Most people have no idea that my hair is naturally curly, which is because I’ve been diligently straightening it since the second I hit puberty. My best description of it was always, “Picture a bomb exploding in a poodle.” I’ve since learned, however, that keeping curly hair from tangling and frizzing is an art form, and the artist is nowhere without her collection of great curl-defining products.
While all hair textures and styles are gorgeous, that doesn’t mean the same haircare system is going to adequately work for all of them. If you’ve got waves and ringlets, your whole haircare routine should be tailored to your curly hair, from your moisture-friendly cleanser to the brush you use to detangle curls. More so than any other hair type, curly hair requires a lot of conditioning. Scientists speculate that people get curly hair because of the angle of the follicle and the proteins in the strand, so you’ll need the best hair-curling products that support your curls, rather than inhibit them. Not sure where to begin? Check out these ten awesome items that keep your curls defined, healthy, and frizz-free.
1. Stop Stripping Curls With Shampoo — Hydrate With Cleansing Conditioner
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m all about cleansing conditioners, but especially for curly hair (which needs natural sebum for curl definition), the Matrix Biolage cleansing conditioner is an awesome option. It cleanses away dirt and product build-up without stripping your scalp’s natural oils, and because it’s made with awesome ingredients like avocado, but skips the parabens and sulfates, reviewers say this is an incredible and hydrating way to get hair looking silky, weightless, clean, and moisturized.
2. Instead Of Letting Frizz Frame Your Face, Tame It With A Lightweight Smoothie Solution
SheaMoisture is at the forefront of the curl game, and the SheaMoisture coconut and hibiscus curl enhancing smoothie is no different. It’s got awesome natural ingredients that reduce frizz and add definition for bouncy, controlled, weightless curls. One reviewer puts it simply: “I've tried lots of other curly girl products and every single time, I come back to this.”
3. Don't Just Blow Dry — Always Dry Curly Hair With A Diffuser
If you’re blow-drying your curly hair without a diffuser (and you’re not trying to straighten it), you’re doing it wrong. This The Curly Co collapsible hair diffuser stretches, so it can attach to most hair dryers to give you volume and definition without loading on the products. Best of all, it collapses into itself for easy storage and travel. If you’re not sure how to use a diffuser for curly hair, check out this tutorial here.
4. Don't Let Damage From Hot Tools Destroy Curl Pattern — Reverse Breakage With Silk Proteins
This Silk18 natural conditioner is especially great if you’ve got leftover damage from your hair-straightening days. It contains an awesome blend of natural oils and keratin to strengthen strands, reduce frizz, and leave curls feeling silky smooth. One reviewer says, “This product, honestly and truly, is a miracle product,” while another writes, “Makes me smell like a cookie.” A spectacular combination, if you ask me.
5. Don't Crush Volume With Plastic-Looking Gels — Nourish Curls With Coconut Gel
Most gels leave hair feeling weighed down with synthetic ingredients, but Renpure's coconut creme curling jelly skips the sulfates, parabens, and salts to give you a solution that’s lightweight, but dependable. It’s a great option if you need a firm hold without the plastic-looking finish that some gels give, and reviewers say it smells amazing, too.
6. Don't Let Fly-Aways Spring Up — Control Them With Coconut Oil
If you’re looking for a lightweight serum that conditions curls without feeling greasy (perhaps before or after a diffusing session), this coconut oil hair serum is your answer. It keeps hair soft and neat without the excess weight, and because it’s made with natural coconut oil, it absorbs into brittle strands to heal them from the inside out.
7. Stop Trying To Work Out Knots In Dry Hair — Detangle Curls While They're Wet
Another one from the Holy Grail of curl products, Shea Moisture's raw shea butter detangler works best when curly hair is wet. It adds moisture and hydration while tackling even the most difficult knots. The tangles just melt away, and some people say that they don’t even need any additional products to define and smooth their curls.
8. Breakage Leads To Dead-Looking Ends — Use A Brush That Won’t Break Your Strands
The biggest commandment when it comes to curly hair: never brush it when it’s dry, and be really careful about which brush you use. While most brushes rip and shred the strands, the Crave Naturals detangling brush uses quality cone-shaped bristles that glide through hair, painlessly and without hassle. It’s totally adult-friendly, but tons of parents use it on their curly-haired children to avoid fits during the morning routine.
9. Stop Settling For The Bare Minimum In Hair Care — Do A Weekly Oil Treatment With Jojoba Oil
Ladies with curly hair swear by oil treatments to keep hair defined and frizz-free, and jojoba oil is an awesome option because it’s loaded with vitamins and is similar to your scalp’s natural sebum, so it’s ultra-moisturizing. This Leven Rose organic jojoba oil is entirely pure, cold-pressed, and unrefined, meaning that you’re getting the oil in its most natural state. It absorbs easily to promote growth, protect the follicles, and smooth split ends and frizz.
10. Keep That One Curl From Breaking Free With A Curl-Defining Mousse
For a lightweight curl-holding solution without the crunch, check out Giovanni's styling foam. It distributes easily throughout hair to give it shine and definition, all while keeping your curls flawlessly in place. A little goes a long way, and it’s a great option if you’re looking to add volume and reduce puffiness, no matter what hair type you’ve got.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.
Images: Unsplash/Pexels; Amazon (10)