Managing Dry Curly Hair: Tips and Tricks

dry curly hair

Do you think your curls are out of control? Or perhaps you are tired of it always looking frizzy and having no shape whatsoever? Having curly hair is a blessing, but only if you know how to take care of it properly. When treated right, curls give you the most beautiful look.

But how do you go from dry curly hair that tangles easily to healthy, shiny, defined locks? This article looked through many tips and tricks from the internet, and here are the best ones out there. Let’s dig in!

Is Blow Drying Your Curly Hair a Good Idea?

Blow Drying

The golden rule when it comes to taking care of your wavy and curly hair is to avoid heat at all costs. And that includes hair straighteners and blow dryers. The reason behind this is that such devices basically fry your tresses. Too much heat is bad for any type of hair, but it creates even more damage for curls.

So, if you are looking for a culprit for your dry curly hair, it’s probably the heat. However, that doesn’t mean you can never use a blow dryer or straightener again. Everyone enjoys a change every once in a while. Also, some have to blow dry their hair because they don’t have the conditions to let their hair dry naturally every time.

But since the heat damages your curls, it would be best to keep it to a minimum. For instance, when you use a blow dryer, keep it to the cold air mode and style it with a diffuser. That way, you will reduce frizz and avoid damaging your lovely locks.

Likewise, always put some heat-protecting cream or serum and avoid high heat when using a straightener. Also, don’t forget about the damage recovery. Next time you wash your hair, do deep conditioning. By doing so, you will make sure your curls stay happy and healthy.

How to Blow Dry Curly Hair

Curly Hair

When blow drying your curly hair, there are some rules you should follow if you want to get the best results. So, here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it right.

Step 1: Buy the Right Blow Dryer

There are various blow dryers on the market specially designed for curly hair. For instance, ionic, porcelain, and ceramic blow dryers help eliminate frizz, improve shine, and reduce static. So, you need to find the right one for your hair density and curl type.

Step 2: Preparation

Hair preparation is very important, and it begins with a good shampoo and conditioner. Once you wash your hair, reduce the moisture by lightly blotting your hair dry with a cotton T-shirt.

You should use a leave-in conditioner next since it will help protect your hair from the heat. Then, put all other products you usually use to moisturize and detangle your curls. It would help if you did this sparingly with the scrunch method. Also, don’t forget to apply heat protectants after you section and detangle your hair.

Step 3. Blowdrying

First, you should squeeze excess water out of your hair. Then, section it into four equal parts and secure them with clips. Attach a diffuser and turn the heat to low or medium. As mentioned above, it is not wise to use high heat, even if you want to speed things up.

Next, you should place each section lightly on the diffuser’s claw. Set the diffuser near the scalp and carefully lift the locks at the root to increase volume. Blowdry your hair in this manner until it’s 80% dry, and then let it air dry until complete. That way, you will preserve moisture and avoid getting frizzy.

If you are not sure how to blow dry your hair using a diffuser, take a look at some Youtube videos that can help you out.

Step 4. Style

Put some styling products on your hands and lightly scrunch your dry curly hair until the desired shape and style.

How to Give a New Life to Your Dry Curly Hair


Aside from exposing your hair to less heat, there are other ways you can manage your dry curly hair. Here are some of them.

1. Buy the Right Kind of Shampoo

Shampoos usually have chemicals to help them produce amazing foam and create lather, called sulfates. However, those ingredients act as a detergent and remove too much natural oil from your hair and scalp. That leaves your beautiful tosses very dry.

Such an effect is even worse for curly hair since this hair type is usually more prone to dryness compared to others. The reason why curly hair is so dry is its shape, which prevents natural oils from sliding down the length of the strand. So, removing the little oil your locks have will leave them looking like a haystack.

For this reason, it would be best to switch to shampoos that do not contain sulfates and other harsh cleansers. There are various kinds you can choose from, so test out several until you find the one that suits your hair best.

2. Learn How to Shampoo

The proper way to wash your curly hair is to put shampoo only on the scalp. That way, when you rinse it out, the shampoo will travel down the length of your hair and wash it anyway, only it won’t dry it out as much.

Another thing to remember is not to use too much shampoo because it only damages your hair further. Instead, try mixing a bit of shampoo with water in a jar. By doing so, you will apply it in a diluted form and save your dry curly hair from harsh chemicals.

One more way to spare your dry curly hair from even more damage is to alternate shampooing with co-washing. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, co-washing is cleaning your hair with a conditioner instead of shampoo. Basically, you apply conditioner the way you would shampoo and scrub the dirt off your scalp using your fingers.

However, if that doesn’t sound appealing, you can always buy ready-made co-washes. Store-bought co-washes are conditioning cleansers that will help you cleanse your scalp but preserve moisture at the same time. Still, try not to do it too often. Co-washing is a good option for those who need to wash their hair every day, but you still have to clean it with real shampoo.

