Managing Curly Hair

Curly Styles

Do you have curly hair? If so, you know the challenges that come with a head full of unruly locks. Instead of fighting your curls learn how to manage them with a few simple steps and end up embracing your natural look!

Types of Curly Hair

Curly hair has various textures and types. Depending on your specific curl, there are different products and styles that work best for enhancing your natural curl and keeping it looking and feeling its best. Some types of curls include:

Wavy Hair

The most subtle type of curly hair is wavy hair. This type forms a natural "S" shape and is easy to manage. It can be curled or straightened and almost any style works with the natural pattern of waves.

The thicker your wavy hair is, the more likely it is to frizz so be sure to use a product designed to control frizz. Products such as spray gel or mousse won't weigh hair down and will enhance the natural wave. A great mouse that is designed for curls is John Frieda's Frizz-Ease Take Charge Curl Boosting Mousse.

To make your wavy hair curlier, allow it to air dry or use a diffuser when blowing it dry. Scrunching the hair while drying will produce more defined curls and waves. Once your hair is dry, use an anti-frizz serum or pomade to keep your curls in shape.

Medium Curls

Medium curls can be more challenging to control. It has a tighter curl pattern that is more prone to frizz. Those with medium curls may wish to wear their hair longer to weigh down the curls. This type of hair is also prone to dryness so be sure to use a deep conditioner such as Pantene's Deep Conditioning Treatment for curls to keep your hair well moisturized. Products such as creams or gels work best on medium curly hair as do ones with anti frizz properties.

Over drying your medium curls makes them more susceptible to dryness and frizz. Allow your hair to air dry then use a diffuser to scrunch your curls in place. Never brush or comb your hair after it has been dried.

Tight Curls

Tight curls can be hard to manage and is most common among African Americans. This type of curl is tightly coiled and has a visible curl pattern. Although it can be a challenge to style, there are several ways to overcome the obstacles.

Always allow your curls to fall in their natural pattern and choose a cut that works with your specific texture. Longer hair styles will weigh down the curls and make them looser while shorter styles will allow the hair to coil closer to the head. A shorter style is also the easiest to maintain and requires very little work.

Curls can tangle easily so be sure to use a good conditioner each time you wash your hair. Detangle your hair while wet with a wide tooth comb. Leave-in conditioner will keep kinky hair soft and feeling natural. A leave-in to try that is designed to make hair manageable is John Frieda's Daily Nourishment Leave In Conditioning Spray.

For best results, allow tight curls to dry naturally. If you are pressed for time, use a diffuser then allow your hair to air dry. The more you touch and apply heat to tight curls, the more likely they will frizz. There are many products that are designed for this type of hair and will both moisturize and keep frizz under control.

Product Lines

There are a number or product lines available that are designed to meet the special needs of hair that's curly. These include:

  • Frizz Off: Designed for curls of all hair types, this line includes some unique products like Exteenzz, a non-chemical curl relaxer that allows you to manipulate the hair more easily, and Tweek, a cream hairspray designed specially for curls.
  • Ouidad: Shop for a range of products by your curl type, from wavy to very kinky curls. You can also browse products by hair concern, such as for color treated curls.
  • Kerastase: Although a bit pricey, the cleansing, treating and protecting products for curls from this line are known for giving excellent results.
  • Carol's Daughter: Designed for using natural ingredients, this company offers a full range of hair products designed to reduce breakage, including shampoo, conditioners styling aids, and hair oil. The Hair Milk starter kit comes with several popular products for for very tight curls.

Many popular drugstore brands also carry collections designed for curly and wavy hair, including Pantene, Herbal Essence, and Tresemme.

Maintaining Your Curls

No matter what type of curls you may have, there are several things to do to keep it looking its best:

  • Try not to wash your hair daily. Over washing your hair can cause it to dry out and become frizzy and unruly.
  • Get your hair trimmed regularly to reduce split ends that result in frizz.
  • Use a deep conditioner weekly to add much needed moisture to curly locks.
  • Use products designed for curls. Pantene Pro V's Curly Hair Series contains a range of products from shampoos to conditioners and even gels and hair spray.

If you are having trouble with your curls, consult a professional. A professional stylish can help you decide what type of cut and products will work best with your specific hair type.

Straightening Curls

There are times when those blessed with curls want to go straight. If you are one of those people, there are several ways to straighten your curls. A flat iron is the most popular way to get your curls under control. Most flat irons use high heat which can damage hair over time. If you plan on straightening your curls, use a thermal protecting spray to keep your hair from being scorched. Straighten your hair in small sections at a time to get the best results. After your hair is straightened use an anti-frizz serum such as Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-In Serum to keep your hair straight and frizz free.

Other ways to straighten curls are to blow dry the hair straight or to get a professional chemical process.

Embrace Your Curls

Once you know how to make the most out of your curls, styling and maintaining your locks will be simple. Getting your curls to look the way you want takes practice and often a professional consultation. Hair that's full of curls can be flirty and sexy and the envy of your friends, even those who were born with stick straight locks.

Managing Curly Hair