Seven Real Reasons Your Curls Dry Out

Keep your curls hydrated to the hilt by addressing these seven major moisture zappers.

#1 Shampoos with high pH levels Did you know that curly hair is naturally low on the pH scale, making it slightly acidic? That acidity plays a key role in keeping the hair cuticle smooth and strands shiny. However, if the shampoo or products that you use regularly are higher on the akaline scale, it could, over time, make your hair more alkaline too. The change in balance can cause the cuticle to open and moisture to escape, leaving behind dry, brittle hair that is susceptible to frizzing, tangling and breakage. The fix: Stick to shampoos with a low pH like our VitalCurl Clear & Gentle Shampoo to gently clean and protect the moisture balance of your curls.

#2 Sulfates Bubbly suds aren’t so cute when it comes to maintaining hydrated curls. Sulfates (the chemical behind the foaming action) can strip hair of its essential oils and leave hair feeling and looking dried out. The fix: Opt for sulfate-free cleansers. After you adjust to less suds, you’ll realize the gentler alternative leaves hair soft and healthier. Swap your traditional shampoo for Ultra-Nourishing Cleansing Oil, a unique cleanser for all curl types that gently removes dirt and product buildup while restoring essential moisture to thirsty curls.

#3 Skimping on conditioner Whether curls are wavy, loose, tight or coily, if you cut back on conditioning on a regular basis, you leave curls vulnerable to breakage and dehydration. The result is lifeless, shapeless curls. The fix: Conditioning is paramount to maintaining healthy, moisturized curls—across the board for all curl types. Use a daily conditioner—a lightweight one for wavy and loose curls so they are not weighed down, and a heavier one to penetrate tight and coily curls—to hydrate. Treat all curl types once or twice a month, depending on need, with heat-activated Deep Treatment Curl Restoration Therapy, which infuses hair with moisture while replacing lost proteins.

#4 No prep time Primers aren’t just for painting. Using a primer on curls before styling helps to restore moisture. It essentially “fills in” some of those gaps on damaged, over-processed hair, so that products absorb evenly and, ultimately, work more effectively. The fix: Add a primer in your mix to seal in moisture. Try our multi-tasking Curl Recovery Whipped Curls Daily Conditioner & Styling Primer, which wraps curls in an olive oil and shea butter blend and primes hair for optimal curl formation and less frizz.

#5 Poor styling practices It’s no secret that constant heat via blow dryers and curling irons is a direct invitation for split ends. Frequent styling with excessive heat or damaging tools can leave cuticles (your hair’s main protector) literally wide open and make your curls prone to damage. The fix: An ounce of prevention can be done in the prep. Treat hair before applying heat with a pre-styling product like our PlayCurl Curl Amplyfing Styling Spray to moisturize, protect and create healthy looking curls.

#6 Over-processing Who doesn't love experimenting with color? It can add dimension to curls or just give you a new look. The potential for damage, however, can occur when the hair is lifted several levels above its natural hue. But that doesn't mean damage cannot be prevented. The fix: Color with care. Curly hair is naturally porous which can affect how your hair absorbs and maintains color. Stick to products that work double-time to preserve color and nourish chemically-treated hair. All curl types can benefit from a conditioner such as our Color Sense Color-Preserving Conditioner.

#7 Cotton pillowcases How your curls spend the night can affect how nourished they are in the morning. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase or sheets can pull moisture out of your strands and snag your curls, leading to frizzy, split ends. The fix: Slip a silk or satin cover on your pillow instead. Your strands will slide over it with ease throughout the night and curls will not snap and break; and it can also help preserve the definition of tight and coily curl types.