There are a whole host of possible reasons why your curls may be lackluster. For example, heat styling, blow-drying, harsh chemicals, and product buildup can prevent your curls from looking their best. Fortunately, they can be revived.
So, if you’re lucky enough to be blessed with naturally curly hair, there are many different techniques you can utilize to help define your curl pattern and make your curly hair really pop.
Please note that this article is for hair that is not chemically altered (colored hair is fine). If you have relaxed or permed hair, you may need to do the big chop or transition gradually.
Also, if you straighten your hair often, you may have damaged your curls which could require a cut or deep trim. But keep reading as some of these techniques may work! I also included a great video at the end.
If you are in the process of transitioning or thinking about the big chop. Read my article ‘Natural Hair Tips for Beginners the Ultimate Guide’.
Now that we are done with the disclaimers, let’s get into how to bring out your natural curls!
Table of Contents
How do I activate my curls?
If you already have naturally curly hair, follow these steps to activate and define them.
#1 Avoid washing your hair too often
It’s common knowledge that washing your hair can strip your hair and scalp of the natural and healthy oils it excretes. Additionally, frequent shampoo treatments can stretch and damage your hair strands.
Most shampoos contain sulfates which aren’t great for any hair, let alone untamed curls. Instead, when your hair is desperate for a deep clean, opt for conditioner only, even if you don’t use shampoo.
#2 Consider a pre-shampoo treatment
Pre-shampooing is pretty self-explanatory; it’s a step taken before you use shampoo. This step is used to soften, condition, and detangle your hair prior to shampooing.
Many people choose to use wither conditioner or conditioner oil as a pre-shampooing treatment
., but we’ve found that this one from Dr. Miracles works well. It’s best left in for long periods of time (at least 20 minutes). Try covering your hair in a shower cap while it sits.
#3 Ditch the heat
It’s no secret that thermal hairstyling tools often lead to breakage and heat damage. Blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons are all harmful to your hair, especially when used for long periods of time.
Try to air-dry your hair whenever possible and look into heat-free styling products such as foam rollers and the rag technique. If you’re not ready to lay off the heat, consider only buying the highest quality tools you can afford. For additional protection, we recommend using a heat protection spray prior to styling.
#4 Conditioner is your best friend
Invest in a good quality conditioner that contains humectants such as glycerin, glycol, and other oils. To strengthen your natural curls, consider using a conditioner that contains a protein reconstructor or silk amino acids and keratin. This L’Oreal sulfate-free conditioner is a customer favorite.
Use a comb to disperse the conditioner evenly and cover and leave to sit for a minimum of 10 minutes, and a maximum of 30 minutes.
#5 Section-off your hair when washing
The way in which you wash your hair can have a huge impact on the result of your curls. For example, simply lathering up shampoo on your head, swirling it around, and rubbing it in can be disastrous for your curl pattern.
Instead, we recommend dividing your hair into a few sections, the thicker your hair, the more sections you’ll need. Clip away each section and wash one length at a time and work the shampoo with your fingertips.
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Why have I lost my natural curls?
If you’ve woken up with untamable hair that hardly resembles curls anymore, we understand. There are a handful of reasons why your curl pattern may be negatively affected, here’s a few of them.
Curls are easily damaged, especially by heat. This is because dry and brittle hair is far less likely to be able to hold its curl.
Additionally, over-brushing and styling too tightly can also warp your curls. Washing your hair too frequently with shampoo is another reason why it may have lost its natural curl.
The longer your hair, the harder you’ll have to work to maintain your curl. This is because longer hair simply weighs more than shorter hair, and weighed-down curls will drop much sooner than tighter, bouncy curls.
Sometimes a simple haircut could be the answer to all of your curl problems.
#3 Hormonal changes
Believe it or not, but your hormones can play a huge role in the condition of your hair.
For example, during periods, pregnancy, puberty, and menopause, many women report changes in their curl pattern, sometimes these changes can be pretty drastic.
How can I revive my curls?
If your hair is naturally curly but you’ve woken up with lackluster definition, we’ve got you covered. Fortunately, reviving wild curls back to their former glory is pretty simple.
One of the most popular methods of reviving curly hair is by scrunching. This is a great method as it’s completely heat-free! This means that it won’t damage your hair further.
Simply grab a spray bottle and fill it with clean filtered water. Add in a couple of drops of your favorite essential oils and spritz the concoction all over your hair. Then style with your favorite wash and go product or styler.
Be sure to pay extra attention to the curls that have become especially loose and untamed.
Next, gently massage the mixture into your scalp and scrunch it into all of your curls, making sure to stimulate the roots and lengths. It’s best to leave your hair to air dry, but if you’re in a hurry, you can use a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment. Shake up your hair with your fingertips and add volume as you see fit.
Does hair get less curly with age?
Yes, hair can become less curly as you age. This is usually caused by a combination of genetics and changes in growth patterns.
As adults approach their golden years, you can expect their hair to thin and their natural curls to become less defined. While these changes are usually genetically predetermined, there are a couple of other reasons why they may occur.
For example, poor diet, illness, hormonal changes, and even certain medications can all have an impact on curly hair and how it grows as you age. If you notice any dramatic changes to your hair, curl pattern, or begin to experience sudden and dramatic hair loss, we recommend speaking with your doctor.