I haven’t brushed my hair in a year

tips for naturally curly hair

A year of embracing my curls

Here’s something crazy: I haven’t brushed my hair in a year and it’s been amazing. I haven’t missed my brush. I haven’t missed that frizzy huge hair that brushing gives me.

This has been the year of treating my naturally curly hair the best possible way – and brushing it hasn’t been part of the program.

Yes, really. Though to be perfectly honest there are a few times my hair has been brushed by my hairdresser and maybe a few times, where I’ve brushed it just to remind myself that it’s just not a good idea. Altogether there have been less than ten times my hair has been brushed this year. I have travelled, swam, run, slept and lived with my hair like normal – just without a brush.

fake leather fall style

There was this one time I travelled to another city with my friend and she asked me for a brush. I answered that I didn’t bring one. She didn’t believe me at first and thought I was joking. “Ha ha”, like I wouldn’t bring a brush with me on a trip. Yup, I really didn’t.

I actually travelled for two weeks and did not bring a brush with me. My hair looked amazing – especially in Martinique, where the climate was hot and humid.

At this point you probably get the idea. I don’t use a brush.

Why you shouldn’t brush curly hair

My hair brushed. Yikes.

curly hair blog

My hair unbrushed – as in all of the other photos in this post.

Getting definition on natural curls and waves is where most of us struggle. If you have naturally curly or wavy hair you know this. It doesn’t look the same, ever. There are good curl days and there are not-so-great curl days. But once you commit to the curly hair method, the good curl days win.

Not brushing your hair is one of the most important things you need to remember, if you want your natural hair texture to show. Curly hair is dry and it can break easily. You need to be gentle to it and brushing it dry is not gentle enough.

Whenever I brush my hair, the curl pattern is ruined. My hair doubles in size and becomes this huge frizzy mess. Brushing it doesn’t help. It actually looks curlier, better and smoother when it’s not brushed.

 

If your hair has a tendency to forming natural curls and waves, I’m telling you. You don’t need a brush!

good hair day

A good curl day in the summer.

How to detangle naturally curly and wavy hair without a brush

Yes, my hair gets tangled. My last name almost literally means tangled hair and it’s no joke. It’s normal. Even though I’m not using a brush, I still need to detangle my hair and keep it in line.

The secret to detangling curly hair (and I went over this on my naturally curly hair 101 routine post) is to detangle it in the shower. You simply use your conditioner and your fingers to smooth down any knots. I know hair stretches when it’s wet and it might sound scary, but hey, I’ve done it for over a year and my hair is fine. If you’re careful and don’t pull on your hair, but rather let the conditioner do the work, it works perfectly.

The best conditioner I’ve found so far is Briogeo Curl Charisma Conditioner*. It makes detangling my hair easy and it leaves me with beautiful well maintained curls.

 

good curl day

I actually prefer my hair a bit shorter: it looks fluffier and more voluminous.

If you do brush, do it wet!

As always, there are some exceptions. Some hair types might need some brushing and that’s fine. To minimize hair breakage, you should use a wide comb or brush your hair in sections, so that it doesn’t break the curls so much.

Some also like to brush their hair after the shower (when it’s still wet, though). But through my own experience I would still suggest brushing your hair in the shower, while you have lots of conditioner on. That is, if you feel like you must brush it.

Tangleteezer has this Detangler Brush* that is great for wet hair. I still sometimes (very rarely) comb my hair through with that. But usually I just use my hands. There are also these wide tooth combs* that are good for wet hair.

Weirdly, I don’t get that many knots. I would have expected my hair to get more tangled this way, but no. It’s actually quite effortless and easy to detangle.

naturally curly hair diffuser

One more thing to note about curly hair

Hair renews and falls down naturally, so you might notice it more, when you’re not brushing it. A hair brush is a good tool to gather that fallen hair, you see. So don’t get scared when you lose some hair in the shower or during the day. When you have naturally curly hair and you’re not brushing it – it doesn’t quite fall down and get picked up in the brush like ‘normal’.

