How To Maintain Curly Hair (2)

Woman with urly hair, wearing a shiny buttoned blouse
Image: AI illustration
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Occasionally, an individual with curly hair will want to reconfigure their curls to a slightly different size, or to encourage a specific direction of the curl. This can often be done with a curling iron if there is a limited arrangement of curls to be worked, and with a wet roller set if you need more "all-over" manipulation of the curl.
Specific Curly Hair Problems:
My curly hair is coarse, dry, and unruly, and I need it to calm down. What can I do?
This is a pretty standard problem hair type, and frankly, aside from the usual "high-moisture" routine in hair care, the best solution is the application of fruit oil to help soften the hair and smooth the curls into some semblance of control. I recommend Argan Oil.
Argan Oil can be found in a preparation at your local beauty supply store and can be used as a hair dressing and as a periodic hot oil treatment. For your regular use, apply a generous amount to the palms and spread it over the fingers then work it carefully through damp hair. This can be done before using a diffused blow dryer and can serve as a protective treatment for the hair. Simply blow dry the hair to a "mostly dry" state, but not fully dry.
To use the oil as a hot oil treatment, you can submerge the bottle in a bowl of hot water for 5-10 minutes until the oil is heated, then apply the oil to the hair and scalp, and cover with a plastic cap. Allow the oil to sit for 30 minutes and then rinse the hair with warm water. If you feel the hair is too greasy afterward, you can shampoo as normal. The result should be soft, smooth curls. Just try to let the hair air dry after the hot oil treatment to ensure the maximum benefit of the treatment.
Short curly hair with bangs
Image: AI illustration
My curly hair seems to get knotted heavily at the ends, so that even a wide-tooth comb will not pass through easily. How to I stop this from happening?
Well, my first recommendation is that you look carefully at the ends of your hair for signs of split ends. Many people with curly hair find that their hair is prone to split ends, which, because of the random direction of the curls, easily get snagged on the ends of the hairs next to them. The result is a high incidence of tangles and snarls at the ends of the hair that only serve to damage the hair further.
To treat this, you first need a trim. Contrary to the claims made by many hair care products, NO product will "restore" split ends. The best that you can hope for is a "repair" of the split ends, which is akin to using glue to mend broken pottery. It is still broken, but it looks whole. To get rid of split ends, they must be removed. The way to remove them is by trimming the hair.
Once the split ends are removed, the next step is making sure to PREVENT them from occurring in the future. Use the aforementioned oil treatment and hair styling products with Argan Oil (or another smoothing product as desired) and remember that your hair is a natural fiber.
Silk fabric and a hair brush
Imagine taking a silk blouse and brushing it down the front of it 50 to 100 times every day. You'd expect to start seeing it fray and look haggard after a couple of days, right? Of course you would. Well, the hair is just as delicate and yet, we often brush and comb our hair with wanton force, never thinking that we could be doing more harm than good.
You only need to brush or comb the hair until it is free of tangles. Excessive brushing and combing can actually damage the hair by putting added stress on the ends of the hair, which roughens up the fibers, causing fraying and splitting of the ends.