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Thirsty Curls: How-To Defeat Dryness

Posted on 08 November 2018

Here at LUS, we believe that every curly girl should pair her go-to fall boots and favourite scarf with a head full of bouncy and healthy curls. But when the temperature drops and the moisture starts getting sucked out of the air, curls can get parched.

So what’s a girl to do? How do you fight dryness and get your thirsty curls back to being shiny and supple again? It’s time to play defense!

The most important rule of quenched curls: The earlier you spot the signs of dryness, the sooner you can jump in and protect your curls! Depending on your hair type, dry curls can look and feel different, but there are a few universal telltale signs that it’s time for you to give your cold-weather curls some serious moisturizing attention...

Top 5 Signs Your Curls Are Thirsty

1. Take Ur Time With Step One

If you’re giving your head a super quick lather and moving onto the next step, you’re not doing your new products any justice. To ensure that our shampoo was super gentle we kept those harsh, stripping agents known as sulfates and other harmful ingredients away from our formula.

 

1. Take Ur Time With Step One

If you’re giving your head a super quick lather and rinse before moving on to the next step, you’re likely not getting the most out of our sulfate-free shampoo. As with any sulfate-free shampoo, you need to WERK to break up oil and dirt at the roots. Reason being that normal shampoos (the ones that contain sulfates) are full of harmful, drying agents that foam and strip the hair.

Since we did away with those, you’ll need to give your entire scalp a solid massage to get your roots nice and clean. @craft_and_mane does an awesome job of showing you how it’s done here.

Frizz

Have you ever followed every single step of your curly hair routine and still ended up with messy, frizzy hair once you finished? Don’t get frustrated! Frizz can be a warning sign that your hair needs some extra TLC.

Brittleness

Moisturized curls are strong curls! You can expect to lose a few curly strands while caring for and styling your tresses, but how much is too much?

Most experts agree that shedding anywhere from 50–100 strands a day is perfectly normal for healthy hair. But it's important to identify the difference between shedding and breakage.

Dry hair tends to lose it's elasticity which makes it prone to snapping during the detangling and styling process.

If you see excessive hair between your fingers or comb pay attention to the length of the strands. If they generally seem shorter than the actual length of your hair it could be that your hair is breaking off at it's most brittle points and is in need of some serious moisture.

Wacky Textures

Pay attention to any weird texture changes when styling your hair. If the texture of your curls suddenly becomes unmanageable and unpleasant, (that steel wool or straw-like feeling) that’s a huge hint that it’s time for a much-needed moisture boost.

Wacky Textures

Pay attention to any weird texture changes when styling your hair. If the texture of your curls suddenly becomes unmanageable and unpleasant, (that steel wool or straw-like feeling) that’s a huge hint that it’s time for a much-needed moisture boost.

Dullness

You know that feeling when you finally finish styling your hair and you see your curls really pop? When the definition is spectacular and each curl really seems to glisten like magic?

If your curls are excessively dry, one of the first things you’ll lose is that beautiful shine and sheen. But don’t fret. It just means that you need to add a little moisture back in!

2. Rinse Out Step Two

Raise your hand if you’ve ever finished your shampoo and conditioner at the same time?

(Ha! We didn’t think so.)

It’s no secret that curly girls can go through a lot of conditioner, and we’re not knocking you for that. Conditioned curls retain more moisture, more moisture means less frizz, and less frizz equals more definition.

However, as curly girls ourselves, we didn’t want our customers to have to use TONS of conditioner to get the uber-hydrated curls they desire. Like the other two steps in our line, our conditioner is also activated by water and requires a lot less product than you think. It’s a concentrated formula that’ll still give you all the detangling and slip you desire, without requiring boatloads of product to do so.

Tangles

Last week we put together a Tangle Tool Kit to help you when you come across an unruly knot. However, if your hair is becoming more and more tangled, your strands are likely in need of a deep moisturizing treatment.

Moisture helps the strands glide easily past each other instead of forming massive knots.

Less product = even better results (at ALL stages of the LUS application!).

It’s also important to know that the LUS conditioner should not be used as a leave-in conditioner.

While it’s chock-full of amazing hydrating ingredients, the formula was designed to do all its work in the shower; when you choose not to rinse it out, you risk clogging your hair follicle and dulling your shine.

Bonus: Rinse out your conditioner with cool water to close up the hair follicle and seal in moisture.

3. Detangle In the Shower

We strongly advise doing all of your dirty detangling work IN the shower! Why? You’ll handle your curls less as they dry, reducing frizz and preserving all of your glorious definition. Many of our curlies actually find it easiest to detangle after letting their conditioner sit for about 5 minutes. You can see our founder demo this here. 

Add a bit of water (try sticking your whole head under the running water for 1–2 secs) and then slowly detangle using your fingers or curl-appropriate comb, a bit more water, a bit more detangling, until ahhh—you’ve got a silky smooth, tangle-free mane.

4. Less Product, More Water

Our All-in-Ones are activated by.... you guessed it, water! So, you’ll want to apply them to soaking wet hair. Since lots of us aren’t accustomed to working with more H2O than product, many curlies go overboard with our products their first time around. Even though it may be scary, try a lighter hand with your All-in-One and be generous with the amount of water you use. Keep in mind that this may change depending on your curl type and porosity level.

