Naturally curly and spiraled hair can be both a blessing and a curse. On a good hair day, everyone is envious of your gorgeous tresses that don't require hours of twirling with a curling iron or wand. But few people understand the unique styling challenges faced by those with curly hair. Natural curls are in a constant battle with the elements, including heat, wind, and humidity, which can turn them from polished to frizzy in just minutes. Fortunately, you can preserve those springy natural curls and combat unwanted frizz in a few simple steps. Here are four foolproof tips the experts recommend.
Tetra Images/Getty Images
1. Lose the Lather
The detergents that create those suds strip strands of their natural oils, and leave them dry and fuzzy-looking, says Shari Harbinger of Devachan Salon in New York City. Instead, wash with a no-lather, sulfate-free cleansing conditioner, like DevaCurl No-poo Cleanser ($24, Ulta) which will remove buildup and infuse moisture in one step. Another option that yields great results (for a great price) is L'Oréal Ever Curl Hydracharge Cleansing Conditioner ($5.59, Target).
2. Work Quickly
"Your curl pattern looks its prettiest when hair is very wet," says Anthony Dickey, owner of hair rules Salon in New York City. To lock in that shape, lightly blot hair with a towel when you step out of the shower (don't rub or you'll rough up the cuticle), then apply your styler from roots to tips, by using your fingers to gently comb it through.
3. Mix Styling Products
"Most styling products for curls focus on definition rather than hydration," Dickey says. "If your hair could use a bit more moisture, don't be afraid to mix your styler with a leave-in conditioner." Put two quarter-sized dollops each in your palm and blend well before applying. We recommend mixing Aveda Be Curly style-prep ($26, Aveda) with Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner ($26, Ulta). for the perfect hydrating creation.
4. Be Hands-off
The more you touch your hair during the drying process, the more you'll disrupt the curl pattern and cause frizz, Harbinger says. It's best to air-dry, but if you're in a rush, use the diffuser attachment on your blow dryer to cut down on tousling.