Tricks to Caring for Every Type of Curl
Put down the flat iron and cancel your weekly blowout. These pro tricks and innovative products will help you fall in love with your full and fabulous texture.
Curls are in! So skip taming your texture. Big, loose, tight, wavy—they're all good. As long as you keep your hair hydrated and healthy, anything goes. Of course, getting your curls in top form may be challenging (especially if you've opted to wear it straight in the past).
Here's the deal: Curly strands are naturally dry and fragile, so it takes extra TLC and plenty of moisture to avoid frizziness, dullness, and lack of definition. A routine of gentle cleansing and regular conditioning ensures the best look. You also need to choose the right styles and products for your unique curl pattern. Happily, the days of greasy serums and crunchy gels are over, replaced by a multitude of options. Our quickie guide will get you started.
Mist damp hair with sea salt spray (try Not Your Mother's Sea Salt Spray, $3.69, Target) and clip into small, random buns. Blow-dry for a few minutes, then unwind the buns to reveal loose, beachy waves.
Related: How to Create Summer Beach Waves
Coat hair with a curl cream for hydration and a gel for hold (DevaCurl's Styling Cream does the best of both worlds, $11.96, Walmart). Dry using a diffuser. Want to break up larger curls? Coat palms with an oil, and gently separate into spirals.
Layer in oil to add weightless moisture and shine (Macadamia Natural Healing Oil Spray, $8.57, Walmart) or a leave-in cream to help repair damaged or dry hair (Goldwell Dual Senses Rich Repair Leave-In Cream, $17.99, CVS Pharmacy). You can also use either curl gel or butter to get frizz-free curls with volume (Cantu Shea Butter Curling Cream, $5.69, Walmart). Twist hair into sections and diffuse. Switch to a nozzle and stretch your curls as you finish drying; release twists.
Nothing strips moisture from your curls faster than washing them every day or using regular shampoo. But different methods and formulas can protect them during cleansing. Learn the lingo and find out which will work best for you.
Low-poo: Use a sulfate-free or low-lathering shampoo (try Bumble and Bumble's Invisible Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo, $31, Ulta). Best if you wash your hair two to three times per week.
Pre-poo: Coat your curls with an oil or conditioner (Dove Daily Moisture Conditioner, $3.49, Target) before shampooing to protect your hair during cleansing and/or detangling. Best for damaged, breakage-prone strands.
Co-wash: Replace your shampoo with co-wash, a rinse-out conditioner containing low levels of cleansers (try Redken Curvaceous Lo-Foam Cleanser, $20, Ulta)—best for the driest of curls and coils. You'll still need to use a clarifying shampoo (Ion Clarifying Shampoo, $6.79, Sally Beauty) once a month to remove oil, dirt, and dead skin.
Dry shampoo: Apply sprays or powder (Verb Dry Shampoo, $16, Sephora) with oil-absorbing ingredients to clean greasy roots. These are best for nonwash days or after a midday workout.