Here are ten tricks to master.
1. Adopt the ‘twist and press’ method when drying.
We’re all guilty of rough drying our tresses after a shower, but the rigorous motion can crush natural curls and encourage a halo of unsightly frizz. Hairstylist Lee Stafford mentions that the much gentler ‘press and twist’ method will preserve curls and provide body.
“Simply take your towel and press and twist the hair rather than roughly rubbing it back and forth,” he said. “Vigorously rubbing the hair to dry it will push the hair cuticles upwards which creates frizz.”
2. Ditch the hairbrush.
Curly hair tends to be more dry and brittle than other types, so pulling a hairbrush through it will cause breakage and iron out your curl’s natural shape. To untangle, run a wide-toothed comb through your hair while you condition in the shower. Leave it well alone after that.
3. Ask your hairstylist to feather the ends of your hair with a razor or scissors.
This is one of the best kept secrets in hairdressing. Think of a synthetic ribbon – when you scrape the surface with the the sharp edge of a pair of scissors, the end shoots up into a curl; this is what feathering your hair will achieve.
Hello, all-over volume.
4. Swap your oily serum for a light curl creme.
Oils and serums are great for smoothing down fly-aways, but, if definition is what you covet, treat your mid lengths to ends to something lighter. The milky formula of Bumble and Bumble’s (STYLE) Defining Creme, £23.50 helps curls reform in next to no time without weighing them down.
5. Always use a diffuser when blow-drying.
A diffuser is essential for evening out curl patterns. To give your curls some shape, simply turn your hairdryer on to the ‘low’ setting and drop them into the diffuser.
Use your hands to push your hair around to make sure you define every strand.
6. Avoid ‘anti-frizz’ products.
Shampoos, conditioners and serums which claim to rid your lengths of frizzies and flyaways will only give weight to curls and drag them down. Curly hair is often dry, but, Redken’s All Soft Shampoo, £14.50 provides parched strands with a shot of nourishment all while defining tousles effortlessly.
7. Change up your mousse game.
Kerastase’s Mousse Curl Ideal, £21.80 is a game-changer. It is packed with malleable proteins that strengthen every curl without that stiff feeling. If you go a little overboard with product, a puddle of OGX’s Moroccan Argan Oil, £6.99 will cut through any crispiness, softening the curl and making your style last longer.
8. Choose a light hold hairspray to lock in your style.
Don’t make the mistake of drenching your natural curls in strong hold hairspray to keep them in check. Blanket hair with a little light hold hairspray, instead, as not to compromise on movement.
9. Treat your hair to a deep condition treatment.
Quench thirsty curls and encourage a lively bounce by treating your hair to an intensely hydrating conditioning treatment – like the Mizani True Textures Replenish Mask, £13.80 – once, or twice, a month. Slather on to shampooed locks and wait for the antioxidants and fatty acids to work their magic.
10. Don’t be afraid of salt sprays.
Re-applying mousse will only saturate your curls, making them rock hard. Instead, breathe life into a two-day-old ‘do with a light veil of salt spray. Scrunching Balmain’s Texturising Salt Spray, £20.65 into either damp or dry hair will refresh a flagging mane instantly.