Curly Hair PT 2: Products for Flawless Curls
I’m going to let you in on a secret- I love curly hair care secrets !
Now, I’m no gossip but I sure am happy to dish out my main tips to help you beautiful ladies step up your curly hair game. Since I began my curly hair journey, I’ve been asked about the products I use in my hair. Trust and believe that what you put on your hair is essential but what many transitioning and pro-curly girls don’t realize is that there are other important factors involved in whether or not your curls grow. In the last six years, I discovered products, styles and health tips that have worked wonders for my curly hair, and I’m so excited to share them with you all.
In Part I of the curly hair series, I discussed my curly hair journey. In Part 2, I want to focus on one of my all time favorite curly hair tips- porosity. I truly wish I discovered porosity way back when I was brand new to the curly hair game. You might be thinking, “porosity, come again?” Well, trust me when I say that knowing the porosity of your curls is key. It completely changed the products I use, how I deep condition my hair, and the way in which I style my tresses.
Let me make one thing very clear, porosity is not the same as curl type. I’m a firm believer that curl “type” means nothing if you don’t know your hair's porosity. I’ve seen wars on curly hair forums about which curl type is better, and who has Type 2A or 3B hair, and it’s sickening. If you’re interested in learning more about curl types- Google it. How I see it, it’s just another way to degrade women with tighter textures or coily hair, and I have no interest in being apart of that conversation as I'm sure you gathered from Curly Hair Care Part I.
What I will help you understand is the porosity of your hair. Porosity determines your hair’s ability to absorb and lock in moisture, which is key to hair growth. Porosity can be broken down into three sections- low, normal and high. Finding out your hair porosity is as simple as cleansing your hair, dropping a clean strand into a glass of room temperature water, and waiting for 2-4 minutes. One of three things will happen. Your hair will float, sink or stay somewhere in the middle.
If you decided to test the porosity of your hair, you might be thinking along the lines of…
Why in the world is my hair floating?
If your hair floats, you have low porosity. Hair with low porosity has cuticle layers that lay flat, it’s considered healthy, and can be quite shiny. Cheers to having healthy hair! But keep in mind that it repels moisture, and is prone to build-up. I suggest using low to moderate heat while deep conditioning to open up the cuticle, and allow moisture to penetrate your hair. When rinsing your hair, use cold water to seal that moisture right back in. Remember, low porosity hair responds well to emollients such as coconut oil and shea butter, and benefits from using lighter liquid-based products.
My hair is floating in the middle of the glass, how come?
If your strand of hair is blissfully floating in the middle of the glass, you have normal porosity, and your hair requires minimal maintenance. Sounds like a dream come true, if you ask me. Fortunately, the cuticle of your hair is looser meaning the perfect amount of moisture enters without allowing too much of it to escape. Normal hair is great for styling and handles coloring really well. It can benefit from deep conditioning every once in awhile, but ladies, don’t get heat and dye happy, it can still be damaged over time.
Oh, crap, my hair sank straight to the bottom. That can’t be good.
If you’re anything like me, your hair sank, which means you have high porosity. This is seen quite often in chemically treated or damaged hair, but at times it’s just the natural way of your curly hair. All it means is that there are holes in your hair which allow excess amounts of moisture to enter, and escape. Our hair tends to be a bit frizzier and doesn’t behave well in humidity and high heat. How do I work with high porosity to obtain fabulous curls? Seal it by adding layers of protection to your hair such as a combination of leave-in conditioners, oils, and cream otherwise known as L.O.C.
Woof! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are some natural products I recommend for beauties with low, normal and high porosity hair.
Fun Fact: Shea Moisture has a line specifically for peeps with low porosity.
Fun Fact: Ladies with normal porosity can dip and dabble with products of different consistencies. Find what works best for you!
Fun Fact: Shea Moisture makes a line specifically for ladies with high porosity hair.
Pro Tip: If you're still a little fuzzy about what products might work best for your curls, I highly recommend using a software launched by Shea Moisture that suggests products based on just few questions about your hair. It's called A Million Ways To Shea and I was pleasantly surprised at how accurate it was when suggesting products for my hair.
Some of you may be saying to yourselves, “Okay, now that I know the porosity of my mane, how do I make all the boys, or girls ;), come to the yard?” If so, stay tuned for next week's Part II of the Mane Care Series where I’ll dive deep into my curly hair routine.
What’s your hair's porosity? Comment below and I’ll share tips on how you can personally care for your mane.