How many hair care products are there in the world promising to give you perfect, silky curls? Or ones offering to boost your natural curls like a high-quality curl defining cream should, but end up under-delivering? Too many to count.
Since I know how exhausting this process can be, I’m here to help you. In this article, I will help you identify your curl type and teach you how to find the best products based on your specific curls. I'll also give you some general tips on how to take care of your natural curls.
Keep reading for the best curly hair care practices and to learn what the best products for curly hair are.
How to Find the Best Curly Hair Products
Before you begin your search for the best products for curly hair, you need to take some time to get to know your hair. This will help determine which curly or wavy hair products are best for you.
Get to Know Your Hair
Everyone has a hair type. There are specific types of wavy or curly textured hair. For example, my hair type is between type 2A and type 2B. What does this mean? It means my hair texture is fine and wavy and I have a few sections of S-shaped waves. Since I have wavy hair, I use specifically wavy hair products for my texture. Don’t worry if you don’t know your curl type yet, I’m going to help you.
First, when it comes to identifying your curl type, you should distinguish if you have wavy, curly, or coily hair. Type 2 hair is wavy, with bendable strands and large S-shaped waves. Type 3 hair is curly and can range from large loose curls to tight springy curls. This hair type is more susceptible to dryness. Type 4 is coiled hair that is very tight with Z-shaped curls. This hair type can appear short due to the shrinkage of the curls.
From here, each hair type has sub-classifications based on the hair texture, shape, and diameter of curls. It’s common to have several different curl patterns in your hair, so don’t worry if you feel like you can’t find only one type in your head!
Find Out Your Curl Pattern
Here is a list of wavy, curly, and coily hair types that will help you to find the best products for your curls:
Types 2A-C: Wavy Hair
As I mentioned above, 2A, 2B and 2C are wavy hair types. 2A hair has the least amount of texture and volume and is considered nearly straight. 2B type has larger S-shaped waves than 2A, but the waves usually start below the crown of the head. 2C hair types are the thickest of wavy hair and can even appear curly rather than wavy. With this type the curls are better defined S-shapes that begin at the root.
If you have wavy hair I recommend using volume-boosting, wavy hair products like the Ocean Water Sea Salt Spray or a scalp treatment such as Grow Perfect™ Thickening Spray to add some texture and volume to your roots. Another important tip for types 2A to C is to focus on more lightweight wavy hair products rather than heavy products for curly hair.
Types 3A-C: Curly Hair
Now we are in curly hair territory. Type 3A is the largest curl type that has more volume and texture than wavy hair but isn’t as dense as other curly hair types. 3B curls appear like springy ringlets that have the circumference of a marker. 3C is the tightest curl type, with curls tight enough to wrap around a pencil.
The best products for naturally curly hair of this type will be hydrating ones. To enhance 3A-C curls, I recommend using products for curly hair like the Curl Crush™ Defining Cream to help add definition and keep frizz away. This is one of the best products for curly hair. An excellent shampoo for curly hair is the Curl Crush™ Shampoo because it hydrates and protects your hair while boosting hair growth!
Types 4A-C: Coily Hair
Type 4 hair is coily. When type 4A hair is wet, the curls and coils are not as noticeable, but once it dries, there is noticeable shrinkage. 4B is denser than type 4A with a sharp Z-shape and is often wiry and coarse. Type 4C is the densest of zig-zag curls. This hair type encounters the most shrinkage when dry. What is cool about coily hair types is that it’s very versatile and can be styled in a number of ways.
Coily hair is the most prone to frizz and dryness, so having an intensively nourishing and hydrating regimen is essential. Adding curly hair products that contain heavier oils to your curly hair care routine will boost hydration and definition. You’ll definitely want curly hair products specifically designed to protect and care for natural coils. Curl Crush™ Conditioner is a great conditioner for all curl types, as it doubles up both as a co-wash and a leave-in or rinse out conditioner! On top of a conditioner for curly hair, adding a hydrating and strengthening treatment like the Curl Crush™ Hair Mask to your weekly routine is a must.
Identify Your Hair Porosity
Hair porosity refers to how well your hair absorbs product and moisture. It’s determined by the shape and size of your hair cuticle, which is the outermost layer of your hair strand anatomy. Your cuticle type is usually genetically determined. But harsh practices, like using too much heat and not using proper products for curly hair, can affect your cuticle making it more porous. You can have high, medium, or low porosity in your hair.
The float test is a quick method to determine your porosity type. Take a stray hair and place it in a glass of water. If your hair floats you have low porosity, but if it sinks you have high porosity. Hair that gently descends through the glass is medium porosity. However, it’s good to keep in mind that this quick hair porosity test is only indicative.
Another good indicator of hair porosity is how fast your hair air dries. The faster your hair dries, the higher the porosity. How long or thick your hair will of course affect drying time, but the porosity is the main determinator of how quickly your hair will dry. To give you a better idea, high porosity hair can be fully dry in 2 hours, whereas for low porosity hair it can take over 8 hours.
