“My hair is dry and frizzy, not curly.”
“It’s so rough and get tangles easily, I hate leaving it open 🙁 “
Does that sound familiar?
Almost half of the messages I get on Instagram are about how dry their hair is.
If you’ve read my previous posts, you will know by now that curly hair is naturally very dry.
IF you didn’t know that, I suggest you read this asap: 10 Things You Should Know About Curly Hair
Read it especially if you think a shampoo is going to transform your curls. Let’s get that misconception cleared straight away. 😆
In this post, I’ll explain how you can reduce the dryness drastically. I’ll tell you the mistakes you’re making every day with your curls and what you should do instead.
You deserve healthy, gorgeous curly hair, at the length you want. Let me show you how!
Also, if you’re new here, Hi! I’m Pallavi, the blogger behind this blog, Youtube Channel & private coaching group – Ask Jalebi. I coach and motivate young women (especially in India) how to groom and accept their naturally wavy, curly hair.
I had a horrible time after I got my hair chemically smoothened while growing up hating my natural hair. If this is you right now, don’t worry! Read the below article and follow the tips. At the end of the article you will find links to my most important posts on transforming your hair.
Read up & enjoy!
Table of Contents
- 1 Steps To Reduce Dryness in Wavy & Curly Hair
- 1.1 1. Shampoo Only Your Scalp
- 1.2 2. Dilute Your Shampoo with Water
- 1.3 3. Switch to a Shampoo WITHOUT Sulphates & Use a ‘Co-Wash’
- 1.4 4. Use a Creamy, Moisturising Conditioner
- 1.5 5. Don’t brush your curls DRY
- 1.6 6. Use a Leave in Conditioner/Curl Cream
- 1.7 7. Deep Condition your Hair
- 1.8 8. Protect your Curls at Night
- 1.9 9. Protect your Dry Ends with Oil & Prevent Split ends
- 1.10 10. AVOID HEAT as Much as Possible- (Straightener, Blow Dryer)
- 1.11 11. Drink Lot’s of Water
- 1.12 12. Be CONSISTENT
- 1.13 Share this:
- 1.14 Like this:
Steps To Reduce Dryness in Wavy & Curly Hair
1. Shampoo Only Your Scalp
A regular shampoo has harsh ingredients called sulphates that works like a detergent. It will create that lovely lather you like but also suck out your hair’s natural oils making it really, really dry.
These natural oils don’t get to travel down the length of your hair because of the curl’s shape. Shampooing the length of the hair vigorously will reduce it to a haystack!
So instead, next time you shower, just shampoo your scalp and when you rinse it out, it will slide down the length of your hair anyway.
2. Dilute Your Shampoo with Water
We LOVE pumping out large amounts of shampoo no?
Stop that immediately! The lesser shampoo you use on dry hair, the better.
So instead, simply mix enough water with the shampoo in a mug and then apply it in it’s diluted form.
Not only will it get easier to apply, the harshness will be reduced.
3. Switch to a Shampoo WITHOUT Sulphates & Use a ‘Co-Wash’
Pretty obvious once you learn how sulphates dry your hair right?
Not if you didn’t know shampoos without sulphates existed! Now that I’ve told you they do, get one for yourself.
These shampoos are called CG Friendly or Curly Girl Approved shampoos and have no harsh cleansers in them. They will clean your hair with minimal dryness.
You can alternate this with co-washing your curls. Co washing means cleaning your hair with a conditioner, not a shampoo.
If you’re going Ewww, I understand, but hear me out.
In co-washing, you do a lot more manual work, i.e use your fingers to scrub out the dirt in your scalp with a conditioner. Also, there are special products in the market called Co-washes. These are conditioning cleansers MADE to clean your scalp without removing moisture!
Using shampoos without sulphates or a co wash is an important part of following the CG Method, which I personally recommend you switch to. You can read more on CGM or CG Method and find such products in this list: Curly Hair Products in India
Ps- I personally don’t co wash often. I simply use a shampoo without sulphates that is gentle. If you are someone who works out or goes to the gym everyday, co-washing is a great option.
4. Use a Creamy, Moisturising Conditioner
So by now, I hope you learnt that shampoos aren’t what will save your curls. It’s conditioners.
It’s that magical, creamy conditioner that will smooth down your hair and form a protective barrier against the humid environment.
It will provide moisture to your curls, make them bouncy again and leave them healthy, like the hair you see in my pictures.
