Stories Feature
Curls Just Wanna Have Fun: How To Care For Your Curls

Charli xcx

By Helena Madonna

We've come a long way from the days of cooking, stretching and pressing our helpless strands between two hot plates, tirelessly day in and day out without any heat protection. Gone are the days of hiding your gorgeous, coiled texture and worrying about that hint of rain or humidity undoing hours of work.

With a seemingly limitless selection of creams, serums and other potions, we now have an abundance of options to treat and properly care for our curls (Yay!).

But hold on, how do we know which one is right for which curl type? And how do we properly diagnose our curl type? And not everybody has the time for a twenty-step hair care routine! (Nay!)

As a hair stylist, curly textures are one of my favourites to treat and play with. If you're a curly-haired person struggling to trust or debunk the tips on your feeds, scroll no further.

  1. What shampoo is the right shampoo?

The first thing to keep in mind when selecting a shampoo or cleanser for your hair is that curls LOVE moisture, in fact, they depend on it. Nowadays, we're spoilt for choice with shampoos designed for curls. Rich, nourishing shampoos are perfect for coarse, dry curl types. Lighter, volume-inducing shampoos are fitting for fine curl types and oily scalps.

  1. Tangles and knots

Curly hair is amongst the most prone types to tangles and knots. Without proper detangling curls can become dreadlocked. It's uber important to detangle safely with a brush that's either wide tooth or specifically designed for curly/ coily hair. Dry brushing curly texture can cause breakage and frizz so dampen your hair first with water and a leave-in product and brush or comb through in sections.

  1. Frizzy, dry curls

Less is more when it comes to shampooing curly hair so be lazy with your shampoo days. Overwashed curly hair can end up dry, frizzy and hard to manage. If your hair is thick as well, you don't need to wash it daily. Go ahead and try that cute up-do you've been eyeing up and give your mane a shampoo break.

Co-wash, a hybrid of shampoo and conditioner (yes, like a boujee two-in-one) is a dreamy option for curls that can't help but frizz and fluff.

  1. Flakey scalp

Scalp care can be overlooked in the haircare world but it's equally as important. If your scalp is prone to flakiness or if you go a long time between washes, you may need to use scalp focussed shampoo. To incorporate this into your curly hair routine, start with your scalp shampoo and then follow up with your curly shampoo.

  1. Eeny meeny miny moe, cream, serum, gel or oil?

Pre-social media, product shelves were filled with creams and serums that seemed to be a 'one size fits all' for curly hair. A notion that wasn't particularly helpful or consumer-friendly. The haircare pendulum has swung the other way and now the options are endless. Before delving into the somewhat daunting amount of choices haircare ranges have to offer, you need to first figure out what type of curls you're blessed with. To make things easier I've inserted a chart below:

2A, 2B, 2C hair:
For those with curls best described as 'inconsistent'. Some days your curls might be fully formed and bouncy, some days they may be barely there and closer to a wave. Your inconsistent curls need something less heavy-duty than other curly-haired products, to avoid weighing them down and causing them to drop by the end of the day.

3A, 3B, 3C hair:
Suitable for those who are looking to hydrate and maximise their curl pattern, minimise their routine, and avoid excessive layering of products.

4A, 4B, 4C
Ah, coily hair types! reach for a product that offers the deliciously thick consistency that coils crave and the perfect amount of hold to protect their form. This is where layering comes into play with mousses and serums that can be cocktailed together or used comfortably on their own.

  1. Heat

Using heat to dry and style your curls isn't essential but can be a great aid in bringing bounce, volume and longevity to your curls.

A diffuser is a perfect tool to help blow dry natural curls. It evenly distributes the air coming from the hairdryer, mimicking an air-dried finish, only with much more body and bounce. Keep your dryer on the lowest heat setting to avoid scalding the hair and the lowest airflow setting to avoid frizz.

Teeny tiny tongs: A new favourite toy for natural curls! GHD has perfected a tool that'll be the cherry on top of your diffuse dried curls. A tong that's small but super mighty when it comes to adding more definition and bounce to flatter or limper curls. Heat-controlled and easy to use. It also acts as the ultimate life reviver to second or third-day curls.

  1. Feeling fragile

Whilst you're getting your 8 hours, your curls need to be properly protected. Cotton pillowcases cause friction which can lead to frizz on any hair type but especially curls. Silk bonnets and pillowcases are not just a fad, they do wonders for your texture. The slip on the material helps to preserve smoothness and shine. For ultimate protection, loosely braid or gather into a pineapple-like ponytail.

Next time you're eyeing up your flat iron as your finishing tool, my hope is that you'll go another route, one that offers a little more bouncy, body and ultimately, the celebration of your natural texture.

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