Now that you have an idea of your porosity type, here is what it means:
- I. High Porosity - Having high porosity means your hair cuticles have larger gaps in them - either due to genetics or damage. Your hair can take in (too much) moisture but it cannot retain it as easily. Using leave-in treatments or other curly hair products that help to seal in the moisture are the best products for curly hair with high porosity. High porosity hair requires heavier moisturizers, and layering several leave-in products can be a good idea to keep frizz at bay. Cover your curls in Curl Crush™ Conditioner and Curl Crush™ Defining Cream for maximum hydration. Remember also that the more damaged the hair, the more repairing protein it needs. Therefore, frequent protein treatments are great for high porosity hair.
- II. Medium Porosity - Medium, or normal, porosity is an even amount of cuticle smoothness with few gaps. This means that your hair strands attract and maintain moisture well and do not need much maintenance. So if you have medium porosity you can consider yourself lucky!
- III. Low Porosity - Low porosity hair is often considered the healthiest and shiniest looking. It repels water when you try to make it wet, as the hair strands have minimal to zero gaps in the cuticles. The flip side of the coin is that also moisture and nutrients cannot get inside the hair strands as easily. If you have low porosity hair opt for lightweight products with humectants like glycerin that will help attract moisture, and avoid heavy products that will only sit on your hair making it appear greasy. In my opinion Curl Crush™ Shampoo is the best shampoo for curly hair with low porosity.
How to Bring Out Your Natural Curls
You may need to add protein-boosting or moisture-boosting products to bring out the best in your curls. If your hair has high elasticity and feels too soft or your curls fall out easily and look less curly than before, you may need protein-boosting products for curly hair. If your hair is brittle, stiff and dry, you need moisture-boosting products. The key to healthy looking curls is the right balance between moisture and protein.
Products With Protein:
Those with high or medium porosity may benefit from added protein:
- Curl Crush™ Hair Mask - This mask provides an even balance of protein and moisture and is a great product for naturally curly hair of all types.
- Curl Crush™ Shampoo - The best shampoo for curly hair is going to cleanse your hair gently without drying it out.
- Curl Crush™ Conditioner - It’s important to use conditioners designed for curly hair as they often provide the most hydration.
- Protein Repair™ Hair Mask - If you are looking for an intensively repairing protein treatment for damaged, high porosity curls, this is an excellent option.
Products Without Protein:
If your hair has low porosity or feels very dry and brittle, you want to focus on moisturizing products for naturally curly hair:
- Curl Crush™ Defining Cream - I think this is one of the best curly hair products. It delivers frizz-free, soft natural curls and is full of antioxidants to protect and strengthen your curls. Read this article on curl creams and mousses, if you are not sure which styling product for curls to go for.
- Moisture Hero™ Hair Oil - This is my absolute favorite hair oil for frizzy, coarse curls. It is based on a 100% natural, silicone-free formula that deeply hydrates, tames, and nourishes dry curls.
- Sun Defense Hair Mist - I love this hydrating spray because it’s easy to use and gives a beautiful shine. This is one of my favorite wavy hair products.
- Moisture Hero™ Pre-Shampoo Balm - This balm gives your hair a moisture-boosting and shine-enhancing treatment and is a great curly hair product, whenever your hair needs some extra love.
4 Important Curly Hair Care Tips
Along with using curly hair products, here are some crucial tips for curly hair care:
- Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo - You should only use sulfate-free shampoo for curly hair and avoid excessive washing. Otherwise, you’ll dry out your natural curls. Same goes for products that contain silicone or drying alcohol.
- Ditch The Brush - Excessively brushing your hair can result in frizz and damage the strands, especially if you have high porosity curls. If you need to comb through some tangles, use a wide-tooth comb on wet hair while using conditioner for curly hair. This will gently remove tangles and distribute the product through your strands. Another exception is a curl defining brush that is designed specifically for styling curly hair.
- No Heat - Along with ditching the brush, it’s time to stop using heat tools. It will only damage your hair in the long run. Instead of a blow dryer, use a soft Turban Towel to gently dry your tresses.
- Protect Your Hair While Sleeping - To keep your curls defined and frizz free, it’s important to avoid rubbing them at night as well. The silky smooth Silky Bamboo Pillowcase will keep your curls hydrated and protected while you sleep. Read more about the benefits of bamboo bedding here .
For more detailed advice about curly hair care, read this guide to the Curly Girl Method.
Other Essential Products for Curly Hair
Here are some other great curly hair products to add to your curly hair care routine:
- Scalp Delight™ Detox Scrub, Conditioner and Scalp Massage Brush - Make sure you’re giving your scalp attention and giving it a good cleansing once in a while. Clarifying washes are especially important for people with curly hair, as using only gentle shampoos or co-washing combined with a lot of styling products can result in product buildup. So to keep those curls looking healthy and bouncy remember a sulfate-free exfoliation once in a while!
- Hair Formula Gummies for Women - For maintaining hair health from the inside, taking hair growth supplements like these delicious gummies will ensure your hair grows strong and healthy.
- Ocean Water Sea Salt Spray - This is a silicone-free styling spray that adds texture and volume to all hair types without drying them out. A great example of a wavy hair product that adds volume to those flat sections.
For those with straight or wavy hair who want to recreate beautiful curls, the Heatless Curl Kit is a great tool to transform fine hair into bouncy curls overnight with no heat.
I hope I have left you with some helpful tips and knowledge on how to find the best products for naturally curly hair. What curly hair products do you use? Tell me in the comments below!
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