Curly haired individuals are a lot like snowflakes, no two curls are alike. As such, curly hair poses unique challenges for anyone struggling to maintain their curly coif. We have put together the ultimate guide to help you assess and identify your curl type, and help you find the right hair prescription for your individual needs.
The best time to identify your curl pattern is when your hair is at its healthiest state; this means moisturized and free of damage. If you have been straightening your hair for the past few years or even months, you may have heat damage. To get a clear idea of your natural curl pattern, it’s best to look at it once you have stopped using heat tools — including blow dryers, flat irons, and curling wands — for at least three months. If the roots are curlier than the ends of your hair, then this is a clear indicator of heat damage, and figuring out your curl pattern may be a struggle until your natural curls grow in and the damaged ends have been cut off. Remember, most people are a mix of a couple of curl patterns.
Whats my Curl Type
Wavy hair is characterized by S-shaped waves (rather than coils). Women with wavy hair typically use mousses, leave-in serums, and heat protectants rather than creams or gels, and are generally most concerned with reducing their frizz and finding products that will give their waves light hold without weighing them down. Those with wavy hair are less likely to avoid certain ingredients like silicones and sulfates, and more likely to use heat-styling tools like flat irons or curling wands. Think Bradley Cooper, Taylor Swift, Lorde and Rita Ora.
Curly hair has more defined, springy curls that form spirals or ringlets. Those with curly hair are mostly concerned with reducing frizz and adding definition. They use creams and gels to give their curls definition, and they’re more likely to avoid drying ingredients in their shampoos. If your curls are similar in size to the large sidewalk chalk you used as a kid, a Sharpie, or a pencil or a straw, then you’re curly. Think Shakira, Salma Hayek, Kit Harrington and Rihanna.
Coily hair can appear much shorter than it is (a phenomenon known as shrinkage). For those with these locks, it’s all about moisture and preventing tangles. Conditioners with lots of slip and moisturizers are must-haves in a coily girl’s product lineup. Slip refers to how the product lubricates your hair and describes products (i.e., daily conditioner, deep conditioner, or leave-in conditioner) that are usually applied during washing and detangling. If your hair looks like small, tight corkscrews the size of a crochet needle, you’re seeing coils. Coils are tighter than curly hair and more closely resemble the spring of a pen. If you have coily hair, then you may have higher density (more hair strands per square inch) and coarser strands (each individual strand is wider), which creates greater shrinkage and less curl definition. Think Solange Knowles, Lupita Nyong’o, Thandie Newton and Kerri Russell.
What’s My Curl Prescription?
Moroccanoil® Curl Defining Cream
Embrace your waves and curls. The Moroccanoil Curl Collection defines curls of all shapes and textures, while intensely hydrating and moisturizing. All their products are infused with nourishing antioxidant-rich argan oil, signature to the brand. These products provide a level of protection from heat styling and moisture loss, as well as enhance luster, smoothness and manageability.
Easily activate and define curls while hydrating hair. Moroccanoil® Curl Defining Cream is one of our most popular products for curly hair. This argan oil-infused curl definer features an advanced heat- activated technology that provides a curl memory factor to fight frizz and create well-defined, natural- looking, bouncy curls that last. Winner, Ultimate Curl Tamer, 2018 New Beauty Award
HOW TO USE
Easily activate and define curls while hydrating hair. Moroccanoil® Curl Defining Cream is one of our most popular products for curly hair. This argan oil-infused curl definer features an advanced heat- activated technology that provides a curl memory factor to fight frizz and create well-defined, natural- looking, bouncy curls that last.
Kerastase Cleansing Conditioner
The Discipline Collection is a hair-smoothing, anti-frizz collection that is perfect for anyone who wants to add definition to unruly hair. Discipline works on two levels; firstly to tame and smooth hair and secondly to restore and strengthen. Kerastase has developed a Morpho-Keratin complex that restores hair by replenishing hair fibres with amino acids, wheat proteins and ceramides. As well as strengthening the hair from the inside, Discipline uses polymers to smooth the surface of the hair and create an anti-humidity surface.
Hair-smoothing cleansing conditioner for frizzy or curly hair. Sulfate-free and silicone-free cleansing conditioner supports nourished curl definition with natural bounce and a smooth finish. Low lather technology gently removes impurities, cleansing and nourishing hair to achieve perfect curl definition in one step. Creamy texture immerses each fiber in a protective layer of cream to smoo
- Pro-Kératine Complex technology to smooth the hair surface leaving hair replenished and smoothed
- Hydrolyzed Elastin for elasticity to the hair texture, strength and definition to the hair
HOW TO USE
On wet hair, apply 4-7 pumps of Cleansing Conditioner Curl Idéal depending on hair length. Work the product into the scalp with circular massages to remove all impurities. Add some water and spread along the lengths and tips, optimizing care along all curl curves. Leave in for 3-5 minutes to maximize conditioning penetration, then emulsify generously and rinse thoroughly. Repeat the application to wash twice if desired.
Kim’s Favourite Products for Perfect Curls
KERASTASE CURL FEVER
Create defined loose or tight curls and waves with medium and flexible hold. Curls are defined, bouncy and soft to the touch.
• High definition to control curls • Bouncy movement
• Hydration and shine
• Shape memory with anti-frizz • Non-crunchy finish
HOW TO USE
• Apply one or two pumps to towel dried hair from the ends, working upwards.
• To define curls, dry naturally or blow dry using a diffuser.
• Thermo-protective agent makes this ideal to apply on dry hair and use with a curling iron.
L’Oreal Professional Dual Styler – Bouncy and Tender
Thought that your natural curls couldn’t look defined and frizz-free? Think again. Bouncy and Tender is a 2 in 1 blow-dry gel-cream for a blow-dry that lasts up to 72 hours. Make this your product for unruly curls. It’s perfect for achieving smooth, sleek looking curls but with a natural bouncy feel to the hair. The cream core helps smooth the look of frizz. While the gel works to give a shiny look, and add movement back into the hair. If you love curls to look beautifully defined, but naturally bouncy and free, this is a styling essential for you.
HOW TO USE
- Apply a 1-2 dabs of product onto towel dried hair
- Sculpt the curls with fingers, dry naturally or blow dry using a diffuser