Blessed with a head of gorgeous curls? We’re pretty jealous of you right now. But it’s fair to say that due to their drier and more delicate nature, curls can be a little trickier to maintain than the locks of your straight-haired, wash-and-wear counterparts. But with a few key products and some clever techniques, looking after your curls can be a cinch. Read on for our guide on how to maintain curly hair…

Image: Instagram @jourdandunn

Don’t Overshampoo

When it comes to how to maintain curly hair, it’s important not to overwash – shampooing too frequently can strip strands of nourishing oils and produce frizz. If you can’t stomach the thought of going ‘no-poo’ (and frankly we don’t blame you), you’ll be relieved to learn it’s not the only available solution. Thankfully, a host of clever ‘co-washing’ (which means conditioner-only) products have hit the market in recent years that gently cleanse roots and moisturise ends while maintaining hair’s moisture levels. We love Aveda’s Be Curly Co Wash’s sulfate-free formula.

Use Very Conditioning Products

Curls are naturally drier, so it’s important to top up moisture levels to avoid them drying out further. A conditioner specifically crafted for curls is your ticket to getting them in a happy and healthy condition, so opt for formulas rich in oils (exactly what thirsty curly hair needs), like Bumble & Bumble’s Curl Butter Masque.

Be Careful How You Dry Your Hair

How you dry your hair is probably a lot more important than you might think, and is an important element of how to maintain curly hair. The towel you use to dry your body just isn’t fit for purpose when it comes to our strands and can produce frizz and damage (no, thank you). Choose a microfibre version, like Aquis’s Rapid Dry Lisse Hair Towel, which has the added bonus of wicking locks dry even faster.

Use A Hair Serum

Post-shampooing, hair serums are ideal for reinjecting some moisture into cleansed locks and to make them easier to brush through (more on that later). For this, we love to distribute a few pumps of Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream through towel-dried hair for frizz-free, healthy curls.

Use A Comb Instead Of A Brush

How you go about detangling your curls is an important part of keeping them in great nick. Fine-tooth combs or traditional brushes can be damaging on tightly-coiled curls (especially when wet), so swap yours out for a wider-toothed comb like Kevin Murphy’s Texture Comb. Top tip: start from the bottom of your hair and work up the strand to coax out knots and limit damage.

Sleep On A Silk Pillowcase

No, it’s just not an unnecessarily luxurious choice of bed linen – it’s actually one of the best things you can do for your hair. Similarly to towels, the run of the mill pillow case can increase friction with your strands, causing more damage and frizz come morning. Swap out your cotton case for a silk offering, like this beauty from Slip.

Avoid Exposing Your Hair To Too Much Heat

Whether that be from damaging hot tools, or turning the temperature up in your shower just that little bit too hot, this is sensible advice for all hair types, but super important for those with beautiful but easily damaged curls. Try to reduce how many days a week you’re straightening your hair, and when you just can’t avoid it, always, always prep strands with a heat protectant spray – we like Tresemmé Hair Heat Tamer Protective Styling Spray.

Make Sure You’re Getting Regular Hair Trims

As the driest and most prone to damage hair type, it’s vital to be strict about scheduling in a haircut every six to eight weeks. This helps avoid the odd split end developing into a bigger issue of frizzy and unhealthy strands.

Story by Tess Schlink

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