We can unanimously agree that a headful of gorgeous ringlets, regardless of shape and size, are beautiful, right? Besides, individuality is what makes beauty so much fun. While admittedly difficult at times, the curly hair you're born with can be easier to manage than you think. Whether you have a Solange-like mane or longer waves like Lorde's, embracing your hair's texture is the number one rule when it comes to curls. However, there is a set of more universal, one-size-fits-most dos that everyone with kinks and coils should abide by. Working with, not against, your curl pattern is the key to maintaining lush locks, so put down the hair straightener and cement-like pomades because we've enlisted the pros for some curly hair 101.
Keep scrolling to read about the 10 commandments of curly hair.
Style Curls When They're WetArrojo Curl Enhancer $22Shop
вЂњI like to naturally 'wet-set' curly hair-it's the best and easiest way to get bounce and volume and a natural-looking wave or curl pattern,вЂќ says Nick Arrojo, owner and founder of Arrojo NYC. вЂњYou need a two-product cocktail, although the products differ depending on hair density. If your hair is fine, use a body-building volume foam first and then a lightweight curl enhancer. If your hair is medium to thick or slightly coarse, cocktail curl definer with curl control. Apply products from roots to ends, and comb hair with a wide-tooth comb to undo any knots in your hair and aid even distribution of the products, ensuring curls get maximum performance benefits,вЂќ he explains.
Once products are set in place, Nick stresses the importance of the вЂњcup, squeeze, scrunchвЂќ method. вЂњIn small sections from the underneath up, gently cup, scrunch, and squeeze curls. Don't be tempted to freely run your fingers through hair-this disturbs curls, which creates frizz. Just remember: Cup, squeeze, scrunch.вЂќ
Nick says to continue this styling method until hair dries, and then gently tousle at the roots to soften curls. вЂњDon't stress about making curls too perfect; curls are meant to fall imperfectly; it's part of their charm. Enjoy the individuality and freedom of textured tresses,вЂќ he adds.
Air-Drying Hair Is Always a Good IdeaAquis Microfiber Hair Towel $21Shop
SaysВ hairstylist Caile Noble, вЂњFriction causes frizz, so it all begins with the drying process, and the towel you're using may be your main problem.вЂќ His go-to is the top-rated Aquis hair towel. вЂњIt is designed specifically for hair, and the microfiber fabric eliminates friction caused by normal cotton towels. This towel is a life changer when eliminating frizz along with absorbing enough moisture to cut your drying time in half,вЂќ he raves.
вЂњHaving curly hair myself, I have found that air-drying is the best way to go,вЂќ hairstylist Matthew Monzon adds, but he doesВ lightly towel-dry hair. вЂњDon't be rough with the towel against the hair,вЂќ he says, because that will also contribute to even more frizz. вЂњThe best advice I can give to someone with curly hair is that air-drying is best. The less you touch your hair while it is drying, the better. The more the hair gets handled, the more chance of frizz.вЂќ
Use Moisturizing Products as Much as PossibleJulien Farel Haircare De-Frizz Restore $39Shop
A junior stylist and curly-hair expert at Julien Farel Salon NYC, Amanda Troisi, says that the right products will make all the difference, and it starts with your shampoo. вЂњCurly hair is like a fingerprint, and not one curl pattern is alike. Due to its delicate texture, curls require constant moisture and hydration. Leave-in conditioners, moisturizing hair treatments, hair masks, and water are what they need.вЂќ
Troisi's routine includes the Julien Farel De-Frizz Restore treatment, which is incredibly rich in benefits. вЂњI start by wetting my hair and adding it starting at my ends and working my way to the roots. It has grape-seed, sweet almond, and jojoba oils to nourish and strengthen hair while controlling unruly texture. It's okay to add this product to your roots even though it is a conditioning treatment for the scalp,вЂќ she explains.
Always Use a CombKevin Murphy Textured Comb $23Shop
Tim Abney, director of education at Kevin Murphy, says a simple comb is a major must to keep frizz at bay and curl pattern intact. вЂњMake sure to use a wide-tooth comb to help manage your curls,вЂќ he says. вЂњWe recommend it because when people use their fingers to sweep through their hair, they aren't as careful and end up tearing the curl structure apart, contributing to frizz.вЂќ
Another good thing about using a wide-tooth comb is that it helps evenly distribute styling products. вЂњWhen people style with their hands, they most often get most of the product in one concentrated area, and the complete style suffers. Using the comb guarantees much better, even product distribution while maintaining the natural texture of your hair and encourages your curls to remain intact throughout the styling process,вЂќ he adds.
