Curly hair can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your point of view. Few people would argue that a mane of bouncy, healthy curls is beautiful, but curly hair also tends to be dry, frizzy and out of control. To make the most of curly hair, it is important to use the right hair care products. Here are a few guidelines:
- Ask the pros. Schedule a consultation at a reputable salon and request a stylist who specializes in curly hair. This is an important first step because the stylist will be able to able to assess the current condition of your hair and make specific recommendations based on your hair's length, texture, thickness and overall health.
- Know what you want. Product selection will vary, depending on whether you want to maximize your curl or transform your hair into a smooth, silky, straight style.
- Moisturize. Curly hair is prone to dryness, so start with a good quality moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Many people with curls find that they only need to wash their hair every other day, but daily conditioning is best.
- Go deep. Once a week (more often in cold, dry climates or if you notice that your curls are dry and frizzy), apply a deep conditioning treatment. There are a number of good ones available at salons and mass merchandisers, or you can make one at home by mixing equal parts of honey and vegetable oil. Apply the mixture to damp hair and put on a shower cap. Wait for 20-30 minutes and then shampoo, condition and style as usual.
- Know your stuff. Manufacturers have made great advancements in recent years in the production of products for curly hair. It well help if you familiarize yourself with a few of the basics:
Stay in line: When you are experimenting to see which products will work best on your curls, buy an assortment from one manufacturer's line. They are often formulated to work in conjunction with one another and you will see the best results by using the products in tandem.
Pinch pennies. Salons sell quality product lines for curly hair, but so do drugstores and mass merchandisers. More expensive does not always mean better. Try a variety of brands to see what works best for you.
- Hair serum: Silicone-based hair serums are formulated to lock in moisture, reducing frizz and transforming dry-looking, frizzy hair into silky cooperative curls. Hair serum can also be used as a first styling step when blow-drying curly hair into straight styles.
- Mousse: Hair mousse that is specifically formulated for use on curly hair will help to form ringlets and provide a soft hold for curls. Be sure that you use mousse designed for curly hair since using regular mousse can result in bulky, puffy hair.
- Gel: Applied to damp curls, curly-hair gel will provide a moisture barrier to help minimize frizz while providing a medium to high level of hold. Excess gel can make hair feel stiff, so start with a small amount.
- Pomade: A touch of pomade on dry curls will provide natural-looking hold and a touch of shine. Too much can make hair appear greasy, so use sparingly.
- Shine spray: As a finishing touch, shine-enhancing products add a healthy glisten to your curls.