Remember though, if you have switched to a shampoo without sulphates or are going to co wash, make sure your conditioner does not have silicones as an ingredient. Find out why silicones are bad for you in this post: What You Need to Know About Following the CG Method for Curly Hair
“But I heard conditioners cause hair fall. 🙁 “
Hey, use good conditioners. Don’t use bad ones that have harmful chemicals in them. Just try it once & you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
- After shampooing, section your hair into 2-3 sections.
- Take generous amounts of conditioner ( and I mean generous) and apply it on the length of your hair (don’t apply on scalp).
- Use your fingers to detangle gently and use a wide toothed- comb next, starting from the bottom.
- Remember, be gentle. Hair is weakest when it’s wet and needs to be handled carefully. (This is also why you need to make sure the conditioner you are using has a lot of ‘slip’. Slip is the ability of a product to melt tangles and makes the hair strands slide against each other without friction.)
- Rinse it out completely or leave some in. (DIY Leave in Conditioner)
- If you have loose curls or waves, check out Squish to Condish Technique & welcome fat clumps!
You can find a conditioner in your budget in this list: Curly Hair Products in India
5. Don’t brush your curls DRY
if you have wavy or curly hair, you don’t need to comb your hair everyday, especially when it’s dry.
Ugh what, what is this girl even saying?
Hold it. Before you judge me, see the picture below.
This is the difference between combing your curls dry and combing after a conditioner followed with combing after a leave in conditioner.
I know this is the weirdest advice you may have gotten (I remember I thought it was bizzare the first time I came across it) but trust me, try it once to see.
When you wash your hair, twice or thrice a week, after applying a conditioner, use a wide-toothed comb. This distributes the conditioner properly throughout your hair, keeps the curl clumps together and reduces frizz.
The only other times you can comb your curls is after applying a leave in conditioner (explained later in this post) outside the shower and sometimes with oil applied to your hair before you shower.
I admit, due to travelling in the heat and metro, your hair can get super tangled up. Since hair is at it’s weakest when it’s wet, to reduce the tension on them when you comb after conditioner, you can prepare in advance by detangling a little with oil. This removes all the big knots, making your time in the shower easier and faster!
“But Pallavi, what do I do on days I don’t wash my hair?”
Refresh! Watch this video and do what I do in the morning between wash days. I promise, it will make it easier to get used to these changes and keep your hair hydrated.
6. Use a Leave in Conditioner/Curl Cream
After you’re done with your shower and your hair is still wet, smooth on a Leave-In-Conditioner the same way you did the conditioner.
This will keep your curls hydrated until next time you wash it and keep it free from tangles and frizz.
A leave in conditioner is used for providing moisture whereas a curl cream helps define the curls and helps them last longer. We can discuss how these roles can interchange in products in another post but for now just remember this:
You can use just a leave in Conditioner or just a curl cream or both. Try out all 3 ways & find what result you like better!
Just make sure you comb your hair after both of them or use these other styling techniques to get the best results.
7. Deep Condition your Hair
This is one of THE MOST important tips & I strongly recommend you do this at least once a week.
This is especially important when you’ve just started your curly hair journey since your curls need maximum hydration. It is also very important if you are focusing on growing curly hair faster.
How does this help in growing curls longer? Healthy hair needs to be trimmed less, hence length is retained!
You can use either a store bought mask or make at home.
You have to read more on how and when to deep condition in this post: Deep Conditioning Curly Hair – What, When, How
8. Protect your Curls at Night
You toss & turn at night and wake up next morning to find it’s made your curls messy, frizzy & they’ve lost definition.
You’ve put in so much effort to get beautiful curls after washing and styling them. If you want to keep it that way, you need to protect your curls at night.
So start doing this – Make a ‘pineapple’ or a loose bun and cover it with a satin cap. Watch exactly how I do it in the video below.
9. Protect your Dry Ends with Oil & Prevent Split ends
The hair at the end of your length is the weakest and driest. Besides deep conditioning them and trimming it yourself every few months, start coating them with a few drops of oil. This will ‘seal’ the moisture you added in with the leave in conditioner & styling products.
This is essential if you are trying to grow your hair longer, faster!
10. AVOID HEAT as Much as Possible- (Straightener, Blow Dryer)
I can’t stress this hard enough!
You’re complaining about dry hair but you’re okay frying them with heat every other day?
Heat isn’t great for hair to begin with but for curly hair it can be disastrous. I’m not saying never straighten or blow dry it straight ever again.
I understand some girls love straightening their hair once in a while despite being super happy and proud of curly hair. Policing someone’s hair decisions is not okay with me.
