There are so many different ideas out there about how to keep curls defined, moisturized and free of breakage, that at times it’s difficult to tell what to believe, and what to take with a grain of salt. If you’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the varying information, let us do the work for you, by boiling it down to 3 key principles of curly hair maintenance, “The 3 P’s”. #1- Preservation The main goal of your curly hair routine should be to preserve the natural state of your curls. What is the natural state, you ask? Take a look at the roots of your hair, then look at your ends? What key differences do you notice? What you might find is that your roots have a bit more luster, springiness/agility, and strength. The key to maintaining these qualities throughout your head of curls is preservation. How you protect your curls from external stresses (mother nature and yourself) will dictate how long the luster, strength, and agility you see near the roots, lasts through the rest of your hair too. Here are 3 not-so-obvious things you can do to preserve your curls starting today: -Trim your nails & mind your rings- Think of your hair as a fiber (because it is). More specifically, think of your hair as a fine fiber like silk (which is a compound of fibers). You wouldn't handle a new silk blouse any ‘ole type of way, because it's delicate. Well guess what...so is your hair (the curlier and finer the strand, the more delicate it is)! Jagged nails and sharp rings can easily pull and snarl your curls. Mind your curls like your best silk blouse. -Moisten your hands before touching your hair- Friction is like kryptonite to curly hair. While our products have been known to instill Superwoman-like confidence, care must still be given to keep friction under control. While some friction is bound to happen, there are ways to minimize it by taking a more “hands-off” approach. When refreshing your hair, coat your fingertips with our Untie The Knot Nourishing Leave-in Conditioner to (1) minimize friction, (2) moisturize curls, and (3) protect strands, all at the same time. Dry hands should not touch your curls! -Detangle with a seamless pick or comb- Your common comb is: made of plastic, mass manufactured, and created by a mold. While this helps ensure each comb is consistently produced in the same shape and style, it also ensures a lot of split ends! Molded combs have “seams” between the teeth. These seams can snag and strip your hair. It's important to find a comb or hair pick that is seamless, and also retains some flexibility when it bends. A “bone comb” which is really a comb hand-made of finely sanded wood or organic resins, is much more suitable for curly hair than a traditional plastic comb. #2- Process- Process is key to bringing out your curl pattern and keeping your curls healthy. One of the things you’ve probably learned already is that not all curls are made alike; and consequently, they require different handling based on curl density, porosity and thickness. Make these considerations when deciding what process to use to reduce frizz and better define your curls: -Clumping your curls- Curls like to cling to each other, and when done right, the results can be fantastic! To turn frizzy hair into bigger more defined curls, water is your friend; but in addition to h2O, you need a heavyweight product that also provides tons of slip. Try this: thoroughly saturate your curls with water, and while your hair is dripping wet, use our Untie the Knot Nourishing Leave-in Conditioner + Curl Supreme 4-in-1 Hydrating Creme conditioning and styling combo. This combo provides the perfect blend of slip and weight to start the process of achieving more defined and clumped curls! Minimizing frizz- Frizz is commonplace with curly hair! While frizz can be a drab, if properly addressed, it can be functional to your overall hairstyle. Frizz is usually a result of either a lack of moisture, damaged curls, or friction caused by external elements. To make frizz functional, consider using products that deliver moisture past application and through the cuticle layer to the cortex of your curls. Any one of our conditioning, moisturizing or styling products can achieve this goal! #3- Products- Curls respond the best to low manipulation styling, and low manipulation products. Seek out water-based products that can distribute moisture through the cuticle layer of your curly strands; which keeps your hair agile and flexible. How do you know you've found the right products? Look at your curl’s characteristics: Is your hair springy?- Your hair should have some resilience, in order to avoid breakage. Good curl care products allow your curls to rebound or spring back to protect the integrity of your hair. Softness- Any product that leaves your hair hard, leaves your hair vulnerable to brittleness and ultimately breakage. Seek out styling products that provide a flexible hold, and don't dry out your curls. Our ReFlex Curl Styling Serum fits this bill, and is great for fine strands, leaving curls defined but still hydrated and flexible using water, aloe, and grapeseed extract.If you need a stronger hold, try our Hi! Definition Curl Enhancer Styling Gel. It’s infused with aloe vera and honey extract to sculpt curls for long-lasting curl definition, without the dry, brittle feel. So, which P gives you the most struggle and why? Comment below!