Natural hair is the envy of many when it comes to waves, ringlets, and coils, but few are prepared for the styling commitment that comes with maintaining curly hair. Did you know that guys and gals with curly hair spend twice the amount of time getting ready in the morning than their straight-haired counterparts? It's no surprise that everyone wants gorgeous, seemingly effortless curls.
Achieving volume and shape doesn't need to take forever. Save time on your daily routine with these hair hacks for taming curls and looking flawless. We've put together the best tips for curly hair that will simplify your at-home haircare regimen. Get ready to debut your best looks in half the time.
Get to Know Your Curl Pattern
The first step to hacking your morning hair routine is getting to know your hair a little better. Terms like "curly" and "straight" are far too narrow to describe the full, vibrant range of hair textures. Identifying your curl pattern will make your style routine easier when it comes to implementing expert tips for curly hair.
Simply put, there are four main hair types (1-4) and subtypes A through C. Type 1s are straight, Type 2s are wavy, Type 3s are curly, and Type 4s are coily. The sub-classifications of A to C are based on the width or diameter of your wave, curl, or coil pattern. Type As have a wider pattern size, Type Bs medium, and Type Cs the smallest of the three.
"The real beauty of identifying your hair type is that you're better at understanding how to care for your texture so you can have more versatility," Anthony Dickey, the expert behind the salon chair at the Hair Rules explains.
If you're not sure where your unique curl pattern falls, learn more about how to care for your hair type and identify where your curls fall on the haircare spectrum.
Find Your Favorite Brush
Once you've identified your curl pattern, it's time to find your new favorite brush. Choosing the right brush or comb is one of the best time-saving tips for curly hair.
All hair types can benefit from a wet brush. Hair is at its weakest when wet and most prone to breakage. However, curly hair is best brushed out while wet to avoid frizz. Even Type 1 and Type 2 hair can benefit from a gentle detangling routine. Oval-shaped, flat brushes specifically made to be "wet brushes" with ball-tipped plastic bristles are a favorite and a great brush to take with you in your gym, purse, or carry-on.
For thick hair, opt for a sturdy, curved brush. A flexible, yet tough nylon bristle is a great option for on-the-go styling while your hair dries. Nylon is less likely to get caught and snag your locks. Choose a size that best fits your hair length and enjoy ease sculpting and shaping,
Round brushes are an excellent time-saving option for short to medium-length hair. The shape of these brushes allows you to achieve a subtle wave for styling lobs and bobs. They're also fantastic at fighting frizz!
If you prefer combs over brushes - opt for a longer handled comb (great for getting a better grip) with wide teeth that will assist with detangling and not damage your hair's fragile wet strands.
If your hair tends to be more coily and tightly curled, go for a boar bristle brush to style your lovely locks.
Curly Hair Style to Inspire
Embracing -- and loving -- your natural hair starts by finding the right style. If you're looking for a low-maintenance hairstyle, opt for one that works with your hair type, not against it. This means embracing your curly hair in all its glory! Steer clear of styles you will not be able to easily maintain at home. This includes perms, heat straightening, and styles that require regular salon appointments.
Instead, ask your stylist for advice on what looks work well for a practical morning routine. Consider how much time you really have in the morning -- not how much time you'd like to spend doing your hair. Protective styles are a great option for Type 3 and Type 4 curly and excellent for active lifestyles as well. If your hair tends to be wavier, consider exploring messy layers. An intentionally messy chic will make even your worst bedhead look fresh from the salon with minimal curl taming.
If you're looking for more inspiration for easy natural hairstyles for curly hair, check out these amazing hair hacks.
Get on a Wash Schedule for Healthy Hair
Plan your week around your hair washing schedule. It's a common myth that hair should be washed every day or even every other day. To achieve healthy curly hair, opt for less washing which will leave more time in your day. Twice per week is a good guideline for medium curls, with once a week being ideal for tighter curl patterns.
If you find that your hair is still missing more frequent washes, opt for adding in a few pre-poo and clarifying treatments throughout your week. Keeping your hair on a rotational schedule not only saves time but ensures your style is always fresh and ready for whatever adventures your day brings. As an extra time-saving curly hair hack, don't forget a travel-sized bottle of dry shampoo for on-the-go styling.
The Right Shampoo and Conditioner for Your Amazing Hair
Did you know the wrong shampoo can actually do more damage than good? When it comes to the best tips for curly hair, the most important hair hacks are often what not to do. With that key rule in mind, we've put together some of the top shampoo ingredients to avoid and the best healthy hair ingredients to look for in curly haircare products.
These nasty additives create a negative electrical charge that causes curly hair to become frizzy. Sulfates exacerbate oil stripping during the washing process and dry out hair at an accelerated rate.
Another unnecessary additive, parabens aggravate the scalp and have been linked to hair loss and breakage.
Like sulfates, alcohol is another drying agent often hidden in the ingredient list of supposedly high-end, "luxury" shampoos. Don't be fooled by clever marketing! The proof is in the ingredients when it comes to maintaining curly hair.
Trust us -- your hair smells great on its own! Artificial fragrances can cause skin irritation along the scalp and hairline. This in turn leads to breakage at the root and can permanently damage the hair follicle.
Now that we've covered the worst shampoo ingredients, it's time to take a look at our favorite formulas for curly hair. We all know a high-quality conditioner is an integral part of the home hair care routine, especially for curly hair. However, it's the ingredients that make a good conditioner really worth the extra shower time.
Look for nourishing, moisture-dense ingredients like argan and jojoba oil. These rich oils fill hydrate the hair and scalp, protecting curly hair from damage. Think of natural oils as a shield that coats the follicle. Argan oil in particular has been linked to improving hair growth in curly hair. This amazing healthy hair ingredient works by reducing breakage and split ends and keeping your scalp healthy.
For deep conditioning treatments at home, add a few hair masks to your DIY beauty kit. This will save you a trip to the salon and keep your hair looking shiny, radiant, and full of volume.
Simplify Your Blowdrying Routine -- Go Heatless!
Cool off your routine and save time while protecting your hair's health and integrity. When it comes to heat styling, standard blowdryers are one of the biggest culprits of frizz. Breakage and split end often result from a hurried blowdrying routine, even with heat protectant spray-applied liberally to curly hair.
Before going anywhere near a blowdryer, pat your curls dry with a microfiber towel and apply moisturizing spray throughout, especially along the ends of the hair. Never leave your hair wrapped in a traditional towel for too long. We know it's tempting to run around the house rocking the towel wrap, but rough, scratchy towels can cause frizz and won't help much with the drying process.
When it's finally time to dry your hair, pull out your favorite brush or comb and gently comb through your locks in the direction of your hair's natural movement. Go totally heatless with the power of a reverse-air hairdryer! RevAir's reverse-air technology dries, stretches, and straightens hair faster and more efficiently than a traditional hairdryer -- three times faster to be exact, and using only 1/2 of the heat! This means less heat exposure over time, contributing to healthy, smooth strands. When it comes to natural hair hacks that can free up your time as well as free your hair from chemicals, heat, and excessive styling, using the simple technology of a reverse-air hairdryer is one of the best tips for curly hair.
Looking for more hair hacks? Reach out to our team for personalized curly hair tips and what the RevAir can do for your curls!