You’re looking in the mirror and you know something just isn’t right. Where did your lovely curls and your natural curl pattern go?!
This is the moment that you realize it's the result of repeated flat ironing, blow-drying, perm after perm, dyeing, and bleaching. Your curls that were once defined, bouncy, and happy are now stringy, limp, and lifeless – almost like they forgot how to curl!
Now you’re wondering, “How can I undo all this damage? How can I get my curl pattern back?”
Well, the truth is – you can’t jump in a time machine and travel back to its original state of health. What you CAN do is restore its strength and train your new growth coming in.
First and foremost, the most important step to embracing your natural curls is to make the decision that you want to commit to loving your curls no matter what. Applaud yourself and give yourself credit for having the courage to do this!
1. Avoid heat, please!
Burnt hair can’t be restored or repaired. The only solution for excessive heat damage is the growth of new hair. So, put the heat-styling tools down, right now! Or simply just throw them away.
For drying your hair:
Instead of a blow-dryer, use a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt. It will remove excess water from your hair without irritating or drying out your strands.
If possible, try to air-dry your hair after using the microfiber towel.
A good air-drying tip is to add leave-in conditioner, styling cream/gel and Donna’s Hair Strength Oil to your damp hair, quickly do your hair in a protective style or wash & go, and let it dry while retaining moisture.
2. Physically train your curls when styling
If you're transitioning, more than likely, your ends don't resemble your natural hair texture or curl pattern of your roots. Therefore your ends need to be trained to curl and spring up again. When it's time to style your hair, finger coil and scrunch each loc of hair. Yes, it may be time consuming, but this will subconsciously tell your curls they need to start curling up again. They won't curl back immediately, but they will naturally make it a habit to curl on your own in due time!
3. If you must use heat – do so wisely.
Limit how often you use heat and when you do, use the lowest and coolest setting possible. If you must use a blow-dryer, flat iron, or other heat styling tools, remember to ALWAYS use a heat protectant. A heat protectant forms a protective layer around each of your strands guarding the cuticle from extreme heat.
Another helpful tip is to avoid using heat-styling tools on your wet hair. Water molecules can absorb a lot of heat, so frying your strands from the inside will cause all the moisture to evaporate. Make sure your hair is only damp (not soaking wet) before you turn that blow dryer on (if you MUST).
4. Give your hair a deep conditioning boost.
Whether you lost your curl pattern to damage caused by heat or chemical processing, moisturizing your hair is and will always be key. The best way to do that is with weekly deep conditioning.
Deep conditioners or hair masks are excellent ways to hydrate and moisturize your strands, scalp, and follicles. They also are nutrient-rich to help boost hair health.
To ensure you get all the goodness from your deep conditioner, consider using a clarifying shampoo before deep conditioning. This will help to remove buildup so your deep conditioner can actually get to your scalp and cuticles to work its magic. Damaged hair tends to be dry and brittle, so use a leave-in conditioner to hydrate and moisturize your hair on a daily basis.
5. Lay off the dyes, bleaches, and relaxers for a while.
At this point, coloring, highlighting and chemical straightening your hair should take a back seat. Your hair can’t take more manipulation. Dyes and bleaches are notorious for damaging and weakening your hair. Relaxers chemically change the structure of your stands, therefore changing your curl pattern.
If you still choose to color your hair, at least avoid any color that will require you to bleach your hair. Instead, go with a tone that matches your natural color to avoid bleaching.
Finally, transitioning your hair back to its natural curl pattern will take time, patience and LOVE! Use this journey as a way to get to know your hair type and texture better. Take the time to find out which styles and products work best for your hair. Develop a hair care routine that helps you nourish your strands into thicker, healthier hair as you proudly show off your natural curl pattern!