1. Know Your Curl Type
Different patterns and types of curls require different styling and maintenance routines. If you’re not sure which type you have, there’s a quiz for that!
Trivia: These curl classifications were defined by Andre Walker (of Andre Walker Hair and The Gold System), the Emmy-award winning stylist for Oprah!
2. Try Co-Washing
Also know as “no-poo” or the Curly Girl Method, this just means that you don’t use shampoo at all, only conditioner. Many curly girls swear by it. Read more about it here.
3. Trade your Towel for a T-Shirt
Drying your hair with a T-Shirt will greatly reduce frizz and breakage after washing. Since shirts aren’t as absorbent, gently squeeze your hair out before drying but never twist it.
4. Less is More
For curly girls, it’s not as important which product you use as how much. The right amount of product is probably less than you think. Check out this handy guide for more info.
Pro tip: Always apply product when hair is T-shirt dried but still mostly wet.
5. Start from the Bottom
When you’re washing your hair, condition starting at the bottom of your hair and move up. Same goes for combing.
6. Banish the Brushes
Brushing can damage fragile curls. Opt for finger-combing or a wide-toothed comb instead.
7. When All Else Fails, Try This Detangling Genie
If your hair doesn’t detangle with only a comb, try this brush/comb hybrid that is designed for sensitive heads to gently detangle without breaking hairs. It’s also gentle enough for kids. Get it here.
9. Try Showering with a Hairnet
For fine curls, showering with a hairnet will allow you to get your hair clean and still maintain your curl structure.
10. Use a Diffuser
If you need to dry your hair, make sure to use a diffuser which minimizes frizz by evenly distributing the heat. Learn how to use it here.
11. Seal the Cuticle
12. Know Your Ingredients
Silicates, Silicones, Sulphates…there are lots of hair product terms that get thrown around without people really knowing what they mean. There’s no blanket rule about which ingredients work best for curly hair, it depends on what works best for your hair. To learn more, read here.
13. Refresh Your Curls Between Washes
14. Keep Your Tool Arsenal Stocked
The Beauty Department has a list of all their favorite products for curly hair. Check them all out here.
15. Condition while you Exercise
Before you go to the gym, apply a styling cream to your hair and then put it up into a bun. The time and the heat from your body will allow the moisture to set in.
16. Be Brand Loyal
Products in the same brand are designed to work best together. Since curly hair usually requires more products than other hair types, it’s beneficial to buy all products that are from the same brand once you find one that works for you. And it’s not just about getting you to spend more money—the same rule applies to products in all price ranges.
17. For Extra Moisture, DIY a Steamer
Get all the instructions here.
18. Learn to Pin Curl
19. Humidify your Home
A top-quality humidifier will keep your hair from getting dry and help keep you curly. Get one here.
20. Sleep on Satin
21. Twist Your Blowout to Keep it Frizz-Free Overnight
If you decide to straighten your curls, this trick will help you keep it straight for longer. See all the instructions here.
22. Keep it Trimmed
Textured hair tends to get frayed more easily, so stylists recommend that curly girls get their hair trimmed every 6-8 weeks. Opt for a layered look to keep your hair looking healthy and full-bodied.
Pro Tip: Because curly hair can shrink up to 30% of true length, (coily hair can shrink 75%) having your stylist cut your hair once it’s dry will ensure that you’re getting exactly the cut and length you want.