Curly hair is often coveted by those who lack it and cursed by those who can't figure out what to do with it. Some of you may have found that you could straighten it into submission on the regular... Everyone has those bad hair days where they can't tame naturally curly hair, the comb's teeth are breaking off, hair is splitting apart, frizz and flyaways are everywhere, and options are limited.
If you're tired of straightening, struggling through, or ignoring your curl problems away, look no further. This is a guide to understanding your hair -- to help you discover the perfect curly hair routine you've been searching for.
Know Your Hair
Different hair types and scalps have different needs. Defining your curl type can be tricky. We'll have a primary curl but could have secondary ones as well cropping up in the front or back. Sometimes we can achieve drastically different results depending on our routine or hairstyle (length might weigh curls down versus a shorter cut, layers may have a buoyant effect, excess brushing can take curls right out, etc.).
However, you are best equipped to determine your hair's strengths and weaknesses. And you're the only one in charge of your level of commitment (as well as how much you're willing to spend on it).
Wavy Hair, Curly Hair? Know Your Curl Pattern
Curl patterns span:
- Loose type 2 waves,
- Type 3 curls,
- Kinky type 4 coils.
- Each type has an A, B, and C variant that corresponds to the size of the curl -- A being the biggest and C with the smallest diameter.
These classifications can help you choose the kind of care and products that will work best. Glamour also has some suggestions centered on absorbency and elasticity and notes good ways to examine each. To find your natural curl type, a co-wash (no shampoo, conditioner only hair wash), and detangling session (no brush throughs!) should work well.
Aside from these aspects, defining texture is important, too. It often goes hand in hand with the curl type, but you may be in between or a mixture.
Frizzy, curly hair demands tons of hydration and some smoothing action, while thin, curly hair benefits from protein-rich, anti-breakage conditioner. Coarse (and color-treated) curls will generally need a little more love overall. AYAM makes a Dead Sea Minerals + Caviar formula that repairs and replenishes, and a Dead Sea Minerals original formula with collagen for nourishing all hair types.
Know What Curls: Hair Products
When you walk down the hair care aisle, it seems assured any curling product can get the job done. It brings the oomph; you bring the curls. What more to ask?
Well, ask yourself how to get perfect curly hair the informed way instead of haphazardly. Know what different product types are meant to tackle, and briefly research what you're most interested in buying. See if it'll accommodate your hair type.
This is hardly a comprehensive list of curling hair product terminology. There are smoothies and custards and all kinds of wording. Read through product descriptions to get a better feel for what you're really looking at.
- Conditioners: They are self-explanatory and made to nourish and lock a style in whether it is a leave-in or rinse out version.
- Gels: Amplify, define, and hold. These can be powerful enough to leave behind residue or the dreaded crunchy curl, but they'll get the job done.
- Creams: Creams are like curling gels, except that they provide a softer definition, less hold, and have a little more emphasis on nourishment or hydration.
- Serums: Meant to fight frizz by smoothing, adding a little moisture back in, and leaving behind a nice shine.
- Refresher Sprays: Dry shampoo is to oily hair what refresher sprays are to curls; if you have an oily scalp under your curls, you may be moved to use both. But a quick spritz is for the next day (or more) curls, bringing conditioning, moisture, and frizz reduction.
- Oils: These are meant to nourish, smooth, and seal. Oils and oil-based products can be hit or miss. It depends on the specific type and the particular attributes of your hair.
- Mousse: Lightweight, defining, and a classic. It works best with waves and thinner curls because it isn't heavy-duty, but you can layer it with other stronger products.