I have crazy, unruly, kinky, curly hair. Some days, I don’t mind it. It seems to curl in unison without too much frizz, and I can get away with wearing it down and untamed. However, the majority of the time it curls in different directions. Some pieces won’t curl at all, and the amount of frizz would make anyone assume that I had rubbed a balloon all over my head. To top it off, it is somehow dry and greasy at the same time.
In my twenty six years, I have tried virtually everything to give myself smooth, bouncy curls. Then, about a year ago I read theCurly Girl Handbookby Lorraine Massey. The book has an incredible amount of helpful tips for managing curly hair as well as personal narratives by many women, including the author, about the struggles of managing unruly hair.
However, the most helpful tip I found in the book was ditching shampoo. I know this may sound crazy, but it has actually worked for me. Curly hair is naturally dry and can be brittle. Shampoo only makes that worse. It has harsh ingredients that act as detergents that your hair doesn’t really need. Instead of using shampoo, you just use a moisturizing conditioner. Work the conditioner into the hair making sure to scrub the scalp to break apart any build up. (The book goes into greater detail with other alternatives as well about washing and manitenance.) If you wash your hair and it still looks greasy, you need to do a little more scrubbing making sure to really work it into your hair. My hair is pretty long so I use quite a bit of conditioner, but instead of buying a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of conditioner, I buy two bottles of conditioner and it lasts me the same amount of time.
So far, I have only used conditioner to wash my hair for about a year, and it is softer and much more manageable. I have less breakage and less frizz, and I certainly won’t go back to using shampoo. I don’t know if I would recommend it to women with straight hair or those without much volume, but if you have curls this is a great thing to try. It might just make your morning routine a little easier.