You’re looking at your hair in the mirror and you know something just ain’t right. Where did your lovely curls and your natural curl pattern go?!
Next, comes the sigh of acceptance as you realize what you’re seeing is the result of repeated flat ironing, blow-drying, perm after perm after perm, dyeing, and bleaching. your curls that were once defined, springy, and happy are now stringy, limp, and dejected – almost like they forgot how to curl!
So, now you’re wondering – How can I undo all this damage? How can I get my curl pattern back?
Well, the truth is – you can’t take hair that is already damaged back to its original state of health. What you CAN do is restore some of its strength and shine while your new growth comes in.
4 Ways to Help Restore Your Natural Curl Pattern
1. Avoid heat, please!
Burnt hair can’t be restored or repaired. The only solution for excessive heat damage is the growth of new hair. So, put the heat-styling tools down, right now!
For drying your hair:
Instead of a blow-dryer, use a microfiber towel. It will remove excess water from your hair without the need for rubbing and roughing up your strands. Then, if you have to blow dry your hair, you will get done way sooner.
If possible, opt to air-dry your hair the rest of the way after using the microfiber towel.
A good air-drying tip is to add leave-in conditioner to your slightly damp hair, quickly do your hair in a protective style, such as Bantu knots, twists, buns, or ponytails, and let it dry slowly while retaining moisture.
For styling your hair:
There are several heatless ways you can both straighten and curl your hair. Check out our recent posts:
2. If you must use heat – do so wisely.
Limit how often you use heat and when you do, use the lowest setting possible. Try not to reach for the blow-dryer, flat iron, or other heat styling tools unless absolutely necessary.
Remember, too, to ALWAYS use a heat protectant. Neglecting to use this simple, helpful hair care product is a mistake many of us make. A heat protectant forms a protective layer around each of your strands guarding the outer layer (cuticle) from extreme heat.
Another good move is to avoid using heat-styling tools on your wet hair. Water molecules can absorb a lot of heat – cooking your strands from the inside and causing all the moisture to evaporate.
So, when blow-drying your hair (if you must), make sure your hair is only damp (not sopping wet) before you turn that blow dryer on. Then try to cut the heat before your hair is completely dry so you will be leaving some of the moisture your hair needs behind.
How to Use a Blow Dryer (the Right Way!) to Dry Curly Hair – 10 Tips can help you master the right technique.
3. Give your hair a deep conditioning boost.
Whether you lost your curl pattern to damage caused by heat or chemical processing, moisturizing your hair back to health is key. The best way to do that is with weekly deep conditioning.
See 7 Best Deep Conditioners for Black Hair for a few more suggestions!
Be sure to check the ingredients listing and go for the most natural deep conditioner you can find. Also, look for deep conditioners with ingredients that supply extra protein to your hair to help strengthen your strands. Hair is mostly made up of protein and a protein boost could do it well when it’s suffering from damage.
You could also opt for making your own deep conditioner. Conditioners are incredibly easy-to-do DIY hair care products!
To ensure you get all the goodness from your deep conditioner, consider using a clarifying shampoo before deep conditioning. This will help to remove buildup and residue from product, dirt, grease, and grime so your deep conditioner can actually get to your scalp and cuticles to work its magic.
Turn to a leave-in conditioner to hydrate and moisturize your hair on a daily basis. Damaged hair tends to be dry and brittle – leading to more damage. A leave-in conditioner can keep both dryness and brittleness at bay.
4. Lay off the dyes, bleaches, and relaxers for a while.
Coloring or highlighting your hair should take a back seat at this point. So, too, should chemical straighteners. Dyes, and the bleaches that are often used with them, are notorious for damaging and weakening your hair. Relaxers chemical change the structure of your stands and hence your curl pattern.
This terrible trio is the last thing you want to expose your hair to when you are trying to restore your natural curl pattern.
If you decide to color your hair, then we really do recommend avoiding any color that will require you to bleach your hair first. Instead, go with a one that matches your natural color so what you will get is a deeper, more intense version of it that won’t require bleaching.
Also, consider natural color options. Sure, they won’t last as long or be as intense as the stuff out of the box, but they will be MUCH gentler and even nourishing to your hair.
Check out 6 Natural Ways to Color Natural Hair for a few ideas!
Finally, transitioning your hair back to its natural curl pattern will take time and patience. You can use this journey as a way to get to know your hair type and texture better. Find out which styles and products work best for your hair. Develop a hair care routine that helps you nourish your strands into thicker, healthier hair as you proudly show of your natural curl pattern!
Click on the picture to take our fun quiz and find out how your hair care routine could be affecting the health of your hair!
Have you ever had to help your hair recover from being fried? How did you restore your curl pattern? Share!