Coconut Oil Is Your Best FriendKopari Coconut Melt $38Shop
вЂњI am from Brazil, where 80% of the population has curly hair,вЂќ says hairstylist Claudio Belizario. вЂњI have five sisters, all with curly hair, and I know how to maintain and keep it looking healthy. Sun, humidity, and the wind are very bad for curly hair.вЂќ
Before washing your hair, Belizario recommends the holy grail of oils, coconut oil, to repair damage and protect from the elements. вЂњUse a coconut oil, especially on the ends. Leave in for a minimum of 30 minutes (never in direct sunlight, as the oil fries your hair). I recommend using a towel or covering the hair with a plastic cap to penetrate it well. The coconut oil is going to give back all the natural essentials that were lost when using a hair dryer, color, or even chemical treatment,вЂќ he says.
Noble adds, вЂњReplace your go-to hair serum with raw coconut oil. This natural ingredient won't only eliminate frizz but will actually heal your hair over time, making it less dry for healthy-looking hair.вЂќ
Embrace the Curling IronBaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Curling Iron $37Shop
вЂњCurling irons are a great way to achieve or enhance the natural texture and curl pattern,вЂќ says Nicole Perteet, stylist at Marie Robinson Salon. вЂњI would recommend the BaByliss Pro Nano or Ceramic line of curling irons. They glide through the hair and provide beautiful shine and bounce. For more curl, use a one-inch curling iron. For a wavy look, I recommend a 1 1/4-inch curling iron.вЂќ She also recommends sparingly using hair spray post-styling. вЂњBecause curly hair tends to be dry, I only recommend hair spray if you need to contain flyaways on the hair part and the hairline.вЂќ
Avoid Over-Washing Your HairJohn Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Shampoo $7Shop
вЂњUnless your hair is baby-fine, you should not be washing it more than two to three times a week; the drier the hair is, the longer you can go. Of course, you can wet it daily, but no shampoo whatsoever-the natural oils will help keep the curls more controlled,вЂќ says celebrity hairstylist Harry Josh.
Bust Out the Hair Diffuser From Time to TimeGhd Air Diffuser $30Shop
Hairstylist Cash Lawless says that using a diffuser to style hair for a voluminous look is great for вЂњthe wild and fun girl who doesn't need her curls to be perfect.вЂќ After applying a cream-based mousse (this prevents the crunch-curl effect), he says, вЂњDiffuse the hair by leaning to one side, lifting the diffuser all of the way to the scalp, and then sliding the diffuser from the bottom of the hairline near your ear and nape, and slide it all of the way to the top of your crown. This lifts and stretches the root creating masses of volume.вЂќ
Condition Before You Shampoo for Best ResultsKГ©rastase Masquintense Hair Mask $53Shop
вЂњBefore shampooing,вЂќ Amanda Ambroise, stylist at Ted Gibson Salon, says, вЂњapply conditioner and detangle with a wide-tooth comb. The conditioner will help to detangle while also prepping your locks for cleansing.вЂќ Nai'vasha Johnson, hairdresser at Ted Gibson Salon, adds, вЂњPre-pooing helps aid in the restoration and moisture retention to curly hair while adding a beautiful shine.вЂќ
Once a week, hairstylistВ David Babaii advises to use your mask and let it sink into the cuticle for a deep-conditioning treatment. вЂњTry to do a mask once a week; just don't forget to rinse. It's extremely important. Once the product is in the cuticle, you want to make sure you hydrate, but it won't help to leave it after washing. The more you leave on, the worse it works. Product buildup is the number one cause of breakage for hair,вЂќ he says.
Only Use Silk or Satin Pillowcases (Seriously)Slip Silk Pillowcase $79Shop
Silk or satin pillowcases are essential for overnight hair care. Lawless saysВ вЂњThis is obvious but often overlooked when you are trying to get those curls to last longer.вЂќ
MonzonВ adds, вЂњIf you have a lot of hair, the time it takes to air dry is longer. That is why it can be beneficial to sleep with hair in a braid or a bun on a satin pillowcase.вЂќ
What tip do you swear by for curly hair? Tell us in the comments!
This story was originally published on August 13, 2016.