Loose curls look great on guys, but most don’t know how to care for their hair and end up with frizz. In this article, we’ll look at how loose curls work, and how men can get their curls to loosen up.
What Makes Loose Curls (Explained)
Naturally, curly hair shrinks after being shampooed and conditioned. These tight, frizzy curls are responsible for the afro look and create a lot of volume, but sometimes you’d rather have those curls looser and more relaxed.
If you want to change the pattern of your curls, you need to treat your hair differently. A tight curl pattern happens because your hair is dry.
Dry hair is more fragile and brittle than well-hydrated hair, which is why it contracts into tight curls. The oil on your scalp is supposed to coat your hair and protect it from damage, but dry hair is unprotected.
Loose curls happen when your hair is healthy and has enough moisture – and when you don’t ruin them with some of the normal hair-care routines people are used to.
How to Get Loose Curls (For Guys)
The way to get naturally loose curls is to care for your hair, keep it moisturized, and avoid messing with it too much. We’ll go into some more detail about how to detangle and products you can use, but basically, it is that simple.
Your hair will naturally develop loose curls as long as it has healthy oils and enough moisture, and you’re not disrupting the process.
It’s not as simple as leaving your hair alone and letting it do its thing, though. Most people ruin their curls without realizing it by following normal shower routines.
Hair Care Mistakes that Ruin Your Curls
You might be screwing up your curls without knowing it – especially if you use the same hair care routine you’ve used since you were a kid. A lot of normal hair-care routines are designed for people with straight hair and will straighten out your curls.
Here is what NOT to do if you want loose curls:
Sleeping With Your Hair on The Pillow
When you go to bed at night, you need to cover up your hair with a satin or silk scarf or material, or a do-rag.
Pillowcases are made of cotton, a material that causes friction and static electricity when it comes into contact with your hair. When you sleep on a cotton pillowcase, you toss and turn and your hair rubs against the cotton material which will ruin your curls.
Cover up your hair when you sleep and use a satin or silk material that won’t rub against your hair.
Towel-Drying Your Hair
When you first get out of the bath or shower, your curls are usually at their loosest. Your hair is wet and moisturized, and you’ve detangled.
What is the next step for most people? Towel-drying. That means taking a cotton bath towel and rubbing it against your hair until all of the moisture has been removed. This is way too drying and rough for your curls.
Shampooing Too Much
Most people shampoo their hair WAY too often. This can dry out your scalp and damage your hair. Even if you are using conditioners and other products, it is almost impossible to keep your hair healthy if you are shampooing it daily and removing all of the healthy oils that your hair produces.
The chemicals and fragrances in shampoo don’t usually rinse out either, leaving residues on your hair that can keep it from curling loosely.
You should do a full shampoo a maximum of three times a week, and some people shampoo their hair as rarely as once a month. That doesn’t mean they let their hair get dirty. Keep reading for a guide to the perfect hair care routine for loose curls, where we’ll give you tips for products to use.
Using Too Much Product
The shampoo isn’t the only product that leaves residue in your hair. If you use gels, creams, conditioners, and treatments, you probably have some residues in your hair that keep your curls tight.
If you love your hair products, you don’t need to get rid of them to keep loose curls, but you can probably cut back on the quantity that you use. Usually, you can use even less than the manufacturer recommends and get the same effect.
You’ll also want to regularly clear out those leftover residues, which we’ll talk about later.
If you’re frustrated by tight curls, it seems like brushing them more will help them loosen up. Detangling the hair can only help it curl more loosely, right?
Wrong – brushing rubs the hair strands, making them rougher and stripping away oils.
If you’ve ever tried to brush your way to loose curls, you know that more brushing doesn’t help – it only leaves your hair drier and frizzier than it was before.
If you want loose curls, stop brushing using a regular hair brush entirely. There is no need. Instead, use a wet detangling comb in the shower or while your hair is wet. Never brush or comb your hair while it is dry.
The heat of a hairdryer will only hurt your curls, and brushing your hair with heat will definitely remove them.
Don’t blow your hair dry if you want to keep your curls.
The Best Hair Care Routine for Loose Curls
If you want loose curls, here is the best way to take care of your hair:
Wet Your Hair in the Morning
If you sleep with your hair wrapped in silk or satin (recommended), your hair won’t look great (or loose) when you wake up, but that’s fine because you can get into a hot shower to prep your curls for the day.
The heat and moisture in a shower are the perfect things to moisturize your curls.
Use Cleansing Conditioner Regularly
If you avoid shampooing too much (damaging your hair), you still want to regularly condition so that you can detangle, and you don’t want your hair to get greasy.
A cleansing conditioner does clean your hair, but it is less harsh and astringent. You can use it regularly to keep your hair clean and your curls loose. We recommend Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Curl Cleansing Conditioner.
Detangle with a Comb
You don’t want to brush out your curls, but if you have curly hair and you don’t detangle you’ll end up with dreadlocks pretty quickly, and that’s not what you want.
Detangling helps loosen your curls and remove dead hair that gets caught up in those tangles. It’s a necessary part of keeping your hair healthy, but it’s also one of the least enjoyable parts of many people’s hair care routines – it’s easy to pull at your scalp as you try to run the comb through tangled hair.
Start with your hair wet, and massaged thoroughly with a wash-out or leave-in conditioner. The conditioner coats the individual hairs and makes it much easier to tease them apart.
Only use a wet comb for this. Wet combs have lots of space between the teeth so they can run through your hair without catching on the tangles. There is no need for detangling spray during your shower routine, although if you want to bring some with you to remove tangles during the day, that might help you.
Never towel-dry or blow-dry your hair – these will ruin your curls. If you can, avoid the towel entirely and allow the air to dry your hair.
The less you interfere with your curls after a shower, the better they will stay preserved.
Deep Condition with Apple Cider Vinegar Biweekly
To remove residues from shampoos and other products, moisturize your hair, make it softer, healthier, and looser, immerse your hair in a solution of apple cider vinegar, and wash it out completely every 2 weeks or so.
Apple Cider Vinegar doesn’t smell great, but it is cheap and available at the grocery store, and it will help your hair with more than 90% of the products you can buy.
Use a Hot Oil Treatment Monthly
Conditioners can help provide your hair with nutrients and proteins they need to grow strong, but there is no replacement for hot oil treatment.
Doing this once a month can strengthen your hair and help it heal so it can hold loose curls better.
Caring For Your Curls
The problem with loose curls is that getting them is one thing – keeping them is another.
If you get out of the shower with loose curls, they might be pure frizz by the end of the day, or even by the time you get to work.
Here are some ways to keep your loose curls from morning until night:
Use a Leave-In Conditioner
If there is one secret to keeping loose curls, it is a leave-in conditioner, like Cantu’s Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner and Repair Cream.
Leave in conditioner coats the hairs and keeps them smooth so curls stay loose. Make sure to apply it after your shower when your curls are looking their best, and avoid touching your hair too much during the day.
Moisturize with Water + Coconut Oil
If you do develop some frizziness throughout the day and your curls lose that loose quality, you can re-moisturize with a spray bottle of water and a tiny amount (maybe a half a teaspoon of oil to a liter of water) of coconut oil.
You can’t have a shower every time you want to refresh your curls, but with a spray bottle and a little bit of oil, you can do the next best thing.