#QA – What Can I Do To Get My Curls Back?

Question:  I have been without a relaxer since 2006, but I have been blow drying, pressing and flat ironing my hair from then until 4 weeks ago. I want to go back to curly and natural. When wet, my curls and hair look great, but when it air dries it looks like straw. It is still curly at the roots but half way down it is totally straight. What can I do to get my curls back?

Dickey’s Answer:  What’s happening is that the majority of styles that you are wearing are straight, and at some point you are going to have to depart from the damage that is occurring from your straight  styling.  Your hair does have a lot of versatility it’s just your primary styling is straight and if you style natural hair too much away from what it is, which is curly, you get heat damage.  Being curly or being natural is, you’re actually living in a moisturizing world, because the idea of being natural is that you’re incorporating your whole haircare and styling routine into your shower routine.  I suspect that your hair in its natural state as it is now is not getting styled in that manner and probably doesn’t see water until the end of the week or two weeks when you shampoo probably with a shampoo that strips your hair.  Then you go in and use a full on country press that hard press where the only objective is to get it straight and wear it straight.   At this point you have heat damage.  The only way to get back to your natural curl is to depart from the straight stuff.   I’m not sure you really want to do that today or you want to do that in the summertime.  It’s entirely up to you, but at some point  you are going to have to refrain from using so much heat on it.  Please stop using shampoos that have suds they were never designed for your hair.  Use the Daily Cleansing Cream Non Sudsing Shampoo that we have at Hair Rules .  It’s a cream non sudsing shampoo that has incredible moisturizing properties which gently cleans your scalp, it’s like skin care for your hair and it doesn’t strip your hair.  The idea is that if the hair is left softer then it’s going to be more pliable.  That should help to stop the damage that’s occurring by your heat styling.  I don’t know if you want to do straw sets but it sounds like you really want to get back to your natural curl pattern.  The only way to do that is is get off the fence and depart  from that straight stuff that is on the ends of your beautiful curly hair and start to wear your hair curly three to four days a week and then you can do straight styling on the other days.  There’s no way to get curl back on a texture that has been permanently straightened via heat damage.  The only thing I can tell you is to avoid shampoos that have suds, use the daily cleansing cream, and a comb attachment.  You’re in a cold season you won’t have to deal with humidity and negative effects of trying to wear a straight style in the humidity.  You shouldn’t have to use so much heat on your hair.  Only use a flat iron once a week when you do your blow dry and press if you don’t feel like departing with the straight stuff on the end maybe you should just do it in the spring or the summer so that you can continue to wear it straight.  Avoid excessive heat on the new hair that is not permanently straight.  I hope this helps.  If you have anymore questions I’m here to answer them.


  1. Hi Dickey!

    I’ve been wearing my hair in cornrows underneath my half wigs as a protective style. Every two weeks, I use a suds free shampoo to wash my hair and then I deep condition. I also moisturize my braids daily. My hair is getting thicker but I am also experiencing extreme dryness (I suffer from dry hair even when I don’t have cornrows). I want to start using a hair steamer on my cornrows but I am unsure how to do this in the best way. Can I let my braids air dry after steaming it? Do I have to sit under a hooded dryer after steaming it?

    Please help!

    In need of moisture.

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