photo: Instagram/learntolovecurls
If your linen closet contains more hair products than you can count, but your curls still look dry and frizzy, it might be time to make some changes to your hair routine. In fact, it might just be time to switch up your products all together. But with all the curly hair products available now, how do you know if you're even using the right one?  

We chatted with Mia Emilio, senior stylist at Devachan Salon, to break down the signs of when a curl product just isn’t working for you. 

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You have no idea what your hair type is

photo: Giphy
The first step in finding the right products is knowing what your hair type is. What might work for a girl with fine, wavy hair might not work for someone with thicker, tighter curls. “Curls come in many shapes and sizes, you can also have different textures on one head of hair,” says Emilio. “Curly hair has several curl patterns from wavy to super curly and everything in between." You want to make sure you're asking yourself questions, like, "Are my curls fine, thick, coarse, tight, medium, or loose?" This will help you determine your curl type. 

You don’t know what products to use for your hair type

Now that you know your curl type, the next step is finding the right products for your curl type. “Depending on how you like to wear your curls, you need to know what you like in a product,” says Emilio. “Gels offer hold, foams add slight hold and volume, creams offer hydration and can help weigh down volume." 

Your hair is dry

photo: Giphy
If the shampoo you're using is leaving your curls dry and impossible to detangle, you might be using the wrong formula. “Conventional shampoo plus curls equals a dry disaster,” says Emilio. “Sodium laurel sulfate or any form of sulfate for that matter, is designed to make a lather. This lather completely strips any moisture on the hair or scalp, hence making our dry tresses even more dry.” Emilio recommends switching to a 100-percent sulfate-free cleanser, like DevaCurl No-Poo. It works to both cleanse and condition curls. 

It’s taking you 20 minutes or more to detangle

#coilycurlygirl #detanglinghair #coilyhair #kinkyhair #curlyhair #naturalhair #hairjourney #haircareregimen

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“If you’re detangling your hair for more than 20 minutes, you need to step back and take a look at what is happening,” says Emilio. “Try co-washing (cleansing with a conditioner) more often and detangle every other day to every three days."

Your curls have no definition

I twist mine before bed but if I didn't then......#curlyhairdontcare #curlyhairproblems #curls

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Curls that aren’t bouncy or defined could also be a sign that you’re either not using the right products or not using them properly. Emilio recommends detangling wet hair first using your fingers because it helps keep the definition of the curls together. She also suggests not touching curls until they are fully dried. For detangling, try a product that specifically targets that, like Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner. 

Your scalp is flaky

photo: Giphy
“If you are experiencing white flakes on your scalp, make sure your products are silicone-free since silicone can cause major build up," says Emilio. She also suggests mixing some baking soda with your cleanser along with making sure you're thoroughly rinsing out any product before getting out of the shower. 

Your hair mask isn’t hydrating your hair

#dayoff #deepconditioningday #aloevera #ripebanana #eggs #honey #oliveoil #allorganicerrythang

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“Deep conditioning is great, but the most important thing is to check those ingredients,” says Emilio. “No silicones, no sulfates, and no alcohols. If it is loaded up with drying ingredients such as these three, it’s going to dry out your hair.” 

Emilio suggests making your own hair mask using half an avocado, one egg, and one tablespoon of coconut oil. Double the measurements if you have thicker hair. Apply from roots to ends and leave on with a shower cap between 45 minutes and an hour before rinsing out. 

Your curls are filled with white residue

#whiteresidue #lovingmyhair #curlygirls #curlygirlsproblems #naturalista #naturalhairlista

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Most likely, this is due to a) a buildup of silicone-based products in your hair, or b) a buildup of conditioner mixed with products in your hair. 

Your curls are limp, not bouncy

“One of my favorite products for heat damage is DevaCurl B' Leave-In It’s a hydrating volume booster that looks and feels like a gel but isn’t one, giving the hair a lightweight hold that can help form the curls," says Emilio. 

You want to combine a lightweight gel or foam product that will add texture and boost volume with a leave-in conditioner that will deeply moisturize and repair damaged strands. Emilio also recommends cutting down on how often you style with hot tools, like curling irons, flat irons, and blow dryers.