Top tips for curly hair

Fighting the frizz or limp, lifeless curls means many naturally curly girls have resorted to straighteners. But with the right techniques and products, that natural wave can look fabulous, so why not try embracing the curls?

Tips for curly hair

Pic: Getty

Heavy styling and shampooing can dry out the hair, and curly locks, more than any other, require extra hydration. Many experts recommend laying off the shampoo as much as possible - or at least using one that contains no sulphates, as these are what dry out the hair, and look for products that contain moisture-rich ingredients such as shea butter or avocado oil. Condition and rinse once in the shower, and try a leave-in product too, helping to lock in that much-needed moisture.

Step away from the towel, curly girls. Towel drying your ringlets will give rise to frizz, so try using paper towels or a microfibre towel to blot dry the hair, squeezing upwards towards the scalp to gently remove the moisture. Your natural curls will fall into place while still damp, and at this stage you'll want to avoid combing all the way through. Instead, let it part naturally, and comb through a little at the crown, using a wide-toothed comb to reduce frizz and breakage.

If you're in a hurry and don't have time to dry naturally, set your blow dryer to a low or medium setting, and use a diffuser to distribute the heat evenly.

Styling curly hair can be a time consuming business, so if you're short on time in the mornings it could pay to try a nighttime regime. For example, twisting or braiding your hair before you hit the sack will maximise your curls or waves, and after a sound night's sleep, all you need to do is let the curls fall.

Another tip for curly hair is to swap your cotton pillowcase for satin. Cotton can be rough on hair, and after a night of tossing and turning, you may find you wake up to a frizzy nightmare. Satin reduces both the frizz and the breakage, giving you a more manageable morning.

Be careful which styling products you use too. All too often, gel products dry hard, and look and feel crunchy so opt for a softer, curl defining product, working it from the back of your head at the top of the neck, and squeezing through the lengths.

And if all else fails and you're simply out of styling time, just twist your natural curls into a low bun and fix with bobby pins.

Best buys
The beauty industry woke up to the special needs of curly hair some time ago, and that means there are plenty of excellent products on the market to keep your locks in perfect shape.

Conditioning is so important for curly hair. Try products such as Be Curly Curl Controller (£19) by Aveda, which will tame unruly locks whilst loosening very tight curls. Love Curl Enhancing Conditioner (£14.80) by Davines is another specialist product that hydrates and fights the frizz, but is lightweight so as not to weigh hair down. Naked's Little Miracle Leave-In Conditioner (£4.99) is great for tackling the frizz and also helps to control tangles.

On the shampoo front, sulphate-free is the key. Try Milk_shake's Curl Passion Shampoo (£12.40) for a hydrating, frizz-free clean that'll help to strengthen your locks.

As mentioned, when it comes to styling, avoid the hard-setting gels that leave curly hair crunchy. For bigger budgets, Skimdo's Originaly Styling Cream (£45) hits all the right notes, taming unruly locks and leaving you with smooth, bouncy curls. Though expensive, a little goes a long way. Tigi's S-Factor Silky Smooth Serum (£15.50) is also great for soft, bouncy curls that'll stay frizz-free throughout the day. And if you need a little refresher before a night out, you can't beat Bumble & Bumble's Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist (£19.50), which will bounce flagging locks into life without a sticky or crunchy aftermath.

What are you top curly hair products? Leave your comments below...