How To Restore Your Natural Curl Pattern

I spend days frantically researching how to restore my natural curl pattern, just in case it should ever fall flat. Like a lot of misguided teenagers, I spent most of my life straightening the crap out of my hair with chemicals and blow dryers in attempts to get my hair as straight as humanly possible. Now that I sport my natural curl, I couldn't imagine not having that springy, kinky texture. The cruel reality of curly hair is that preventing your hair from losing its curl pattern is much easier than getting it back. In fact, many sources claim that restoring curl patterns from heat damage just ain't gonna happen, plain and simple.

You may love your natural curls, but it's hard to resist an occasional blow out or flat-ironed look. After all, variety is the spice of life regardless of your hair texture. Using the right hair sealant before you reach for the heat and a curl restorative treatment can keep the spring from leaving hair for good, but sometimes just over-styling, pulling, and using the wrong styling products can leave your hair looking might flat, even after you wash. Fortunately, a few changes in your hair routine and natural remedies can help your natural hair come back to life.

Rudo film/Shutterstock

According to sources at Naturally Curly, our hair changes every five to seven years making it likely to face a change in texture. Changes in our hormones are often the cause for changes in our skin and hair, which means you might have to switch up your hair routine as you age. Unfortunately, hormonal changes that cause our curl pattern to change are kind of unavoidable, and not always possible to predict. Your new obsession with twist-outs can also loosen up your curls as well, but it's heat styling that can leave you with stubbornly straight strands that refuse to bounce back.

Before you reach for heavy gels and styling agents to try to retain some semblance of what your curls once were, try these tips below. With patience and diligence, you just may start to see the old you in your curls again.

1. Clarify Your Hair Without Shampoo

Curls love moisture, a fact that many of us still struggle with, even though we know it's true. Shampooing every day is not good for your curls regardless of the level of kink in them, but (I hope) you still want to stay at least relatively clean. Apple cider vinegar is a great, natural ingredient to use as a rinse on your off days. I use a rinse of apple cider vinegar, filtered water, and eucalyptus essential oil on days when I absolutely must wet my strands.

Try: Viva Naturals Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, $10, Amazon

2. Take a Long, Long Break From Heat

You can tell when your curls have heat damage. The once lively curls are dry, brittle, and loose — basically, they pretty much look fried (because they are). If your curl pattern has "changed" from heat, it's not just changed, it's damaged. If you're trying to bring your springs back to life, you need to put DOWN the blow dryer. Think of it as being grounded. You weren't responsible with the flat iron/blow dryer and now you must pay the price by never seeing it again... or, at least not for a while.

3. Cut Your Ties With The Damage

Vladimir Gjorgiev/Shutterstock

The best way to restore your natural curl pattern is to cut off the damaged hair. In some cases, this may mean you'll have to do the dreaded Big Chop. Before you faint, scream, or refuse to read any further, let me hit you with some shocking facts: Your hair will grow back. Not only will your hair grow back, it will grow back more quickly if it isn't being weighed down by damaged hair. You can start over from scratch and with a new, healthier hair routine and be swinging your curls over your shoulders in no time.

4. Give Your Hair Protein Shakes

According to Natural Hair Rules, protein is an excellent natural remedy to restore your curl pattern. Not only will you be helping your pattern out, but you'll also be getting some healthy, all natural nutrients for shine, growth, and strength. You'll need the following for this natural remedy:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of coconut milk
  • 8 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

Mix all your ingredients together in a blender and then add your essential oils. This treatment is great to strengthen and moisturize each hair follicle, restoring order to those brittle curls. Keep your treatment on for at least 30 minutes and rinse well.

Try: Aura Cacia Pure Essential Lavender Oil, $25, Amazon

5. Embrace The Wash n' Go

Whether your hair is fried from heat, damaged from styling, or changing with age, you need to give it moisture daily. Using water-based products like aloe vera is a totally acceptable way to get in some daily water, but also changing your style to a wash-n-go will help you get in the habit of wetting your hair often. Try to avoid pulling your hair back or changing up your hair style daily to keep your curls in its natural state as much as possible. Of course, you'll still need to keep a protective style in your sleep when you shut your eyes at night.

Image: AP Photographie, Naomi Stelrose, Amanda Westmont/Flickr; Kristin Collins Jackson; Giphy

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