Also called natural hair, curly hair tends to be much drier than straight hair. For this reason, it is essential to moisturize curly hair regularly. In the absence of regular moisturization, your curls will become dry, brittle and weak. Hair products which enable moisture retention are important for optimal hair health. Which moisturizing products to use and how often to use them will depend on the curl type you have.
Oprah Winfrey’s hairstylist, Andre Walker, developed a hair typing system which categorizes hair into four types with added subcategories based on hair texture and pattern. Type 1 is defined as straight hair, which is generally curl resistant and is therefore beyond the scope of this article. We are primarily concerned with the remaining three types – Type 2, Type 3 and Type 4. Some beauty experts argue that all curl types are not accounted for in Walker’s hair type chart. Nonetheless, the chart is useful as a general guideline for helping people with curly hair to choose hair products which are right for their curl type.
The first step in any hair care regimen is identifying your curl type as this will determine your hair care strategy. Each curl type is different and therefore should be treated differently. According to Walker’s chart, there are three distinct curl types. Type 2 is wavy hair, Type 3 is curly hair, and Type 4 is coily hair.
Type 2: Wavy Hair
Having an S-pattern, this hair type is prone to frizz and hence requires sufficient moisturization. To avoid weighing down the hair, it is advisable to use light products like gel or mousse instead of heavy creams. Below is a list of moisturizing products which are particularly suited to wavy hair.
Maple Holistics’ Silk 18 Leave-in Conditioner is great for moisturizing wavy hair. A delightful blend of natural ingredients such as argan oil, shea butter, organic pomegranate, hibiscus, sea buckthorn, jojoba oil and green tea extracts, this product is ideal for frizz control. It is free from sulfates, silicones, and parabens, and therefore safe to apply on wavy hair. It is important to note, however, that using this product on dyed hair can have the opposite effect.
As the name indicates, Amara Organics Aloe Vera Gel contains aloe vera extracts, which moisturize wavy hair and protect it from damage. The gel is available in bottles of 8 fluid ounces and can be purchased online.
Pureology Color Stylist Silk Bodifier’s palm-sized spray bottles contain 2.2 ounces of a vegan mousse, which can be used as a styling aid for wavy hair. It moisturizes the hair and is also suitable for color-treated hair.
ON Natural Premium Oil-Free Curl ‘N Wavy Curl Defining Conditioner & Detangler gets its antioxidant property from grape seed extract. It detangles your hair without causing you to lose any of it and is effective as a moisturizer, too.
Wet ‘N Wavy Frizz-Free Detangling Spray can help to restore moisture to wavy hair. It is available in spray bottles of 8 fluid ounces and can be purchased online.
Every container of LuxeOrganix Deep Conditioner + Hair Mask has the combined goodness of coconut oil and shea butter which helps in moisturizing dry and dull wavy hair. An added advantage is that it is free from harmful chemicals like sulfates, phosphates, and parabens.
Type 3: Curly Hair
Curly hair strands bundle together and wind around in a spiral pattern. They tend to be very dry because the naturally occurring oil at the roots of the strands is unable to reach the ends of the strands. Therefore, it is highly recommended to use a sulfate-free shampoo because the sulfate present in hair products strips curly hair of its natural moisture.
Coconut Restore has an impressive line of hair products specially designed for curly hair. The star ingredient in all of its hair products is coconut oil, which is well-known for its moisturizing property. Coconut Restore Crème Conditioner Cleanser (13 oz) combines coconut oil, shea butter, and babassu oil to give users a highly satisfying shower experience. The product effectively cleanses the hair and scalp of dirt and facilitates moisture retention. Coconut Restore Texture and Volume Spray (6 oz) restores moisture and thereby prevents frizz. It makes for an excellent styling aid. Another styling product is Coconut Restore Curl Mousse (7.5 oz), which contains coconut oil and moringa oil. Both of these ingredients give the hair mousse its ability to control frizz and prevent breakage.
Coconut Restore Triple Butter Curl Moisture Crème is also a styling product which protects against breakage and hair damage. Each bottle of this moisture crème weighs 8 ounces and is a masterful blend of coconut oil, mango butter, and shea butter. Coconut Restore Moisture & Shine Mist comes in pocket-sized spray bottles of 4 ounces making it ideal for daily use. It contains coconut oil and jojoba oil, which are known to protect curly hair against damage triggered by humidity. Coconut Restore Cashmere Hair Softening Tonic (8 oz) taps into the moisturizing powers of coconut oil, cashmere extract, peony flower extract and polymers to detangle curly hair effortlessly.
We also suggest using a high powered blow dryer with a diffuser attachment for type 3 hair because this hair type requires more heat than type 1 & 2.
Type 4: Coily Hair
Coily hair varies from a tightly coiled S-shaped pattern to a kinky zigzag Z-shaped pattern. This type of hair appears shorter than it really is because the curls are very tightly wound. Since it is very dry, it requires ample moisturization. Moisturizing products like oils and deep conditioners are essential in caring for coily hair.
There is a wide range of hair products enriched with glycerin, oils, and butter which help to replenish moisture in the hair. One such product is Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Heavy Cream (8.9 fl oz). Another product worthy of mention is Vernon Francois Pure-Fro Moisture Spray, which is made with Kalahari melon oil. Argan oil-based MoroccanOil Intense Hydrating Mask is a must-have. DevaCurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler has what it takes to become a hairstylist’s best companion. Sunny Isle Jamaican Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (4 oz) is yet another example of coconut oil’s moisturizing power. Shea butter-based Txtr by Cantu Strengthen + Restore Moisture Mask restores moisture to the hair thus making it supple. Obia Natural Curl Moisture Cream is a skillful combination of argan oil, burdock root and grape seed oil which revives dull hair. The Doux Fresh Rinse Moisturizing Conditioner is a fabulous blend of shea butter, sea silk and hibiscus, which gives coily hair salon-style moisturization. Ouidad Curl Immersion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner is enriched with coconut oil, avocado oil, and grape seed oil; and is loaded with ceramides, which penetrate the hair for deeper moisturization.
Sensible Hair Care Practices To Keep In Mind
Hair damage is inevitable if the hair consistently loses moisture. Curly hair is especially vulnerable since it is relatively moisture-starved. To make sure your curly hair is in sound health, you must adopt a hair care routine that matches your curl type.
Avoid products with sulfates, silicones or a high pH value. Sulfates rob the hair of its natural moisture; silicones inhibit moisture retention, and a high pH value means the product is far too alkaline for curls that require a pH-balanced environment to thrive.
Use a co-wash or moisturizing cleanser to gently cleanse your hair without exposing it to tangles or breakage. Use an argan oil-based and vitamin E-enriched deep conditioner once a week for best results.
The LCO method is widely acknowledged as a reliable moisturization technique. First, you apply a water-based leave-in conditioner to your hair and follow it up with a water-based cream. Finally, you massage oil into your hair to lock in the moisture before air drying your hair.
Last, but not least, install a shower filter if the tap water in your neighborhood is hard as this water sucks the moisture out of your hair.
- TréLuxe, HOW TO KEEP CURLY HAIR MOISTURIZED!, 31 October 2015
- Mielle, CAN YOU OVER MOISTURIZE YOUR HAIR?, November 28, 2017
- MATRIX, How to Moisturize Hair- 28 Tips on Preventing Dryness & Hydrating Hair