10 Sep Your Guide to Curly Hair; The Products, Tips and Tricks for Your Best Curls Ever
Curly hair is a blessing and a curse all wrapped into one. On the one hand you have a low-maintenance look perfect for your beachside holiday, on the other you have the most high-maintenance and unpredictable hair-do there is. You often hear those with straight hair exclaim how much they’d love to have a head of curls while those with curly hair wish their locks where anything but.
Having had super curly and mildly frizzy hair all my life, I can safely say I wouldn’t give it up for straight locks. Although ask me tomorrow and I may have changed my mind. Perfecting curly hair and making it manageable while looking effortless is a challenge. And, let’s face it, we want it to actually be effortless as well.
Luckily, with a little bit of knowledge and the right products on your side, it can actually be easy to control your curls and create low-maintenance looks day-to-day. Here’s what to do…
Regular chops are important for curly hair to avoid having excessively damaged ends. Dry and split ends will generally dry straighter than your natural pattern and can really disrupt your whole look.
Unless you’ve straightened your hair beforehand, a wet haircut is always best to ensure you get an even finish. If you didn’t walk into the salon with your natural curls, it’s super important to give your hairstylist an indication of what your natural shape and texture is like. Curly hair often requires a lighter cut on the end to avoid a trapeze shape and depending on how tight your curls are, your stylist will have different recommendations for layer types.
Styling curly hair takes finesse and a lot of trial and error. Because all of our curls are so unique, there really is no one routine fits all approach. But, there are a few things everyone can be doing to help. Styling your curls is all about trying to preserve the natural curl pattern in your hair while it’s drying after a wash. Things that disrupt this include heat, brushing, heavy styling products, wind and playing with your hair.
If you have really tight curls that you want to pull out a little as they dry, some light combing and gentle pulling with your fingers as your hair is drying can help to lengthen your curl.
If you want to keep your curls as is, it’s best to leave them alone as much as possible after towel drying and applying a few specialised products.
WARNING… brushing natural curls = FRIZZ. Avoid brushing at all costs!!
If you want to amp up your curl factor on your wavy hair, twisting, twirling and scrunching your hair, along with a healthy dose of styling products, can help to give you a more defined curl. The key thing to remember here is that once you’ve done a little twirling and scrunching, you need to leave your hair alone to avoid over-working it.
My favourite technique for wearing my natural curls is to firstly apply a serum or oil to the ends to stop them feeling dry and brittle. Naturally curly hair is thirsty, and it will soak up lots of moisture so don’t be afraid to give it a decent amount.
While my hair is still damp, I apply Oribe Curl Geleè from roots to tip generously, I also twist a few of my curls with the product on my hands. Twisting your natural curls while wet helps to form them into a nice shape. The Oribe Curl Geleè rids you of all frizz and keeps the curls together rather than letting them fluff out. I avoid hair dryers and hot tools and let my hair air dry naturally.
This product has been incredible on my natural curls!
Oribe Curl Geleè is $64 and the pot is huge!
Here are some other great products for curly hair-
Shampoo and Conditioner
Frizz fighting, curl defining formulas are key for this step in your styling routine. Shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated for curls are often lighter to avoid heaviness when dry and contain technology that helps to form your curls.
Maui Moisture’s Curl Quench + Coconut Oil shampoo and conditioner are specifically formulated to detangle, de-frizz and nourish thick and curly hair. It leaves your hair feeling soft and silky while still supporting the natural definition of your curl.
As I said, adding moisture to curly hair is the key to avoiding frizz and adding shine. Leave-in conditioners are a great top up to your wash routine as the right product will seal the hair cuticle for a sleek, defined and healthy-looking curl.
KMS Tame Frizz is my holy-grail leave-in conditioner for the days I’m letting my hair air-dry. It’s lightweight and helps to hold curls without leaving behind any crunchy or sticky residue. It also smells absolutely delish and will leave your hair looking smooth, shiny and nourished.
Wave and Curl Sprays
There is a very subtle difference between a wave and curl spray and understanding it will help you decide what’s right for you. Wave sprays are clever products that help to add texture and movement to your hair, usually through ingredients like sea salt (because we’ve seen first-hand how good the ocean is at creating wavy hair). They’re best for people with light curls that need a bit of a boost, not for those with tight curly hair (ringlets). Very curly and ringlety hair is naturally quite textured, so instead of texture you need moisture. Too much texture can create a gritty, dry feeling on tight curls. Curl sprays help to actually define your curl pattern and add shine to your strands, therefore they are far better for people with curlier hair or those wanting to achieve a tighter spiral.
Schwarzkopf’s Mad About Waves Light Splash Conditioner is a super hydrating conditioning spray that adds a bit of texture and volume to your curls for a beachy wave finish. The product is very lightweight and sprays out in a fine mist so you won’t have to worry about residue or build-up. It also has heat protection powers which is an absolute must if you’re using a diffusion dryer on your curls.
John Frieda’s Frizz Ease Dream Curls Spray is the perfect example of what a curl spray should be. It penetrates your hair to nourish it from the inside out while leaving it silky and boosted. Using this on damp hair will make your curls just that little bit curlier with no crunch and extra shine.
When your curls are finally dry, it’s best to finish them off with hydrating styling products such as oils and finishing cremes that will make them look glossy and bouncy. A finishing product also helps to lock in moisture to battle frizz throughout the day and works to stop your curls from falling out of shape.
Ouai Hair Oil is deliciously scented and adds a lovely gloss to your hair without throwing your curls out of whack. It helps to nourish while sealing the cuticle for frizz-free shine all day long and makes a great finishing step in styling your curls.