There’s no denying curly hair is gorgeous. But in the past 12 months or so, waves, kinks, coils and corkscrews have become seriously hot property. Celebs, civilians and the TikTok plop crew are ditching their hair straighteners left, right and centre and, quite frankly, we are HERE for it. However, as any curly babe will tell you, it takes a lot of TLC to keep those locks looking tip top!
To help you embrace your natural hair texture without looking like a natural disaster, we’ve called on Melbourne-based hairdresser (and fellow curly girl) Sofia Basile for her essential curly hair tips. Read on to learn how to care for your curls – and enjoy the big, bouncy, beautiful results!
Start with the right shampoo & conditioner
Product choice is super important for curly babes, and a good quality, hydrating shampoo and conditioner should be top of your shopping list. “Always use a quality shampoo that is hydrating, rich in moisture and gentle,” says Basile. “Gentle washing is key.”
And for conditioning? “Choose a thick, nourishing conditioner that’s infused with oils to soften those gorgeous curls. And always make sure to rinse with cooler water to promote shine.”
Try: our Super Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner, formulated with ResistHyalTM hyaluronic acid technology for 26 times more hydration.
Use conditioner first
Blessed with her own head of thick, long, curly strands, Basile has spent a lifetime perfecting her hair routine. And one of the curly hair hacks she swears by is switching up the way you shampoo and condition your hair.
“I tend to apply conditioner before washing as it gives better results. My curls are more manageable, detangling is effortless and it’s an easy way to make sure you achieve healthy, bouncy, gorgeous curls. Plus, it can save you several minutes in the shower and makes shampooing so much easier!”
Try: our Super Hydrating Cream Conditioner which is three times thicker than a regular conditioner for extra-deep conditioning and fast detangling.
Don’t over wash your hair
What curls need to look fab and frizz-free is plenty of moisture. And the fastest route to parched kinks and coils is over washing. According to Basile, “Over washing your curls strips away those precious natural oils your hair needs to stay healthy, shiny and manageable.”
So, what’s the magic number? In most cases, once a week washing is fine. “You need to strike the right balance between moisture and strength,” says Basile.
Avoid too much heat
Heat is damaging for all hair types, but curls can be extra vulnerable. “Try and steer away from hot tongs and hot irons as direct heat on curls can be disastrous,” cautions Basile.
“I prefer a good blow wave as it’s not as damaging on your hair. Make sure you use a quality round brush and apply a heat protectant product before styling.”
Try: our Miracle Hair Elixir, which protects hair from heat styling up to 428°F while smoothing split ends and eliminating pesky frizz.
Steer clear of these haircare ingredients
Curly hair is often drier, so it’s essential you avoid moisture-stripping ingredients like sulfates. Harsh chemicals, parabens and formaldehyde are also out, according to Basile. (Pssst. You’ll find none of these ingredients in our Like A Virgin haircare range ☺.)
She also recommends avoiding dry shampoos – or at least making sure they’re very high quality. “Dry shampoos are fine for waves and looser curls, but you want to avoid cheap products as they’re full of drying alcohols. In my opinion, dry shampoo should be avoided altogether by those with tight curls as it only contributes to frizz.”
Give frizz the flick with these steps
Speaking of frizz, it’s one of the biggest bugbears of those with curls. But there are some steps you can take to avoid it. Basile recommends fighting the frizzies by booking in regular trims, always detangling your strands, resisting the urge to fiddle with your curls, and using a hair serum or oil (she likes products with avocado or coconut oil – hello, Coco & Eve) to smooth and tame those locks.
Air dry or scrunch and diffuse
The best way to dry curly locks is naturally, says Basile. “I always tell my clients that the less you touch your curls the better.” She recommends air drying for perfect curls, or gently scrunch drying with a diffuser, making sure not to overwork your strands.
“You want to avoid your mid lengths and ends and focus on drying the root area. This will give your hair lots of bounce, without creating a frizzy halo.”
Nourish curls with a hair mask
While a moisturising conditioner is great, curls will also benefit greatly from an intensive weekly mask session. As well as deeply nourishing the hair, an oil-rich mask helps keep any frizziness at bay. While we recommend leaving our Like A Virgin Hair Masque on for a minimum of 10 minutes, or overnight if you’re extra-parched, Basile has another curl enhancing tip.
“Once a week, I’ll leave a deep conditioning hair mask in my hair without rinsing. I find this is a great way to combat and control my flyaways and frizzy hair. But if you’re planning on leaving product in, always remember that a little goes a long way.”
Try: our Super Nourishing Hair Masque to hydrate, tame, condition, smooth and repair hair from the inside out.
Take care of your curls as you sleep
Any curly-haired beauty will have gone to bed with tidy ringlets only to wake up with a wild head of tangles. To prevent this, curls need some extra overnight TLC. Basile recommends tying your hair up loosely with a silk scrunchie – she puts her curls in a loose, low bun – and sleeping on a silky pillowcase to prevent snags.
“If you can spoil yourself with a silk pillowcase, then do it – your curls will love you for it! Or you can always opt for a more budget-friendly satin pillowcase.”
Brush curls the right way
Two products that are essential for curls: a wide toothed comb (or preferably a rake comb) and a cushion brush. However, it’s important to keep brushing to a minimum to keep curls in shape.
“I will only brush my hair before stepping into the shower. I’ll use a wide toothed comb to brush through conditioner, then before I go to bed I’ll lightly rake my hair before tying it back,” says Basile.
@elsadesiree Wash day routine w @coco_and_eve💗 This is probably my favourite bantu knot out💗 #ad#washday#bantuknots#cocoandeve#curlscheck#hudabeauty ♬ Woman - Doja Cat
Know that curl patterns can change
It’s also important to know that your hair’s needs can change over time, and your curl pattern can actually evolve. “Hair patterns can change for several reasons. Hair damage, hormones and the onset of puberty can play a huge role. Pregnancy, too – I experienced my curls loosening.
“Chemical damage, tool damage, sun damage, stress and age can also lead to changes. Seasonal changes can also impact your hair, so you need to change your products to suit the season. Products play a big part in controlling curls, so chat to your hairdresser about the best products and techniques to keep your curls looking super gorgeous,” says Basile.
Want more hair content? Here’s how to style and maintain bangs!
Written By: Pip Jarvis
Edited by: Vidhya