If you have naturally curly hair, you know the struggle is real when caring for and styling your curls. Curly hair is inherently dry, prone to frizz, and often unruly. But once you find a routine that works for you and your curly hair, you can rock those soft, bouncy curls day after day.
The trick to figuring out a good curly hair routine is first figuring out what type of curly hair you have. There are ten different classifications of hair types, starting with type 1, which refers to perfectly straight hair. The other nine types are all varying degrees of curly hair. These curly hair types are divided into three main categories, wavy, curly, and coily, with type 2A being loose, “S”-shaped curls, and type 4C being the tightest, kinkiest of coils.
Once you identify your curly hair type, you can better choose the products and styling techniques that will give you the style and texture of curls you desire. Finding a curly hair routine that works for you involves trial and error. Here are a few of our best curly hair tips and tricks to help curly-headed gals everywhere get the luscious locks you crave.
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Our Top 10 Curly Hair Tips
1. Find a Curly Hair Routine That Works for You.
As we already mentioned, the products and techniques you use will depend greatly on the type of curls you’re dealing with. Tighter spirals are usually drier, denser, and more prone to breakage than soft waves, so you’ll need thicker, more hydrating creams and gels to care for your curls. Conversely, wavy-haired ladies should steer clear of heavy products that can weigh hair down, making it limp, lifeless, and greasy.
Read up on your specific curly hair type, and don’t be afraid to try out new products and techniques recommended for you. You may find a miracle product that meets all your styling needs or that layering a few different products together yields better results.
2. Don’t Overwash.
Remember, curly hair is naturally dry and frizz-prone. The natural oils from your scalp that keep straighter hair shiny and moisturized can’t travel down the kinks and bends of a curly hair strand. Shampooing less often can help your curls retain more moisture, staying softer, smoother, and healthier. When you do shampoo, use a shampoo designed for curls to help define and detangle your hair. On no ‘poo days, try using a dry shampoo just on your roots and scalp, or co-wash with water and a moisturizing conditioner for curls to refresh your mane.
3. Detangle Gently.
Curls and brushes don’t mix. Detangle your locks gently with a wide-toothed comb and plenty of nourishing leave-in conditioner. Work your way from the ends up to the roots, gently working through snarls and separating curls.
4. Start Styling When Hair Is Wet.
Many styling gels, sprays, mousses, and other products for curly-haired girls are designed to work on wet hair. They’re formulated to penetrate deep into the hair fibers, smoothing, defining, and conditioning for touchably soft curls.
5. Scrunch Those Curls.
Cup your locks in the palm of your hand and scrunch your upward, carefully working your curl styling gel, mousse, or cream into each strand. Scrunching adds volume and definition to your coils, leaving them bouncy and beautiful.
6. Use a Diffuser or Air Dry Your Hair.
When it comes to curly hair, it’s always best to skip the heat and rely on products to style your hair instead. If you’re in a rush and absolutely need to blow dry, turn the heat to the lowest setting and use a diffuser to minimize friction.
7. Use a Heat Protectant If You’re Going To Blow-Dry or Use Hot Tools.
We get it. Sometimes you want to switch up your style. But before you reach for the curling wand or (gasp!) the flat iron, be sure to work in a good heat-protecting product to create a smooth barrier between your curls and damaging heat. To learn how to straighten your curly hair, use our tips!
8. Add Better Definition To Wavy Hair With a Curling Iron or a No-Heat Curling Technique.
Wavy hair can be confusing. It’s not quite curly and definitely not straight. Give those waves a bit of help by scrunching in a curl-enhancing mousse or spritzing them with a texturizing sea salt spray. Then, spot-treat any flat or misshapen areas with a curling iron or a no-heat technique like pin-curling.
9. Deep Condition Often.
Curly hair types often require much more moisture due to their dry nature. In addition to your daily conditioners and leave-in conditioning sprays, a weekly hair mask can help repair surface damage to curly hair, eliminating frizz and restoring it to healthy-looking hair.
10. Trim Those Curls.
The ends of hair tend to be the thinnest and driest parts of the strand. Regular trims can help prevent and eliminate damage and split ends, restoring your curls’ bounce and elasticity.
Digging your new curly hair routine? Check out more of our haircare tips for curly hair.