Healthy Curly Hair

Curly blonde hair that looks healthy
Photo: Focus and Blur/Shutterstock
Q: How can I tell if my hair is healthy? I mean, I think it's damaged because it's hard to control. (I have very curly hair that kinks and knots easily.) But my mom says it's just the way my hair is and there's nothing to be done about it. I like the curl I have, but I'm tired of it being so frazzled looking.
A: I know many women with very healthy, very curly hair who think that their hair is unhealthy because of the curliness and volume of hair they have. I also know many women whose hair is badly damaged, but they attribute the condition to the fact that they have curly hair.
To help quell this confusion, I offer these guidelines to what makes healthy hair:
• Healthy hair is shiny and soft.
• Healthy hair does not tangle easily.
• Healthy hair is clean and not overly oily.
For women with very curly hair, sometimes the hair may be healthy, but seems unruly. Very often this is because it needs a styling product to help keep the cuticle layer smooth and lubricated. Using a smoothing serum on the hair while it is still damp and carefully combing it through is a good way to help control the hair without lots of fuss. You can also use styling gels and pomades, the point of which is to direct the curls so that they all lay in an orderly manner.
Damaged hair is most often dry and dull, and treating damaged hair involves using a generous moisturizer to restore moisture to the hair shaft. After using an after shampoo conditioner, you should follow up with a leave-in conditioner and even a spray laminator to help seal in the moisture and add shine.
Try to avoid playing and fidgeting with the hair once it has been styled. With curly hair, the more you handle it once it is dry, the more likely you're going to get frizz.
See also:
How to take care of curly hair
What would be an easy to manage haircut for thick curly hair?
How can I stop my curly hair from poofing?