There are so many curly hair rules I stick to. Here are the 3 that I swear by...

Curly hair rules – there are quite a few!

Curls are such a personal journey but we all need little bit of help. I know I did and I always want to learn more! The curly hair community is amazing and sharing tips is a huge part of it.

I’m going to share my own 3 Big Rules (capital B, capital R).

These habits gave me the wavy hair I’ve always wanted

curly hair rule 1

Use sulphate free shampoo

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I have been using sulphate-free shampoo for about 7 years.

I used to be a Charles Worthington girl  (I know they have a sulphate- free range now and maybe one day I’ll give it a go..old habits die hard!). It was called Dream Hair and I think it has been discontinued.

When I started working at the hair salon they stocked one line of products – Kevin Murphy. I was told that I had to switch because it was amazing.

sulphate free and paraben free shampoo

This was the line. This was one of the many selling points of this range. 7 years ago I hardly even knew what this meant.

I didn’t really understand what a sulphate was..or a paraben for that matter. They weren’t widely talked about about. This meant that I had to learn! I was explaining what it meant to clients several times a day. KM were ahead of the curve.

Sulphates are like detergents added into shampoo. They are there to lather up nicely and to get rid of any product build-up.

This can be good if you are using lots of products which do build up..but the trouble is that they remove too much…

Sulphate-Free is Good For Curly Hair!

Curly hair rules say that our hair needs moisture and we need that same moisture to stay put.

Curly hair has a tendency to be dry in texture and this is why we spend so much time moisturising it!

Sulphates will strip away the natural oils produced by our scalp. No Good. When curls are de-hydrated they are vulnerable to breakage. Curly hair needs moisture to stay healthy.

Sulphate-Free Is Good For Coloured Hair Too

Huge plus here, in addition to the curly benefits!

I colour my hair and I hadn’t really considered that my shampoo could be affecting my colour.

I have done a little research and it isn’t so much the sulphates themselves which cause colour loss but they can speed up the rate at which it fades..

colouring curly hair with root colour and highlights

Sulphates will remove oils and conditioners which we use to protect coloured hair (coloured hair is weaker so it needs these protective layers of moisture).

Once these conditioning layers are removed, water can penetrate the hair. It is the water that will actually cause the colour to fade and this is aided by the sulphates.

Also, you know that old thing about needing to change your shampoo every so often? This isn’t true when you are using products that won’t build up on your hair.

I now use either Kevin Murphy Hydrate.Me Wash (and Hydrate.Me Rinse which is moisturising and full of vitamin C!) or Noughty’s Wave Hello range – both amazing!

kevin murphy hydrate me wash and rinse


Wave Hello Curl Defining Shampoo And Conditioner

Sulphate, silicone and paraben free! Amazing products

I vowed I will never use sulphates again…please don’t let me forget to pack my shampoo when I next go on holiday!

curly hair rule 2

Use As little heat as possible

This isn’t no heat at all. I’m realistic about this one because I know myself.. I just promise myself that I won’t use UNNECESSARY heat.

This means things like curling tongs for no good reason or blow-drying my hair once a week like I used to! Even thinking about that now shocks me a little bit.

I know heat is bad for hair. I know heat is even worse for curly hair, sorry curly hair rule-makers. I really admire people who don’t use heat at all.

Trouble is that I tried to stop using heat completely and I just couldn’t manage it.

If I’ve washed my hair and I’m leaving for work shortly..I’m going to diffuse it – on a low heat setting.

Not from dripping wet to completely dry but just enough to help the drying process along..forgive me!

diffusing curly hair on a low heat setting

I may even still blow-dry my hair every now and then. This is likely to be about 3 times a year. I enjoy it for a change and I’m ok with it. 

What I won’t do is damage my hair on a regular basis with heat tools like I used to..

1990s – hair dryer

2000s – hair straighteners

2010s – curling wand..until I realised that my hair was actually curly!

I will always use heat protector. This is the second part of the Big Rule

Curly Girl Method approved heat protectors

Aveda Heat Relief Thermal Protector And Conditioning Mist

Living Proof Restore Instant Protection

Read my full post on why heat is bad for curly hair

Use a t-shirt to dry

I read that you should dry curly hair with a t-shirt quite a while ago and, as attached as I was to my towel turban, I gave it a go.

I really didn’t see what kind of difference it would make..surely my hair would come out the same? No way.

A colleague commented on my hair the very first time I tried it. I thought my hair looked nice but I was surprised that she could see any difference from one use!

Hmm..interesting.. It became a bit of a thing.. whenever I went to the salon with nice hair she would ask me if I had dried my hair in a t-shirt again.

This is now a whole movement, of course. I also know that there are many microfibre towels which are just as soft and gentle on hair as a t-shirt but I’m sticking with mine. I have a grey one that I use just for this purpose and if it ain’t broke..!

Looking into it more I realised why the softer fabrics are better. It makes sense – how could I have dried my hair with a big fluffy towel for so long?!

You don’t want to rough up the hair cuticle with a rough towel. This is bad for curly can cause damage.

My curls form and clump better when I use a t-shirt! Full convert.

I haven’t mentioned silicones.. I know they are a big part of the Curly Girl Method. I’m not full CGM. There are parts that I do follow but I do still have a couple of silicones in my routine. Products that I love and can’t find replacements for.. I don’t find that they build up and so I’m going to keep on at it for the time being!

Potential New Big Rules..

There are a few new things that I’m starting to check for.. I’m getting used to checking ingredients on hair products.

I have started to look at the following:

  • Parabens. These are preservatives used in hair (and cosmetic) products. They are believed to mimic oestrogen and disrupt hormone function in doing so.

Maybe it will soon be the 5 Big Rules..


We can all stick to a list of hard and fast rules but sometimes having one or two to guide us is enough. These are the 3 that work best for me and now that I have those in place I can experiment with everything else!

Lauren xx

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