It’s no myth that curly hair can require demanding upkeep. For those with naturally curly hair, curls are a big part of your identity, but it takes a proper routine to keep them looking their best. With a ton of information circulating about curly hair — some true and some not so true — it can be confusing to know the right way to navigate curly hair care.
Read on as we set the record straight about some of the biggest curly hair myths and share hair styling tips to keep your curls looking their best.
1. Curly Hair Doesn't Need to Be Washed Often
While curly hair doesn't need to be washed as frequently as other hair types, washing it once per week and going longer if you can. Curly hair definitely needs routine washes, but doing so in excess can lead to dry, lifeless curls.
To get the most out of your weekly washes, use a shampoo and conditioner for curly hair like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Push Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Seal Conditioner. This system is formulated with hyaluronic acid and castor oil to lock in moisture and reshape curls without weighing them down.
The system also includes the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Micellar Shampoo to remove buildup from the scalp and cleanse hair without stripping moisture. When you go a week or more between washes, a micellar shampoo is a must because it removes product buildup from dry shampoo and leave-in treatments that can weigh down curls and lead to a greasy, flat style.
2. You Can’t Skip Conditioner or Leave-In Conditioner When You Have Curly Hair
Curly hair is not one-size-fits-all. The products you use in your curly hair routine should always be dependent on the condition of your hair and your hair texture. While a leave-in conditioner is often considered a holy grail in curly hair care because it helps to manage frizz, shape curls and add hydration, this isn’t true for everyone. Curly hair comes in a myriad of textures, so what works for someone else’s curly mane may not work for yours.
This means that even if a product is considered a curly hair must-have, there’s no guarantee it will work for your hair. The key is to pinpoint the exact texture of your hair to figure out what products will work best. That being said, curly hair, regardless of its texture, is more prone to tangles and using conditioner can help to eliminate tangles and make for easier styling.
The L’Oréal Paris Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner is top leave-in conditioner for curls. This creamy leave-in softens and moisturizes hair for bouncy, defined curls that are never crunchy or frizzy. If you have fine curls and need something ultra-lightweight that won’t make them heavy, consider the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Refresh & Reshape Leave-In Spray to restore their shape and boost hydration.
3. All Coils and Tight Curls Are Thick in Texture
Speaking of hair textures, it’s pretty common to hear that all curly hair has a thick texture. This belief is entirely a myth.
Curly hair comes in a variety of textures from fine waves to thick spirals to coarse curls. In many cases, you may even find that you have multiple curl textures throughout your hair which is why it’s super important to identify the right curly hair care routine for your specific hair type.
4. Curly Hair is Always Dry
Curly hair isn’t always dry and in need of moisture. How dry your hair is largely depends on your hair type and hair porosity. If your hair is damaged from chemical treatments, color sessions or heat styling, that can also manifest as dryness.
Using a system like the aforementioned L’Oréal Paris Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Shampoo and Conditioner is a great way to keep your curls hydrated. If you notice that your hair is habitually dry, once a week, switch out your conditioner for a hydrating hair mask like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Signature Masque, Color Care Hair Mask.
Editor’s tip: A hair treatment or oil like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Sheer Oil can also help when your ends are feeling dry or brittle. Use a pea-sized amount of oil on dry or wet hair as needed.
5. Tangles Are Inevitable When You Have Curly Hair
The signature twists and spirals that create curly hair may make your strands more susceptible to tangles, but there are ways to get around this. For difficult knots, applying conditioner to your hair before you wash it.
Start by brushing out your dry curls and applying conditioner, leaving it on for a few minutes before reaching for a wide tooth comb to evenly distribute it through your hair. Let the conditioner sit on your hair for ten minutes before rinsing and shampooing to soften the knots and eliminate tangles.
Another trick is to sleep with your hair wrapped in a silk scarf or bonnet combined with a silk pillowcase to reduce friction and minimize tangles. If you try these tips and the tangles haven’t improved, it could be the way that you dry your hair. Rough drying with a towel can lead to more tangles, so consider plopping your curls with a soft cotton T-shirt.
6. Curly Hair Grows Slower Than Other Hair Types
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hair grows about six inches a year, or half an inch a month, regardless of your hair type or texture. So while it may seem like curly hair takes forever to grow, it just takes longer to see the growth due to the shape of your spirals and shrinkage.
Remember that bouncy curls and elasticity are a sign of healthy hair so while it can be annoying when you want to see noticeable growth, it’s a good thing.
7. Curly Hair Can Only Be Blow-Dried Straight
Those with curly hair can use a blow dryer to achieve a number of different styles. To dry your curls, use a diffuser and keep your blow-dryer on the lowest setting. If you’re going for a sleek blowout, don’t forget to prime your hair with a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant.
If you’re going for a ‘90s blowout with tons of volume, prime your strands with a heat protectant and blow dry your hair with a round brush to create body. After blow drying each section of hair, place velcro rollers, rolling towards your scalp, so your style can cool with an extra boost of volume.
8. You Can Brush Dry, Curly Hair
Every time you brush your curly hair, you disturb your curl pattern, which can leave you with a frizzy mane. It’s not a good idea, plus, it can lead to hair breakage since brushing your hair creates friction and can tug at your curls. The only instance when you want to brush dry curls is when you want to apply conditioner before washing your hair to remove tangles, as we previously mentioned.
9. You Only Need to Cut Curly Hair Once a Year
When it comes to curly hair, getting regular trims is an absolute must. Simply put, routine trims help to get rid of damaged ends that can keep your curls from looking their best. For soft, bouncy curls, aim to get a trim every eight to 12 weeks. Trust us, your bouncy, healthy-looking curls will thank you.
10. You Should Brush Your Curls While Their Wet
While you may have had success brushing your curly strands while wet, if you don’t use the right brush for your hair, it can have adverse effects on your mane. As we mentioned, brushing your hair creates friction and constant tugging motions that can lead to breakage.
If you’re using a brush to detangle your mane, trade it in for a wide tooth comb. A wide tooth comb, along with a leave-in conditioner, is a great way to smooth curly hair and it’s much gentler than a brush. If you don’t have a wide tooth comb, finger combing is another effective and gentle way to detangle your wet curls.
Edited by: Reece Andavolgyi, Design by: Sarah Duvivier
Discover more tips & tricks
Keep your skin happy
Shop Featured Hair Care products