After a decade-long trend of stick-straight hair, curly hair bounced back into style. But not just any curls. These are playful, free-flowing, and slightly unkempt. The secret? It's what you do with your hair while it's still wet. Here are curly hair tips that will give you a fuss-free look whether your hair is straight as an arrow or tightly wound.
First step: shampoo and condition. If you have thick or frizzy hair, leave in a hint of conditioner to keep it from drying out. To detangle, rake your fingers through curly or frizzy hair; run a comb through straight hair. Squeeze out excess moisture but don't towel-dry.
Now comes the crucial part for curly hair success. While hair is still sopping wet, coat it with a combo of styling and frizz-control products. Today's curl-specific groomers are so lightweight that they give springiness without weighing curls down. Which ones you should use depends on your hair's texture:
- For naturally wavy or curly hair, choose a curl enhancer such as Frederic Fekkai Luscious Curls.
- For thick, curly hair, try Curl Friends High Humidity Gel.
- For fine, curly hair, use Matrix Curl.life Contouring Milk.
- For frizzy hair, go for a straightening product or a cream like Kiehl's Creme with Silk Groom.
- For straight hair, a volumizing mousse or foam such as TRESemmé Curl Enhancing Mousse will do the trick.
In the palm of your hand, blend equal amounts of the curl enhancer with a frizz buster such as Pantene Pro-V Curl Shaper Anti-Frizz Crème. Finger-rake it through curly hair; use a comb with straight or frizzy hair. You needn't coat every strand. The idea is to let these products find their own way through your tresses. Next, pat lightly with a towel to press out moisture so the cuticle of each hair shaft stays smooth. No turbans, please: You want your curls to blossom.
If You Have Wavy or Curly Hair Finger-comb it once again. Starting at the crown, gather hair into sections. Use the width of your fingers to determine how wide you want your curls. Give some sections a gentle tug and let them fall where they will. Twist others tightly into corkscrews or loosely into flowing ribbons—no need to pin or clip.
For the forehead area, send tendrils forward and down. For height at the top, crisscross five or six tendrils at the crown. Let your set dry naturally for 10 minutes. Continue drying with a diffuser set on warm or cool, or sit under a heat lamp until hair is moderately dry.
If You Have Frizzy Hair Blow-dry it straight; then use rollers or a curling iron for a soft look.
If You Have Straight Hair Lightly towel-dry and then set it on rollers, Or if time permits, try pin curls all over your head. (Twist a section of hair around a finger or two and hold it in place with a clip or pin.) To dry pin curls, cover them with a thick mesh hairnet and use a diffuser or a dryer with a hood attachment. Pin curls can take upward of an hour to dry, but they're worth the wait and will last for several days.