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LET’S LEARN: How to refresh your curls in between wash days

Image: Unsplash Dom Aguiar
Image: Unsplash Dom Aguiar

It’s been said that curly and coily hair is a lifestyle, not a hairstyle, and naturalistas know that maintaining natural hair requires some work (but don’t be put off – I can vouch that the results are worth it!). Wash day comes with its rituals and routines, and by the end of it your hair is sure to look its best. But what about the in-between days?

The thing is curly hair tends to be the driest of all hair textures, because the shape of a curl strand makes it difficult for the natural oils produced by the scalp to travel down your hair shaft. This means that the scalp’s natural sebum is not evenly distributed along curly hair, and thus meaning that we need to moisturise regularly in order for our hair to stay strong and healthy.

So, because curly and coily hair tends to be drier, it requires less frequent shampooing. HOWEVER, that does not mean that you can (or should for that matter) wait for wash day – your hair will need daily maintenance (AKA moisture) in-between wash days to stay fresh, hydrated, and nice and moisturised!

So, I went to the expert of course - @curlsbytaryn, the founder of The Perfect Hair (a natural, vegan, proudly SA range of innovative curl care) and proud naturalista, for insights into her hair care regime, and how she keeps her hair moisturised and refreshed in-between washes.

“Refreshing curls in-between wash days is actually an art. If you know, you know. Everything about the process of trying to style curls and coils when you have not started off with sopping wet, clean hair is a test of patience and resilience! You really want to simply spray-n-go before work or school, but it’s often only that easy for straighter locks that don’t fight back.

My curls fight back, with a passion, every day. They have a life of their own, and respond to different products, brushes and tools, different styles, and different climates like a person who can’t make up their mind about what to order off the menu. That’s why the curl life is such a world movement – it’s finally acknowledged that the struggle is real, the products are many, and the arms are sore from twisting and locking hair at night to ensure easier styling in the morning. Naturalistas go through synchronized morning and evening routines to keep our hair in good condition, because good condition means easier wash days, easier refresh days, easier life.”

It’s no surprise that natural hair has made such a major comeback in recent years, despite requiring some maintenance. “Learning to love your natural hair, the passion with which we style, love, and treat, the pride with which we wear it, is all great signs that self-love is powerful, that we are powerful,” says Taryn.

Here are Taryn’s top three tips for refreshing curls and coils in-between wash days:

  1. Water is your friend. Use a spritzer of warm water or the steam from the shower to get curls damp before refreshing.
  2. You will need a light blend of three products: firstly, apply a leave-in cream to moisturise from root to tip, secondly, spray on oil to seal in that goodness, and thirdly, apply a gel to tame edges and ends to minimize frizz and fuzz.
  3. Use your fingers or a wide tooth comb to gently detangle once your moisturising leave-in cream has been applied; I use my fingers to twirl curls and reshape them, and a comb at the roots to add lift and shape, then an edge tamer to tidy everything up at the roots.

Wondering which leave-in creams to try? Say no more:

The Perfect Hair Mango & Marula Moisturizing Leave-In Butter (R99.95)

This luscious Leave-In Moisturising Butter ensures your hair stays strong and is perfect for all-natural curl care. It is enriched with mango and marula extracts for 24-hour moisture and curls retention.

Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream (R139.95)

This is a deeply nourishing treatment formulated with 100% pure shea butter and other natural oils to leave dry, damaged, and coarse hair softer, more manageable, and more resilient. Also helps to repair split ends and reduce frizz.

TOP oils to try:

The Perfect Hair Grow On The Go Oil Spray (R149.95)

This oil spray contains rich Abyssinia and jojoba oils that provide intense treatment for a dry scalp while a basil root extract stimulates hair growth. You can use this oil treatment anywhere, anytime, on the go to keep your scalp moisturised and healthy.

Jamaican Mango & Lime Black Castor Oil Original 59ml (R79.95)

Made from natural ingredients to remedy hair prone to dryness, this soothing Jamaican black castor oil moisturises hair, replenishing it and combating dryness from within hair strands.

Tame those edges baby:

The Perfect Hair Grow On The Go Edge Tamer Gel (R59.99)

This Edge Tamer for curls and coils holds and tames your edges while adding shine and moisture to your hair. This non-greasy control gel is infused with basil root to stimulate healthy hair growth while taming unruly edges.

Cantu Edge Gel Extra Hold (R149.99)

Cantu Extra Hold Edge Gel conditions and smooths frizz and flyaway hair for shiny, sleek styles with a long-lasting, flake-free hold. Made with pure shea butter and formulated without harsh ingredients, this extra hold gel is perfect for polished, smooth styles and ponytails.

Eco Styler Gel Argan Oil (R119)

Suitable for all hair types. This styling gel is formulated with rare oil from the Argan tree in Morocco. The formula conditions and revitalizes the hair while adding brilliant shine. It's weightless and provides a superior hold with UV protection, with no flake, tack, and anti-itch.

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