Curly hair can be a blessing and a curse. Those gorgeous bouncy curls are the envy of straight-haired girls everywhere, but they can be challenging to care for. Curly hair is formed when the hair follicle grows in an oval shape rather than the perfectly round circle of a straight hair strand—and you have genetics to thank for that! The unique bends, coils, and curves of curly hair make it difficult for the scalp’s natural oils to travel down the strand. So while straight-haired gals often struggle with greasy hair, curly girls must contend with dryness, breakage, and frizz.
Because of its delicate nature, having curly hair means putting in a little extra time and effort to get the soft, enviable ringlets you crave. But with the right products and styling techniques for your specific type of curly hair, you can flaunt your natural curls with pride. Here’s how to take care of your curly hair and say goodbye to dryness and frizz for good.
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How to Take Care of Curly Hair
Curly hair is thirsty hair, so hydration is key. Look for deeply hydrating shampoos, conditioners, and styling products specifically formulated for curly hair to help give life and definition to your curls. Here are some tips for keeping your curls soft, defined, and hydrated.
1. Shampoo Sparingly.
Overwashing curly hair can strip away the natural oils your hair needs to stay shiny, healthy, and moisturized. Because curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair, shampooing once a week is enough to clean without stripping away too much moisture. When you do shampoo, use a shampoo designed for curly hair.
2. Condition—A LOT!
Look for a curl-defining conditioner infused with hydrating oils and other moisturizing ingredients like glycerin. Apply conditioner both before and after shampooing to soften and detangle your curls. On no ‘poo days, refresh your curls by using just conditioner in the shower.
3. Deep Condition Often.
Skipping the shower today? Work in a frizz-fighting hair oil on dry hair to keep your curls feeling soft and hydrated without losing their bounce. For extra dry, frizzy curls, try a repairing hair mask once a week.
4. Strike a Balance Between Moisture and Protein.
As important as it is to keep curly hair hydrated, protein gives your strands strength, structure, and elasticity. Alternate moisturizing conditioners with formulas containing strengthening ingredients like vital nutrients and silk protein to strike a delicate balance between limp, lifeless curls and brittle, crunchy curls.
5. Lay off the Heat.
When it comes to hair, heat equals dryness and damage. And as we’ve learned, curly hair is already dry by nature. Instead of using heat tools, use curl-defining products to style your mop. And if you must blow-dry, use a diffuser on the lowest setting to disperse the heat and minimize friction. When you shower, rinse your locks with cool water to seal the cuticle and lock in moisture.
How to Style Curly Hair
Curly hair can be finicky. Finding the best products for your curly hair type and texture may take some trial and error. But whether you need a cocktail of styling products to achieve the perfect curl or you find one magical do-it-all product that gives you the look you crave, hydrating, humidity-fighting formulas are a must. Here are our top tips for styling curly hair—without the heat.
- Detangle curls carefully. Curly hair should never be brushed. Brushing disturbs the curl pattern and causes friction that can damage delicate strands. Instead, use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers and plenty of leave-in conditioner to detangle and define your curls.
- Dry gently. Rubbing your curls with a rough cotton towel after stepping out of the shower is a big no-no. Minimize frizz-inducing friction by gently squeezing—not rubbing—out excess moisture with a soft cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel. Let your hair air-dry, or use a diffuser on the lowest setting to prevent frizz and boost volume.
- Scrunch curls to add body and definition. Work in a curl-defining gel, spray, or mousse in an upward scrunching motion to create perfect, bouncy curls.
- Protect curls while you sleep. Flat, misshapen curls are the worst. Protect your curls from damage and friction overnight by “pineappling” your hair in a loose bun on the top of your head. In the morning, spritz in a little curl-reviving spray and watch your curls come back to life.
Bouncy, voluminous curls are as good as yours. Check out more of our haircare tips for curly hair.