But, yes, as heat damages our hair, it is better to keep it to a minimum. The more you avoid, the better it is for your curl’s health.
If you do have to use your hair dryer, do it with a diffuser on cold air mode. This will reduce frizz. You can learn how to do this and what a diffuser is, in this post: The Secret to My Big Curly Hair
Also, when you do straighten, use a heat protecting serum/cream and don’t use high heat. Basically, take necessary precautions and do damage recovery (deep condition) when you’re ready to wash your hair next.
11. Drink Lot’s of Water
How is your hair going to stay hydrated when your body ain’t getting enough water to start with? 😀
Drink up, son! I use this handy app to remind myself to keep hydrated.
12. Be CONSISTENT
If you come to me after following the tips and complain that it isn’t working, I will ask you how long you’ve been doing this for.
See, think to yourself – how many YEARS have you been treating your hair the wrong way? Do you think following these tips twice or thrice will undo all that damage in one go?
You’re going to obviously see a huge difference the first time you comb your curls after conditioner and a leave in conditioner. After that, being consistent with your routine, especially deep conditioning will reduce frizz and increase the health of your curls !
My advice to you is that you don’t lose hope so fast. If you want some motivation, check out some of the testimonials of my readers on my Instagram highlights or hop on to Youtube and watch some curly hair transformations. 🙂
Done! I hope these tips help. If you want personal advice, join my Facebook group called Ask Jalebi & drop your questions. You can also shoot me an email at email@example.com or DM me on Instagram.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel that has helpful video tutorials on curly hair care & if you want to be updated, old style, subscribe to my newsletter below.
Helpful blog..very knowledgeable article. I really appreciate the effort which the author has put in. thanks for sharing.
Thank you Archna, so glad you liked it!
Wow ! This article was exactly what I was looking for. Being a curly hair gal I have been struggling with all these challenges throughout my life. I found every point so relevant. Hopefully, I will be able to implement some of the changes.
Great insights out together by the author.
Thank you fellow Pallavi! Glad you liked it 🙂 – Pallavi
All hacks are appreciable but I like Hack#6 most, and i am going to implement this on my hair. Let’s see the result.
Thank you so much for this post. Very well explained.
This was very helpful. I been having dry and frizzy hair for a long time.
Thank you, glad you liked the post!
I am not familiar with oiling hair. What oil do you use on your hair? When do you oil your hair? How do you apply the oil?
I normally use any oil I have at home tbh, the lighter oils are preferred like jojoba, almond or a mix. I usually oil once or twice a month (this depends from person to person). I apply from root to ends by smoothing them on my hair, doing a scalp massage.
heyy i dont know if you will see this but i want to say thank you so much, your blog and yt vids have helped me ALOT and ive always had a family full of straight wavyish hair and i only had curly hair and i grew up treating my hair like theirs, brushing it dry DAILY, using shampoos with sulfates and all that other stuff and never really took care of my hair then once i used an shea moisture conditior and started seeing curls like my hair is straight on the top and reallyy wavy in the middle and curly in the bottom i fogure it was damaged and my hair could do SO MUCH better after i used that conditioner some of my curls started to form in the bottom just like yours and i admire them so much and wanted my whole hair like that because it was just a couple strands and now I will try to be the shampoo,leave in,styling products from shea moisture but my problem is that my hair is extremely long like up to my hips and its really hard to take care of I cant just leave my hair out all the time you know! and im wondering what can I do can i just leave in a normal bun like everyday ?
Thank you so much, glad you liked the blog! And you can absolutely style them and bun them up or even plait them if required. Plating will remove the curl pattern but, just remember that. But buns are fine, I do it everyday
Hi madam, I am a 10th standard student, my hair is so dry and frizzy and I have dandruff too so it’s really hard for me to manage my hair. I have tried a lot of products but everything had failed. So please help me by suggesting some cost effective products that could help me. Waiting for your kind reply..
Hi Meera, I hope you understand technique of how you use products is very important. Please try to follow this routine, shampoo, rinse, drench hair in conditioner generously, finger comb, wide tooth comb gently, rinse, smooth on a leave in conditioner (or just make your own leave in by diluting your conditioner with some water in a spray bottle) at least. Don’t comb hair dry. For dandruff, try Nizoral shampoo, it really helps me. So you need, 1 shampoo, 1 moisturising conditioner at the very least. For pocket-friendly products, just choose from this list- https://thecuriousjalebi.com/2017/05/17/pocket-friendly-curly-hair-products-beginners-india/
Hi Pallavi! I just found your blog and am really enjoying it. I love that you use the words “curly hair journey,” because I have found it is just that – a journey, a learning process. I feel like I am gradually becoming more myself as I learn how to make my natural curls look their best. I used to straighten and color my hair just to fit in with the crowd and I am so happy to be natural now.
