Or: How to embrace your natural texture without throwing a fit.
What we love about summer: rooftop BBQs, sangria, cutoffs, balmy nights by the beach. What we hate: everything humidity. Nothing ruins your scorching hot, summatime flow more than that sticky feeling and hair that just won’t cooperate, a pain even the best curly hair girls know all too well.
Curly hair, because of its porosity, is more prone to moisture changes in the air and tends to get dry and frizzy easier than other hair types. This makes caring for curly hair a hassle for some men and women who are born with natural curls. Those really frustrated with their fluffy, God-given texture sometimes just opt out altogether and straighten everything out to help keep things more manageable.
It’s all well and good for those with an iron-clad regular routine, but throw some warm weather into the mix? Sit back, relax and watch your perfectly ironed locks go poof in minutes. Rather than throw in the towel (or before wrapping your head in one and calling it a day), read on for some expert tips on the best way to work with your unique texture.
The Best Curly Hair Dos and Don’ts
Thou shalt love thyself and what thy momma gave you.
Make your life easier and go with the flow for once. Or at least try giving it a rest for the summer—you won’t be able to sustain a decent poker-straight style for more than 10 minutes in this heat anyway. Adore the curls you were born with! The very first step on your to-do list is to put away those flat irons and cancel that Brazilian blowout. Your strands, like everyone else during the summer, deserve a vacation.
Thou shalt love thy curly-haired neighbor.
There’s no shortage of hair inspiration these days. Look through social media channels for styling ideas and hair care must-haves, or share tips and tricks with fellow curly girls. The natural hair trend has been having quite a revival as well, as more women are learning to embrace their unique, exotic ringlets. #CurlPower!
But thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.
Invest in quality hair care for yourself and forego products not meant for your hair type. Edit out those dozens of straightening items and streamline your shower stall with products that lock in moisture and retain your curls’ shape. Curly hair cheat sheet: a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner made for curly types, such as Dove Quench Absolute Ultra Nourishing Shampoo and Dove Quench Absolute Ultra Nourishing Conditioner, together with a humidity-protective curl cream such as Bed Head by TIGI On the Rebound, are sometimes all that is needed for everyday looks.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy hairdresser.
Be open with your stylist about your newly minted #hairgoals for the summer, including a need to deep condition or trim some split ends. You can even ask for a subtle new haircut, one that will enhance your new natural hair shape and which provides some versatile styling options too.
Thou shalt not fear the bob.
A lot of curly girls have the misconception that certain hairstyles are off limits. Yes, some definitely require more effort than others (hence the 1st Commandment), but thankfully there are versions that work for natural textures as well. One of these is the chic bob. Don’t ask for anything above your chin as anything shorter will puff up. Do ask for a sexy, shoulder-grazing lob that, with a few drops of serum like Suave Professionals Luxe Infusion Curl Defining Gel Serum, easily transitions from coffee to cocktails.
Thou shalt go with the ’fro.
Since we’re on it, and if you’ve got it, why not go with a full-on afro? Update this overwhelming style of disco days gone by with a slightly refined twist. Ask your stylist for a fuller, more rounded shape at the top that slightly tapers towards the jawline for the best curly hair look that boasts more control. Prep strands with a leave-in or curl-defining product like TRESemmé Curl-Locking Styling Spray to lock frizz out and enhance those coils.
Thou shalt mix oil and water.
…In your haircare, that is. Hair oils—like Moroccan oil, argan and mega-trendy coconut—are surprisingly lightweight and work overtime in moisturizing dry strands. To ease yourself into this trend, try out a coconut oil-infused wash and care system and treatment, such as Suave Professionals Coconut Oil Infusion Damage Repair Oil Care Treatment. For added good juju, stay in the shower after rinsing and let the steam infuse the moisture-packed ingredients deep into your ringlets. Immediately follow up with a leave-in product.
Thou shalt just shake it off.
Another quirk of having this much texture is that even the best curly hair is also prone to breakage. Since the cuticles don’t lie flat, vigorously brushing hair in one direction can create friction and lead to damage and roughness. Don’t go overboard with the drying towel, either. After washing hair, gently squeeze out any excess water using a towel and without tugging or pulling.
Thou shalt not waste water.
Why? Because you don’t need to! Although it might seem absurd to skip on shampooing your hair after a hot summer day, your locks will really thank you for it. Curly hair actually isn’t as much of a grease trap than straight hair is and can retain its shape even up to a week without washing. Less washing also means less frizzing. Refresh as needed with a dry shampoo instead such as Dove Refresh+Care Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo.
Thou shalt layer up.
Rev up the sex appeal of longer hair that’s blessed with curls by asking your stylist for layers. Don’t shy away from the razor this time—maligned in earlier days because it allegedly promoted frizz, a razored cut is a hip, edgy way to blend in some layers on a long, curly mane and thin out some fluff towards the ends. Just remember to keep locks nourished with a leave-in product such as Nexxus New York Salon Care Oil Infinite Nourishing Hair Oil and blowdry with a diffuser to help accentuate those ringlets.
There you have it: the 10 basic commandments to not just living with but loving your curly hair. Whether you’re born with tight, natural kinks or big, loose ringlets, the key is to keep strands neat and moisturized—and you’ll find that the styling possibilities for getting your best curly hair ever are endless.
What’s your favorite go-to tip for having the best curly hair?