Hey swirl sisters!
Perfecting your texture doesn't need to be a trial-and-error tresscapade.
If you have curls, you know that there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to keeping them healthy and gorgeous. (Serums? Sprays? Detanglers? It can be hard to know where to start—or where *not* to start.)
But solidifying a steady routine can truly work wonders for your waves. The secret? ID'ing your curls—and seeing exactly what they need to thrive.
"Luckily, there's a classification system," explains hairstylist and Puidad ambassador Irinel de León. Hair textures are broken up into types: Type 1 is straight, Type 2 is wavy, Type 3 is curly and Type 4 is coily.
And within Types 2, 3 and 4, the texture can be categorized as A, B or C—so look at the structure of your individual strands, "These are based on the diameter of your wave or curl," says de León. "An A texture has a wider curl pattern, B is medium and C is tight."
Knowing your exact type is v. essential. It determines how often to wash with shampoo, how (or if) to apply heat and the specific styling products that work for your natural curl pattern. The bottom line? No two curls are created equal. Read on for a study guide on treating and styling your curls.
Olivia Rodrigo (@oliviarodrigo) is a 2B
Not quite a loopy curl, your hair dries with a slight S-shape, giving you natural waves.
Treat it: "This texture needs very light hydration—anything too heavy will weigh it down," says de León. Comb a lightweight conditioner (try Gussi Protection Plan Keratin-Infused Conditioner, $30, gussihair.com) through strands to give your hair some bounce while minimizing frizz and tangles.
Style it: "Opt for weightless volumizers like mousses and foams to amplify hair texture," de León advises, "and avoid heavy oils like avocado and coconut." Apply a lightweight product like Ouidad PlayCurl Curl Amplifying Foam ($26, ouidad.com) starting at your mid-lengths (too much goop at your roots drags down waves), then scrunch the ends for an even and bouncy finish. Diffuse for extra oomph.
Save it: Prevent breakage by sleeping in loose braids held in place with a satin scrunchie.
Sofie Dossi (@sofiedossi) is a 3B
Your curl pattern tends to be uniform and can range from S-shape curls to ringlets that loop over themselves.
Treat it: Curly hair needs moisture to beat frizz and stay defined. "Washing Type 3 hair every day dries it out," says hairstylist Harry Josh. Instead, cut down your shampoos to one or two times a week. And when you do wash? Don't slimp on conditioning—in *and* out of the shower. Coat your clean curls in an ultra-moisturizing formula that also undoes tangles (we heart Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner and Detangler, $13, amazon.com).
Style it: Define your curl pattern and lock in hydration at the same time by working a moisture-rich mousse from mid-length to ends (try John Frieda Frizz Ease Curl Reviver Mousse, $8, target.com). Styling techniques will differ depending on your hair type. 3A hair? Coil your curls around your finger for added definition. 3C? Just give your hair a simple scrunch.
Save it: Sleep with a satin bonnet or silk pillowcase for added protection (our fave is Kitsch's Satin Sleep Bonnet, $22, ulta.com).
Ashleigh Murray (@iamamurray) is a 4B
Your curls are a close-knit pattern of Z-shaped strands or tight, small ringlets.
Treat it: Detangling coily hair can be tough. "Use a wide-tooth comb or paddle brush on wet hair to cut down on damage," suggests textured hair expert Erinn Courtney. Give your locks some love with a weekly deep conditioning treatment—it'll nourish, strengthen and protect your curls (we like TPH by Taraji After Dark Overnight Repair Mask, $15, walmart.com).
Style it: "Oils like coconut or avocado that provide heavy moisture are key," Courtney shares. Comb a hydrating product like Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Coil Sculpting Custard ($13, mielleorganics.com) generously through small sections of your hair and twirl for defined coils.
Save it: A protective style like twists or braids is great for coily hair, which can be prone to breakage. "It keeps hair tamed and healthy," advises Courtney.
Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our October/November 2022 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.
Top image: @gabriellenevaeh
Slider image: @vanessahudgens
POSTED IN STYLE, Beauty
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