Red Curly Hair Care Routine Tips!

Did you know less than 3% of the world’s population has red hair, but a much larger percentage holds the gene and can pass it on? Red curly hair is even rarer. Surprisingly though, red hair can be found in all ethnicities, leading to many different varieties of red hair and in all different curl types, from 2A wavy hair to 4C coils. Red curly hair comes from all over the world, from the United Kingdom to the Mediterranean region, to the Middle East. In fact, it is believed that red hair originated, surprisingly enough, in Central Asia. Because red hair can come in so many types and styles, redheads need to find their own hair care routines that work best for their unique and rare hair, but here are some red curly hair tips to keep your curls healthy and their color vibrant and beautiful!


1. Shampoo

Shampoo your hair—that may sound like a simple and obvious tip, but it is much more nuanced than it may seem, especially for curly-haired girls. Red hair tends to have thicker strands and therefore can be prone to dryness. Washing and shampooing your hair too much can actually be very harmful because it can strip the naturally occurring oils from the hair and leave it damaged and even more dry. Try to wash your hair about twice a week. Another tip is when you do wash your hair, always rinse out the shampoo with cold water! This may not feel as nice as a hot shower, but your curls will thank you for it! Cold water causes the pores on our scalp to close up, which then seals in more moisture. It will leave your hair softer, smoother, shinier, and healthier! We also recommend finding a color boosting or color depositing shampoo—even for natural redheads. These will help your color stay vibrant and will stop it from fading as you get older. However, sensitive skin, especially on the scalp, is a common trait among natural redheads, so choose your shampoo carefully. Avoid products that end in –ol and –one or -ate and -ite such as silicone and sulfates/sulfites, and always avoid hair products with alcohol in them as this can be a known irritant!

2. Conditioner

You can also find color boosting and color depositing conditioners. Many shampoos and conditioners are available in sets, so if you find a great shampoo for your red curly hair, there is certainly to be a conditioner to compliment it as well! Red hair curly girls also swear by leave-in conditioner—especially in spray bottle form. Leave-in conditioner is excellent to use in between your wash days as it will help seal in moisture for your curls.


3. UV Protection

As mentioned before, many people with red hair have sensitive skin, but their hair can be sensitive as well especially in the sun. Just like with skin, too much of the sun’s rays can damage your hair. UV rays can attack the melanin in your hair, damaging the color and the keratin in the strands. An excellent idea is to apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair on a day you know you will be in the sun. Leave-in conditioner acts as a layer of protection that will keep the harmful UV rays from your beautiful curls. You can also apply small amounts of sunscreen right to your hair! To do this, add a squirt of sunscreen to a spray bottle filled with water, shake it up well, and then spray! This will also help protect your scalp from a possible sunburn!


4. Oils and Hair Masks

Applying oils and hair masks is an excellent way to keep your red curly hair healthy and moisturized. The best oils to use for top results are avocado oil, olive oil, or—everyone’s current favorite—coconut oil. On your wash day, work the oil into your hair, from root to ends, massaging it into your scalp, then firmly wrap your hair up. We suggest using a warm cloth or towel to wrap your hair in since the warmth will open up the pores on your scalp, allowing the oil to penetrate even deeper. Leave your hair wrapped up for at least twenty minutes, although you can even leave it overnight, and then wash it out with shampoo and cold water. We suggest doing a hair mask with oil once a week for continuously healthy curls. However, this will depend on your personal hair care routine, so make sure not to overdo hair mask treatments, as that can lead to oily hair!

5. Make Your Color Pop!

This may be surprising and even sound a little odd, but beets are an amazing ingredient to add to your hair masks to make your red color pop! The simplest way is to take the juice from a large beetroot and add in a few tablespoons of coconut oil. Mix them together, apply it to your hair, then proceed as you normally would when applying a hair mask. Another favorite recipe is to add ginger! Take beetroot juice, and combine with a spoonful of freshly-grated ginger and a small amount of olive oil. Mix everything together then apply the mixture to your hair and massage into your scalp for several minutes before proceeding with your normal hair mask routine. Another amazing food to use is carrots! Carrots are known for their many healthy uses—and they can even make your hair healthier! One of Curlee Girlee’s favorite redheaded curly girls is Julia Chebotar. Listen to her on the Changing the Course podcast as she speaks with Atara about healthy eating! For dry hair, blend up one carrot then add in a few spoonfuls of coconut oil. Apply to your hair and let it set for twenty minutes before rinsing out. Bananas and yogurt are also commonly used ingredients in hair masks. For this hair mask, blend together one carrot and one banana, then add honey, yogurt, and a small amount of olive oil. Make sure everything is mixed well then apply to your scalp. Massage it in then let it set for twenty minutes before washing it out. These hair masks are an excellent way to make your red hair pop without dyes. And because of the amazing natural ingredients, they will also moisturize dry hair, leaving it soft, silky, and healthier than ever!

Atara Twersky, Author of Curlee Girlee is a TODAY Show Style Icon. Her mission is to teach girls to embrace the beautiful curls they have with power and confidence. Join us as together we change the “coarse” of curly hair. Don’t forget to check out Curlee Girlee’s Curl Type Guide to see what your curl type is!

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