It’s official – if there’s ever been a time to own your effortless tousle and work your corkscrew curls, it’s 2022.
If, like us, the thought of straightening your au natural texture one more time is worse than a dealing with yet another delayed flight, then we’re here to show you how to ditch the irons and take a more organic approach to styling.
Forget the styling tools, and leave the heat damage at home, because enhancing your hair’s natural movement need no longer be a daunting prospect.
Read on for how to encourage your curls minus the heated hair tools…
10 Ways To Style Natural Curly Hair
- Twist wet hair with a towel instead of rubbing all over.
- Go easy with your hairbrush or try a wide-toothed comb.
- Ask for a ‘feathered’ cut at the hairdressers.
- Swap your hair serum for a curl creme.
- Use a diffuser on your hairdryer.
- Avoid anti-frizz products.
- Get a mousse with a modern ‘non-crispy’ formula.
- Choose light-hold hairspray.
- Get a deep conditioning treatment.
- Try salt spray.
Intrigued? Get the full info on the ten tricks you need to master your natural texture and become a fully fledged curly girl below.
How To Style Natural Curly Hair
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 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. Go gentle with 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, but that doesn’t mean you need to avoid it completely.
‘Using a detangling brush on conditioned hair is a really great way to get your curls popping and it is the safest time to brush through your hair,’ says Michelle Sultan, creative director of curl-focused haircare brand, Imbue. ‘A wide tooth comb is also great and sometimes works better depending on hair length and density.’
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 curl creams 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.
‘Defined curls are going to be big in both volume and popularity,’ says pro hairstylist Charlotte Mensah. ‘Invest in a diffuser to ensure you get perfectly defined curls.’
Get The Look
Follow Charlotte’s step by step to perfect curls using a hair diffuser…
- Spray a bottle filled with a mixture of half water and half Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil Conditioner. Tilt head to one side.
- Place large sections over diffuser cup.
- Dry on low to medium heat.
- Spray with Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil for a beautiful glossy shine.
6. Avoid ‘anti-frizz’ products
‘Some anti-frizz products on the market contain silicones. This is harmful for curly hair as they do tend to weigh it down. Rather than going for anti-frizz make sure your hair is hydrated and nourished to make your most beautiful curls,’ explains Sultan. Look for sulphate-free formulas with moisturising ingredients such as glycerin and plant butters.
7. Change up your mousse game
Mousse can be a game-changer. It’s packed with malleable proteins that strengthen every curl without that stiff feeling.
‘Modern-day buttery, whippy mega indulgent mousses, when used on curly hair, deliver intense moisture and create big beautiful defined curls with root lift,’ explains Jonathon Eangland, hairstylist at John Frieda Salons. Sultan concurs, explaining that mousses can help create definition and leave curls feeling bouncy without weight in type 3 and certain type 4 hair. You can also cocktail your mousse with a curl cream for better hold.
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. ‘Our main aim is to keep our curls moisturised and luscious looking. High-alcohol hairsprays can be rather aggressive, which can dehydrate the curls,’ says Eangland. Look for curl-specific hold spritzes or do a very light misting of low-alcohol hairspray.
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 weekly or twice monthly, depending on your hair type.
‘If your hair tends to get fluffy or have flyaways, masks with protein are great as they help your curls spring back to shape. If your hair is dehydrated look for masks that also have high moisture,’ recommends Sultan.
10. Don’t be afraid of salt sprays
To invigorate your curls, water is your BFF. ‘Use a water spray and spritz the hair. Then, reapply your leave-in conditioner, gels or serums to reactivate the curls,’ says Sultan. That said, if you’re someone with looser curls, a good salt spray can do a great job of creating texture and revitalising the wave or curl.
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