Curly hair comes in a variety of textures and styles, from wavy (the most relaxed) to coily (the tightest) — and they all require different styling methods. Since we've already laid out our best tips on how to style waves and curls, now we're on to coils. (Don't think we forgot about all of you coily gals.) Here's the low-down: This hair type has the tightest curl pattern, so it's often quite dry, says celebrity hairstylist Tym Wallace. The tighter your curls, the longer it takes for the natural oils produced by your scalp to reach your ends. So what does that mean for you? Well, you'll need to use lots of moisturizing products, for one. "Don't be afraid to use everything but the kitchen sink when it comes to oils and moisturizers," says Spoke + Weal founder and pro hairstylist Jon Reyman.
Whether you want to know what to pick up at Sephora to keep your curls healthy and hydrated or you're curious how often you really need to shampoo (hint: the answer is rarely), we've put together a handy guide straight from the experts.
Clarifying shampoos that contain heavy surfactants are not your friend — they'll only strip your curls of their natural oils. So only wash when absolutely necessary or every other week according to our experts. When you do wash your hair, "be sure to use a moisturizing cleanser or co-wash that gently cleanses hair using natural oils and butters," says Bumble and bumble hairstylist Mischa G.
Sure, coily gals might be off the hook when it comes to daily shampooing, but make no mistake, this hair type still requires upkeep. "Use a deep-conditioning mask or treatment at least once a week," says hairstylist Anu Prestonia. She recommends using one infused with heavy oils, like argan or castor oil. Bonus points if it also contains vitamin E, which "repairs even the most damaged of hair," she says.
Not only is coily hair naturally extremely dry, but it also happens to be the most fragile hair type. "Many women with coily hair think that their hair doesn't grow, but that's just because it breaks off before it has a chance to," says Mischa G. Ultra-hydrating styling products, like DevaCurl SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler, will strengthen your hair and prevent breakage. But the secret lies in taking your time to apply them. Use your hands to gently disperse a quarter-sized amount of cream onto damp hair from the bottom up. Then let your hair air dry.
Most hairstylists recommend trimming your hair every six to eight weeks (advice we typically ignore until our split ends are embarrassingly apparent). But if you have coily hair, it's actually crucial to heed their advice. Regular trims will keep your hair from knotting at the ends, where it's typically drier and coarser, says Prestonia. To keep hair healthy between trims, apply a moisturizing serum featuring a blend of natural oils to your ends daily.
If you usually wait until you're out of the shower to tackle detangling, you may want to adjust your routine. While in the shower with your conditioner still in, use a wide-toothed comb to gently brush your hair section by section. Start from your ends and work your way up toward your scalp. "Don't rake through your hair from top to bottom, [or you'll] risk damaging it," says Mischa G.
We've said it once and we'll say it again. The key to bouncy, healthy curls is moisture. And since coily hair is the tightest — and driest — don't hesitate to use heavy creams, like Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Heavy Cream. Not only does it feature ultra-nourishing oils like castor and olive oil, but it also features MCM (methylsulfonylmethane), which promotes hair growth by keeping the hair follicle healthy and strong.
To revive second-, third-, or even fourth-day curls, try spritzing on a hydrating mist like this Vernon François PURE~FRO Moisture Spray which features hydrating kalahari melon oil. Spray it all over whenever you feel like your curls could use some extra TLC — and don't hold back. "This hair type can handle lots of products without getting greasy," says celebrity stylist David Lopez. "It needs a lot of moisture replenishment."
Any time you're doing extensive product application, you'll notice some buildup at your scalp. To keep this at bay, Lopez recommends using a tea-tree treatment at least once a month. "It will release excess oil and dirt and keep the pH level of your scalp where you want it to be," he says.
A Curl Boss is more than just someone with curly hair. It’s someone who embraces and owns who they are and what they've got. To help you unlock your inner Curl Boss, we partnered with Sephora to bring you these handy guides for caring for and styling wavy, curly, and coily hair. The best part? You’ll know exactly what products work for you — and your gorgeous 'do — so that you can have the vivacious, luscious curls of your dreams.