How To Rock Your Most Beautiful Curly Hair
Naturally curly hair is one of the most celebrated hair types on the planet, yet many curly haired ladies spend their whole lives trying to tame their curls into submission (read: straightness!) because they have yet to master the art of curly hair, falsely thinking of their curly tresses as a tangled mess of frizz.
According to hair guru Cynthia Alvarez, curly hair mistakes are all too common. “The most common mistake women with curly hair make is not using the proper products for their hair,” says Dove Curl Expert Cynthia Alvarez. “The key is to use products that nourish hair in order to establish the proper foundation.”
Here’s what you need to know about curly hair…
Plan Out Your Regimen.
To solve any curly hair woes, Alvarez first recommends adopting a good hair care routine to properly care for your delicate curls. Aside from finding intensively moisturizing products, Alvarez suggests shampooing less, and keeping heat-styling to a minimum.
“For women with thicker, curlier hair, I recommend shampooing once a week,” says Alvarez. “For women with fine hair, I recommend shampooing twice a week.”
Added hydration is key to maintaining healthy and strong curls, so don’t be afraid to condition and moisturize generously, especially since most conditioning products lightly cleanse the hair, without drying it out.
“If you want to refresh your curls, you can wash with conditioner as opposed to shampoo,” says Alvarez. “Conditioner contains low levels of surfactants, which work to lightly cleanse the hair without drying it out.”
Another concern for curls comes breakage, which is caused by the fact that the hair cuticle facing in different directions. To help avoid this painful problem, Alvarez finds that brushing conditioned, wet hair (instead of dry!) helps beat frizz, and reduces breakage.
“The key is to avoid brushing curly hair while it’s dry,” explains Alvarez. “To detangle your hair, brush it in the shower while your conditioner is still in – you’ll avoid breakage and you’ll notice a reduction in frizz.”
And to towel dry your hair more effectively and gently, try using a microfiber towel or even a t-shirt. “Lose the terry cloth towel when drying hair, and use a microfiber towel or t-shirt instead,” says Alvarez. “It’s much gentler on the hair, and helps it dry faster without creating frizz.”
Apply Products On Wet Hair.
While your hair is still wet, Alvarez recommends applying on leave-in treatments and serums to help enhance delicate hair strands. Wet hair absorbs product benefits properly, without weighing it down in the process.
“Apply products to wet hair for maximum absorption,” states Alvarez. “That way, while you’re drying your hair it’s absorbing all of the product and won’t just sit on your hair and weigh it down.”
When it comes to styling your curls, it may be tempting to heat style your curls. However, our heated crimpers, curlers, and straightening irons can severely scorch your hair with damaging heat. To get beautiful, gorgeous curls, Alvarez advocates trying heat-free alternatives instead.
“Hair plopping is an easy, heat-free alternative to styling curly hair,” says Alvarez. “If you have time (anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight) and an oversized t-shirt, you can get in on the action!” To hair plop, Alvarez recommends applying the Dove Quench Absolute Supreme Crème Serum ($5.98) to damp hair before wrapping your hair into a t-shirt, twisting your t-shirt, and securing to get bouncy curls. As Alvarez explains, “Twist both sides of the t-shirt and secure behind your head. This will help create shiny, bouncy curls and waves when you’re ready to let your hair down!”
Pick Your Products.
To keep your curls in amazing shape, finding the right products can make all the difference. Whether it’s styling or conditioning tools, it’s always best to find products that nourish and treat hair with ease.
“I like the Dove Quench Absolute range, a three-part cleansing system formulated to nourish and treat hair, providing four times more defined natural curls,” explains Alvarez.
For styling products, apply them to wet hair for style without the weight. Aside from a leave-in-conditioner, a good hair serum like the Suave Curl Definition Luxe Style Infusion ($4.98) offers proper curl definition. For satiny curls that last 48 hours, try the Pantene Pro-V Curly Hair No Crunch Curls Whip ($5.97), which coats your hair with hair-healing vitamins. Or, if you prefer a frizz-busting mousse, the John Frieda Frizz Ease Curl Reviver Mousse ($6.59) brings an alcohol-free formula to your curls, which helps your curls to hold shape and makes your strands easier to manage.