I’ve had curls my entire life. As a little kid they’re cute, but as an older kid and an adult they’re a hassle. To make matters worse, if you live in a high humidity area, as I do, you get to deal with excess frizz. Luckily, there are some eco-friendly, money-saving care options you can deploy which may make you love (or at least like) the curls you were born with.
Use products made for curls
This is a tough one, because as an eco-friendly gal, you probably want to go organic or at least somewhat natural with your hair care products. Unfortunately, there aren’t many awesome products out there. I’ve tried product after product and the only hair care company that comes close to being both kind of eco-minded and works (REALLY works) on my curls has been the Curls hair care line.
I’ve reviewed this line before at a client’s site (I’ll post a full review here soon), and there are pros and cons. They use some, but not all, certified organic ingredients. They state that they do not test on animals (for some products) but aren’t listed as a non-tester by Leaping Bunny or Peta’s Beauty Without Bunnies. Their packaging is recyclable, but they also use buzz words and phrases that don’t mean much on their website, such as “Try an organic approach,” and “natural elements.”
The above said, Curls is the closest I’ve come thus far to curl care with some eco-attributes that actually works. Honestly, they make the best curl conditioner I’ve ever tried (Curls Coconut Sublime Moisturizing Instant Conditioner) plus an awesome leave-in conditioner (Curls Milkshake). Bonus, their products smell amazing without overpowering. BUT do keep in mind that they’re not a perfect eco-company. Here’s a link to some other possibly organic conditioners, but I haven’t tried many on the list – and one more list of organic options.
Good ol’ olive oil & essential oils
Deep conditioning is a must if you have curls, and olive oil is more eco-friendly and inexpensive than store bough products, plus it works well. Heat up about two cups of organic olive oil in the microwave until it’s hot, apply to your hair (over a sink), wrap a towel around your head so you don’t drip and let it sit on your hair for 30 minutes to one hour. This results in one awesome looking day of curls, but subtle effects last the week too.
Use shampoo sparingly
I use just a little shampoo and a lot of conditioner, which seems to help. Many shampoos are packed with surfactants (the soapy bubbly aspect) that seem to drain my hair of moisture. If you have to use styling products, use an organic shampoo once or twice a week.
Grow your hair out
Long hair weighs down those curls making them easier to manage. Short hair and curls, do not, in my experience play well together.
Skip the heat
I walk around with semi-damp hair after showering, which isn’t totally fun, but it is healthier for my curls than heat drying. Most curl experts I’ve read up on seem to agree that blow-drying is harsh on curls, leaving them looking more fuzzy than normal. Use your hands to squeeze excess water out of your hair after showering, work in a nice leave-in conditioner, then style if wanted and let your hair dry on its own. The less you mess with wet curls the better! If you must blow-dry, use a low setting with a diffuser attachment.
Rinse with cool water
I usually rinse my curls in cool, not hot and not freezing water. There’s controversy surrounding the whole hot or cold water issue, but in my years of experience, cooler water is more gentle on my curls. Plus, you’ll save on electricity and money when you go cold vs. hot!
Check out more tips for caring for curls (although, avoid non-eco product recommendations).