Curly hair, with its myriad of spirals, coils, and waves, has a unique beauty that is enviable. However, managing those locks to their full potential often feels like a quest for the Holy Grail.
Among the myriad of products available for curly hair, curl creams are a blessing, offering definition, hydration, and frizz control. This article delves into mastering the art of applying curl cream to ensure your curls are always at their bouncy, shiny best.
Understanding Curl Cream
Before diving into the application, it’s essential to understand what curl cream does. It’s a styling product specially designed for curly hair, aiming to enhance, define, and hold curls while often providing hydration. They typically have a thicker consistency than lotions or serums but are less heavy than gels or mousses. Check out our personal recommendation: Amika curl corps curly hair cream!
The effectiveness of a curl cream largely depends on its ingredients. Quality curl creams often contain natural oils like coconut, jojoba, or argan, which provide moisture, sheen, and protection. They may also have proteins to strengthen hair and humectants like glycerin or honey to retain moisture.
Preparation Before Application
Clean and Condition
For the cream to work its magic, start with clean hair. Use a sulfate-free shampoo to prevent stripping your hair of its natural oils. After shampooing, apply a conditioner formulated for curly hair to detangle and hydrate.
Rubbing hair with a regular towel creates friction, leading to frizz. Instead, opt for a microfiber towel or an old cotton t-shirt. Gently squeeze out excess water, but leave the hair damp. Curl creams work best on hair that’s wet but not dripping.
The Application Process
Sectioning is Key
Curls, especially if dense or tight, can be unyielding when it comes to ensuring every strand gets the product. The solution? Section your hair. Depending on the volume and length, you can divide it into 4-8 sections.
The Right Amount
Using the correct quantity of curl cream is pivotal. Too little won’t give the desired definition, and too much can weigh curls down, making them greasy. For medium-density, shoulder-length hair, a dollop the size of a quarter is a good starting point. Adjust according to your hair’s length and thickness.
Emulsify for Even Distribution
Pour the cream onto your palm, and rub your hands together to warm and emulsify the product. This process ensures smoother, more even application.
The Praying Hands Method
Once you’ve emulsified the curl cream, use the ‘praying hands’ method for application. With a section of hair sandwiched between your palms (like you’re praying), glide your hands down the hair length. This technique ensures that the cream covers each strand without disturbing the natural curl pattern.
Scrunch for Definition
After the praying hands method, scrunch your hair upwards, from the tips to the roots. This encourages the curls to ‘spring’ up and shape naturally, enhancing definition.
Comb Through for Uniformity
Using a wide-toothed comb or a Denman brush, gently comb through each section after applying the cream. This ensures an even distribution of the product, reducing the chances of some parts being over-saturated while others remain product-free.
After Application Rituals
Once the cream is applied, let your curls set without disturbance. The more you touch your hair during the drying process, the higher the chance of introducing frizz.
Air Dry or Diffuse
For the best results, either air dry your hair or use a diffuser attachment on your blow dryer. If you’re using a diffuser, ensure to use low heat and speed settings to prevent heat damage and frizz.
Fluffing for Volume
Once your hair is dry, gently fluff your roots using your fingers or an afro pick if you desire more volume. This will give your curls a fuller appearance without compromising their definition.
Additional Tips for Curl Perfection
While curl cream is an excellent standalone product, sometimes your curls may need an extra boost. Consider layering a lightweight gel over the curl cream to provide additional hold and definition.
Regular trims not only get rid of split ends but also ensure that your curls remain in shape. Well-defined curls enhance the effectiveness of curl creams, ensuring each coil and wave pops.
Curls thrive on moisture. A deep conditioning treatment once every 1-2 weeks ensures your hair remains hydrated, making it more receptive to styling products like curl creams.
Find Your Product
Curl creams, like all hair products, work differently on various hair types. It may take a few trials before you find the one that’s perfect for your curls. Be patient and allow your hair to guide you.
Mastering the curl game is not just about finding the right product; it’s also about the techniques you employ. A good curl cream application can be the difference between a good hair day and a ‘hide under the hat’ day. Embrace your curls, treat them right, and let them shine in all their glory. With the tips provided in this article, you’re well on your way to becoming a curl cream connoisseur. Happy curling!