Words by Ciler Peksah
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Utterly beautiful curly hair requires a lot of care and attention to keep it looking its best.
From working with many curly haired queens over the years, and having wavy hair myself, I have plenty of experience with curls, and if you know what you’re doing, it’s a deliciously versatile hair type!
Textured hair types are prone to dryness and every curly girl’s nightmare is the dreaded frizz! Frizzy hair is caused by environmental conditions such as humidity, overall hair damage. I have a few little tricks up my sleeve for taming my waves, starting with avoiding shampoos that will strip my hair of moisture. I also like to comb through a hair mask whilst I’m in the shower, which I then only partially rinse out to lock moisture into the hair. Leave-in conditioners and sea-salt sprays produce beautiful curls when the hair is left to dry naturally. And if you want to give your curls some real vavavoom, apply a heat protector and use a diffuser. For a curl refresh during the day, take a spray bottle with equal parts of water, conditioner and hair oil and spritz over your hair and lock in the moisture.
Whatever type of curl you have, I’m here to help. Here are 3 care routines for wavy hair, curly hair and coily hair – including all my favourite products – \to help you get the most out of your curls.
Does your hair have a slight wave to it when its wet, but once it’s dry and you brush it out, it’s just a bit of a frizzy mess? Then this is the hair care routine for you. But before we get started, one thing I think is incredibly important is to have the right haircut! If you have wavy hair, you need a haircut that allows movement so the waves can do their thing. Ask for soft layers to take away the weight and shatter the ends for a layered but not layered/shaggy look. Also bear in mind that wavy hair can lose its shape after a couple of days, so you may need to wash 2-3 times a week to keep your hair looking and feeling its best.
The best products and routine for wavy hair
1. Shampoo and condition with wavy hair-specific products
Control the frizz from the washing stage with an ultra-moisturising shampoo and conditioner. For wavy hair, I recommend Function of Beauty Wavy Hair Shampoo and Conditioner Duo, or the Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Shampoo.
2. Detangle with a wide-toothed comb
Start the detangling process whilst you’re in the shower by gently (so you don’t break the hair) combing through your hair using a wide-toothed comb, a detangling hairbrush or even your fingers.
3. Towel Dry – with a specific kind of towel
Try to use a towel that is good for curly hair. There are lots of super absorbent towels on the market meaning we can avoid damaging Terry Toweling cloths.
Tip: If you don’t have the ‘correct towel’, use a cotton t-shirt to dry your hair!
4. Diffuse and style
When it comes to styling, comb through and add your products, starting with a curling cream to help control the frizz and define the curls. If you feel you need more volume, add a curling mouse and then start to diffuse. You may find that where your hair is thicker or heavier, your wave needs a little extra help, so don’t be afraid to use a curling iron to enhance those parts.
Curls are naturally prone to dryness. Their spiraled shape makes it harder for the hair’s natural oils to travel all the way down to the lengths and ends, which is why it’s so important to avoid over washing your hair. If you can reduce washing to twice week – even once a week if you can manage it – your natural oils will be able to work their magic for longer and keep the dreaded frizz at bay!
The best products and routine for curly hair
1. Shampoo and condition with curly-hair specific products
If you are intent on reducing how often you wash your curly hair, you can give it a good clean with a cleansing scalp shampoo, followed by a moisture-based shampoo for hydration, and finally an intense conditioning mask.
2. Detangle and apply a treatment mask
Start the detangling process whilst you’re in the shower by gently combing through your hair using a wide comb, detangling hairbrush or even your hands. See my wavy hair comb recommendations above.
For an intense conditioning treatment, apply a hair mask and wrap your hair away for 10 mins to feed the moisture back into the strands. Then when it’s time to rinse, try to leave in about 30% of the mask to help with styling.
3. Dry with a curly hair towel
Use a curly hair towel to dry and follow with a detangling brush to make sure there are no knots.
4. Scrunch, twist and style
As your base, apply a leave-in conditioner, followed by curling cream. Be sure to spread the product evenly through the strands to protect against frizz. Some of my clients like to use a gel curl formula for control. My advice is to tip your head upside down and use a scrunching method when applying your chosen products. And if you’re not in a rush, take small sections, twist into a curl and leave it to dry naturally.
Sleeping with your head on a pillow can wreak havoc with your beautifully styled curls, so try sleeping with your hair tied up like a pineapple using a non-damaging silk hair tie.
Coily hair tends to be the most fragile curly hair texture, requiring lots of moisture to prevent breakage. The beauty of this hair type, is that it’s easily maintained with oils that feed all the goodness back in to keep it looking and feeling great. To maintain hair health, it’s best to have regular trims and where possible, avoid using high heat. Use intensive moisturizing treatments regularly for the overall health of coily hair.
The best products and routine for coiled curly hair
1. Thoroughly cleanse your scalp
To avoid drying out your coils, I would recommend washing your hair every 10 days or so. The most important thing given the extended time between washes, is to use a cleanser to ensure that the scalp pores are clear and able to breathe.
2. Shampoo & condition carefully
Work shampoo in using your finger tips to gently massage the entire scalp area. Try to avoid a scrubbing motion – the same applies when rinsing.
Section your hair and evenly spread your conditioner throughout the lengths, before taking a large comb to detangle and disperse the moisture. Then rinse gently leaving 30% of the conditioner behind.
3. Oil and style
Now it’s time to apply your hair oil. There are so many to choose from; Palm Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Black Castor Oil, Argon Oil… my favourite is Shea Butter.
Then follow with a leave-in conditioner and a curling cream to seal in the moisture. And finally, a hair butter to get your glossy finish!
To dry, you can diffuse coily hair, but where possible, I would recommend leaving to air dry to keep your hair in the best condition.
Use hair oil before bed and sleep in a satin/silk bonnet to lock in the moisture and avoid any pillow friction against the hair.
And to finish…a fun curly fact for you….
Did you know that curly hair tends to be more dominant than straight hair, so if one of your parents has curly hair and the other parent has straight you are more likely to end up with curls!
Hair Stylist and Consultant