Ladies with curls know all too well: Your gift can often feel more like a curse. In an effort to diminish the daily struggle, here’s are our top five tips for wrangling your mane.
1. Layers, Layers, Layers It all starts with the haircut. A curly head sans layers is a recipe for a triangle-shaped disaster. No matter your texture, ask your hairdresser for long layers. This will give your hair shape, whether it’s below or above your shoulders. Having them cut it dry also helps.
2. Sulfate-Free Shampoo On the days you actually decide to wash (you should try to go as long as possible between shampoos), opt for sulfate-free products only. Sulfates strip the hair of moisture–a curly girls worst nightmare. Some of our favorites include L’Oreal EverCrème ($7) and Miss Jessie’s Co-Wash ($11).
3. Avoid Bath Towels Stick to a microfiber towel or a cotton T-shirt to soak-up water. Never rub your head with a bath towel–it causes major frizz. If you want to get real fancy, pick up this towel ($12) from the gurus at Deva Curl.
4. Regular Treatments A weekly protein treatment or deep conditioning regimen is crucial to maintaining the integrity of your curls. A good indicator as to whether or not you need one is to stretch out one hair strand. If it doesn’t bounce back, it’s time for a mask.
5. Anticipate Trial and Error Nailing down a solid product arsenal has a lot to do with your texture. For thin hair, we recommend using mousse (never gel–it gets crunchy). For thick hair, try grapeseed oil on your ends. It’s lighter than argan or Moroccan oil, so it zaps frizz without weighing down your strands.