I’m wondering – do you have any thoughts on protecting curly hair from chlorine? I swim twice a week and it does a number on my hair. I put conditioner on it before swimming. I wear a swim cap, but water still gets in. I use a chlorine removal shampoo that claims to soften hair but I have to wash the whole hair shaft and really scrub it to get the chlorine out so my hair still ends up dry. I’m wondering if you have any ideas on what else I can do?
Hi J! Thank you for sharing what you think of the blog, so glad! Most of us curly girls have the same thing while growing up.
For swimming- since I don’t swim personally I don’t have first hand tips to offer. But I have read that you can wet your hair, drench your hair in leave in and wear two caps to prevent chlorine absorption. Additionally you can also seal your hair with oil to protect it.
Hi Pallavi, I have came across your blog while searching for shampoo for my 6 year old daughter. She use to have nice curly hair when she was little and now her hair has turned into dry frizzy and lost all her curls. I am not sure what to do with her hair. I have using coconut oil once a week and i only wash once and week. Her hair are still dry and frizzy. Her hair look so unhealthy. Please help me. Can she use all these products since she is little. I don’t want to harm her hair anymore.
Hi Ruby! Oil and shampoo is not enough. You need to follow the techniques meant for curly hair like combing after a good conditioner, using a leave in conditioner or curl cream to style. Just use gentle products, it won’t damage her hair. If you can email me a picture or two of her hair and your budget ill suggest products accordingly. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi! This is the best curly hair article I’ve read. Thank you so much for sharing this information!! I just started the CG method last month and am already seeing results, but your article makes everything more clear. Thank you thank you thank you!!!
So glad I could help!
Hi Pallavi, I was browsing on the net for my curly hair problems, and came across your blog. And I must say , it is one of the most well written and explained blog. I could absolutely connect with all the issues you mentioned and thanks a lot for all the solutions. I need help with 2 problems- 1. my hair has dandruff as well. So whenever I use any curling products, it increases dandruff, do you have any recommendation for this problem?
2. I live in Canada (very cold country), so I need to wear a cap almost for 3-4 winter months. This sometimes spoils the curls. Do you have any recommendations for this problem?
So glad you liked the blog!
For dandruff, do read my tips in this post- https://thecuriousjalebi.com/2019/01/07/flaky-head-n-shoulders-heres-what-you-need-to-know-plus-tips-to-treat-dandruff/
2. Look online for Satin lines caps! there are a few companies doing that in the states!
Hey! I have a confusion!! Why can’t we use Shikakai ( Google it..if you don’t know ) to wash our curls???
You can- some readers use Reetha powder as well. It depends on person to person on who it suits. I haven’t tried it personally but thank you for your comment, I’ll look into this and add it to the blog!
Dr Ila Gujariaat
Hi Pallavi….bit confused about this step….sho should u rinse with cold water after applying all the styling products….won’t all the products get washed away???
Hi! No, you should not rinse after applying styling products. They will get washed off only when you are ready to shampoo again
I am so so confused😩.. I have beautiful curls. But I can’t maintain it. I really don’t know how to take care of them. Please help me and suggest some affordable products as well. Please. My hair are shorter in length than yours but the same texture as your hair.
Hey Devki! I suggest you clarify once with Pantene Lively Clean (so that buildup of previous products goes), then use The Bodyshop Rainforest Moisture Shampoo or Wow ACV Shampoo. To condition you can use Loreal Smooth Intense Conditioner or Matrix Biolage Hydrasource. Leave in: As I Am leave in Conditioner or Alba Botanica Leave in Conditioner. You can also use a watered down version of the conditioner as a leave in. For get- Set Wet blue gel works great or make flaxseed gel at home. Do remember to comb your hair after conditioner and leave in. Hope this helps. 🙂
20 Tips to Reduce Frizz in Curly & Wavy Hair – The Curious Jalebiat
[…] reduce the poofy halo though. Follow the tips below – few are mentioned in my post on dry curly hair that I have repeated for this post ( to drive the point home in your heads 😀 ) & few are […]
Hey i have one stupid question
i usually oil my hair before every wash . So mixing shampoo with water and shampooing only my scalp doesnt work for me as it leaves oil in my roots
What should i do?
Hey Aastha, do you use a sulphate shampoo?
i have been using ogx coconut curls shampoo