9 Tips on How to Care for Curly Hair
Want to know how to take care of curly hair? Whether you’re working with your own curls or styling a client’s, those coils, curves and ringlets deserve the most delicate treatment to look their glossiest. We’ve already covered how to color curly locks and how to style curls flaw-lessly, so next up is giving them optimal care both in the salon and at home.
So, keep scrolling for our complete guide to curly hair care, featuring the best styling products for curls and some tried-and-true tricks that keep ringlets frizz-free and defined…
1. Start a Hair Wash Cycle
Wondering how often you should wash curly hair? The answer is different for everyone, but lathering up one to three times per week is a good rule of thumb for most curls. Some choose to do a cycle, where they might opt to co-wash their curly hair for one wash, precondition for the next, then finish the week with a clarifying shampoo to remove product build-up.
The trick is to experiment and take a prescriptive approach to cleansing curls, assessing the needs of the hair before you reach for the shampoo bottle. If hair starts to look dry, that’s often a sign that it needs nourishment, meaning it’s time to readdress the cycle and look to more hydrating formulas.
2. Keep the Water Cool
Snap those curly cuticles shut with a blast of cold water; a trick you can try on clients at the backwash or if you’re washing your own hair at home. It’s a simple switch that can make all the difference between frizzy tendrils and bouncy, defined locks. Plus, some believe it enhances shine – all the more reason to put hot water on hold.
3. Precondition Combination Curls
Preconditioning – which involves applying conditioner before you lather up with shampoo – is a popular technique for combination curls that need a dose of moisture with their cleanse. It gives hydration to mid-lengths and ends while ensuring the scalp still gets a good wash, providing the perfect balance for those with oily roots and parched tips. Start smoothing on a lighter conditioner, like the NutriCurls Detangling Conditioner for Waves & Curls, then rinse with shampoo and use a Nutricurls Deep Treatment as the final step.
4. Try a Cleansing Conditioner
There’s a reason the curly hair community loves co-washing; many find it reduces frizz, ups definition and keeps those bountiful curves feeling more hydrated than ever. All you need is a cleansing conditioner, like NutriCurls Cleansing Conditioner for Waves & Curls, which takes the place of traditional shampoo and offers up a gentler way to wash curly hair. It still rids locks of residue but doesn’t strip away natural oils, making it ideal for dry, coarse or damaged curls that are craving moisture. Ideal for alternating with a deeper cleanse, either by preconditioning the hair or opting for shampoo and treatment.
5. Use a Micellar Cleanser
When using a shampoo to remove product build-up, it’s important you find a formula that cleanses curls thoroughly without being too harsh. A micellar shampoo is great for this, as it harnesses tiny molecules called micelles, which work like magnets to trap oils and impurities in the hair. When you rinse the micelles away, they take all that dirt and oil with them, so the hair is left feeling fresh and balanced – never stripped or ‘squeaky clean’. Plus, if you use the NutriCurls Micellar Shampoo, you’ll get frizz-defying definition as a bonus. Apply it before a mask or as part two of your preconditioning routine.
6. Deep Condition Curls
Dryness is one of the most common complaints for curly hair. This is because, unlike straight hair, it’s harder for the oils from the scalp to travel down to the tips. That’s why a deep treatment mask is one of the best products to nourish curls, and we regularly call on our favorite – NutriCurls Deep Treatment for Waves & Curls – to keep moisture stores topped up. Use after shampoo, massaging the rich cream through the mid-lengths and ends of hair, then leave for five minutes while it pampers dehydrated locks back to their bouncy best.
Image Credit: Stefan Scholz
7. Dry Hair with a Microfiber Towel
The texture of a regular towel can sometimes roughen up the cuticle of fragile curls, even if you’re only blotting lightly to dry off just-washed hair. Instead, use a microfiber towel, which is specially designed to be gentle and ultra-absorbent, allowing you to remove excess moisture without making those curves go frizzy.
8. Comb Curls from the Bottom
When brushing hair, it might feel natural to glide the comb from root to tip, but this is a major no-no for curly locks – and, in fact, any locks. Instead, to reduce damage, you should always start combing downwards from the tips, gradually moving up to the root and teasing out every last knot as you go. Try it with a wide-toothed comb, which is less likely to snag on curls or alter their pattern. You could also use fingertips for an even gentler way of detangling This technique (fingertips) is recommended to do while in the shower with conditioner or mask on the hair.
9. Choose Stylers that Care
Look for styling products with benefits; creams, gels and lotions infused with nourishment hydrating oils, giving curly hair a moisture hit as well as a flawless style. Some of our go-tos include the NutriCurls Curlixir Defining Balm for soft, bounce-boosting hold and intense nourishment. If you crave for more hold, go for EIMI Soft Twirl to lend polished definition and control. Whatever you use, apply to very wet hair for the most frizz-proof finish and work in sections, ensuring you reach every layer for even coverage.