Someone with 2A curls, for example, will have hair that easily retains moisture so adding water after applying your All-in-One might not be necessary. Someone with 4B curls, however, may need to use a spray bottle to add water throughout their application process.

You’ll know you’ve used the right product-to-water ratio when you can easily start to rake your fingers through your hair without a ton of excess product coming off in your hands.

The application really is the key to a great finish (our founder proves this here), so take your time to really work in the product. Not only will you experience better results, but you will also find that you can last longer between washing and styling your hair. Who would have thought that one product could do all that?

Protect and Prevent:

Have you been able to check off one or more of the signs of dry hair? No worries! The earlier you can spot dehydrated curls, the more quickly you can rescue them from the chilly fall/winter air. If you’ve lost some moisture, the first step is to work on adding it back and sealing it in!

Moisturize and Seal

We are constantly bombarded with misinformation about how to properly moisturize our curls. Let’s set the record straight.

Hydration

The truth is that WATER is the best moisturizing agent. So when you hop into the shower to wash your kinks and curls, you are actually infusing your hair with much-needed moisture.

The trick is making sure all of that good stuff stays in your curls.

Remember, our curls have a protective cuticle layer that naturally expands and lifts when exposed to hot water; if the cuticle stays open you risk losing moisture and drying out your hair. Lock in the moisture by using cold water to close the cuticle again and prevent dryness in the air from zapping the moisture out of your hair.

It's also important to keep in mind that hydration starts from the inside out! If you haven't been drinking enough water, try to up your intake. It will not only help your curls but your skin too!

Deep Condition

Sometimes taking care of your curls can feel like a full-time job. We have all been guilty of occasionally skipping the deep conditioner just to save some time. However, with the air becoming dryer, deep conditioning is an absolute necessity!

If your curls are excessively dry, we recommend deep conditioning once a week until they start to feel hydrated again (watch this vid for a great deep-conditioning hack with our Kinky-Coily All-in-One). Once your curls are springy and juicy again, then you can slow down to once or twice a month, depending on what your hair needs.

Other Ways to Lock in Moisture

Hair Oil

Oil is great for achieving extra soft, touchable curls. However, a lot of people mistake that softness for a false sense of moisture, which it is not. But oil is still a great way to SEAL moisture in.

Think about the way oil and water behave when mixed together; the oil sits on top of the water and doesn't mix in. It's this property that makes oil such a great sealant.

Still, it's important to be mindful of how you use oil because it not only seals moisture in but can also seal moisture out. So if you plan on deep conditioning, do it before you do a hot oil treatment. Or, if you're using oil post-wash, be sure to add it to the hair after styling.

That way you can be sure your products are working effectively and the oil won't hinder your results.

Other Ways to Lock in Moisture

Hair Oil

Oil is great for achieving extra soft, touchable curls. However, a lot of people mistake that softness for a false sense of moisture, which it is not. But oil is still a great way to SEAL moisture in.

Think about the way oil and water behave when mixed together; the oil sits on top of the water and doesn't mix in. It's this property that makes oil such a great sealant.

Still, it's important to be mindful of how you use oil because it not only seals moisture in but can also seal moisture out. So if you plan on deep conditioning, do it before you do a hot oil treatment. Or, if you're using oil post-wash, be sure to add it to the hair after styling.

That way you can be sure your products are working effectively and the oil won't hinder your results.

Protective Styles

Any time you wear your hair with your ends tucked away you’re wearing a protective style. These styles help to retain length and moisture because it minimizes washing and styling while reducing breakage caused by over-manipulation. There are so many different types of protective styles ranging in complexity from braids and twists to buns, extensions and wigs.

These styles not only protect your hair but they can also help to reduce the amount of time and energy you spend styling and caring for it (not to mention the variety of different looks you can slaaay).

Protective Styles

Any time you wear your hair with your ends tucked away you’re wearing a protective style. These styles help to retain length and moisture because it minimizes washing and styling while reducing breakage caused by over-manipulation. There are so many different types of protective styles ranging in complexity from braids and twists to buns, extensions and wigs.

These styles not only protect your hair but they can also help to reduce the amount of time and energy you spend styling and caring for it (not to mention the variety of different looks you can slaaay).

Defeating Dryness

Just because the air is dry doesn't mean that your curls have to be! You can have bouncy, supple curls no matter the temperature as long as you pay attention to your strands, moisturize them on reg, and ensure that all that good hydration is properly sealed in.

In fact, you may find that spending a few extra minutes to give your curls some love will give you healthy, happy curls year round. So, stay a step ahead of the weather and give your curls a little extra seasonal TLC.

Defeating Dryness

Just because the air is dry does not mean that your curls have to be! You can have bouncy, supple curls no matter the temperature as long as you pay attention to your strands, moisturize them on reg, and ensure that all that good hydration is properly sealed in.

In fact, you may find that spending a few extra minutes to give your curls some love will give you healthy, happy curls year round. So, stay a step ahead of the weather and give your curls a little extra seasonal TLC.

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