These methods and ideas come from a Curly Girl Handbook and the CG movement this book sparked. You can read more about it here.

3. It’s All About the Conditioner

Although shampoos keep your scalp and hair clean, they can not save your dry curly hair even if they are specially designed for this hair type. The secret behind healthy, shiny waves is the conditioner.

But we are not talking about just any conditioner — it needs to be creamy and moisturizing. Also, it should not contain silicones. Only such a conditioner will form a protective film around your curls and make them smooth and bouncy, even in humid conditions.

4. Use the Conditioner Properly

After you are done shampooing, split your hair into a few sections. Next, apply generous amounts of conditioner on the length of your hair, but skip the scalp. With your fingers and a wide-toothed comb, start detangling your curls from the bottom up.

However, remember to be gentle. Your curls are the most sensitive when wet, so you need to treat them carefully. Also, as mentioned before, your conditioner needs to be creamy. That way, it will create a slip and make your strands slide against each other without creating friction.

In the end, you can rinse the conditioner out completely or leave some of it in.

5. Do Not Brush Your Dry Curly Hair

As you probably already know, you should not brush wavy or curly hair every day. Moreover, it would be best never to brush your curls when dry. In fact, the best time to comb (not brush) your hair is when wet and after applying a conditioner, as we just discussed. You should avoid brushes at all costs and only use a wide-toothed comb.

A wide-toothed comb will help distribute the conditioner properly all over the entire length of your hair. It will also reduce frizz and keep those curl clumps together.

However, sometimes, if you notice your hair is extremely tangled up, you should try detangling it with oil before washing it. That is because your curls are too sensitive when wet, and combing out such big knots would damage it more. So, maybe the only other instances you can comb your dry curls and waves is after using a leave-in conditioner and occasionally with oil applied to your hair before showering.

6. Use Curl Creams and Leave-in Conditioners

After you rinse out your shampoo and conditioner, you should apply a leave-in conditioner that will transform your dry curly hair into smooth, healthy curls. Generally speaking, creams designed for wavy and curly hair as well as leave-in conditioners help your curls stay hydrated until the next wash. Moreover, they save it from becoming all frizzy and tangled.

To be even more specific, curl creams help you define curls and make them last longer while leave-in conditioners provide moisture. And yes, you can use either one of them or both at the same time. Simply try applying only one product and then a combination to see which method gives the best results for your hair. But don’t forget to comb your curls after applying these products to make sure they are evenly spread!

7. Deep Conditioning Is a Must

To help your dry curly hair recover, you should deep condition it at least once a week. This step is vital, and you should never skip it, even more so if you have just started your curly hair’s recovery journey.

Deep conditioning provides hydration curls and waves desperately needed. More moisture means healthy curls, fewer split ends, and fewer haircuts. Therefore, you will be able to grow your curls long very quickly!

8. Don’t Crush Your Curls While Sleeping

Have you ever styled your curls perfectly, and enjoyed them that day, but the following day, you woke up with them looking all messy and frizzy? Yeah, we’ve all been there too. It’s natural to toss and turn during the night. However, that means you are crushing the curls you’ve spent several hours styling the day before.

So, if you want to protect your curls at night and prevent them from losing definition, you should make a loose bun or a “pineapple” and cover it with a satin cap. There are various tutorials on Youtube that can help you learn how to do that using a scarf, t-shirt, etc.

9. The Importance of Using Oil

As discussed above, it is difficult for natural oils from your scalp to travel down a curly strand. As a result, the ends of curly hair are usually very fragile and dry. Of course, to take care of split ends, you should deep condition every week and trim your hair every few months. But to prevent them from reappearing, you should start applying a few drops of oil to the ends of your curls.

By doing so, you will seal the moisture in and enhance the effects of your curl cream, leave-in conditioner, and other styling products. This step is critical if you want to grow your hair longer and faster!

10. Hydration Comes From Within

And by that, we mean drinking enough water every day!

By now, you are probably well aware that drinking plenty of water has many health benefits. But did you know that many experts and aestheticians claim that drinking enough water every day will also make your skin look beautiful and your hair grow faster? That statement is actually true!

Essentially, if you drink enough water, every system in your body will start working properly. That will help your body cleanse from all the accumulated toxins and make your skin clear and even-toned. Furthermore, enough hydration will make your skin more elastic and your hair healthy and shiny.

So, while moisturizing your gorgeous locks with various products is excellent, necessary even, to get rid of dry curly hair, you will need to hydrate from within as well.

Gretchen Walker
Gretchen is a homemaker by day and writer by night. She takes a keen interest in life as it unfolds around her and spends her free time observing people go about their everyday affairs.