Why Slip Is So Important For A Curly Girl

Curly hair experts and newbies alike can relate to the trials and tribulations of achieving the perfect wash day. For curly girls, washing your hair entails more than a simple brush and blow-out. Wash day is not only more effort but requires more products and accessories as well. Aside from a curl shampoo and conditioner, a curly girl's arsenal of hair products isn't complete without a curl hydration mask, curl cream, hair mousse, hair gel, and a diffuser. Oh, and you can't forget a handy-dandy hair pick for creating volume at the roots (via NaturallyCurly).

That being said, the time, money, and effort are all worth it in the end when your curls turn out perfectly before a night out with the girls. And when it comes to styling and achieving juicy curls, there is one element of an effective hair routine that is rarely talked about yet is arguably one of the most important, and it's called slip. Slip is an essential part of any curly girl's hair routine, and here is why you should be looking out for these specific ingredients in your curly hair products to get the slip you need while styling.

What does slip do for curly hair?

Every curly girl knows that brushing out curls on dry hair is a major faux pas. Not only does this increase frizz but it also increases breakage as curly hair is prone to knots and tangles. This is where slip comes in to make your life a whole lot easier. In curly girl terms, slip refers to a lubricated coating on the surface of your hair and makes your comb glide more smoothly through the strands (via The Mestiza Muse). This coating reduces friction, which, in turn, decreases the possibility of breakage and damage to your hair.

However, it can be tricky to achieve the perfect amount of slip for several reasons. Firstly, the amount of slip you get is affected by the health of your hair cuticles, the outermost layer of your hair strands, per The Mestiza Muse. The cuticle layer determines the smoothness, texture, and shine of your hair. So, if your hair has been damaged by heat exposure, bleaching, harsh chemicals, or perms, then you may not have a smooth surface as a base for good slip.

Secondly, you may not be using the right products for your hair and, as a result, increasing the friction and tension while detangling your curls. This friction may lead to breakage, which can create a cycle of hair damage that hampers a good wash day, per Healthline. Thankfully, there are certain ingredients that you can look out for.

Ingredients to look for

If you have mastered your curly hair routine but still struggle to get the right amount of slip to make detangling less of a nightmare, then look no further. If your hair lacks natural slip due to damaged cuticles or dry strands, then there are several products you can experiment with to get the right amount of slip for your hair needs. Slip can be created by conditioners, hair masks, hair serums, oils, and curl creams. Typically, your conditioner or hair mask should provide enough slip so that you can detangle your hair without too much tension and subsequent breakage.

If that isn't the case, you should check for ingredients such as seed or vegetable oils, vegetable butters, cationic polymers, and cationic surfactants (via Absolutely Everything Curly). Examples of cationic polymers include honeyquat, polyquaternium 7, polyquaternium 10, and polyqquat 4, per Curly Nikki. According to Curly Nikki, you should also look for these cationic surfactants: behentrimonium methosulfate, cetrimonium chloride, stearalkonium chloride, and cetrimonium bromide.

Essentially, finding the right products for your hair can do wonders for your hair health, and slip can turn a frustrating wash day into a seamless hair routine. Slip is a key element in every curly girl's style routine. So, if you're struggling to detangle your hair or if you're noticing too much breakage while brushing, then it's time to re-evaluate your current product lineup. Slip is a curly girl's best friend, after all.