lacks definition and also stays very very dry. This area is not responding to the finger coil method also. Please do help this is very frustrating especially when the products work really well for other parts of my hair.

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      Make sure you are conditioning that area well while showering, style it also properly. I hope you’ve not been blow drying it straight as that affects it a lot too.

  • Reply

    i have wavy hair. have lost a lot of hair and my hair have thinned quite a lot. I am using kerastase discipline. is it a wrong shampoo to use because i didnt see it in any of your lists?

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      Its not in my lists because its not CG Friendly, that is it has sulphates. Using them is a personal choice. Read this for more-
      Otherwise Kerastase is a great brand. But remember, for curls, shampoo doesnt make a big difference, its conditioner.

  • Reply
    Divya Bansal

    3.Detangle using fingers, then using wide tooth comb
    4. Wash off the conditioner
    5. Leave in conditioner
    6.finger Detangle, then comb
    7. Gel on the ends of hair . Comb
    8. Scruch using t shirt/ microfiber cloth
    9.serum ( if wanted )
    10. Diffuser/ air dry

    Did I get the steps right ?

    A. Do you oil your hair ? If yes which oils do you prefer ?
    Oil doesn’t get removed easily from the hair so co washing wouldn’t help . What do you do then ?

    B. But when we go to the gym , the scalp becomes oily / greasy . And the hair gets tangled , so we don’t comb even then ? And would these products make the hair more oily when doing physical activity ?

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      I just saw this on Youtube, have replied there to your comment, do check! 🙂

  • Reply
    What is the CG Method For Curly Hair? Do I Use This? – The Curious Jalebi

    […] avoid these two chemical groups? Sulphates STRIP your hair of natural oils making it dryer, frizzier & prone to breakage. It’s what causes lather. It’s not easy to rinse off and some of it remains in your hair if you […]

  • Reply

    Hey! Enjoyed your blog 😊 I too have curly hair, and over time, have learned to love it and enjoy it. I was wondering if you have any specific routine before going to sleep. I tie it up in a bun to avoid knots but that crunches up the curls. Is there anything you do to maintain the curls?

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      Hi Athira, thank you for stopping by! Glad you liked the blog. 🙂

      You can protect the curls before sleeping like this:
      1.’ Pineapple’ your hair, i.e I gather all my hair in front of my face like this: or this: & tie it with a scrunchy. This protects the curls from getting squashed & tangled.

      2. Wrap your loose bun or the pineapple with a satin scarf/headcap: or use a satin pillowcase.This reduces frizz & tangles!

      3. Lastly, the next morning, open your hair, overturn your head & spray some water on your strands. Then fluff around the curls like this:

      Hope this helps!

  • Reply

    Hey, amazing post.. Can you please suggest some leave in conditioners.. I don’t have hair as curly as yours, but yes my hair are curly towards the end.. And they get too fizzy depending on their own mood..

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