So you might think you’re losing a lot of hair, but 50-100 hairs a day is normal. For example: when I’m washing my hair every three days – and that is when I detangle my hair using my fingers – I’m gathering all the fallen hairs of those three days. Rather than seeing it in three parts, if I did brush my hair every day. So that’s just something to keep in mind! 50-100 strands a day is normal.

 

Ha – I didn’t think I would write this many words about not brushing my hair. But I guess it’s been a big revelation. And it usually raises questions amongst people, so I wanted to explain the reasons and logic behind it.

I don’t miss my brush and I don’t see myself brushing my hair any time soon.

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Tips for naturally curly hair

naturally curly wavy hair blog

naturally curly and wavy hair tips

Managing naturally curly and wavy hair is a struggle. One that is worth it, though. I have learned a thing or two during this year of getting to know to my natural hair texture and I’m so happy for the results. Who would have thought beautiful curls are possible without any heating tools?

I have written this longer post about naturally curly hair, where I go through things more, well, thoroughly. But today I wanted to focus on the easy stuff. Tips and tricks that come in handy in managing that frizz and getting the best out of your curls and waves.

Here are some easy things that you should keep in mind if your hair is curly.

TIPS FOR NATURALLY CURLY AND WAVY HAIR

curly wavy hair

Say bye to your hair brush.

In other words, don’t brush your hair. It’s funny when I’m travelling and my friends or sisters are asking me for a brush or a comb. At first they didn’t believe me when I answered: I didn’t bring one. Yes, you can manage without brushing your hair. And no, that doesn’t mean your hair will become this one huge tangle. There is another post coming up about this subject, since it’s so important!

And yes, obviously I still detangle my hair somehow. And that way is wet hair + conditioner. So I “brush” my hair in the shower with my fingers with the help of a conditioner. The best conditioner I’ve found so far is Briogeo Curl Charisma Conditioner*.

why you shouldn't brush curly hair

Here are good (or bad) examples of why you should not brush curly hair. It gets frizzy and shapeless. In all the other photos in this post you can see how my hair looks unbrushed.

Put down your hair straightener and other heat stylers (except a diffusor!).

Once you put them away it’s easier not to think about them. Curly hair is naturally quite dry, so it’s wise to not make the situation worse with heat. Also, not being able to style your hair with heat stylers also give you a motivation boost to work even harder to learn to style your hair naturally.

Oh, and diffuser is your hair’s best friend (assuming you use cool air). Read more about diffusing your hair here!

You can buy a hairdryer with a diffuser – or buy a diffuser to your hairdryer.

Diffusers* $24-> at Sephora 

naturally curly hair diffuserMy hair when it’s diffused.

Use scrunchies instead of hair-breaking elastic hair bands.

I’ve been using scrunchies for years now. They are so much more gentle on my hair than the basic elastic bands and I also like how they look. I also occasionally use invisibobbles, but after switching to scrunchies I have to admit they are not as gentle as scrunchies. But recently invisibobble came out with a scrunchie – perfection, let me tell you.

Invisibobble Scrunchies* $8 at Sephora
invisibobble scrunchies

Sleep in a pineapple.

Sleeping in a high ponytail keeps my curls nice and bouncy for the next day. I sometimes try to loosely tie my hair in a bun, but I always seem to end up with messy curls. Pineapple never lets me down!

Invisibobble Scrunchies* $8 at Sephorahow to pineapple hairHow to pineapple.

pineapple curly hairstyle

Cut your hair regularly.

Ouch,  I know. I used to hold on to my long hair no matter what. To be honest it took quite a long time to realize that the dry ends didn’t do me any favors. Like, seriously. Just cut them – and let your curls live their best life. You already know curly hair is dry and the ends are possibly the first victim in dryness. Keep them fresh and cut, and your hair will look so much better, I promise.

 

Here is a good example:

 naturally curly hair

My hair, when I wanted to keep it long. You can see my ends are so dry they don’t curl, but instead look very straight compared to the rest of my hair.

makeup tips

 And this is how they look cut! Curlier – and better.

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What is your best tip on managing naturally curly hair?