The must-read guide to caring for curls
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Curl Power1 of 13
By Laura Vogel
Whether you've got subtle waves or corkscrew curls, we've rounded up the best tips to help you embrace your hair's natural texture. From "co-washing" to dry cutting, find out what the curly-hair experts have to say about getting shiny, healthy, perfectly coiled strands.
What's Your Type?2 of 13
The first step to best caring for your specific texture is to define it. Not sure what yours is? Check out NaturallyCurly.com, which has "texture tests" to help you ID your curl type. The site then offers advice on which hair-care ingredients to look for and which to avoid.
Pro Pick3 of 13
One of NaturallyCurly.com's best-sellers, this curl crème, which contains tons of hydrating botanicals, including avocado, sweet almond and macadamia seed oils, can be used on all types of textured hair—it gives hair shine without stiffness and puts the kibosh on frizz.
SHOP NOW: Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding, $7
Moisture Matters4 of 13
Hair is naturally moisturized from the root, with healthy oils making their way down the length of strands. The curlier your hair, the more difficult it is for hair to stay hydrated from root to tip.
Pro Pick5 of 13
Michelle Breyer, the co-founder of NaturallyCurly.com, tells us conditioning is the absolute key for keeping curls looking top-notch. She recommends this weekly intense treatment.
SHOP NOW: Kérastase Masquintense, $60
Go "Co-Wash"6 of 13
Michelle Breyer points out that one of the latest trends in shampooing curly hair is, well, not shampooing at all. "Many women find that even the most gentle, sulfate-free shampoos strip their hair of too much natural oil, and they end up frizzy," Breyer explains. "So, we 'wash' our hair using conditioner, it's called 'co-washing'—basically, we wet our hair, apply conditioner, and then rinse out—that's it. No lathering at all!"
Pro Pick7 of 13
This non-shampoo wash is beloved by many women who practice co-washing—used solo, no conditioner needed. It's paraben- and sulfate-free and highly moisturizing. (So what if it's got a slightly silly name?)
SHOP NOW: DevaCurl "No-Poo" Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser, $18
Tool Time8 of 13
Most curl experts advise tossing brushes and combs entirely—the more tools you run through your locks, the more you rough up the cuticle (which equals frizz).
Pro Pick9 of 13
This heat-protective spray is one of Sally Hershberger celebrity stylist Ryan Trygstad's favorites, as it has jojoba oil to moisturize and sea salt to give locks a cool, beachy finish. He advises spraying generously over hair and gently running from roots to ends with fingers to separate and define curls.
SHOP NOW: Sally Hershberger Glam Waves Spray, $13
High & Dry10 of 13
Drying curls is a delicate art, as hair is at its most fragile when it's wet. Most experts advise gently squeezing hair—moving from your scalp to your ends—to remove excess water and then using a microfiber towel to blot softly.
Pro Pick11 of 13
If you choose to blow-dry, use a diffuser, which, Branch says, "will help to pump up the curl. Also, consider using the cool setting on your dryer. It'll take a bit longer to dry, but the effect will be gorgeous."
SHOP NOW: Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Unversal Finger Diffuser, $12
The Next Wave12 of 13
Haircare king Orlando Pita has gorgeous curls himself, and he feels that the coming trend for textured hair will be more subtle than in days past. "We definitely won't be going back to big '80s hair," says Pita, who notes acing a curly look is all in the cut. "I like long curls—if it's cut too short you end up with a pouff. You do need long layers cut into it, however, to avoid the pyramid look." As far as his favorite celeb rocking ringlets right now? "I love Solange Knowles, her hair is amazing and defines her personal style."
Pro Pick13 of 13
Orlando Pita has just released his own argan-oil-based haircare line, which he recommends for curls. "The three products together create a great shine and curl separation," he says.
SHOP NOW: Orlando Pita Argan Gloss Collection, $45