Continually coveted by straight-tressed lasses, yet considered one big bother to the girls blessed with it, curly locks brings with them the classic hair conundrum – how to wear and care for them best.
So to help you out, we’ve scoured the glossy globe to find out how curvy mops should be taken care of, the best way to style them, and any no-no’s that ringlet-donned ladies should keep in mind…
Washing and Drying
As curly hair is one of the most difficult hair types to manage, it’s advised you use a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for curly or wavy hair, as they are often rich in moisturisers and contain frizz-reducers. We love John Frieda FRIZZ-EASE® Curl Around® Daily Shampoo and Conditioner.
Do: Use warm water instead of hot when shampooing your hair, as hotter water can dry out curly hair.
Don’t: Wash curly hair every day as it will strip your locks of its natural oils, which are needed to keep your tresses healthy and shiny.
Do: Occasionally blot your hair dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture, before letting your locks dry naturally. This is a great way to avoid heat damage caused by hair dryers, and to prevent consequential frizz.
Styles to try
As curly hair can range from mildly wavy, to very tight and frizzy, it’s important to recognize, and work with what can and can’t be done with your hair naturally.
If you have loose waves: It’s best to style wavy hair while wet (so that it falls into its naturally curly shape), and then leave it to dry and set into that style. A great way to add texture and definition to waves is to spritz it with some texturiser or sea salt spray. We love Toni&Guy Beach Curl Spray, as it assists in the separation of curls to reveal a more dishevelled type of ‘holiday’ look.
Top trick: spritz some hairspray into your palms and work it through your waves to help prevent frizziness and fly aways.
If you have medium curls: It’s often more advisable to wash curly hair at night, plaiting or braiding it while it’s still wet, and then sleeping with that style – it’s guaranteed to produce beautiful waves in the morning. Alternatively, you can also keep your braid from the night before for a mussed-up, boho look, or construct a new one and tuck the end up at the nape of your neck for a more romantic look.
If you have tighter ringlets: The messy bun look, mimicked by many straight-locked lasses, was made for those with very curly hair. Simply scoop up your ringlets into a high ponytail, and secure with a hair elastic, before twising into a bun and tucking the ends back through the elastic. If pieces fall out or go astray – you’ve done a good job.
This has always been a bit of a tricky one as regular straightening isn’t really ideal for any hair type. As curly hair is, by definition, always a little coarser than straight strands, straightening it can be more damaging and therefore a little more challenging to get a good result.
And unfortunately, depending on the tightness of your curl, sometimes straightening is just not advised, as is the case if you have really tight ringlets – sorry ladies. However, if you do really wish to straighten your curly locks, there are a few tips and tricks you can adopt to achieve the most successful result.
• Firstly, a straightening balm or gel should always be worked through your locks from root to tip while your hair is damp, not sopping wet. Top trick: give VO5 Heat Defence Straightening Balm a try, as this product will work to smooth your strands while also helping to protect your mop from extreme damage.
• Hair should be completely dry before you begin straightening – if time allows you to air-dry your locks, then that’s the way to go. Otherwise, taking a hairdryer with a diffuser to your mane is acceptable.
• Once your hair is dry, split it into sections and, working from the underneath secions upwards, run a comb through from roots to ends, and follow with the straightener. It’s far more beneficial to use quicker strokes of the straightener than one long, slow stroke as the intense, direct heat may harm your hair.
Top trick: once you’ve worked your way up to the crown and completed the whole head, spritz some hairspray onto your hairbrush and brush it over your sleek strands. This will help to eliminate flyaways and maintain your sleek look for longer.
Caring for curls
Brushing: A regular brush or comb can aggravate your strands and damage the hair cuticle, resulting in frizzy waves rather than defined curls. Using a wide-tooth comb is the most beneficial when it comes to brushing curly locks, as it eliminates any major tangles, while allowing your curls to stay intact. You should also be careful not to get too hand-happy either as over-scrunching curls can often result in an unnatural wave that’s out of control.
Drying: Hair dryers should be avoided when possible, but if you must use one, it’s recommend you use something like the VS Sassoon Ultimate Salon Dryer, which contains ionic technology and a big diffuser to help lift the hair as it dries it. Top trick: gather large sections of hair into the cup of the diffuser and hold close to your head for a quicker dry with less haywire curls.
Treating: To further improve the condition of curly tresses, try popping in a deep-conditioning hair masque at least once a week – we love C}4U Curl Cure Masque Treatment as it’s specifically designed to strengthen and smooth dehydrated hair, leaving curls bouncy and defined.