If you’re blessed with curly hair, then you know how your locks can have a mind of their own. Our friend Mary Shenouda — a.k.a. the Paleo Chef and host of our Mixed Makeup Wellness series, #UNICORNFUEL — knows the struggle all too well, which is why we asked for her top tips on managing her mane.
In the latest episode of The Cut with Susan Yara, Shenouda says that she only shampoos her hair once a month. Sound strange? Curly hair or not, haircare experts suggest avoiding daily washes because using hot water strips your hair of its natural oils (which keeps hair soft and protected) and causes your scalp and strands to become dry — resulting in split ends, dullness, and brittle hair.
When it comes to curly hair, everything from your haircut and color to how you dry your hair after showering can play a huge role in keeping things under control. Below, check out just a few of Mary’s tips and her recipe for homemade flaxseed hair gel (she is our paleo chef, after all!), then watch the full video for all of her curly hair maintenance and styling tricks.
Don’t towel-dry your hair: Instead, use microfiber towel or a t-shirt to scrunch out the water. And definitely don’t rub your hair dry as this damages your strands.
Find your part: After washing, Mary allows her curls fall naturally, then twists small sections of her hair in that direction to “encourage” a smooth parting pattern. “My curls are different every day, and I gotta work with them,” she says.
Stay away from the blow dryer: This often creates frizz, so opt to air dry instead.
Mary the Paleo Chef’s Flaxseed Hair Gel Recipe
3-4 tbsp whole flax seeds
2 cups water
essential oil, optional
Bring water and flaxseeds to a boil, stirring well. Once it starts to bubble up, you’ll notice the seeds expelling gel (about 5 minutes). Strain (you can use panty hose!). Use tongs to squeeze the liquid from the panty hose. Add water in small amount if you want to thin out your gel. Add 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil, optional. Store it in a mason jar in the fridge, up to a week and a half.
Shop Mary’s Favorite Curly Hair Styling Products: